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Couple with Anxiety and Depression

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I am a male and I’m into a 5 month relationship. We have been having a lot of trouble except for the first month. I have anxiety and she has depression. Given all our issues we decided to take a break where we should text minimally and meet once in 10 days. I got super anxious the second day and i let her know. But she felt like i was insincere about trying the break and i got what i wanted.

I did offer to try it again but i was also upfront about not being sure if this would work for me as I kept thinking that there might not be any relationship beyond the silence.

She felt I was being manipulative as she would not make us go through it after hearing my sob story. I don’t know how to handle these situations and these are very frequent.

We also like each other a lot but the relationship is replete with speedbumps.

Couple with Anxiety and Depression

Answered by on -

A.

The mental health disorders mentioned, may be interfering with your relationship. That’s difficult for me to know with certainty given that I don’t know your personal histories but it may be a possibility.

Part of the issue may be that the two of you don’t really know each other that well. Five months is not a long time. It can take years to truly get to know someone. She may not know you well enough to understand that it was your anxiety interfering with the relationship and not something else.

Relatively speaking, this is still a new relationship and she may not have clarity about whether or not you want to be with her. Since she doesn’t know you well and can’t necessarily decipher your motivations, she’s trying to judge your commitment to the relationship. In her mind, you want out and are not really interested. If she knew you better, and understood more about your anxiety disorder, she might come to a different conclusion.

My question to you is, have you told her about your anxiety? Have you done more than briefly mention it? Have you fully explained to her how anxiety affects your life? If you provided a more in-depth explanation about your anxiety, she may have a more complete understanding of your behavior. She might be less likely to think that it is her that is the problem and instead attribute it to your anxiety.

Think about it from her perspective. A potential mate who she doesn’t know very well, whom she only recently began dating, informed her that he would like to take a break. Often, when someone says they want to take a break, it’s a nice way of breaking up with them or letting them down easy. Your rationale for the temporary break may make sense to you but from her perspective it may seem like an attempt to manipulate her in some way.

It might be helpful to explain your position in greater depth. That might give her more insight into why you are behaving the way you are.

Understandably, that may not be easy to do because it would mean sharing intimate details of your life with her. Many people feel vulnerable when sharing personal information but sharing might bring the two of you closer together. The more information you share with her, the more sympathetic she may feel about your anxiety.

An alternative perspective is that given that she has depression, she may be interpreting your behavior as evidence of something being wrong with her. In other words, she may not think highly of herself and is interpreting your behavior through the lens of depression and assuming that she’s the problem and not you. That’s also something to keep in mind.

When it comes to dating, it can be difficult to fully connect with someone when you’re experiencing anxiety or depression. These disorders can limit your full participation in a healthy relationship. It would be wise for the both of you to consult mental health professionals.

Depression and anxiety are two of the most common mental health disorders in the world. Effective treatments exist which can significantly reduce or eliminate your symptoms. Depression and anxiety are not incurable. They are curable problems. I would highly recommend treatment. Good luck and please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle

Couple with Anxiety and Depression

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Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW is a licensed psychotherapist and Assistant Professor of Social Work and Forensics with extensive experience in the field of mental health. She works in private practice with adults, adolescents and families. Kristina has worked in a large array of settings including community mental health, college counseling and university research centers.

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2019). Couple with Anxiety and Depression. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 24, 2020, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2019/12/13/couple-with-anxiety-and-depression/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 13 Dec 2019 (Originally: 13 Dec 2019)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 13 Dec 2019
Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.