Can Depression Make You Fall Out of Love?

In this blog post, we will answer the question, “Can depression make you fall out of love?” We will then outline the signs that indicate depression. Finally, we will assess if you are falling out of love and what you can do in such a case. 

Can Depression Make You Fall Out of Love?

Depression can make you feel like you are falling out of love when, in reality, it is just the depression permeating other aspects of your life. Therefore, you need to stop and think before choosing to act. 

Are you depressed, or are you falling out of love independent of the depression? While answering this, consult your mental health professional. Listen to what they have to say as they are experts in the field of mental conditions.

Depression is a disorder that underlies negative styles of thinking about yourself and the people and world around you. Everything starts to seem bleak. You may feel like you are falling out of love when, in reality, it is anhedonia. Anhedonia refers to the lack of pleasure in everything, including activities that once brought joy to you.  

Remember that depression can take a toll on every aspect of your life, including your relationships – romantic and otherwise. There are several considerations you need to make before calling it quits. The more serious the relationship, as in a marriage, the more caution is to be exercised. There are times when people’s depression gets worse after separation or divorce.

Be on the Lookout for Depressive Signs 

Often, people do not recognize the symptoms of their depression and assume that they are just unsatisfied with their relationships. If people were wary of the signs that indicate depression, they can seek timely and appropriate treatment for the same and save their relationship. 

Therefore, the first and foremost thing to do is to be aware and comprehend the signs of depression, which may be: 

  • Depressed mood and feelings of sadness for an extended time;
  • Feelings of hopelessness, unworthiness, helplessness, and emptiness;
  • Irritability;
  • Sleep changes;
  • Changes in appetite and weight;
  • Fatigue or a lack of energy even for performing necessary activities; 
  • Excessive guilt; and
  • Unexplainable physical pain and aches

Keep in mind that depression, like any other mental disorder, manifests differently in everybody.

Are You Falling Out of Love? 

It is challenging to discern if you are falling out of love. However, some things need to be considered.

  • Anger or Resentment and Falling Out of Love
  • Detachment, Falling Out of Love, and Depression

Anger or Resentment and Falling Out of Love

Anger and resentment are the primary red flags. Couples typically experience a period of conflict and display resentment for each other. However, you need to understand that there is a difference between resentment or hate and falling out of love. 

You can hate someone yet love them. When you resent somebody, you have unpleasant emotions surrounding them and their actions. Typically, this entails an underlying desire for the partner to be or do something different. For instance, they may not be paying adequate attention or not following through with their commitments. 

In such cases, you may believe that you do not love your partner anymore because you hate them when such a belief is false. You need to recognize that you do not hate them but hate a particular thing they are or not doing. To prevent such misconceptions, it is better always to condemn the action rather than the actor. 

Detachment, Falling Out of Love, and Depression

On the other hand, detachment entails indifference and a lack of pleasant or unpleasant emotions for the partner. Such indifference is indicative of falling out of love with someone. You may mean well for them and even hope to get with somebody else, but not be in love with them. 

Often, you may not be able to pinpoint what you do not love about them. There is a mere sense of indifference regarding your partner and the relationship. You might not resent them or dislike them, but simply have the urge to move forward in life without them. 

Whether you want to be with somebody else or alone is immaterial. What you do know is that you no longer have a desire to be with your partner. 

Again, a crucial thing to keep in mind is that this sense of indifference or detachment can be a symptom of depression. Apart from depression, there could be a personality change due to an underlying condition. If any organic and psychological conditions can be ruled out, the detachment’s plausible reason merely is falling out of love.   

For some individuals, there is a sense of detachment with no pain, no feeling – just nothing. They tend to truly and genuinely believe that the relationship is detrimental to them, that it is holding them back. There is a sense of emptiness and a lack of intensity that everybody yearns. 

People romanticize love in a way that they feel it must be fiery and passionate and stimulating all the time. Although passion is required, it is not the end-all of a relationship. If you succumb to this feeling, you will hope to find somebody whom you think would be passionate and bring back that “fire.”  

In his book Should You Leave? Dr. Kramer gives us insights into the lives of some of his clients who are discontented in their relationships and they approach him to understand if leaving is the right option. 

He recounts that whenever a patient presents with such dissatisfaction with their relationship, he suspects an underlying mood disorder, such as depression. There is typically anhedonia, which make them feel like they are falling out of love when in reality, they can barely feel at all. 

The chief issue here is that a person who is unaware of their depression requires an excessively high level of arousal to experience exhilaration. These individuals can experience intense anger as it is a fiercer feeling that makes them feel something when they can barely feel anything. 

These patients strongly opine that they can feel as they do not have trouble having fun when they go out. They also feel passion with others who most probably are not in exclusive relationships or may be looking for this form of getaway. 

However, they fail to understand that they feel good because these pursuits provide intense stimulation. That is why they also tend to develop an addiction to drugs, gambling, pornography, and other addictive habits. Dreaming of such escapisms appear to provide the answer they are looking for to fill the void in them. 

Of course, there is no single reason that explains the differences faced by relationships endangered by a mood disorder. However, this explanation fits the bill of most of them. 

What You Can Do

Firstly, understand if the depression came before or after your relationship began. If your depression came before, your partner is not to be blamed for your difficulty. If anything, your partner may have calmed the waters or made it worse, which is difficult to differentiate. It boils down to how you are as a couple and the duration of your relationship.

Introspect to understand the stressors and triggers in your life and do this with a mental health professional. They will help you identify such stressors and teach you adaptive ways of coping with them. If your partner or relationship is a significant source of stress, you will learn positive ways to deal with it, even if it means to call it quits.

If your relationship developed first and you began falling out of love for no fault of theirs, the depressive condition probably existed right from the beginning of the relationship. They may not have caused it, but certain things could have happened for your depression to occur. It could lead to a ‘blame game’ to cope with the situation. 

Understand how you feel when you imagine your life without them or them with somebody else. What you are typically attempting here is to ask yourself if it is only your depression or if you are falling out of love. 

If you do not feel anything after imagining such a scenario, you probably have fallen out of love with them.

If you feel something at this thought but sense a blockage, it could be your depression that makes you question your relationship and love for them. What you can do is get the appropriate treatment for your depression before things get adverse. 

Remember not to take any decisive actions before introspecting and getting help from a professional regarding this matter. What you do not want is a ball of regret, along with your depressive condition. 

Conclusion

In this blog post, we answered the question, “Can depression make you fall out love?” We then outlined the signs that indicate depression. Finally, we explored what it means to fall out love and what you can do in such a case. 

Have you ever fallen out of love? If yes, what did it feel like? Let us know in the comments below!

Side Note: I have tried and tested various products and services to help with my anxiety and depression. See my top recommendations here, as well as a full list of all products and services our team has tested for various mental health conditions and general wellness.

Frequently Asked Questions: Can Depression Make You Fall Out of Love?

Can somebody stop themselves from falling out of love?

Yes, it is possible for people to stop themselves from falling out of love. It takes effort, patience, and time, but staying in love can be a reality if you choose for it to be one. 

Are there signs indicative of falling out of love?

Yes, there are signs indicative of falling out of love, like:

A loss of trust, intimacy, and love;
Detachment;
No underlying condition that makes you feel no pleasure, like depression; and
There is no sense of loss when you imagine a life without your partner.

Can love be a source of stress?

Yes, love can be a source of stress. Love is not just warmth, comfort, and all things nice. Love can be a significant source of stress. Even biologically speaking, being in love leads to the production of a stress hormone, cortisol.

Is falling in love similar to having a mental disorder?

Research studying brain scans is beginning to show that falling in love causes changes in our brain, which bear striking similarities to serious mental disorders like substance use disorder or drug addiction and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

How do you stay in love?

There are ways to stay in love and prevent yourself from falling out love. You can:

Avoid giving up intimacy;
Have conversations that are personal and provide space to get to know each other at a deeper level;
Treat your partner with kindness;
Make plans that are adventurous and out of your typical routine;
Develop healthy and adaptive ways to cope;
Focus on what you love about your partner and optimize the use of it;
Be supportive of each other’s individual identity and interests; and
Control yourself from being critical of yourself and your partner

Can you fully stop loving somebody?

It is challenging to fully stop loving somebody. You are bound to have these feelings in some form, even if not love. It is not an emotion that simply dissipates. 

Suppose you cannot stop loving somebody who does not reciprocate the feelings for you or have hurt you in some way. In such cases, you can regulate these emotions in adaptive ways to not allow them to cause you pain. Seeing a mental health professional is recommended to learn of such healthy response styles. 

What we recommend for depression

Professional counselling

If you are suffering from depression then ongoing professional counselling may be your ideal first point of call. Counselling will utilize theories such as Cognitive behavioural therapy which will help you live a more fulfilling life.

References

https://www.mentalhelp.net/blogs/when-a-depressed-partner-falls-out-of-love/

https://makingmidlifematter.com/fallen-out-of-love-or-depressed/

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/what-would-aristotle-do/201406/how-do-you-know-if-you-have-fallen-out-love

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Sara Quitlag is an Applied Psychologist, with a deep interest in psychopathology and neuropsychology and how psychology impacts and permeates every aspect of our environment. She has worked in Clinical settings (as Special Ed. Counselor, CBT Therapist) and has contributed at local Universities as a Faculty member from time to time. She has a graduate degree in English Literature and feels very connected to how literature and psychology interact. She feels accountable and passionate about making a "QUALITY" contribution to the overall global reform and well-being. She actively seeks out opportunities where she can spread awareness and make a positive difference across the globe for the welfare of our global society.