Rely on the radar of your friends and rely on the radar of your therapist because yours is probably not as sharp when you’re depressed,” explained Dr. Eventually, I got better and gained the self-realization and strength to untangle myself from unhealthy relationship patterns.I was able to heal through therapy, antidepressants, and the self-care of beauty routines.And when it comes from a healthy place with worthy partners, having good sex and falling in love is one of the most delicious ways to revel in the joy of being.
I hadn’t yet learned nourishing coping mechanisms; so rather than focus on healing myself through therapy, creative outlets, and new friendships, I poured myself into sexual and (questionable) romantic relationships with lovers who didn’t treat me with the care that I needed. I would feel worse when a partner put me down or used me for sex, leaving me to seek validation in other men—and during this time, they were always so easy to find.
The other type of problematic partner one encounters while living with depression is the savior.
, wearing a ripped Diane Von Furstenberg dress and the label of Major Depressive Disorder.
The dress had torn during a date rape when I first moved to New York, but I continued to wear it years later because I loved it.
As a single person, since many of my demons did arise from sexual assault and abuse, I now make sure to let lovers know when I need some time and space.
And I’ve noticed that people with an honest interest in my well-being are very understanding when I express that need.
(it’s a bit twisted to tell someone that their personality is a disorder), but people with limited or nonexistent empathy certainly exist, in my experience.
Essentially, my radar for picking well-meaning partners was broken because my self-esteem had gone dry.
In cinematic portrayals of love and depression, the sad girl’s partner usually has good intentions. The trouble is, you can set groundwork for a relationship dynamic that is difficult to unweave later, says New York City-based sex therapist Kelly Wise.
When the depressed partner begins to recover and gain autonomy, the “savior” partner may find themselves uncomfortable with the new power balance. However as my friend Ashley, who suffers from Major Depressive Disorder and wished only to use her first name, explained: “After a while, they give up.
A reliable, committed partner will educate themselves about their significant other’s sickness (and yes, depression is a sickness, not a moral failing) and learn how to be supportive.