Before making assumptions about your mate’s feelings, consider the fact that you may be dating someone with depression, and they have no control over it.
It is normal to get down now and then. Everyone goes through periods where they are sad and gloomy, but if you notice the person you date is a little bit unhappier than average, you may be dating someone with depression.
Depression is a condition that makes a person feel hopeless and sad without cause. It is an emotional state driven by a chemical imbalance in the brain. The hormone serotonin is responsible for mood alterations and feelings of happiness. If a person lacks serotonin, they miss what they need to chase away the blues. [Read: Is it worth dating someone who is depressed?]
The signs you are dating someone with depression
The problem with dating someone with depression is the toll it takes on you too. When you are with someone, you want to make them happy. If all you seem to do is make them frown, you feel like you are doing something wrong or there is something wrong with you. Continually trying to do things to pick them up or make them happy to no avail, leaves you with feelings of failure.
There are fourteen warning signs that you are dating someone with depression. Before you let it take its toll on your self-esteem, make sure to spot them and either find your own happy place or get them the help they need.
#1 They are always negative. If you come home with happy news, and you are always met with no response or a negative one, it is like someone popped your balloon. A depressed partner is incapable of feeling elation not only for themselves but those around them. When you have a good idea, something good happened at work, or you see something funny and want to share, but it is met with indifference or no response at all, it is not a fun existence.
It leaves you feeling like a comic on stage who keeps checking the microphone to see if it is on. You stop telling them the good things that happen, or forget that good things do happen at all when you see the look on their face when you walk in the door. [Read: How to cheer someone up and make them feel awesome again]
#2 They are withdrawn. If you used to go out and have fun all the time but suddenly they want to stay home and sit on the couch, that may not be a sign that they are bored with you, they may be depressed.
It is not unusual in relationships to go through a period where the magic seems to die a little. If they would rather bury their head in their phone, it may not have anything to do with you at all. It is hard not to take it personally, but if they would rather be alone, then you can’t beat yourself up. You didn’t do anything, they are probably depressed. [Read: 15 revealing truths about feeling alone in a relationship]
#3 They have let themselves go. If you notice they put on twenty pounds out of the blue, it is a huge warning sign of depression. The loss of desire to better yourself or care about how you look is a sign of depression.
Often, someone depressed stops activity and finds solace in eating. Two sure-fire ways to gain weight. If their appearance changed drastically, they may be depressed.
#4 They stop talking to friends. They begin to “ditch” out of life. Not caring to go out with you, they also don’t want to see their friends. If they do make plans, they cancel them with a plethora of excuses. For a depressed person, idle conversation, getting out the door, and going somewhere, are not motivating. If guys or girls night isn’t happening anymore, you may be dating someone who is depressed.
#5 They are failing at work. If you notice their work performance drops, and they get into trouble a lot at work, depression is at play. Disciplinary actions, being late all the time, or even getting fired, if it isn’t their normal work ethic, point to depression. When depressed, working doesn’t seem like anything but a waste of time and trivial.
#6 They spend a lot of time crying. They cry often and out of the blue. If you notice your girlfriend spends a whole lot of time crying over things that seemingly don’t call for it, she may be depressed. Although girls cry a lot, so that may be a hard gauge.
#7 Heavy drinking or drug use. A person with a drinking or drug abuse problem often masks symptoms of depression. There is no better way for a depressed person to deal with their feelings of sadness than to drink them away. Then, they don’t feel anything.
When you take things to alter your mood on a continual basis, there is a reason why you don’t want to feel anything. It is rarely because you are so happy in life. If your significant other started to up their intake of substances, consider whether they are depressed and trying to numb themselves. [Read: How to know if your relationship is toxic so you can get out fast]
#8 They talk about when they aren’t around. When someone is depressed, they feel hopeless. What is the point in talking about your future or making plans if you aren’t hopeful? A depressed person talks about when they are gone, come up with fatal illnesses, or think they aren’t going to live much longer. Almost as if they were wishing they weren’t here anymore, they constantly wait not to exist.
#9 They can’t make any decisions. If you ask something as simple as what do you want for dinner tonight, and they can’t seem to find anything, there may be a problem. Although there are times when we really just don’t have an opinion, if the person you date seems not really to care about anything, have an opinion, or be able to choose, you may be dating someone with depression.
They also may have a hard time remembering things that you talked about in the past, or difficulty focusing on anything at all.
#10 They can’t ever rest. The opposite of what you would think, someone with depression often has difficulty sleeping.
Pacing the floor, disappearing in the middle of the night, or being gone when you wake up, might be misconstrued as signs that they are having an affair when the truth is that they may just be depressed and have difficulty sleeping. If there aren’t any other causes for the inability to rest, and they have other depressive signs, it may be depression. [Read: 16 signs you’re settling in an unhappy relationship]
#11 Quick to anger. If your partner seems angry all the time, you may be dating someone who is depressed. If unsatisfied with themselves, it doesn’t take much to make them upset. Often irritable, they become angry at the slightest mention of certain subjects or when you make them feel insecure in the slightest.
If they fly off the handle at the smallest criticism, you may be dating someone with depression.
#12 Lack of sexual feelings. One of the cornerstones of depression is the loss of sexual feelings. If you noticed that things just haven’t been what they were in the bedroom, either your feelings are changing, or you pass into another phase in your relationship.
If, after some effort, it remains stagnant, don’t assume that they aren’t hot for you anymore. They may be depressed. When depressed, you lose interest in things you used to love including sex.
#13 They never feel good. There is nothing worse than dating someone who never feels good. If they always have a headache or some health condition that plagues them, with no cause, it may actually be depression.
When someone is depressed, they often have a mystery illness which sounds more like an excuse. It isn’t that they are making it up, their aches and pains are real, but what really drives them is depression. [Read: How to help someone feeling down and depressed]
#14 Sudden weight loss. One day you look at them, and it is like they are a shell of themselves. It might be a sign of depression. Just like weight gain signals depression, losing a lot of weight without trying is also a sign the person you’re dating is depressed.