Alone, Together: Managing Depression Against the Backdrop of a Relationship
“I don’t want you to go, I just want to be alone with you here.” -Tom in The Five-Year Engagement.
I recently watched this movie with my reluctant boyfriend and although he was only half interested, this line stuck out to both of us. The feeling of wanting to be alone, together, has been felt across every relationship… ever. This isn’t just an intimacy issue though, this is a pretty simple picture of how depression can rear its beastly head. Even as an adolescent girl I can vividly remember when my depression first started and although I would often slink into my bedroom after school, I was most soothed by silently working on a puzzle with my brother or playing endless hours of Tetris without a single word being spoken.
Depression often steals our words and all we are left with are the groans of the pain.
Here’s the thing with depression though, it loses its power as we let people in. As someone who has both struggled with depression and helped others through theirs; across the board I have discovered the importance of preventative measures.
Speak Up When You Can
This looks like talking to our support system between bouts of depression. I’ve had a few clients develop a “safe word” for when they are experiencing anxiety and depression. I even had one come up with a “safe emoji” that they were able to text when the groans set in. The purpose of this is to let the people closest to us know that we are struggling without having to go into the gory details. They now have the opportunity to check on us, feed us, and visit us without the expectation of having to fully engage.
Find a Way to Ask for Help
Asking for support might be one of the biggest challenges for individuals with depression. Depression has a terrible way of lying to us and making us believe that our feelings are too much and we do not want to be an inconvenience. Part of prevention is reminding ourselves that our value as a person does not diminish because of what we are struggling with. You are cared for before, during, and after your depression.
I want to make something clear, I do not think that depression can be solved by just sitting in a room with someone you love. But I can tell you, that it sure makes it not as burdensome. Like all mental health issues depression is not a one-solution-fits-all and there are an array of coping and counseling techniques that can help improve it. Simply put, sometimes we just need to be alone, together.
At Mind Works Counseling Services in Lubbock, TX, we specialize in helping folks just like you work through the symptoms of depression so that it does not cost you your relationship. Believe it or not, many problems can be improved. Give us a call and let us help.
Learn more about the Depression Therapy services we offer.
Contact us to schedule an appointment or to let us answer any questions you may have.