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In addition to surrounding yourself with the support of friends and family, Sheela Raja, Ph D, a clinical psychologist and assistant professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, says it’s important to let potential partners know how they can help you.
For example, if you exercise regularly to help lift your mood, ask your partner to join you.
To do this, be sure to engage in positive self-talk, Friedman says.
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.“Don’t push yourself to date if the timing doesn’t feel right,” she says. You might need to lick your own wounds first.”You don’t owe it to the person to discuss your depression on a first date, Friedman says.
You might choose that time to share that you have depression.”When you feel the time is right, Friedman suggests a three-part “script.” First, tell your partner that she is important to you, enough so that you have something about yourself to share with her.
Second, don’t just blurt out “I suffer from depression.” Instead, preface it by telling her there’s something you’ve struggled with that’s a fairly common problem, let her know you have been diagnosed with depression and that you’re taking care of yourself by seeking treatment.
And finally, emphasize again that you care about the person and the relationship.
This message is as important as telling her that you have depression, says Friedman.
"It takes skill to know how to navigate online dating to find someone special." There are sites geared specifically for those with mental illness, such as If you find yourself falling into a pattern that didn’t work for you in the past (like dating someone who makes you feel bad about yourself), leave the situation, and take some time off or find another companion.“Therapy might help you to work out any issues you have in order to go forward in your relationships and not repeat past mistakes,” Friedman says.Millions of people turn to the Internet to find romantic partners, but that doesn’t mean it’s not difficult, says Friedman.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.
For example, men often feel that it’s their job to make their partner happy, says Friedman.