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While you might not realize the effects that the quality of your relationship is having on you, they are quite present nonetheless. Perhaps your depression is driven by something you might not be realizing.

I recently came across a study from a few years back that really puts things into perspective. While the quality of your relationship might not be something you consider often, it is something you need to pay attention to. This study had almost five thousand participants and consists of a ten year period. Yes, relatively in depth when you think about it.

This research showed that people who were not in a relationship did not have any kind of increased risk of depression because of it and those who had strained relationships were more likely to develop depression. They noted that those who had the lowest quality relationships were actually at double the risk of depression when compared to those in good relationships and if a partner was unsupportive, the depression risks were quite significant.

When you break these things down further, I could see why they would come with significant increase risks. While it might not sound like much, having a strained relationship is a breeding ground for negativity. It’s like falling down a staircase and then having to try and walk back up.

So if you are in a relationship that is bad quality, unsupportive, or strained depression is something you might be experiencing. While not everyone who goes through a crappy relationship will become depressed in this day and age it is quite common. Sure, you shouldn’t blame it all on the relationship but it is important to know that it can and will have something to do with it.

Psychiatrist Alan Teo, who worked on this study and authored it said as follows in a statement:

“Our study shows that the quality of social relationships is a significant risk factor for major depression.”

“These results tell us that health care providers need to remember that patients’ relationships with their loved ones play a central role in their medical care. They also suggest that the broader use of couples therapy might be considered, both as a treatment for depression and as a preventative measure.”

“Asking a patient how she rates her relationship with her husband, rather than simply asking whether she has one, should be a priority.”

“The magnitude of these results is similar to the well-established relationship between biological risk factors and cardiovascular disease,”

“What that means is that if we can teach people how to improve the quality of their relationships, we may be able to prevent or reduce the devastating effects of clinical depression.”

What do you think about these findings? I, for one, think they are a good step towards understanding things on a deeper level.

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