(BlackDoctor.org) — Depression is a common illness that most of us will deal with at some point in our lives. About 19 million Americans suffer from depression and 92% of African-Americans (suffering from depression) do not undergo any treatment for the condition. This can pose a problem for many areas of life — especially relationships. But depression doesn’t have to be a deal breaker in dating.
One thing to remember about dating is that all people have some kind of baggage they bring along for the ride. So don’t be too hard on yourself. If the person and the relationship are right for you, the difficulties encountered can be overcome. These 6 simple tips can help make dating a bit easier.
Don’t tell on the first date
You don’t owe it to the person to discuss your depression on a first date. If things become more serious, however, you should tell your potential partner. A good time might be when you decide to see each other exclusively or when you just feel that you care more deeply about each other. There are always individual differences. Something may come up in a conversation where it would feel like a natural time or that it would be dishonest not to. You might choose that time to share that you have depression.
How to talk about it
When you feel the time is right, talk about it with this three part “script.” First, tell your partner that they are important to you, enough so that you have something about yourself to share with them. Second, don’t just blurt out “I’m depressed.” Instead, preface it by telling them that there’s something you’ve struggled with that’s a fairly common problem, and let them 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.