If you are having problems in your marriage, depression may be part of the reason. Recent studies have indicated that depression is associated with the quality of a relationship. Additionally, the quality of a relationship can affect a person’s level of depression.

Not surprisingly, someone who is depressed will tend to pay less attention to their partner’s needs, be less connected, and be more irritable. In the reverse, relationship problems such as poor communication, verbal abuse and lack of intimacy can lead to depression.

Research has suggested that compassionate and communicative relationships decrease the chances of a person experiencing depression. However, if you already have depression, it is important to determine how it is affecting and interfering with your relationship. In most marriages, for example, people often miss the warning signs of depression. The following are some warning signs that depression is impacting your relationship.

Lack of interest in sex is one of the classic signs of depression. In studies, around 75% of people with depression report a lack of sex drive. Of course, it’s perfectly normal to have an ebb and flow of sexual activity in a marriage. A low sex drive can also stem from a variety of causes related to depression: contempt, embarrassment about sex, bad body image, exhaustion, medication, as well as performance anxiety, and so on. By talking about problems in couples counseling, couples can use their feelings of fondness and admiration to reconnect and kindle feelings of passion.

Another big predictor of depression is a sense of hopelessness. Feeling hopeless about your relationship doesn’t necessarily mean you’re doomed. Although everyone feels powerless about their future at times, a pervasive feeling of hopelessness is a signal that depression is affecting your perception.

Often people who are depressed act out by drinking too much, becoming aggressive, having an affair, withdrawing, and having anxiety. Anxiety and depression are often experienced together. The common problems that come with mixed anxiety and depression include sleep problems, poor concentration, fatigue, irritability and excessive worrying. These feelings can present an ongoing challenge to a relationship. If someone has high anxiety, they tend to perceive everyday relationship problems as a catastrophe believing the relationship is doomed to fail. This level of fear can trigger heightened anxiety and needy behavior in the form of excessive reassurance seeking. This can put your relationship under even more stress. This level of anxiety can be stressful for both people in the relationship and instill ongoing feelings of uncertainty about the future and stability of the relationship.

With this myriad of challenges, it might seem like the odds are stacked against any relationship where there is a person with depression. The good news is that many of these issues can be addressed once you’re aware of them and can implement effective coping strategies such as active couples counseling.

For help in understanding how depression can affect your relationships and your marriage, visit the following links for more information:


Author's Bio: 

Randi Fredricks, Ph.D. is a best-selling author, psychotherapist and marriage counselor in private practice in San Jose, Ca. She specializes in divorce prevention, improving marital communication, and increasing connection and intimacy in relationships. To learn more, visit http://DrRandiFredricks.com.