The problems often creep in slowly. Your partner may express unhappiness about work, or about your finances, or about the kids. At first, it seems pretty normal–after all, no one is happy all the time. Gradually–or sometimes not–you realize that the person you thought you knew is not there anymore.
That person now calls out sick from work frequently, sleeps all the time, lets chores and other responsibilities go by the wayside, doesn’t have any interest in a social life or sex, and is generally unpredictable. Maybe they even talk about how life would be better if they just weren’t around anymore.
Depression affects millions of Americans, and you are not alone if you are in a relationship with someone with depression. However, this situation can be lonely, especially when not only have you lost the partner you once knew, but you don’t know how or where to get help.
Anne Sheffield, author of Depression Fallout (and several other books about the impact of depression on partners), discusses the stages partners might go through when they are living with someone who is depressed.