Depression Self-Care in Relationships Requires Communication
Relationships require communication around depression self-care. I have to remind myself constantly that my depression self-care and mental health goals are mine, and mine alone. I do not share the same goals as others with similar brains, and I should not expect others to have the same goals. One of my uncles told me recently that, “Expectations are premeditated resentments.” Applying that idea to the intimate relationship I maintain with my partner, I realize that I have a lot of expectations regarding depression self-care and mental health, and that I need to communicate my depression self-care needs appropriately in order to successfully care for myself and maintain a healthy relationship.
Your Depression Self-Care Needs in Relationships Can't Be Predicted
My partner and I both experience depression, though we experience depression in different ways. For some reason, I often forget that because our experiences are different, our depression self-care methods are different, too. When I desperately need to take time for myself, I go into self-care mode: level extreme (Implement Extreme Self-Care for Depression). And I typically expect that my partner will recognize my actions, remember my needs when I exhibit those actions, and respond accordingly.
This is a lot to expect of one person. Especially when that person is also taking care of himself and his complex brain. So it is irrational for me to get frustrated and irritated when he asks me what’s wrong, or why I’m shutting down and acting peculiar.
Clearly, I’m deliberately trying to be conscious of my needs and hone in on what my brain and body are telling me so I cannot hold a conversation and I need a good hug and then plenty of space. My body language should make that fact obvious, right? Wrong. No one would know that unless I specifically told them. Humans are not mind readers.
Communicating Depression Self-Care Needs in a Relationship Can Be Difficult
Being in an intimate relationship with someone certainly complicates depression self-care, and communication is key. I find that the most important bit of information to share is the state of my brain: good, bad, back-and-forth, wonky. Using descriptive words to explain where I’m at provides my partner with a clear mental status (Bad Brain Days And Depression Intensity). Sometimes it helps me to write down my depression self-care plan and share it with my partner, and other times I verbally work out a plan with him.
Successful Depression Self-Care in Relationships Requires Communication
When it comes to following through with my depression self-care plan, creating a comforting space and being able to do what I need to do can impose on my partner’s plans for the day (Guide to Developing A WRAP - Wellness Recovery Action Plan). For example, he may be playing a game in the living room, and I would like to use the same room to paint. We talk to determine the best way to fulfill both of our needs, typically establishing boundaries to accommodate needs for alone time or peace and quiet.
Practicing self-care while in an intimate relationship can be overwhelming, but with communication and patience, I find that the relationship as a whole reaps the rewards of successful self-care.
More Information on Communicating Depression Self-Care Needs
Verbeke, T. (2016, August 24). Depression Self-Care in Relationships Requires Communication, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2021, May 10 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/copingwithdepression/2016/08/successful-self-care-in-intimate-relationships-requires-communication
Author: Tiffanie Verbeke
Great text. Congratulations