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Dating can be a challenge when you're depressed. That said, meeting someone can also be a source of joy.
About 18 million Americans suffer from depression and another 20 million worldwide use dating websites each month, according to Online Dating Magazine. Chances are, there are people who will be in both groups. But dating can be a challenge when you suffer from depression.
That said, meeting a new person can also be a source of joy. These 10 simple tips can help make dating a bit easier.
The best way to stay strong? With greater awareness about depression, the stigma of mental illness has diminished somewhat.
You need to take good care of yourself before you can take care of someone else in a relationship. To do this, be sure to engage in positive self-talk, Friedman says.
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And if you are on medication, take it religiously; be consistent with therapy; surround yourself with a support system of friends and family; and be around upbeat, positive people.
You might need to lick your own wounds first.
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If things become more serious, however, you should tell your potential partner. Friedman says a good time might be when you decide to see each other exclusively or when you just feel that you care more deeply about each other.
You might choose that time to share that you have depression. And finally, emphasize again that you care about the person and the relationship.
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This message is as important as telling her that you have depression, says Friedman. For example, if you exercise regularly to help lift your mood, ask your partner to join you.
Telling them about the challenges you face or going to couples counseling can also be helpful.
Just talking about your relationship and how depression may impact it lets a person know you want him or her to be a part of your life. Some women, on the other hand, expect men to take the initiative to plan dates or activities. This can be hard to do when you are depressed and you have little energy.
Let her know you want to be with her, but you may have to keep things low-key. Depression, and some antidepressants, can cause you to lose interest in sex.
If you are having libido problems that are medication related, talk to your doctor about alternatives that might be less likely to dampen your sex drive. You can also let your partner know that you care in other ways.
It is important to know your own weaknesses and strengths and understand your dating pitfalls. Friedman says these types of sites can be a good place to go to, but consider mainstream dating sites as well. Discuss the process with friends and family; having a good support system can help.
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One thing to remember about dating is that all people have some kind of baggage they bring along for the ride. Share the gallery Pinterest Facebook.
Everything In This Slideshow. So the person you're dating has admitted they have depression.
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