Not surprisingly, people who suffer from depression often have difficult romantic relationships — when they have them at all. They tend to take out their depression more on their partner than they would a stranger or friend.
In a relationship where one person is depressed, depressed individuals have a “higher tendency than non-depressed individuals to repeatedly ask for reassurance, demand support in a hostile manner, and display negative behaviors, such as a reduced tendency to smile. Consequently, depressed individuals often burden or alienate their partners.”
People in romantic relationships can typically infer and understand their partners’ thoughts and feelings with a fair amount of accuracy. Even in complex social interactions, couples often know what each other is thinking about the situation. A new study suggests that depression can alter this empathic accuracy in women, but not in men.
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