Depression in relationships can cause all sorts of communication issues.
Relationships are hard enough a lot of the time without this added dimension. Even eloquent talkers and good listeners can come unstuck when depression is thrown into the mix. A depressed person won’t necessarily act like you think they will or comply with the normal ‘rules of engagement’. They may feel so bad that getting words out of them at all might be like getting blood out of a stone. This can cause a partner’s emotions to flow and they may experience sadness, worry, confusion or anxiety about their partner and their relationship.
Being human, the closer the relationship affected by depression, the deeper the effect of the communication breakdown. Depressed people can clam up, but they can also lash out, unable to clearly communicate how they are feeling. It is important not to throw fuel on the fire and start to repeat counterproductive communication habits. Talking with an experienced psychologist can help couples recognise the signs of these repeat behaviours and where depression lies within them.
The things you will learn from a psychologist that will help you to communicate with a depressed person include:
- How to be truthful but not hurtful in your communication
- Active listening techniques
- How to communicate regularly and in a calm state of mind
- How to be understanding and compassionate with your partner
- Mindfulness – being present, physically and emotionally with your partner
- How to give your partner the chance to speak so they feel heard
- How to avoid generalisations or insults and talk about feelings and needs instead
- How to pay attention to the other person during communication and controlling your tone of voice, volume, face etc.
- How to relate to your partner and see similarities between your needs
- Relaxation techniques
When communication issues are bad and depression is at the heart of the issue, the problem can seem unsolvable. This isn’t the case. Psychologists are experts in depression, the causes of depression and the way people communicate with their partners when they are depressed.
Seeking help from a professional is the best first step, call today and make an appointment with a Three Seas Psychologist.