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Loving someone who is depressed
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triplebz posted:
Hi, I am new here and I am looking for help. My boyfriend (just over a year together) suffers from depression and recently started meds and therapy. After MONTHS of me crying, talking, arguing, thinking it was me, etc. he finally admitted he thinks he's depressed. OKAY, GREAT, I said, now we know the problem, let's get you some help and deal with this! I am a "fixer" so of course, now I know what's going on, I am here to do whatever is necessary! Well....that is great to say but so hard to do. I am focusing on helping him yet I feel so alone all the time, I don't have anyone to talk to, share my own problems or even talk about OUR problems. I am reading a great book, 'When You Love Someone Who is Depressed', and it's helping but it is also making me angry, sad and feel even worse and alone and I do believe his depression is becoming contagious! This book indicates I should be patient, understanding, not pushy, accept what's going on be there for him, work together and so many other things and I keep thinking...wait a minute, HE is on meds and he is going to therapy so HE is getting better but in the meantime I don't have anyone and I have to keep everything to myself!! It doesn't seem fair, where is the partnership a relationship is supposed to have? Why do I keep reading in this book and everything online "support the depressed person, be there for them" but I don't see anywhere that the depressed person has to support me and be there for me. I do realize this is a very serious illness for him and I am doing my best but it really is making me very sad to not have him to share when I have a lousy day. It is an emotional roller coaster to say the least! I miss my best friend, I miss someone to talk to, I miss sharing my life and all the ups and downs in it with the man I love and I don't know if I can keep supporting him when I feel so alone myself. I don't want to be that person who is constantly asking about the therapy, how is he feeling, etc. I want him to want to talk to me about it, share it and I think it would help to know what is going on. I am not quitting on either of us but I do want to know more about this for BOTH of us. Thanks for any words of wisdom and just typing all this out makes me feel better.
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Ms1973vw responded:
Dealing with someone with depression can be very difficult. Try to keep in mind that things in his brain aren't "wired" correctly right now. Think of it like a computer board - if the wires aren't connected correctly, you can enter 2 2 all you want but you'll never get 4. Also accept the fact that you can't "save" or "fix" him. He has to do that himself, which again can be difficult to do with "faulty equipment." I don't know the details of your situation, but when I am having an "episode" it's like I am another person. Then is no reasoning or rationalizing with me. I lash out and can be very hateful and hurtful. And then when the smoke clears and I become my usual self again, I feel so badly for things I may have said or done to the people I love. And then that makes me feel bad, starting the whole thing all over again! It's a vicious cycle. The things he's thinking and feeling are beyond his control to some degree. I'm sure he is more aware of how you feel than you think he is. but he may not be able to offer you much, if any, support or encouragement when it's all he can do to get out of bed in the morning. Don't expect him to be willing to share how therapy is going. He may be embarrassed or think you don't care or that you don't think it's important. He may not want to burden you with that sort of thing. If you think he would be willing to talk about it, ASK HIM. Either he will be happy that you are interested, feel important and reassured that you care, or he will just tell you flat out that he doesn't want to talk about it. No one says you have to ask him for a blow-by-blow account of each session. Sometimes it's enough just to know that SOMEONE cares.
 
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jean2005 responded:
Hi Triplebz,

I am in that same situation. I'm wondering the same. He is not helping himself at all. He lies to doctors. Each week, I place his weeks' pills in boxes. He doesn't remember to take them. He lies that he did take them. He can't function at all now. He sleeps 18 to 23 hours every day. He misses all of the day's action. He is sleeping during whatever problems arise. I solve them, but he has no opinion on anything. When he does wake up, he has a couple coffees and then falls asleep in the chair, snoring loudly. We do not do things as a couple. He doesn't bathe, do housework, or even get the mail. He literally does nothing all day and night. I don't know how he gets up to go to his part time job, but he does do that. He is too exhausted for anything else.

I'm recovering from congestive heart failure and respiratory issues (2 hospitalizations with the last two months). He does not help at all. He doesn't ask how I am. I try to do some housework, but it's too much for me. I just went back to work (part time) and I feel like that is too much on top of everything else. I am all alone in this house. I have the responsibility of the entire household on my shoulders. I'm sorry, but I have to make a choice soon. I'm not going to die, because he is depressed. He is hindering my own healing process. I can't do this any more.


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