Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) affects nearly 3 million Americans every year. MDD often leaves individuals feeling worthless or battling lingering feelings of depression. Unfortunately, these common symptoms of MDD often trickle into relationships a person has with others, whether they be professionally, romantically, or even just platonically.

Most people living with depression who come into Grey Matters of Carmel are looking for a natural solution that will better their everyday lives and relationships with others. Below are just a few ways depression has affected the relationships in our patients’ lives.

  1. Your Sexual Desires Have Diminished

    According to the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, nearly 75% of people living with MDD report that their sex life has diminished or is gone completely. While ebbs and flows of your sex drive are normal throughout life, a long-lasting drought is not a good sign. This lack of interest in intimacy is likely affecting your partner or your desire for human connection. Furthermore, your lack of sex drive is likely fueling your feelings of shame, negative body image, and performance anxiety.

    What Can You Do?

    Talk to your partner about how you’re feeling. Set aside time for each of you to connect each week and make sure you ask for help whenever you need it! Also, make sure you express to your partner that your decreased libido has nothing to do with them.

  2. You’re Acting Out

    MDD does not manifest the same way in men as in women. When it comes to acting out, depressed men are more likely to behave irrationally and without fear of consequence. Men living with MDD tend to shut out their loved ones, have affairs, and become more aggressive. Alcohol abuse is also more prevalent in men with depression, as are somatic symptoms – Headaches, body aches, and that low sex drive mentioned above.

    What Can You Do?

    Avoid situations that will make you feel worse. For example, if you feel more irritable and aggressive, seek help outside the home rather than heading to the nearest bar. Just make sure you talk to your partner so they can mitigate their own actions and help you cope with these unwanted feelings.

  3. You Isolate More

    Depression can make you feel more withdrawn and unmotivated to be around people. In fact, you probably feel more drained being around others, as it takes a lot of mental energy to sustain a positive outward image. So, to avoid feeling more mentally exhausted than you already are, you likely isolate yourself. You might also do this to avoid feeling the shame that comes with not being able to pull yourself together. This can cause you to miss out on family time or make your loved ones feel like you’re distant and uninterested.

    What Can You Do?

    If you find yourself wanting to isolate more, ask a close friend or loved one to check in on you. Sometimes you just need to be alone for a little while but that doesn’t mean you should cut people off completely. Instead, make sure you talk about your struggles with your mental health and maybe even schedule some time to be with someone who always knows how to cheer you up.

  4. You Don’t Care About Your Physical Appearance

    Maybe you’ve noticed that you could care less about getting out of your pajamas lately. While we’d all love to spend time lounging in our comfy clothes, not caring about your appearance is a key indication that your depression is affecting your relationships. Depending on your job, your lack of interest in your appearance could start to affect you professionally. Clients are less likely to take you seriously and your boss may start to question your commitment to your position. Additionally, your partner may start to assume that your lack of self-care is a way of ending the relationship.

    What Can You Do?

    It starts by putting one foot in front of the other. Doing something for yourself that makes you feel good is always a great place to start. Then, you keep going. First, it’s a shower. Then it’s putting on a fresh outfit. Then it’s doing your hair or brushing your teeth. Whatever comes next, just make sure you keep going until you’re ready for the day!

  5. You Can’t Seem to Communicate

    Communication is key in any relationship, whether it be with a co-worker or with a romantic partner. But unfortunately, MDD can really affect how you communicate. It’s not uncommon for individuals with depression to feel as though their partners don’t understand the magnitude of what they feel, nor can they help them sort through all the loneliness. Even when surrounded by a support group, people with MDD often feel isolated and alone and unable to communicate how much their mental health is suffering.

    What Can You Do?

    Depression can jumble your thoughts and make irrational feelings feel real. So if you cannot communicate with your loved one how you feel, then try writing it down. Sometimes putting the words to a page can help you sift through the mess and really narrow down the feeling or what has put you down that day.

Mitigate Depression and Improve Your Relationships through Neurofeedback Training

MDD doesn’t have to define your life or the company you keep. If you’re ready to take back control over your life and nurture all your relationships, come check out the neurofeedback training from Grey Matters of Carmel! We’ve helped hundreds of people mitigate their symptoms of depression, anxiety, PTSD, and more! Contact us today for a FREE consult and get started with your training right away!