Sad.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 16, 2011 5:11 PM GMT
    So some of you may have been following my posts on and off in the various forums. The core problem: my boyfriend and his spiral into depression.

    I'm at a loss as to what to do at this point. We've talked about the issue three times in the past few weeks, the most recent time last night. He's isolated himself. Unhappy about everything but doesn't know how to fix things. He doesn't want to see me, see anyone really for that matter. He's shut down.

    He's thinking about counseling but that will be up to him and in the meantime what am I supposed to do?

    After I told him I was unhappy with things, he said with a little frustration "You should date other other people since I'm like this and you're unhappy---but if you do, I don't want to hear about it," but I told him that I care more about him than that---we've been together for almost a year. It's just tearing me up though because I can't do anything to help and the situation is getting worse. I don't want to desert him---but I am spiraling into my own depression because of him. If he's unresponsive to my attempts at help, do I just stop contacting him until he contacts me? That's how I feel like things are going at this point.

    My boyfriend used to be a great guy. We have so much in common and I really felt a connection with him that ran very deep. He's the one who found me on match.com and "wooed" me so to speak. Razzled and dazzled me. We had a passionate sexual chemistry. He told me he wanted to even marry me some day, that I was unlike anyone he'd ever dated. I fell in love with him---and now he's only pushing me away.
  • ben27

    Posts: 101

    Aug 16, 2011 5:31 PM GMT
    maybe i can't have the feeling like your guys did 'cause i've never been in a sittutation like this but i can tell you what, if you really love him and he treat you good as you said so try your best to make things better and don't let him alone. hope everything will get better soon with both of you!
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    Aug 16, 2011 5:34 PM GMT
    Don't give up. He needs you now. Sometimes depression is caused something in our lives that we may not want, or know how, to talk about. Other times it's clinical. He needs someone to guide him through this and get some answers. There is light at the end of the tunnel, but he may need a hand to guide him in that direction.
  • zenmonkie

    Posts: 228

    Aug 16, 2011 5:40 PM GMT
    I can relate. I find myself on his side of the story more times than I would like. Is there an underlying cause to it all? Financial? Drugs or alcohol? Life and death? I'm sure identifying the cause will help, but if it's a constant struggle then he probably needs to see someone. I'm not a fan of medication, but for some people that works.

    For me, working out and running help A LOT. Also, watching comedies or anything funny helps bring my spirits back up as well. Take him to the gym or to a movie and see if his mood changes.
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    Aug 16, 2011 6:04 PM GMT
    Stick with him as long as you can. If you love him, fight for him. Do not let him push you away.

    On the other hand... are you certain that he does have a problem and not just using this to get rid of you without being the bad guy?

    If you were in a committed relationship for the long haul, would you leave him because he got depressed?

    It is too easy for people to give up on things and move on. It's too easy to give up on people, relationships, etc.

    My partner has stood by me through 5 eye surgeries (and at least one more to come). He stood by me when I was recuperating from being in a propane explosion. He was there for me after my father's death. I've been there for him when he took more than a year to recover from a wreck when a kid crossed the center line. I've been there while he fought cancer. I've been there as his heart disease is getting progressively worse and his kidneys are shutting down.

    When you love someone, you fight for that love and you fight for that person. Don't give up on him if he is the one you were meant to be with. Do this for you and do this for him. What's best for us is not always what is the easiest.

    My heart goes out to you.
  • MikemikeMike

    Posts: 6932

    Aug 16, 2011 6:39 PM GMT
    sorry to hear it. maybe he's bi polar or manic depressive. people like this can be very alluring at times and shut down and isolated at others. Did he have highs and lows? Mood swings? Depressed people can get obsessed by alot of things including sex. Until they get themselves help they can not be in a relationship anyway. Under a year is not a long time at all.

    Sounds like he needs counseling and meds and a diagnosis first.

    good luck- move on for now.
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    Aug 16, 2011 6:56 PM GMT
    Reason with yourselves happiness is worth some effort.
    If it helps:
    "We are going to die, and that makes us the lucky ones. Most people are never going to die because they are never going to be born. The potential people who could have been here in my place but who will in fact never see the light of day outnumber the sand grains of Arabia. Certainly those unborn ghosts include greater poets than Keats, scientists greater than Newton. We know this because the set of possible people allowed by our DNA so massively exceeds the set of actual people. In the teeth of these stupefying odds it is you and I, in our ordinariness, that are here."
    -- Richard Dawkins

    It's uneasy for a depressed person to see how special, rare and precious their_life/they really are, not to mention the potential they have for spreading happiness or being happy or productive.

    I'm no professional, but I've suffered from depression to the point of being dangerous to myself.

    Perhaps it's supported by a need to be correct as a depressed person will see bad and predict bad all the time.
    Maybe by too high standards or expectations in the past.

    But if help lies beyond reasoning, than it lies in the way the brains work.
    The brain cannot percieve it's own functioning, therefore people think the brain helps them think, while in fact WE ARE OUR BRAINS.
    And the brains get bombarded by chemicals/drugs all the time, dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin, vasopressin, etc.
    Perhaps a combination of habits and some chemical imbalance relating to the brain causes and is caused by your "spiral into depression".

    Given the negative emotions you two have been said to experience, getting off your butts to visit a trustworthy profesional should be a negligible price compared to a potential depression.
    So just do it, the simplest way you can and don't hesitate to ask for help.
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    Aug 16, 2011 8:31 PM GMT
    me11 said
    He's thinking about counseling but that will be up to him and in the meantime what am I supposed to do?


    It's called an ultimatum. It's not up to him: you are a couple. If he cares about you, he needs to understand that his depression is hurting you and seek help. If he will not seek treatment, then there is nothing you can do.

    It is very sad, but at the end of the day you cannot help someone who is unwilling or unable to change.
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    Aug 16, 2011 8:34 PM GMT
    If you love him, you have to fight for him...you might lose.
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    Aug 16, 2011 8:37 PM GMT
    TroyAthlete said
    me11 said
    He's thinking about counseling but that will be up to him and in the meantime what am I supposed to do?


    It's called an ultimatum. It's not up to him: you are a couple. If he cares about you, he needs to understand that his depression is hurting you and seek help. If he will not seek treatment, then there is nothing you can do.

    It is very sad, but at the end of the day you cannot help someone who is unwilling or unable to change.



    I disagree, and find that to be a somewhat selfish point of view. There are times in a partnership like this where the focus is allowed to be one-sided, when one person needs more help and care and patience than the other. It does not sound to me like his situation is beyond help. This isn't about changing somebody, it's about helping somebody through a difficult period. This is a medical issue, whether it's physical or mental, it's still a medical issue. And giving somebody with a medical problem an "ultimatum" is fundamentally a bad idea.

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    Aug 16, 2011 10:49 PM GMT
    DJBoston saidI disagree, and find that to be a somewhat selfish point of view. There are times in a partnership like this where the focus is allowed to be one-sided, when one person needs more help and care and patience than the other. It does not sound to me like his situation is beyond help. This isn't about changing somebody, it's about helping somebody through a difficult period. This is a medical issue, whether it's physical or mental, it's still a medical issue. And giving somebody with a medical problem an "ultimatum" is fundamentally a bad idea.



    I agree that's it's a medical issue: that's why the should seek help and professional care.

    But if the boyfriend won't (or can't), then what? Is dude just supposed to stick around forever, getting dragged into the abyss until he is just as fucked up? If they both go down, nobody benefits, right?

    I don't think not wanting to have your mental and emotional health permanently damaged by your significant other's depression is any more selfish that not allowing him to take a machete and cut off your head.

    It's not just about "helping someone through a difficult period." That's what you do when a friend's dog dies. Clinical depression/bipolar disorder is serious, and coupling with someone with these kinds of physiological issues is serious and risky to your short and long-term physical and mental well-being.

    Clinical interventions often involve ultimatums from loved ones. Coddling is enabling. I repeat: he should demand his boyfriend seek help. But if he won't, sooner or later this dude has to make a choice whether he wants to live or go down with the ship. Yes, try to right the ship, but if it's sinking despite your best efforts, sorry, you have to bail.
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    Aug 17, 2011 8:00 PM GMT
    Here are a few more things that may help:

    Depression is not being "Sad", as this thread is entitled. I'm sure you meant that it is you who are sad. Learn all you can about it as a mental illness so that you can understand better what he's experiencing. It will help you empathize.

    Yes, learn what it feels like, but be careful because his depression can cause you to become dragged into depression yourself. Your education will help you avoid this. If you are a member of a church group, or you have support facilities at work for partners of mentally ill persons, avail yourself of them.

    Your feelings about this right now are those of unhappiness, dissatisfaction, sorrow, and perhaps despair. These will give way to frustration, anger, and rage. The ultimatum TroyAthlete writes about may seem so cruel right now, but it will seem totally deserved shortly. Importantly, find a way to direct your anger away from him and his disease. Come in here and yell at us if you must. It's not uncommon for partners of depressed patients to also have therapists who help them deal with their own feelings.

    There will be times he will pull you close, get your sympathy, and then push you away again. Be there for him, listen, let him cry, but remember that you are seeing a disease and not him. He will lash out at you in anger over things that are actually of his own device. Transferring blame is common. Again, this is the disease.

    At times of his behavioral patterns when you are allowed closest to him; expect that sex is probably not in the picture. Sex drive typically fades considerably with depression.

    Since the two of you are connected at an emotional level, you are probably one of the early detectors of a mental disorder like this. Undiagnosed and untreated, it is progressive and it can get him fired for his behavior. If his employer has an employee assistance program (EAP), he might be much better off to self-nominate. In this way, he can get confidential, private help while his job is protected.

    Very few professionals claim to have cured anyone from depression. What they do is help the patient manage it through therapies first. Then help the patient sort out, wait out, or perhaps remedy the causes. Yes, it can take some time and be a considerable investment on your part. But a majority of patients live normal lives with drastically mitigated symptoms.

    If you decide to undertake this as a supportive partner, the greatest thing you probably have to offer him is hope.