Suppose you had treatment-resistant depression (or any chronic mental illness), assuming that you had been going the medication-and-therapy route for years to no avail, and that you were doing all you could to help yourself in your condition, but that you were just not able to function on the same level as a healthy person (i.e., too unstable to keep a job, on social assistance, disability status, etc.).Assume also that you had had this condition your entire adult life and did not expect to get better any time soon–unless there was a significant breakthrough in the field of antidepressants or therapy techniques. How would you find a partner who would accept that you were not healthy and could not have a job or “contribute” to society, but could still love you for you?However many times depression is just a stage most of us pass through; these usually range from a couple of days to perhaps a few weeks and eventually the person is able to emerge from its shadows.
Knowing about depression will help you to understand what your partner is going through and how you can best help him/her. Get to know your partner Perhaps the biggest challenge in a relationship with a depressed person comes with the unpredictability and inscrutability of their moods.
You may wonder why I am not asking a therapist about this…This is because every therapist I’ve ever seen does not take my desire to date or find a partner seriously.
Every time I raise this issue in the therapist’s office, it gets dismissed. I’m really interested in getting your opinion on this whole complex issue. And not in some sort of vague, quasi-sympathetic way either.
If somebody had a broken leg, you wouldn’t tell them to go for a run. The person with depression can’t see a thing, because everything is surrounded by darkness. All they want to do is get out of the tunnel, but they can’t see where to go, they don’t know what to do.
You would be patient, you would understand that it will take time, patience and rehabilitation. Just because you can’t see an injury doesn’t mean that it isn’t debilitating. Your natural reaction is to lead them out of this dark tunnel, back to the light. You may think it makes sense, but for the person with depression, nothing makes sense. They can’t be led out of the tunnel, because the fear is too great, the darkness is too dark.