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How To Know if You’ve Fallen out of Love or You’re Depressed

Sophie Simons
February 21, 2024

Falling out of love and depression are vastly different, but it can be difficult to discern significant life events from mental health issues, particularly if you’re experiencing major life circumstances. An unfulfilling partnership can emulate feelings of sadness and unrest. It’s not comparable to having a major mental health disorder, however.

Falling out of love in a relationship doesn’t mean you have a depressive disorder. In that same vein, having a depressive disorder doesn’t necessarily mean your partnership is failing. You can experience low confidence, unhappiness, and upset, basic human emotions, when something isn’t working as you intend.

Because you spend the most time with a romantic partner, this person and any mental health symptoms will coincide. 

The causes of mental health have long been debated, but the consensus thus far is that these can be related to a “complex set of genetic and environmental factors.” While a partnership or individual couldn’t cause a mental health disorder, they could trigger symptoms like sadness.

“Sadness is more or less like a head cold – with patience, it passes. Depression is like a cancer.”

Barbara Kingsolver

How Depression Affects Relationships 

Depression can impact most aspects of an individual’s life, including relationships, having a major effect on romantic partnerships. The symptoms are often the cause of the strain, some of which include irritability, fatigue, sadness, and loss of pleasure in what was once enjoyable. 

The person’s lack of energy prevents them from spending adequate time with their mate, making them feel guilty but they’re also trapped by the symptoms. 

When you recognize depression is coming between you and your partner, prioritizing working together to address the issue is important. Without that effort, you could face serious repercussions, including the possibility of a breakup

Can Depression Start Making You Doubt Your Relationship? What Can You Do? 

Depression’s impact on romantic relationships makes navigating the ups and downs challenging. The person suffering from the mental health disorder consistently worries about the partnership, with varied emotions whirling around in their mind. 

This genuinely puts the wellness of the couplehood at stake as the partner tries to constantly reassure their depressed partner that everything is okay. Unfortunately, a side effect of the symptoms associated with depression is troubles with relationships. 

When experiencing darker periods, you could experience fear and worry about the health of the partnership and an insecurity about its future. It can be challenging to bring yourself back to feeling connected with your mate. Those couples who try to keep a line of communication even when the depression is at its worst can navigate those feelings of doubt.

Having depression doesn’t mean that your romantic partnership is in trouble. The disorder is separate and apart from relationships, however, it impacts each aspect of your life all the same. It can create feelings of doubt, a belief that everything is awful. 

You can feel lonely despite having a solid support system, be sad, and feel worthless, all leading to insecurity with your romantic mate. How can you work toward self-care so you can develop a healthier life and romantic relationship? Let’s look at a few things you can do.

1. The mental health provider

Reaching out for support from a mental health provider is vital when dealing with a depressive disorder. Not only should you seek individual therapy as a priority, but also involve your partner in couples therapy. In this safe environment, each person can safely express the emotions they’re contending with and healthfully work through them.

There are online directories for guidance on finding a credentialed therapist specializing in depressive disorders. Once you’ve established a relationship with a therapist, you should consider seeing a psychiatrist if the therapist believes medication would be beneficial for the management of the symptoms.

2. Self-care

Self-care should be prioritized, including establishing a wellness regimen with regular fitness, a healthy meal plan, and the recommended amount of restful sleep. When your emotional and physical needs are met, you’re more present in a romantic partnership and capable of handling the ups and downs that come with this with a stable mindset.

Individual needs must be met outside of a partnership before you can ever make yourself available to your mate. If you neglect yourself, it can start to reflect on the relationship with you, becoming resentful of your partner.

3. Support system

A solid support system apart from your romantic partner is crucial. These can be close friends or family members who meet emotional needs when you struggle with depression and partnership insecurities. This circle can act as a sounding board when you have unsubstantiated worries and fears that your partnership might be in trouble.

They can offer you a different perspective that you’re not considering, allowing you to get yourself back on track. You won’t feel so alone but instead that you’re cared for.

4. Open communication

Having an open line of communication where you and your partner express concerns, ideas, and feelings can help you foster a partnership of understanding, security, and empathy. Open, vulnerable conversations can combat worries and fears stemming from the depressive disorder, leading you to believe there are troubles within the partnership.

You might struggle with speaking vulnerably about how you feel, your thoughts, and your emotions at first. Starting slow and working gradually toward more in-depth conversations should be your goal. The professional therapist can help you start the conversations while in couples therapy. You can then continue the process on your own when you feel comfortable.


Falling out of love and having a major depressive disorder are two distinct emotional circumstances. Seeking the help of a mental health provider is vital when you have symptoms of depression or if your partner is displaying these. Individual therapy will be a priority. Plus, if the partnership is being negatively impacted, couple’s therapy is essential. 

Depression can affect a relationship, and falling out of love can bring on symptoms of depression. As an individual, it’s important in both cases to establish a solid support system and professional help.

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Sophie Simons

Sophie Simons

Sophie Simons is a leading psychologist with a passion for enriching relationships. Through empathetic counseling and insightful guidance, she empowers couples and individuals to foster deeper connections, resolve conflicts, and create lasting harmony. Sophie's expertise in relationship advice has touched countless lives, making her a trusted source for building fulfilling partnerships.

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