firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
[personal profile] firecat
http://captainawkward.com/2013/01/05/429-430-when-depression-is-contagious/

Via [personal profile] wordweaverlynn, very interesting conversation about relationships in which one of the partners is depressed.

My comment:
Person with depression here. (Although mine is somewhat better managed than that of the people discussed by the LWs (I do the dishes without being asked. Most of the time)).

I loathe the idea of a partner limiting zirself by staying with me primarily because zie feels sorry for me or feel I can't manage on my own. If zie feels burdened by the relationship then I want zir to leave.

I haven't ended my relationships over this, because my policy is to believe my partners are capable of making their own decisions about our relationship. And because "I should dump my partner because I'm bad for them" has the suspicious resonance of depression. But it's not depression talking when I say I truly want my partners to be with me only because they want to be.

Date: 6 Jan 2013 12:41 am (UTC)
wordweaverlynn: (Default)
From: [personal profile] wordweaverlynn
Yes. This.

Thanks for linking.

Date: 6 Jan 2013 03:28 am (UTC)
ironed_orchid: pin up girl reading kant (Default)
From: [personal profile] ironed_orchid
As someone who suffers from long term (but thankfully intermittent) depression, I've learned than in my case, my depressions are rarely to do with my relationship or partner, and I try to make that clear to them.

But twice I have had partners whose response to feeling that things were not right with the relationship was to retreat from communication and sink into what seems to me to have all the hallmarks of a depressive episode. In both cases they were not people who identified as suffering from long term depression, and only one got any treatment, which he stopped after a few months (after we had separated).

Date: 7 Jan 2013 06:54 pm (UTC)
wired: Picture of me smiling (Default)
From: [personal profile] wired
I medicate my partner's depression.

I know why I am depressed, and it is the stress of living with a partner who is depressed, and ADD, and has TBI. That's a lot of acronyms to live with. So I take a daily mood stabilizer to give me the buffer I need to deal with him, and I probably will for years to come. And it works out pretty well for us.

Date: 9 Jan 2013 05:54 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] nekodojo
As a partner of a depressed person, I know it can be hard sometimes. But, I wouldn't base any decision solely on my own cost/reward structure. I also take into account "in sickness and in health" and the strength of the relationship itself.

One way for me to check what reasoning is in use here, is to ask myself "If this were some other disease or disability, would I choose to leave my partner?" If my partner gets sick and becomes bedridden or mobility-limited or unable to leave the house or can't communicate with others in the normal way, would I have the same reaction? Would I continue to care for her, both pushing her to take care and do the work needed to get well as well as taking extra chores or passing up opportunities to be with friends? Probably I would.

But, I know even some caregivers of cancer patients or disabled people might choose to leave... it does put additional stress on the relationship and if the relationship is not strong to begin with, this could be the thing that breaks it. Also if someone and his partner get along well but have incompatible goals for the relationship (like, she wants kids and he doesn't) then they have to have a serious conversation about whether the relationship is worth giving up those goals, or if he or she would give up the relationship hoping to find one that fits the goals.

Date: 9 Jan 2013 09:46 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] nekodojo
Perhaps... I serve as a member of the organization (family) because I said I would do so and I'm committed to it, but the reason I made the commitment in the first place was based on an understanding that we have common goals. We're building something larger than ourselves and we want to be part of something great. If that becomes no longer true (either because we don't want the same things anymore, or because we realize we can never get the things that are most important) then I would have to seriously re-evaluate my commitment (and I actually have done so)

Ramble ramble, the short version is that the groups goals *are* still my goals. I have hope that things will improve, but even if it doesn't, it's still a team I want to be on.

Date: 6 Jan 2013 11:51 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] epi-lj.livejournal.com
This is true for me too.

Date: 7 Jan 2013 11:54 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] graymalkin13.livejournal.com
I'm really glad you posted this link. The material is extremely helpful to me -- it's very timely.

I agree with everything you say in your post.

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