A blogger that I follow wrote a post entitled “What is love when you are depressed?” It’s an interesting post that talks about how a depressed person can be given and shown love by those around them. I wanted to look at this topic from the point of view of how a depressed person can feel love towards others.
When I am depressed, I struggle to feel anything emotional toward anyone or anything, and this includes feeling love towards those around me. It’s not that I stop loving them, it’s just that I stop feeling it quite so intensely. This can make me feel afraid that I’m incapable of loving, or that I don’t really love those whom I have professed love towards in the past. It makes maintaining a relationship complicated and scary. But it doesn’t make it impossible.
One thing that I have found is that when I’m depressed, rather than feeling overwhelming love towards my partner, I feel less depressed and I feel safe. When I’m feeling really low and unable to find joy in anything, my partner is the one aspect of my life that can, for a very short time, take me out of myself. When I feel this low, it’s hard, because my partner knows that I lose all emotions and feelings and he becomes afraid that I no longer love him. But I know that I do love him, because he’s the one person in my life that I will smile at, and will make physical contact with, and will feel some deep stirrings of emotion that, although I don’t have access to them, I know that there are some emotions there.
Feeling depressed and feeling love towards another are not incompatible feelings, but depression can suppress the feelings of love and make it feel like they have gone away. In the past, when I’ve been in relationships with people towards whom I did not have overwhelming feelings of love, when I became depressed, the relationship ultimately came to an end. So really, depression for me has shown me just how much I do love my partner, because throughout my depression, I have always known that I did not want to lose my relationship with my partner. And that, for me, is love.