I had a comment on a post at Health Central that described an experience the writer called dissociative. During a therapy session she had become so remote that she couldn’t focus on the discussion or even remember in mid-sentence what she’d been saying. She wasn’t fully present and couldn’t bring herself to come back into […]
Revisiting: Removing Barriers to Closeness
This is a new version of an early post about how my wife and I were able to keep our relationship together despite the impact of depression. It discusses a therapeutic approach to emotional awareness that helps eliminate barriers to closeness by drawing on ideas about acceptance. More than 20 years ago I stopped believing […]
How Depression Spreads
Depression spreads through the closest relationships almost like a communicable disease. I learned the hard way that the illness didn’t happen to me alone. It happened to my children, my friends, and most of all to my wife. The pull of depression took me away from her and everyone else. I often felt I was […]
Can You Be a Therapist for Your Depressed Partner?
A couple of readers have asked me to comment on whether it’s possible or advisable to try to act as a ‘therapist’ for your depressed partner. This idea came out of responses to one of the posts on relationships that has attracted the most attention on this blog: How Can You Communicate After Your Depressed […]
If Your Partner’s Depression Returns
When a partner’s depression ends, a couple may feel happy disbelief as they emerge into the light again from a long darkness in the relationship. They’ve been desperate to understand how an intimate partner could possibly have grown silent, angry, emotionally never there, reluctant to touch or talk about anything. Then suddenly they’re back, feeling […]
11 Relationship Traps of Depression
Depression sets relationship traps for both partners. Everything can change quickly between two people, and it’s crucial to be able to spot these changes as soon as possible. Here are 11 signs of the illness that seem perfectly designed to undo the bonds of closeness. Humor, talking and doing things together, sharing special moments – […]
Talking to Depression – 2
I’ve written an overview post in this series on Depression Central, and I hope you’ll have a look at that. Thanks. Talking to a depressed partner can be more than frustrating. It can feel hopeless when you’re faced with a slammed door shutting you out completely or a furious attack full of blame and rejection. […]
Is It Loneliness or Is It Depression?
It may seem strange to pose this question: is it loneliness or is it depression? After all, many people feel loneliness at the loss or weakening of close relationships because of depression, and most of us who’ve lived with the condition over a lifetime experience those broken connections as some of its worst effects. On […]