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On the other side of Depression
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baristabb posted:
My boyfriend and I have recently had to deal with depression, on his end. When we first started dating he mentioned it when telling me that baggage was no problem and he would love to help me with my anxiety. I have been on and off dealing with anxiety, it has negatively affected our relationship and has brought out some of his depression. He feels he cannot be what I need and want (ie. how he was in the beginning) and we have had one big blow up of him attempting to isolate himself. I was not educated in the beginning and bit selfish, however during this blow up I sat calmly for over an hour explaining to him that I would be the one to sit through all of this and still love him. He still feels like what we're dealing with is heavy but said he would give me time to learn. What can I do? I am currently seeking help, but it seems when focused on helping him my anxiety is gone. I now know what all of my doubts came from and it was his depression causing his strange behavior. I would greatly appreciate any insight, I love him and am afraid of losing him.
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1nt3rnalc0mbu5t1on responded:
Baristabb,

First of all, congrats on sticking by him through all of this and trying to work thru it together. Even though depression and anxiety are two different things, there are similarities. That being said, when he does open up and talk to you about what is bothering him, you probably can relate on some level. Which should help calm him and make him feel not alone.

Each depression case is unique to the individual, but the causes can be similar. I have been dealing with depression for over 20 years, im 31. I didnt realized how long i was depressed until i really started to look into my past. Needless to say, to gain that perspective was rather shocking. I thought i was a happy kid, growing up. I had a good family and a good living environment. But as time went on, i began to doubt myself and eventually development an almost hatred like feeling towards myself. Mirrors, reflections, where not good, i would see myself and just get furious. We all have our secrets and demons, but mine almost killed me. As time went on, i thought i had a better control over my "anger", i didnt know i was depressed at the time. Looking back on when i began seriously dating, in college, those girls should have gotten some sort of medal. They were the ones who really helped me realize i was depressed, i got on medication and life started to get better. Then i got off the meds, but everything seemed to be okay, so i thought i was cured. Needless to say, I was/am not, it's a struggle every day...

Sorry for the rambling, but i wanted to give you a bit of insight into my experience. First and foremost, keep being supportive of him and show him how much he means to you. Dont be afraid to keep an open line of communication with him, albeit, he might not be willing to open up at first. The biggest thing with being depressed is when we talk to someone who we care about/love, we dont want them judging us. So we clam up and just pretend everything is fine. So DONT pry Just assure him that you love him and you want to help him and no matter what is bothering him, you wont judge him and you'll keep an open mind. Also, there are some really great books on depression out there, you might find one that is really helpful. Lastly, has he talked to his doctor about this? or have you guys talked about him possibly seeing a therapist. If you havent, i would recommend doing so and because you care about him, you could probably attend a session or two, once he is comfortable.

You mentioned that when you focus on him, it helps your anxiety. I can relate, I love helping people with their problems....but for some reason i can never take my own advice. So even though you are helping him get through a rough patch, dont completely forget about yourself. Take some time for you to deal with everything that's going on

Best of luck!

IC
 
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baristabb replied to 1nt3rnalc0mbu5t1on's response:
This was an amazing reply and I cannot thank you enough for taking time out of your day to help me. Unfortunately on the doctor situation he said he has tried doctors and they just don't work. He recently started taking his depression medication again, however I'm not sure if he is keeping on it like he should. He has been very very closed about his depression so bringing up going to a therapist with him feels a bit pushy as of right now. We had a really bad weekend recently where it almost ended and I sat there explaining that I want to be the one who sits with him during this awful time and still be there. I think my biggest problem is not knowing the signs just yet. I feel as if I'm tippy toeing around everything because not only do I want him to feel like he has space and time for himself, I don't want to constantly bring up the reminder that he has depression. It obviously doesn't feel good because I just want him to feel better, but I also know that it will take a while and am more than willing to sit there for it.

I am taking care of myself as well! I recently made my first doctor's appointment with a therapist to talk about my anxiety.

Do you have any tips on how I could help him along other than the reassurance?
 
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TiredOfMyOwnMind replied to baristabb's response:
Hi baristabb

I am suffering with depression which I guess I've known for a very long time I just didn't want to really acknowledge it because I feel like people would judge me and I guess I'm quite a proud person. However personally I feel the best thing you can do is tell your partner he needs to get help. My friends continued to sit with me and eventually one friend begged me to get help. Literally begged! And something inside me snapped and I thought fine ill do what you ask not that I need to. But I did need it and I am getting help and my friends have praised me for it. It's a tough road for all involved in depression which I'm only just starting to realise. The beat way to explain would be to tell him you love him so much and it hurts you to see him hurting and that you will go with him to the doctors and if they don't listen or help you will keep going to as many different doctors until the right one does listen and does help.

I understand you not wanting to push him but he is the only one who can help himself and you can be there to support him.

I hope I've shed some light from my perspective as a sufferer and also from my friends perspective of making me get the help I need

xx
 
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baristabb replied to TiredOfMyOwnMind's response:
TiredOfMyOwnMind,

Thank you, that helps a lot actually. He has been better these past few days, acting like normal almost, so it's still a bit dodgy for me to bring it up during his good days. I think he will take the hint when I talk to him about my own personal doctor's visit and how it helped me.

I also hope you're getting the help you need, if you need an ear I would be willing to listen.
 
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TiredOfMyOwnMind replied to baristabb's response:
Sometimes the best time to bring it up is on apparent good days as it can be better received. My friend is currently suffering from anxiety and has started to get help and sometimes we help each other and sometimes it's a struggle as I worry my depression is making her worse and she worries (because of her anxiety) that she will come to my door and find me dead. The best thing I have found between us is just being open and talking.

I hope he gets the help he needs and well done to you for seeking help for yourself. I am getting help so just one day at a time, today is an ok day.

x
 
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baristabb replied to TiredOfMyOwnMind's response:
I will keep all of that in mind, I think my biggest issue right now is the feeling of uncertainty. I miss getting text messages constantly, him laughing, and feeling like he wants to talk to me, however I'm trying to take the little hints as helpful reminders that he is too trying. I really need to find something to keep my mind from wandering into the dark places of doubt.
 
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1nt3rnalc0mbu5t1on replied to baristabb's response:
Baristabb,

The biggest thing about seeing a doctor is that you, have to be willing. It took me a while to really accept the fact, basically getting divorced, is what drove me to get help. But with out insurance its expensive, so that didnt last long, even though i was getting good advice and help. I took the next couple years off and was left to my own devices, which is never a good thing. In my case, sadly, it took a suicide attempt to get me back into therapy. but even then it took several months before i was ready and willing to tear down all my walls and open myself up and not leave any stone unturned.

Unfortunately, a lot of men, dont see the point or believe in therapy. We think we can just snap out of it! Well if that were the case, i would have snapped out of it a long long time ago. You are right not to be pushy, many times when we are having an episode, we are very closed off and antisocial. But after dealing with this illness for a long time, you learn to fake it pretty well. So you can be dying inside but still try to act happy. I agree, it sucks to feel like your walking on egg shells, because you never know what might make him crack, pardon the pun. It could be the smallest thing that can set someone off...one time i flipped out on an ex girlfriend because of how she squeezed the toothpaste tube! NO JOKE.

It's good to hear that you are taking care of yourself, you might learn some good coping skills that may also help your boyfriend. Does he have any hobbies? Maybe a mini vacation where you two can sort of go your seperate ways in the day and reconnect over dinner. He can play golf and you can relax at the spa. Just a thought, I know I would love it if a significant other did that.

I know you want him to get better and if you had a magic wand, you'd be waving it frantically im sure. Yes it will take time, but when you start to see those small improvements, make mention of it. A genuine compliment never hurts!

Best of luck!

IC
 
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baristabb replied to 1nt3rnalc0mbu5t1on's response:
He has started to post things about killing himself of being dead, not to me, but on a blog, I'm scared and I don't know what to do.
 
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rohvannyn replied to baristabb's response:
I can understand how frightening that must be for you, how upsetting. Speaking as someone who has been on his side of things, the main thing you can do is not freak out about it. If he's anything like I was, someone who is being gently supportive and just letting him know he's loved and cared about will help him most. He may be blogging just as a way to explore these ideas and vent them, because me may not feel that he can talk to anyone about it without upsetting them. When I have had thoughts about suicide, I haven't been able to talk about it because I would upset the people around me too much, so I kept it all inside. That robbed me of a sense of connection to others. Talking about it doesn't mean you will do it. However, this would be a good time to let him know just how much he means to you.

I wish you the best.
 
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1nt3rnalc0mbu5t1on replied to baristabb's response:
I am sorry to hear that he is posting things like that and I know completely how you feel. Roh, makes a good point, he may just be venting. Like Roh, when i was at my lowest, the last thing i wanted to do was talk to someone about my problems...unless i had been drinking. Then it was game on and i got pretty low and said many things that i really regret and many things that i dont remember saying, that i really regret. But it was thru those "venting" moments that i really scared those around me and put them into action. That is really what made me want to get help, because the only reason i didnt go thru with anything was because of the thought...what would this do to my family?

Roh, has offered up some great advice, be gentle, be kind, be open. He may say somethings that really hurt you and odds are he doesnt really mean then, remember misery loves company, so he could be trying to bring you down so he doesnt feel alone.

Best of luck!

IC
 
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itmatsb replied to baristabb's response:
I would take it seriously. Many people who commit suicide have voiced the idea to others ahead of time. People don't take it seriously and they do it. Ask him if he meant it and if not, why did he post it. I would tell him that you are very concerned and that he must see a doctor about it ASAP. How are you going to feel if he does in fact kill himself? The other option would be to have him committed, but I know that you are too afraid of losing him to do that. What a bad situation.
 
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baristabb replied to 1nt3rnalc0mbu5t1on's response:
So as I posted about a few months ago, my boyfriend finally left. He told me that he couldn't do this right now and that he needed to be alone. He said he was doing it because he cares about me and doesn't want to hurt me later on. Even though I have tons of resources showing he is by the book depressed and this is a normal reaction, it still hurts. He told me he felt good when I was there, but it wasn't enough. Why would he get rid of the one thing that made him feel alright? Any input on how I should go about things would be most appreciated.
 
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peaceofmind0810 replied to baristabb's response:
I have just signed up for this board only after what I feel is one of the worst attacks yet....I am so sorry for your boyfriend leaving...my situation is backwards of yours. After 2 1/2 yrs of being with mine he could no longer take it either and left me. I like you only opposite why leave the one who loves you most and has stood up for you many times?? I have a mother with schefriniza?? I never can spell it. She has been sick since basically I was born. I chose early on not to bring a child into this world to go through what I have. I am an only child and she only has two true siblings left. My ex was a huge help in handling the situation where she is due to I don't get along with the people who run the boarding home. I specifically told and told him dont enter my life unless you plan on staying for the long term. We have been thru a lot of things. He lost his dad to a horrible disease then my mom came here so I could be closer to her only to make her more miserable than she was. She was two hrs away for about six yrs. Long story. I didn't receive counseling until shortly before my divorce in all those years of never sleeping for fear my mom would walk in her sleep go outside and get hurt. Putting all her med bottles in order to hopefully keep the right ones in order when I couldn't be there. In and out of mental hospitals in and out of places she could no longer live. My ex husband's family was good to her, but when my anxiety became too much he left filed for divorce behind my back--coward. Recently I have lost almost every friend I ever had due to the isolation and only wanting him and my dear sweet dog Murphy...although it is the last thing he can take to destroy any hope I have in me. The depressed one no matter how much you say I love you, sometimes we can't hear it. My Murphy is a name after a deaf cousin who died in a tragic fire. Her mom my fave aunt died almost a yr to the day before her. Her chiwawa's?? were with her in that fire. I had a dog for 11 yrs he died and it nearly killed me then my husband left. I told my now ex don't you dare bring a dog into our relationship if you plan on ever leaving! No I plan to marry you someday just not now...10/31 the day he found Murphy and since he found him he feels he is just his dog since I have these outbursts I don't understand. I am on lamictal 1 1/2 pills and 1/2 paxil at night. There are no warnings for ppl like me for extreme change in behavior so I fig I'm just reacting to the times he is heartless to me by calling me a baby for crying which I do often. He has however tried to still be "friend" to me, but in my heart I still love him and I don't want anyone else in my life to tell me the lie I love you...and walk out! I think your boyfriend although you truly love him has done something most would not do. He feels this will bring you down and hurt you and loves you enough to let you not watch him go through this. Being sent to a hospital for a breakdown almost three yrs ago changes you. I told my ex won't do any good they just dope you up and keep you so ins will pay. I am only child so I have to work n although fmla is available I'd lose my car, apt, everything cause this would be the second time. I guess I admire your ex in some way for being able to let go, however I do understand that if you are one of the few to stay and try to truly help him it kills you to see him suffer. That would be the difference in our situations, You are supportive and love him. That i understand why he left to protect you although I know trust me you can't see it. Me being quite alone some of it my fault am not lucky to know the man I love and supported tries to help, but then just makes me feel like I am a baby and selfish in not letting him go. I don't have anyone to help with my mom I can't emotionally handle anything worry constantly about her. She loves my ex and only wants me and him to help her. I can only say if you don't give up on him
 
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peaceofmind0810 replied to peaceofmind0810's response:
Sorry ran out of words that happens with depressed/anxiety ppl incase you didn't know....If you don't give up on him, all I can say is I admire you for that, but I would somehow understand if you had to go on....I wished I could...If it wasn't for my Murphy since I don't have kids and my mom maybe I could. I just feel it's not necessary I have had two men in my life I guess 3 if you count the ex husband not understand at all my disease....I used to not realize that is what it is. I admire your heart to not walk away, and as hard as it is I believe as some...sometimes talking about suicide is just that...sometimes with us in our minds nobody will notice. You could have lots of ppl love you and it just doesn't matter. I do believe there are some that meds don't fix. My ex says you go to hell for killing yourself it is in the Bible. Yes I am aware, but I do feel with an illness such as ours he "may" understand the severity of the loneliness and craving to have someone put their arms around you that u truly love and say it's gonna be ok I'm right here...He only did that about twice maybe three times. My doc says why love someone who doesn't love you thru this?? After awhile it becomes natural for people to lie to you and feel they pity you not love you. I hope you find the answers you need. I hope he realizes you truly love him and want to support his journey, but as I said if I was lucky enough for that I prob wouldn't believe it after all the hurt. We expect people to leave, we expect people to hurt us. We know truly know I think that we sometimes feel like a burden or would become one so we let them go before they let us. I know it doesn't answer your question. I wish my ex would've loved me enough to at least tell me he would support me and love me thru it, but as usual I was just too much...the illness was too much except in my case I'm just being a baby...I believe your ex probably is reaching out if talking about suicide some don't take it seriously enough, others take it too seriously and threaten to commit you thinking that is what you need. For me I needed support of understanding an illness for him I think he may need more help. I feel my meds aren't working properly, but if he pushed you away I wouldn't push him about the blog, but I would keep an eye on him. At least he knows somewhere in his heart if he was not here...you of all people would be a wreck because you do or did love him. Some don't have anyone they really don't. Some have those who say go be stupid I'll just call them and say you are nuts!! You are an angel for supporting him and I hope he wakes up from the horrible nightmare as some of us call it and realize you wanted to help him not control his life. You wanted to save it and what a gift you gave...no matter what happens trust me from what I have been through...that is a precious gift!


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