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Careers at SRHC

Relationships Affected By Depression?

Joan Jerkovich - June 8, 2016 11:47 pm

I’m in a new relationship wondering when is a good time to tell my girlfriend of one month that I have depression. I don’t know how to approach this new relationship because I had a past bad experience with my ex girlfriend.

My ex had lots of issues with her father’s depression, mostly because he couldn’t keep jobs. When I had trouble getting a job, she passed this issue she had with her Dad on to me. She tried to get me to make promises about working and keeping a job. It was like she projected her issues with her Dad in to our relationship. She knew that I also have depression. Eventually she broke up with me.

Now, I’m in a new relationship wondering when to tell my new girlfriend about my depression. Because of my past relationship history where my girlfriend broke up with me, I don’t want to mess this up.

Your story, my dear friend, seems to speak of an ex girlfriend who was entangled in issues with her Dad. Those were her issues.

Think about it. If her Dad’s illness created instability in her childhood, it would make sense for her to freak out over your not having, or keeping a job. Trying to get you to make promises you couldn’t keep was probably her way of trying to control a situation that made her anxious and harkened back to a past that was unsettling. Again, more of her stuff with Dad coming through.

Listen to “The Joan Jerkovich Show” this weekend for talk on “Effective Parenting For Parents With Mental Illness”, and “Mentally Ill, Abusive Parent, Keeping the Children Safe”, and “Is Mental Illness An Excuse For Domestic Violence”? Listen as Your Life Coach brings you empowering talk radio!

On the other hand, I could also see her thinking that getting in to another relationship with a depressed person as “been there”, “done that”, and “not going to go through that again”. Her breaking up with you may have just been that she wasn’t willing to be in a close relationship (it was Dad before you) with someone who has depression. If this was her mindset, your relationship was doomed from the start. I hope she finds a boyfriend who doesn’t struggle with mental health issues, as they will always be a trigger for her.

Enough about your ex’s stuff…does any of this make you less desirable as a partner in relationship?? Absolutely not! Millions of people struggle with depression and they, with medical and lifestyle management, lead productive and fulfilling lives.

Does having any illness, not just a mental health illness, cause stress in relationships? Yes it does. Your illness was probably just too close to what your ex lived through with her Dad for her to be the compassionate, caring partner you need and deserve. Again, these are her issues, not yours, so don’t let that breakup keep you from moving forward in this new relationship!

We all know that eventually you will have to tell your new girlfriend about your depression. This is, after all, who you are. Assuming she doesn’t carry the same baggage as your ex, she will most probably treat this news with care and concern. If she does, she’s a keeper.

Believe it or not there are people, mostly the artsy types, who welcome their depression. They use it as their muse, their angst for creating the music, art and poetry that speaks to all of us!

This is real life, and you’re living it, so tighten the straps on your parachute and jump out of the plane. You’re either going to have a smooth landing or get a bit knocked around.

After all, you’re not jumping from a plane at 3,000 feet without a parachute. This isn’t a sudden death situation. If things go wrong, you will live another day. So, strap up tight and take the leap!

Embrace your Personal Power with Life Coaching~

  • When will you man-up and tell her about your depression?
  • If she reacts poorly to this news, how will you decide if this new relationship is worth pursuing, or one you should let go of?
  • What life lessons does your depression teach you?
  • Are you getting the professional help you need to treat your depression?
Joan Jerkovich, BCC Board Certified Life Coach

Joan Jerkovich, BCC 
Board Certified Life Coach

The Joan Jerkovich Show
News Radio 1150 KSAL
Saturdays @ 6am & Sundays @ 9pm CST
Podcast posts to KSAL.com Mondays

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