Dear Therapist: ‘I suffer from depression. Will I be lonely?’
I suffer from clinical depression. And while I’ve had several relationships, none of them last because my partners find it emotionally exhausting to empathise beyond a point. Sometimes, I feel I must prepare for a life of loneliness. Is that how it’s going to be? — Sumitra Gupta
Dear Sumitra, I am sorry to hear that you have experienced a series of break-ups because your partners find it too emotionally exhausting to be with you. Indeed, it can be difficult for both parties in a relationship when one suffers from depression. That’s because some of the very symptoms of depression, such as inability to experience joy, demotivation, and being overly sensitive, can hinder relationship satisfaction.
I would like to encourage you to seek the services of a mental healthcare provider to explore treatment options, such as psychotherapy and medication. Being under professional care will help you, if not cure your condition. You will feel more balanced and in less need of the kind of emotional attention and support that a partner might feel unable to provide.
An experienced therapist will also ask you to bring in your partner to foster a better understanding of depression, how it can impact relationships and provide the needed cognitive tools to deal with it. So, in my viewpoint, you do not have to prepare for a life of loneliness, but you do need to find professional mental health support and an understanding partner. Wishing you good mental health.
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