Depression affects a large number of people. Whether it is unresolved grief, current circumstances, and/or brain chemistry issues, the symptoms are similar. Often, people experience feelings of sadness, low energy, hopelessness, anxiety about the future, and loss of interest in normally pleasurable activities. There may also be appetite changes or changes in sleep habits.
One aspect of depression that is frequently overlooked is the role that a person's partner or significant other may play in provoking the symptoms. Emotional and psychological abuse often leads to lower self esteem, hopelessness, feelings of inferiority, and sometimes questioning of the victim's own sanity. Here are 5 signs your depression may be related to emotional and psychological abuse in your relationship:
1. Your partner puts you down, in public or in private. This may be in the form of blatant insults, or more subtle criticisms about your character, competency, intelligence, or even mental health.
2. Your partner discourages or prohibits you from seeing and spending time with friends and family. This may manifest as an obvious manipulation, "They hate me and I don't want you seeing them," to a more subtle "You would leave me alone to go see them?"
3. Your partner attempts to control your activities. You may feel obligated to give an account of your daily activities, and justify your actions. You may feel pressured to act in a certain way and do certain activities "approved" by your partner.
4. Your partner uses sex to gain control of you. This may manifest in the form of demanding you fulfill the abuser's sexual needs regardless of the expense to you. It may also come out as a withholding of sex and affection to keep you feeling rejected, vulnerable, and needy.
5. Your partner threatens you with non-physical consequences if you do not comply with his or her demands. This may be interrupted by occasional moments of kindness or generosity. However, these gestures are made not out of sacrifice and love, but are a deliberate tactic to draw you back into the relationship and plant false hope that the relationship will change or improve.