When you think of depression, you likely think of sadness. You may imagine someone struggling to get out of bed, or slumped teary-eyed in front of the TV. And yes, depression does manifest in such symptoms for many people. However, irritability, edginess and explosive anger are also common signs of depression.
When someone is depressed, they are likely experiencing lower levels of serotonin, a brain chemical that regulates mood, sleep, motivation and other important daily functions. But serotonin is also a kind of social lubricant. It lets you feel bonded to your partner even though he leaves his socks on the floor and his whiskers in the sink. Deplete your serotonin, and seemingly minor issues can easily turn into major conflicts.
To further complicate things, someone dealing with depression may struggle to stay motivated. Maybe you find household chores overwhelming. You want to clean out that guest room, you really do, but you somehow just can’t get to it. So maybe your partner or your roommate expresses their frustration, feeling you’re not doing your part to maintain the home. Lacking your usual serotonin social lubricant, your partner’s words may be interpreted as “fighting words.” And guess what? Arguing with loved ones, especially romantic partners, also decreases your serotonin. It can be a vicious, extremely exhausting cycle.
If you have been weighed down with chronic edginess for some time now, consider seeing a therapist or talking to your doctor about potential depression symptoms. If you feel that your long-term relationship keeps getting stuck in hole after hole, consider whether depression may be complicating things. Take this depression self-evaluation to learn more.
About the Author: James Robbins is a licensed professional counselor, published author and co-owner of Dallas Whole Life Counseling. He has over 15 years of experience helping people in various life stages that come from a wide variety of cultural, economic and family backgrounds. Learn more about his background by clicking here.