How to rebuild intimacy during depression

 When your partner is living with depression, it can be difficult to find ways to help. And for some couples, depression can put a strain on both people in the relationship.

Logo

Nov 14 5 min read
How to rebuild intimacy during depression

Both the emotional and physical aspects of your relationship will undoubtedly be changed by depression but, there are ways to support your partner and strengthen your bond.

How does depression affect relationships?

With symptoms including low mood, feeling irritable and lacking motivation or an interest in things you previously enjoyed, it’s no surprise that depression can make it difficult to maintain a fulfilling relationship. Your partner might find everyday tasks overwhelming, and you could start to feel under supported while you look after family life. On top of this, your partner may be finding it difficult to communicate their feelings, causing you to feel more distant from one another. As well as the symptoms of depression, the hormonal changes caused by the illness can reduce your desire for intimacy, and you may not receive as much affection from your partner as you’d like.

Learn about the illness

If your partner lives with depression, it’s really important to learn about the illness. Read up on the causes, symptoms and treatment from reputable sources like the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. They have excellent resources to help you understand what your partner is experiencing. Armed with that knowledge, you’ll be in a better position to support your loved one and recognize behaviors that are caused by depression – and not a reflection on their love for you. That understanding may also help your partner open up a bit more, so you’ll grow closer on an emotional level, too.

Speak to your partner about side effects

A common complaint among sufferers is that the medicines used to treat depression have some difficult side effects, and these can have a knock-on effect for partners. If your partner is taking medications such as antidepressants, they may be experiencing side effects that can affect intimacy. Because antidepressants effect everyone differently, it’s worth speaking to your partner to find out what they are experiencing. It’s important not to take a lack of affection personally, but to understand that it could be a side effect out of your partner’s control.

Know that affection can help

Some people find showing physical affection – even just an embrace – can help them feel better. Studies show that cuddling releases oxytocin, otherwise known as ‘the love hormone’, and that can help improve a person’s mood. You could get in the habit of greeting one another with a hug but allow your partner to feel in control. And if they’re not in the mood for showing affection, don’t push the idea. Instead, talk to each other about what level of intimacy you’re comfortable with and see if you can come up with some ways to show affection that work for both of you and fulfill your need to feel close.

Make home a stress-free environment

Depression can make sufferers feel overwhelmed by tasks which otherwise may not affect them. To help your partner, try and make your home a stress-free environment. That might include doing things like taking care of the housework or removing triggers like noisy radios. Doing these small things for your partner is the perfect way to show you care. They’ll appreciate that you’re aware of their needs and it can help bring you closer emotionally.

Make plans together

Giving your partner something to look forward to is a great way to help enhance their mood and is a good chance for you to bond. Even making plans at home, like a night in with board games, removes the pressure of going out but gives you the chance to set aside dedicated time to spend together.

Depression can make sufferers feel overwhelmed by tasks which otherwise may not affect them. To help your partner, try and make your home a stress-free environment. That might include doing things like taking care of the housework or removing triggers like noisy radios. Doing these small things for your partner is the perfect way to show you care. They’ll appreciate that you’re aware of their needs and it can help bring you closer emotionally.

For more advice to help you navigate relationships with your loved ones, sign up to our newsletter below.


Older Post Newer Post

check it out