Depression Hurts

by Jordan A. Hamilton, Ph.D.

Depression divides partners. It causes individuals to withdraw into themselves. There is less communication. Problems are more difficult to talk about and solve. Decisions become more difficult to make. The non-depressed partner can begin to feel quite alone.

Depression drains the pleasure from a relationship. The depressed partner gradually finds fewer and fewer activities enjoyable. The romantic and sexual life of the couple eventually evaporates.

Depression results in a loss of energy and fatigue. The depressed partner has no energy or drive as ambition declines. Work and career productivity is adversely affected. The depressed worker becomes less efficient; less effective. Combined with difficulty in concentrating, fatigue can result in missed appointments, meetings, flights and deadlines. The income and financial security of a couple may be jeopardized.

Depression blocks love. Depressed people often experience excessive guilt at the root of their sense of unworthiness. Reassurance, expressions of love and consolation bounce off the depressed partner like a rubber ball off a concrete floor. The best efforts to lovingly reach out to the depressed partner have little or no effect. When love is blocked, it cannot nourish.

Depression changes sleep patterns. The normal times of comfort and solace for a couple are disrupted as the depressed partner has trouble sleeping or seems to sleep all time. The non-depressed partner experiences a sense of powerlessness to help.

Depression effects mealtimes. The depressed partner will often begin to lose or gain weight. When significant weight changes occur, the concern of the non-depressed partner goes up. The opportunities of bonding, talking and sharing at the dinner table are diminished. Mealtimes become problematic.

Depression can cause recurrent thoughts of death. As the depressed partner becomes more hopeless they are at greater risk of taking their own lives. The relationship goes into a full-blown crisis. What is left of the equal sharing between partners is gone. The loved one is now more patient than partner.

Relationships suffer when a partner is depressed and almost every aspect of the relationship is affected. The partner that is not depressed progressively becomes more and more frustrated and resentful, as all their best efforts seem to fail. Untreated depression begins a long and painful uncoupling process that is largely unrecognized. At the end of this long slide, the non-depressed partner experiences compassion fatigue. He or she has no more patience, energy or motivation to deal with difficulties of the relationship. While they may still love their depressed partner, they simply have no more love to give and cannot go on. Their own needs have been differed for too long.

If you or someone you love is suffering with depression it is important to seek help. There is hope for your depressed partner’s fatigue, and lack of motivation. Be loving and gently insistent and not take no for an answer and they may seek help. Putting off treatment, will cost the relationship emotionally, spiritually and much more financially later on.

Depression is actually a very active mental state. Although the depressed person may move slowly, sleep too much and have difficulty concentrating or making decisions their minds are very active. A good analogy might be that of an automobile engine running at 6000 r.p.m. without the transmission engaged. There is tremendous energy being consumed, but the car is at a dead stop.

Internally, the depressed person is thinking negative thoughts at a rapid pace. But these thoughts have been repeated so often that they have become automatic and may have sunk below the level of awareness. So the depressed person is often unaware of the rapid-fire repetition of these negative thoughts. What he or she does experience is the negative emotional response to the negative thoughts. With guidance, the depressed person can begin to change the way they think and the way they feel.

We realize, of course, how easy that last sentence of the last paragraph is to write, but how very difficult it can be to actually change the way we are thinking when mired in depression. Working with us, you or the one you love can learn how to change those depressive thought patterns. Here’s an outline of what you can expect from us:

1. Before we meet with you, you can complete a free, depression inventory. This inventory will give us an idea of how mild, moderate or severe your depression is at that moment.

2. In your first appointment, you will be asked for a history of the problem and your understanding of its causes and what you have done up to that time to make it better.

3. You will be asked to allow us to talk to any and all health professionals you have seen for depression and related problems. We are dedicated to coordinated care. All the professionals you are working with should be pulling for you in the same direction.

4. We will give you our initial diagnostic impressions. There are many types of depression and you will have the opportunity to ask all your questions. For more information on the types of depression go to

5. Together, we will develop an initial plan of how to tackle the problem of depression. Here is a sample of some of the first steps:

a. You will be asked to sign a release of information for the professionals you have worked with on the problem(s).

b. After you explain the history of depression, we may suggest some additional psychological testing.

c. We may suggest a visit with your physician for a check-up. Some medical conditions and medications may cause depression.

d. A review for medication with a psychiatrist or your physician may be in order.

e. Your description of your situation will suggest the type of depression you’re experiencing. Our plan will be developed to address your specific situation.

f. We have a variety of approaches including, but not limited to: E.M.D.R., clinical and medical hypnosis, cognitive behavioral therapy, and Ego State Therapy. We will draw from these approaches specific techniques for use in session and between sessions to get you the results you need.

Why choose us?

1. Your time, energy and resources will be used wisely. We understand the investment you are making in your life.

2. You deserve deeper healing. You have a better chance of getting what you need because our work goes beyond the usual listening and empathizing approach that most of our competitors use. The approaches and techniques you will use with us go into the problem and find the deeper solution.

3. You are the expert on you! We are the experts in psychology and the behavioral sciences. We become your colleagues developing a cooperative healing relationship with you. The service you choose is not something that is done to you, but is planned with you.

4. We collaborate with all the health care professionals you have decided to include in the effort. Your well-being is our highest goal.

5. We believe in a holistic approach. Your depression effects body, mind, soul and spirit. You can expect an approach that strives to heal the whole person.

6. Since depression is not self-contained, we will develop our plan with all your relationships in mind.

7. Our strategy is to address the symptoms that trouble you the most so you feel better as soon as possible. Then we work with you on the underlying causes of depression so you get better.

Why wait? Call us at 530 889 0179 or Email us now for an appointment, a free half hour consultation or more information.

Psychotherapy, counseling, coaching, consulting for individuals and couples, families and group therapy. Serving Auburn, Rocklin, Roseville and Granite Bay, California. Video and phone consultation also available worldwide for anxiety, depression and relationship problems. Be sure to see our other areas of expertise!