Rock and a Hard Place

Having a mood disorder puts you into a bit of a double bind re: relationships. You’re damned if you do, and you’re damned if you don’t.

If your partner hasn’t been through anxiety or depression, they don’t know what it’s like, and many times they’ll be unsupportive, blame you, and say things like “just snap out of it.” This can not only be extremely invalidating emotionally but can even drive a wedge between the two of you that threatens your relationship.

On the other hand, if you have a partner who also suffers, you run the risk of triggering each other and exacerbating each other’s negative moods.

Skyspook and I ran up into this the last few days. I’ve been extremely anxious as of late. The last week or so, I’ve felt shaky, overstimulated, and easily distracted despite the absence of any significant conscious worry or nervous thoughts. I’ve been doing my best to soldier through. I don’t have the time or desire to fall apart right now. It’s the end of the semester, I’m graduating, and my parents (who live 900 miles away and whom I haven’t seen in a year and a half) will be visiting soon. However, the anxiety has lasted long enough that it’s taken a toll on Skyspook and exacerbated his depression, which often manifests as being irritable. This culminated in a very intense conflict in which I desperately needed his emotional support but had alienated him to a point where he didn’t want to provide it to me since I was annoying the ever-loving shit out of him, which was not my intent but certainly happened.

Luckily, we figured it out, and knowing what was going on made everything far more manageable.

It is a wonder to me that relationships are manageable at all with anxiety and depression in the picture (he suffered from invalidation from an ex, my ex-husband’s depression chafed against my anxiety), but we continue to make it work.

 

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