There is a strong relationship between one’s emotions and the social, personal and intimate relations. Mood affects by social interactions. in a bad mood, everything looks bleak, including relationships. However, when one is clinically depressed, situation becomes a lot complicated.
Studies indicate that people with major depressive disorder have higher levels of distress in relationships; feel that their marriages are less satisfactory. They have a tendency to blame their partners when things go wrong, and they tend to shut down emotionally instead of reach out and connect. Their partners, hence, feel more emotionally burdened and distressed themselves.
Depression affects the sexual performance of an individual. This is because the brain is the body’s most sensitive “sex organ” as the pituitary gland stimulates the sex organs; ovaries and testes to produce the sex hormones in males and females. Chemicals in the brain called neurotransmitters help brain cells communicate with each other in order to stimulate blood flow to the sex organs. In a person with depression, these chemicals are out of balance which results in low or nonexistent sexual desire. The sexual function and pleasure is further interfered by the strain that depression puts on relationships. It can become difficult to maintain a supportive and fulfilling relationship.
Antidepressants are do have some side effects and some time affect the sexual drive of the person. For both men and women, sexual problems can mean being unable to initiate, participate fully in, or enjoy sex, can lead to a loss of self-confidence that can, in turn, slow down depression recovery. However the sexual side effects of antidepressant medicines can be managed with the guidance of the doctor without compromising the treatment.
COPING WITH PROBLEMS AND KEEPING RELATIONSHIP HEALTHY
Despite the challenges, it is possible to keep a relationship healthy when depression intervenes. Although every relationship and the experience of issues related to depression are different, there are some strategies that one can use to deal with them.
- Be Honest
- Can help to build understanding and encourages support in tough times.
- it’s important to be honest for the partner of a person of depression about how they feel etc (their worries, doubts)
- Have Empathy
- Viewing a situation from our loved one’s eyes makes it easier to understand how they are feeling and what they are going through
- Try to understand their ‘normal’. Don’t force a different normal on them
- “Just having the conversation about what you want sexually reduces the negative feelings that are folded into the depression”
- Communicating each other’s expectations in a relationship helps alleviating the problems related to the sexual performance
- Support Each Other
- Healthy relationships are partnerships
- Not turning to society or the media to define their sexual identities, and doing what’s comfortable to both the partners.
- Seeking Help
- With the help of a counselor/psychologist, the couple can work through their problems.
- The psychologist will also help the patient with depression, in managing the symptoms and the treatment.