In this article, “long-distance relationship and depression” will be discussed with benefits of being in a long-distance relationship, the psychological impact of it, strategies to crush the long-distance relationship depression and concluding with a bunch of FAQ concerning the topic.
Long-distance relationship and Depression can be combated with the following strategies:
- Demands patience, loyalty and trust
- Keep your goals and expectation realistic and achievable
- Frequent and regular communication
- Engaging oneself and having a strict routine
- Participating in a social group and remaining socially active
- Venting out emotions
- Reaching out to close ones
- Taking care of oneself
- Eating healthy, stay healthy
- Staying connected and informed
- Embracing the moment of past
It is defined as a romantic relationship shared between two people who live miles apart and are unable to meet frequently.
Another definition is a strong emotional bond or commitment to another person who is apart from you and beyond physical access.
Depression is a mental disorder that is classified under Mood Disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual. It is a mood disorder where the individual experiences prolonged sadness, lethargic, worthiness, helplessness and melancholic that interferes or hampers their daily functioning.
It is one of the most common and prevalent mental disorders that affect 264 million people from varied age groups. And women are more vulnerable and likely to suffer from depression than men.
Sign and Symptoms of Depression
The three noting symptoms of Depression are:
- Fatigability, tiredness and feeling of exhaustion
- Anhedonia, loss of interest in pleasurable activities
- Depressed mood or prolonged sadness
Other than the three notable symptoms of Depression, other signs and symptoms of depression include:
- Feeling of hopelessness
- Worthlessness and Helplessness
- Lack of concentration
- Thoughts on ending life
- Difficulty in sleep
- Irritability and Agitation
- Fluctuation in appetite
- Difficulty in decision making.
- Diurnal Mood
- Significant weight loss
- Lost motivation
- Loss of energy
- Recurrent thoughts on death
- Excessive guilt
Advantages of being in a long-distance relationship
Some positive things are being in a long-distance relationship despite it being very hard and difficult to deal with.
Some of the perks of being in Long Distance Relationship are:
- Get to know and understand each other well.
- Will get to test the trust and loyalty
- Learn to communicate well
- Conflict resolution develops
- Appreciate the time spend together
- Embrace the moment shared and reminisce it
- Practice and develop patience
- Get time to pursue other interest and passion
- Develop Independence
- Commit to yourself and personal goals
Psychological effects of being in a long-distance relationship
A long-distance relationship can be a blend of success and failure. Different factors take the role in the survival and maintenance of a long-distance relationship.
Some of the effects of being in the long-distance relationship are:
Fear of missing out
It is the anxiety of feeling secluded or left out from exciting or interesting events happening around. When a relation turns to long-distance, the fear of missing out aggravates and it starts affecting one’s mental health as well as the relation. Thus, to effectively cope up with this anxiety. It is best to face and fight anxiety.
Possessiveness and insecurity
Once the distance creates a barrier between the two, it is natural to feel possessive and doubt over the partner. And the feeling being natural yet is very difficult to grapple with. So, to battle with this feeling, it is best to be confident in the other person and be loyal.
Jealousy and Envious
When possessive feelings take over, one starts to get jealous and leave a negative impact on the relationship. Suspicion and Jealousy result in many toxicities and ruin the relationship.
A long-distance relationship can be stressful for some wherein the person constantly has to build their patience, loyalty and trust which are all hard to develop and takes time. One gets annoyed and irritated easily and then misunderstanding and conflict arise.
It is a source of anxiety as well as a source of stress to the individual. One constantly has to think and prepare for the next thing. Constantly engaging oneself in a hypothetical situation and grappling with it takes a lot of courage and patience for the person. To soothe the anxiety and calm down, listening to music, keeping a journal, spending some time in nature can be of good help. The more anxious one gets, it will make the relationship harder to maintain as well as deal with.
It is natural to feel lonely and alone when a person is dealing with a long-distance relationship. The constant emotion of missing the other person, scared of losing contact, not able to have frequent communication makes the person lonely. To fight against the feeling, keeping emotional intimacy, having frequent communication, and planning are ways to combat loneliness and isolation.
Researches have shown that the key cause of termination and end of most of the long-distance relationship is the negativity. When negativity flows in, the relationship fails to strive longer and further.
Negativity arises due to feelings of possessiveness, jealousy, fear and anxiety. The effect of these negative emotions and thoughts can leave a drastic impact on the relationship.
Dealing with the long-distance relationship is believed to be the toughest journey and many fail to strive through the process. It leaves the individual hopeless and helpless. Thus, to avoid the risk of falling into depression, things like talking and reaching out to family, assurance, regular communication, exercise, doing things to distract yourself and overthinking and enriching your own life by doing productive and constructive things can help.
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.
Ways to cope up with long-distance relationship depression
Long-distance relationships and the journey is an emotional roller coaster where a person undergoes both positive things and negative ones.
It can be emotionally as well as mentally very gruelling to combat loneliness and isolation. Amidst that, one can always follow certain strategies to combat and crush the long-distance relationship depression.
Some of the strategies include:
Talking about it and confronting it
Emotion vents out and sharing it is a soothing technique. Rather than troubling yourself with the thoughts and rumination, it is always better to share the feeling with others who can understand you. When you reach out to the significant one, the train of negative thoughts break and you tend to feel lighter and better.
This can be family, friends, coworkers and neighbours.
Creating a routine and structuring your day
When the day is not preplanned and structured beforehand, there is time for rumination and overthinking that traps you in the negative thoughts and feelings. Rather having a structured routine for each day keeps one engaged and busy that there is no way for the negative thoughts to bother you. Creating a schedule and sticking by it is a great way to battle with the fear of missing out and isolation.
Scheduling time with a partner
Keeping the communication going and alive is important for both the person to stay informed and connected. Thus, to not miss that, having time for connecting with the partner via call or message can help in combating long-distance depression.
Having a daily routine and setting goals are two processes that can keep you going and engaged throughout the day without thinking about the distances and the journey of long-distance. It is an ideal way to combat depression with a structured day and realistic goal set daily. One can have both short term and long term goals to accomplish. Short term goals can be reading books, cooking, going out for a walk, deep cleaning, etc. Long term goals can be learning new skills, travelling, planning for the future, etc.
Stay involved and participated
Rather than isolating oneself form social groups and others, it is a good way to remain socially active to battle with long distance depression. Researchers have shown that when one isolates themselves from others there is a greater risk for cognitive impairment, reduced life expectancy and increased risk of other mental and physical illnesses.
Physical exercise and workout
Researchers have found that when individuals are prescribed to do some aerobic exercise each day, it is found to be effective in relieving their depressive symptoms. Thus, those who are battling with the depression of long-distance relationships can exercise and do workout to combat loneliness and other depressive symptoms.
The mind is the source for all kinds of negative thoughts and feelings, thus to alleviate and get rid of the depressive symptoms it is best to train your mind with positive exercise such as meditation, relaxation, yoga, etc. These can be soothing not only for physical health but for mental and psychological health too.
Getting enough sleep and healthy eating
Sleep and eating are what is exhibited in our physical health. And to effectively deal with depressive symptoms like insomnia, loss of energy, etc, it is best to feed oneself with good food, healthy food and nutritious one. Along with that, getting enough sleep to rejuvenate your body as well as mind.
It helps in guarding off negativity.
Don’t bottle up the feelings
The journey of a long-distance relationship stands both high and low, thus when something is bothering you, it is best to share it with others than keeping it within that can later develop into depressive symptoms which are harder to tackle with. Thus, venting out and sharing is a good way to keep yourself safe and energised.
Having a realistic Expectation
To have positive thoughts and hope are good things, but along with that keeping, it is simpler and realistic is better. If you constantly hope and strive for an unachievable and unmeetable goal, it will rather keep you demotivated and low when not meeting. Thus, setting simple realistic goals is better for oneself as well as with the relationship.
Taking oneself for date
Self Pampering and self-care are a good way to show your love and concern to self when you also do it for others. Sometimes, negative thoughts take a toll on one’s mental as well as physical health, thus to keep yourself energised, calm and high spirit, it is best to self-care and pamper yourself some time.
What we recommend for Depression
If you are suffering from depression then ongoing professional counselling could 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.
BetterHelp: A Better Alternative
Those who are seeking therapy online may also be interested in BetterHelp. BetterHelp offers plenty of formats of therapy, ranging from live chats, live audio sessions and live video sessions. In addition, unlimited messaging through texting, audio messages and even video messages are available here.
BetterHelp also offers couples therapy and therapy for teenagers in its platform. Furthermore, group sessions can also be found in this platform, covering more than twenty different topics related to mental health and mental illness. The pricing of BetterHelp is also pretty cost-effective, especially considering the fact that the platform offers financial aid to most users.
FAQs: long-distance relationship and depression
Does long distance relation affect relationships?
Yes, it does affect the relationship in both positive and negative ways.
What percentage of long-distance relationships break up?
Almost 40% of couples with long-distance relationships expect to live together, however break up in 4-5 months.
How long does infatuation last in a long-distance relationship?
Approximately believed to be between 18 months to three years.
When should you give up on a long-distance relationship?
When it is hard to communicate, when the other person starts avoiding and doesn’t take out time for you, when there is lack of communication and understanding, these seem to be a red flag in relation.
How do I stop worrying in a long-distance relationship?
There are certain tips to avoid the anxiety and stress of long-distance relationships such as sharing feelings rather than bolting up, maintaining other relationships, having realistic expectations and staying confident and loyal.
In this article, “long-distance relationship and depression” was discussed with benefits of being in a long-distance relationship, the psychological impact of it, strategies to crush the long-distance relationship depression and concluded with a bunch of FAQ concerning the topic.
More information and details
Lolo, & Nate. (2017). 10 Ways to Crush Long Distance Relationship Depression, Backed by Science. Lasting Distance. https://lastingthedistance.com/long-distance-relationship-depression/
Mckay, L. (2018). 10 Positives of Being in a Long-Distance Relationship. Lifehack. https://www.lifehack.org/articles/communication/10-ways-being-long-distance-relationship-can-actually-good-for-you.html
Somani, P. (2019). 9 Psychological Effects of being in a Long Distance Relationship. Linkedin. https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/9-psychological-effects-being-long-distance-pranjul-somani