Love is all about connections. When you plan a romantic evening or buy a sentimental present, you want to make sure it excites your special someone’s soul.
But depression can dull the senses and diminish the outward expression of joy. You may need to consider that if your partner is experiencing psychological distress, it can have tangible ramifications on your relationship’s dynamics.
COVID-19 has amplified the mental health crisis in our country. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 30% of Americans have experienced anxiety or depression during the coronavirus outbreak.
This Valentine’s Day, give the gift of understanding. In your relationship, be compassionate and be attentive to your well-being as well as your loved one’s happiness.
According to the Hollywood version of love, a kiss can cure anything and everything. When two beautiful people lock lips, their cares melt away, and all of their troubles fade into the end credits.
But we live in the real world, where nothing is that charmingly simplistic. Expressing intimacy may feel unnatural when your partner is in the grips of depression, but do not overreact. Stay true to your emotional reality without trying to force your happiness on your significant other.
Do not feel guilty for having vibrant, visceral moods. You are independent, and your partner is a separate entity unto themselves. All you can do is be supportive of their emotional plight. You cannot change them or “fix” them until they are ready to seek help.
The pandemic has placed added stress on the idea of closeness. Your partner may feel claustrophobic after months of being trapped in lockdown, so try not to infringe on their tentative willingness to snuggle or share similar displays of affection.
Sex Is Not Everything
Most people equate Valentine’s Day with an opportunity for sexual intimacy. However, a vast majority of individuals struggling with depression suffer a reduction in their sex drive. Three in four respondents indicated a dip in their libido, which can be associated with many of the symptoms associated with depressive disorders.
Exhaustion, low self-esteem, and related anxiety issues can put a damper on one’s sex drive. Additionally, many people who experience depression are prescribed medication as one of the many possible treatment methods to mitigate the condition. Antidepressants can inhibit a patient’s libido, further limiting their interest in a Valentine’s Day fling.
While sex is not necessarily off the table, you must be respectful of your partner’s desires and boundaries. If depression is getting in the way of your physical intimacy, do not take this as a rejection. Please keep in mind that depression is an illness. Rather than lamenting its symptoms, help your partner understand the root causes of their psychological anguish.
Communication Is Sexy
Perhaps the most appealing four words in the English language are “What do you think?” This simple question opens the floodgate for honest expression and a refreshing exchange of ideas. It can also be a significant first step in planning your Valentine’s Day agenda.
Gauge your partner’s interest levels in a potential holiday outing. Even if you want to keep the ultimate date a surprise, you can ask pointed questions to rule out various unwelcome Valentine’s Day plans. Here are some conversation starters, in case you find yourself at a loss for words:
- Would you rather stay in or go out?
- What’s the most sensual meal you can imagine?
- How do you feel about group dates with close friends?
IMPORTANT: If you plan to go out or meet up with loved ones, please observe all applicable COVID-19 guidelines. Limit your gatherings to small groups in an outdoor setting that allows you to remain socially distanced at all times. Wear a mask if you will encounter anyone outside of your “bubble,” and make sure you have a plan to retreat to the safety of your home if the crowds get overwhelming.
Get Out and Thrive
One ingredient that aids social distancing and mental health simultaneously is the great outdoors. Depression can feel all-encompassing, especially during a pandemic. When you spend all day and night staring at the same four walls, you may feel trapped in your headspace. By expanding your horizons, you can elevate your perspective.
According to one scientific study, exposure to natural spaces can have a profound effect on our health. Just 30 minutes of outdoor time per week resulted in a 9% drop in blood pressure and a 7% reduction in depressive episodes. Hence, your Valentine’s Day plans could be the ultimate gift to your loved one if you hike or bike your worries away.
Discover new paths together, breathe in the glorious scent of a meadow, and gaze upon the sunrise or sunset that marks the passage of a great day together.
Healing and Hope
Perhaps the most beautiful present anyone could give someone is a brighter tomorrow. If treatment-resistant depression burdens you and your partner, Pulse TMS can help. By rerouting and celebrating the natural flow of chemicals in the brain, Pulse TMS can usher in a new day of wellness.
The mind is the nerve center that dictates how we experience humanity’s most complex functions. Everything we see, every word we utter, and every emotion we process must pass through the circuitous wiring of the brain. However, when your neurochemistry is imbalanced, it may impede your ability to feel joy or even love.
Allow your passion to flow freely. Contact us at your earliest convenience and make this Valentine’s Day the start of a beautiful relationship with yourself, with your partner, and with enduring health.