When he suffers from depression

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    Jul 31, 2011 11:55 PM GMT
    After months of wondering what I was doing wrong, being afraid to bring up my concerns, and feeling unhappy about how my boyfriend has been acting, I finally had a decent conversation with him this morning. It came out that he's been very unhappy and depressed. He's been experiencing loss of appetite, loss of sex drive, unhappiness in several aspects of his life, etc. While he hasn't been clinically diagnosed yet, I'm certain that this is the issue. I myself have suffered from depression so I know how it works.

    In our conversation I told him that I feel like there's a barrier between us and he won't let me in. He said that's what every guy he's dated has said. (alarms went off, yes, I know) But at least he was honest. It seems that the closer someone gets to him, the more he shuts down emotionally. I was just glad to know that it wasn't me. "I really have to do something about this," he said. "I can't live another 40 years like this." He's 40 years old.

    He has issues, as do many of us (myself included), and he's considering counseling. I myself have been seeing a therapist regularly for the past four years and it has really helped me.

    I want to be supportive of him. I know it's not up to me to fix things. It's very hard for him to even bring up this topic, so our conversation today, albeit short, was a big step for him. It is very hard for him to talk about his feelings. Has anyone else experienced this with his boyfriend/partner? What's the best thing for me to do? I do not want to give up on him because he's too special to me. I do also realize, however, that if no progress is made after a certain point, I am willing to let him go for my own sanity.

    Any thoughts are appreciated.
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    Jul 31, 2011 11:59 PM GMT
    I would encourage him to see a therapist, but he has to be ready to go. Sounds like there might be some underlying issue that really needs to be worked out. good luck
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    Aug 01, 2011 12:03 AM GMT
    Well, this will be a test of your commitment to him. If you're in it for the long haul, for better or worse, for that is what true love is all about, then stick with him as he works through it. He needs a safe place of love and security to have the courage to face the issues that are at the root of his depression.

    But if you aren't willing to commit to him in that way, then it may be best that you two have "the talk" about the boundaries for "enough is enough" - a tough conversation, but a necessary one if he is to find some stability and growth toward healing.

    You can be very instrumental in his healing through your love. Are you willing to be his anchor and support that he needs? It may also mean that you need to acquire the resources you need to BE that support.

    A professional therapist would be a very wise step for him, in my humble opinion. But he must want it himself.
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    Aug 01, 2011 12:16 AM GMT
    It sounds like home boy is just over weight.
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    Aug 01, 2011 3:09 AM GMT
    Run.
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    Aug 01, 2011 3:52 AM GMT
    If the person you're working with is willing and qualified to counsel you both together, consider going that route. (Hopefully expense wouldn't be an issue?) S/he could also see him individually. From what I've read it sounds like you're living together, so his being "out of it" has a direct effect on you from day to day. And if the condition is causing him to take time off from work/school or underachieve there, there's potential financial impact too. The most important thing is to not lay a guilt trip on him about it, but to back up your concern with the offer to devote time to collaborating with a professional together in hopes of making life go better for yourselves as well as as a couple.

    There does come a point beyond which you have to look out for #1 and sever ties. If we're talking about someone prone to wallowing in self-pity and making vows but never following through on them, then you're wasting your time. But should he be willing to "meet halfway" and make sincere efforts he deserves your total support.

    A lot of people are susceptible to mental/behavioral issues that show up during the teen years and then seem to magically disappear by the late twenties. I was a stressed-out, anxiety-plagued, bummed-out mess for way too much of the time from about 17 to 29. But from then on it's been almost entirely smooth sailing. What stays with me is how so few non-relatives could be counted on during those times. Most people have low tolerance for a "gloomy Gus" and push you out of their social circle. However, there are some who are there for you no matter what. I can count on one hand, literally, the friends from that "valley" in my existence who stay in touch today. (The count from a two-year failed attempt to move forward in college? ZERO.) Those people are worth their weight in gold. You, OP, can be seen in that light if you're willing to walk with your partner in his struggle and - this is key - he's open to allowing you to. But don't kid yourself that it'll be quick and easy.

    Best o' luck!
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    Aug 01, 2011 4:23 AM GMT
    me11 saidAny thoughts are appreciated.


    I fell in love with someone who suffers from depression. He ended up pushing me away (there were other issues, too).

    It is very hard to date someone who shuts down on you like that. All I can say is try to get him professional help. But...I hope your situation works out. I am scarred for life because of the way he treated me.
  • EricLA

    Posts: 3461

    Aug 01, 2011 4:31 AM GMT
    Depression is so easily dismissed by our culture, as is so many other mental disorders. "Just shake it off." "Don't dwell on it." "You're over-thinking things." As if the answer is as easily as choosing NOT to be depressed. Your bf has made a positive admission. He doesn't want to live another 40 years that way. Now he has to take action. Do what you can to support him to seek therapy. Perhaps anti-depressants would be helpful, too. They can be life-changing for some people.

    If he should fall back into a helpless, self-defeating cycle and chooses not to pursue therapy, then you have to decide what is best for you. You can't be an enabler to his unhappiness. It sounds like you were doubting your own worth because of his ignoring you. You have to watch out for your own mental health, too. If he refuses to seek help, then it's probably unhealthy for you to stay in that relationship. But, hopefully, he's hit bottom, knows what he'd lose if he loses you, and that is motivation enough to pursue real change.
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    Aug 01, 2011 9:23 AM GMT
    Support him in getting professional help.
    If he's unwilling to get help, then you will have to consider moving on. If he's unwilling to get the help to change, then he will continue along the same path he is now, dragging you along for the ride. He will continue to have no sex drive and will continue to be emotionally distant.

    The big red flag is that he shuts down emotionally when someone gets too close to him. He might be unwilling/unable to sustain a long-term commitment.
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    Aug 01, 2011 10:07 AM GMT
    The most important things here are:

    a) He realises there is a pattern in terms of others' perception of his behaviour
    b) He does not want to continue with his own behaviour pattern.

    Depression is an odd condition to cope with, both as the depressed person and as a significant person in that person's life. I have been in both situations before, and it is hard going either way. My first bf had depression and, frankly, he wallowed in it. I thought I could help him, but you cannot help someone unless they want help. We were together for a year, but only after I was no longer in the relationship did I realise just how odd a lot of his behaviour was. Ten years down the line I am aware that he has been diagnosed as bipolar but, and this will sound harsh, he chooses to hide behind the label (he actually told me "I am bipolar") rather than confronting it. My best friend from university was quite severely bipolar when she was in her late teenage years, but she fought against it and, while she very occasionally has a 'bad day', has generally overcome her condition. I had a depressive episode when I was 26, went as far as speaking to my doctor about it, but managed to pull myself out of it by changing my approach to life.

    My point here is that we all have agency over our lives and how we feel. It is important that your bf has recognised the problem and want to solve it. He can do so, but it will require a lot of hard work. As others have said, he needs to find someone to go through what he sees as being wrong (a humanistic psychologist or counsellor is probably the best route to take because their approach is person-centred, and the 'patient' is encouraged to self-discover what they feel are the obstacles in their lives and to work out how they propose to solve them), and to keep going with the process. It may take a long time, but it is important that he has support from everyone close to him. You will all help in your own way, but only if he chooses to start seeking help himself.

    I hope he manages to get better. Good luck to you both :-)
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 02, 2011 5:11 PM GMT
    See an MD who can prescribe meds. A lot of depession is purely chemical and can be treeated quite successfully.
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    Aug 02, 2011 11:35 PM GMT
    It's a very good sign that he admitted this to you. I think you should slowly work on getting him into therapy. He's going to be hesitant at first, but try to let him know how much it has helped you and that you want the same for him.

    I don't think you should have the same therapist and likely your therapist will think the same thing. There is no telling what the true underlying issue is, and if it involves your relationship (or his past relationships) it can create some conflict with your therapist interfering with both your therapies.

    If he doesn't have insurance or financial means to pay for therapy, he should look for a community mental health center or a university healthcare center.
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    Aug 08, 2011 5:57 PM GMT
    Thank you guys for your advice on this issue. It's not an easy one to deal with so I'm hoping for the best in the upcoming weeks. Thanks again.
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    Aug 08, 2011 6:04 PM GMT
    me11 saidAfter months of wondering what I was doing wrong, being afraid to bring up my concerns, and feeling unhappy about how my boyfriend has been acting, I finally had a decent conversation with him this morning. It came out that he's been very unhappy and depressed. He's been experiencing loss of appetite, loss of sex drive, unhappiness in several aspects of his life, etc. While he hasn't been clinically diagnosed yet, I'm certain that this is the issue. I myself have suffered from depression so I know how it works.

    In our conversation I told him that I feel like there's a barrier between us and he won't let me in. He said that's what every guy he's dated has said. (alarms went off, yes, I know) But at least he was honest. It seems that the closer someone gets to him, the more he shuts down emotionally. I was just glad to know that it wasn't me. "I really have to do something about this," he said. "I can't live another 40 years like this." He's 40 years old.

    He has issues, as do many of us (myself included), and he's considering counseling. I myself have been seeing a therapist regularly for the past four years and it has really helped me.

    I want to be supportive of him. I know it's not up to me to fix things. It's very hard for him to even bring up this topic, so our conversation today, albeit short, was a big step for him. It is very hard for him to talk about his feelings. Has anyone else experienced this with his boyfriend/partner? What's the best thing for me to do? I do not want to give up on him because he's too special to me. I do also realize, however, that if no progress is made after a certain point, I am willing to let him go for my own sanity.

    Any thoughts are appreciated.


    I see myself in your boyfriend's position at the moment. Going through the same situations since may. The only difference is that i am much younger( to be depressed as well) and i am single, haven't talked/touched a gay guy till date icon_neutral.gif .
    please keep this thread going. I want a solution to this problem asap.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 08, 2011 6:16 PM GMT
    The world is a fucked up place; funny how some men are involved in relationships and yet feel insecure, unhappy, and just downright sad. I myself have been single for 2.5 years unable to find a real, decent man and suffered from severe depression for about 5 years. Every day is another struggle. Why, I used to asked myself, why the fuck am I awake this morning? My twin brother is dead and my older one ditched me 3 years ago. Yeah coming back to it all is that some lives are more fucked up than others yet I can't imagine how many people just dont know how to grab life with their own hands and say, this is MY life and MY happiness fucker! and just BE. As a young man who struggles with the meaningless of existence, I wonder what are we relative to those who are, say, straight, happy, or even committed. Depression? I don't see it as a medical condition. For me, it was my involuntary excursion into darkness. Now after spending some time in the light, I can tell you that there is nothing to it. Just objectivity.
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    Aug 11, 2011 10:59 PM GMT
    Thanks again to all the responders.

    Update to my original post: my boyfriend and I went away on a trip last week and basically his behavior was the same despite our conversation. I guess I really wasn't expecting too much of a change because the issue is not a quick fix. We've become like roommates, not a couple, and it really saddens me. I try to be affectionate, and he changes the subject or turns away.

    The night we returned we ended up chatting online. (We don't live together.) I know it's better to talk in person but at this point any form of communication is better than none at all. I was finally able to say---er, type---the rest of what was on my mind. I told him that I am the type of guy who needs affection, i.e. kissing, touching, etc. and I don't mean just sexual stuff. I also wrote that his behavior is affecting our relationship and then he wrote that he knows this and he really has to do something about it because he thinks it's affecting his other relationships as well.

    So I gently and supportingly told him that I want to see a game plan. It's up to him to fix whatever is going on. He continues to insist that it's not me and the problem is coming from him.

    I never thought that our relationship would turn out like this. icon_sad.gif He has changed a lot compared to when I first met him. Our one year anniversary is coming up in late September. If there isn't some type of change or at least a hint of change I'm feeling like I have to end things. I really don't want to because I do love him and enjoy so many things about him. But his psychological issues have made me extremely paranoid, insecure, etc. and I don't deserve to feel like this. Let's hope that he does something soon that will put him in the right direction.
  • StrongSwede

    Posts: 16

    Jul 04, 2014 5:10 PM GMT
    I am going through this exact same thing right now in a relationship. I have felt ignored, uncared for, and there is a significant loss of sex drive from him. Our relationship started out great (in the fall), and then headed downhill (throughout the winter....). I told him several times what I needed from him, wanted and deserved. His family was coming into town the next day and he opened up to them about his depression. The day after he told me they are going to make him get help, and he doesn't want to put me through the process. He doesn't want to hurt me so he broke up with me. This was very painful and hurts still. He says he loves me and cares about me. I told him I feel the same way and want to be there to support him. He refused and said he needs his space to deal with his problems. He still wants me in his life, but I'm not sure if I can do that. I have felt like this is my fault even though I know better. It just hurts. Sorry to hear there are so many others who are going through it.
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    Jul 04, 2014 5:39 PM GMT
    So many great responses. It is so difficult to not take his depression personally. Maybe if I was a better man he would not feel this way? No, that's not it. It hurts, though. All you want to do is make him feel better. But that is not always within our grasp.

    All you can do is keep moving forward, for better or worse. That's life.
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    Jul 05, 2014 2:18 AM GMT
    guys this post is form 2011

    someone is re surfacing this junk as fun and the admins are a sleep EST. Start a new thread and it will be more current
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    Jul 05, 2014 3:20 AM GMT
    calguy456 saidI would encourage him to see a therapist, but he has to be ready to go. Sounds like there might be some underlying issue that really needs to be worked out. good luck


    Exactly, as someone who deals w depression, I know how much get medical/mental help can help deal w the depression.

    I went through 59 years of just dealing with it before finally saying I need meds, taking meds made all the difference for me also being honest.when I am depressed I tell my husband. He is great, while not always knowing what to do he will ask, I just have to say be here hold me love me.

    Hang in there
  • badbug

    Posts: 800

    Feb 18, 2016 5:42 AM GMT
    quit replying to threads from 10 years ago.


    OP: "did you hear they crucified the nazerene" Date: July, 33 A.D.


    Justme99: "blah blah blah blah blah"
    Date: Feb.17, 2016


  • mcbrion

    Posts: 305

    Mar 23, 2016 6:49 AM GMT
    I once had a therapist when my best friend was dying of AIDS and living with me the last two years of his life.
    I was also involved with a man I loved very, very much. Besides my therapist that I paid, my roommate was an incest survivor therapist and she watched us together.
    They both said similar things. My personal therapist said, when one person operates at this level - and she held her hand 6 feet above the floor - and the other person operates at this level - and she held her hand 3 feet above the floor - "this person (the one at the 6 foot height) is going to leave because he's not getting his needs met."

    My friend, said, after extensive observation, he loves you, but his fear is more powerful than his love, so he's overwhelmed by his fear and that's the predominant tape running in the background of his mind. He fears vulnerability.
    These being both the same thing, your boyfriend, as another poster has pointed out, needs to resolve the issues around him - not you as a couple. It sounds like he was rejected when young (Madonna was, too) or abandoned (abandonment fears are much more powerful than rejection fears: Bill Clinton has abandonment issues) just to point out a couple of public figures.
    Your friend's issues doubtless happened by the age of 8, so you had nothing to do with those. He'd benefit from having sessions centered around him for a year or two, i'd imagine, and yes, if you do couples, you cannot use the same therapist. Conflict of interest. by the way, inability to connect usually comes from the mother. Ask him about his relationship with mom, because that informs MUCH of how we all - men and women - learn empathy and socialization and how to behave to other people. Does she get along with her siblings? Yes? Good. No? Problematic. And does his mom get along with HER mom. That will tell you much about what was passed on to you by your grandmother's raising of your mother. Most often, there is an element of considerable fear and resentment buried down inside.

    Fear cannot be cured simply by assurances: the cause must be ferreted out. So, yes, it's not common for warmer guys and cooler guys to be attracted to each other, but it requires a lot of communication. And in this case, you can't help him. Suggest therapy and if he does not follow thru, then he's choosing to stay unhappy - which means so will you be. When someone is depressed, there is usually only room for one person in their life - them. You won't even be second: more than 5th, in terms of the emotional tenderness you feel from him. Be available, but not on a romantic or physical level, and if he initiates sex, point out that it's hard for you to go there while so much else is missing, including regular affection and you need to work on that first so you both feel at least like you're both comfortable with each other. But that you support him as a friend, no matter what.

  • Mar 26, 2016 8:54 PM GMT
    get him a nug to smoke and or some diazepam he will be fine. icon_cool.gif

    this happens to me all the time.