Dating a girl with depression

They’re still the person you fancy and (hopefully) love, they’re just dealing with a brain that keeps f*cking them over.

We’re fine with explaining how it feels to you, but it’s really not our job to educate you on mental illness and what causes depression. I don’t cry 24/7 and I doubt that many depressed people do. We know it’s not a big deal that we’ve lost our socks. It’s just our depression muddies up any excitement or joy we’d usually feel. So don’t assume we’ve magically cured ourselves of depression because we’ve told you we’ve been fine for the last few weeks. Actually expressing that we might need medication is deeply, deeply scary.

When he falls into a slump, you want to believe that you have the magic to pull him out of it and make him happy.

Language is powerful in itself, but a depressed person will read into what you say, take it deeply personally, and analyse it for hours until it confirms every bad thing we think about ourselves. Sometimes it gets too much and we just come along to that big party/dinner with friends/lunch with your parents. We’re not being flaky, we just don’t feel like we can do it today. Please don’t endlessly question why we’re feeling so rubbish. We can feel great and think we’ve finally got through this one day, then find ourselves in a pretty dark place (in our minds. Medication can mess things up for a bit, as can, well, just being depressed. Each reason our life is brilliant feels like a little stab in our heart, asking: ‘why aren’t you happy? We feel awful about that, and we already feel like self-obsessed oversensitive arseholes for being miserable with our comparatively brilliant lives. And we don’t need anyone confirming our belief that we’re sh*tty people.

If we say there’s no reason or we don’t know, we mean it. We don’t just need to turn on the light) at 2am the next night. It still feels like there’s a lot of stigma around mental illness and we’re scared of being judged. All easier said than done when your brain’s telling you to stay in bed in the dark and never, ever leave your room.

So the person you’re dating has admitted they have depression. You really don’t need to change how you treat them or dramatically alter your behaviour.

Or you walked in on them crying because they’d forgotten to buy cereal, and you’re starting to wonder if something’s wrong. There are just a few things you should probably know. We’ll say we’re fine when we actually feel like we’ve just climbed out of a deep, dark hole in the ground.

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