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Severely depressed boyfriend is constantly ‘busy’

Community Member

I have posted this under relationships but since this is also related to depression I thought that I’d put it here to get more advice.

my current boyfriend and I have been together since late September/early October 2021. I had not long come out of domestic violence and now have ptsd as a result, as well as a pre exisiting anxiety condition. My partner also opened up about having a depression diagnosis and I suspect he also has cfs, but was well at the time. The first 2-3 months he was fine mentally then around month 4/5 he started to go down hill but was able to pick himself up, however, since March he has being in a severely depressed hole. We used to see each other every 1-2 weeks, since his depression has gotten worse we only see each other about 1-2 times a month. he is also a full time mechanic and we live an hour away from each other too so doesn’t help. I’ve often struggled with trauma based thoughts since getting into a healthy relationship despite having evidence to prove those thoughts wrong, hence my diagnosis of ptsd (as that is a symptom) and what it’s cottoned onto over the last few months is that it tells me that we’ll never see each other again, he doesn’t love me and things will never get better with his depression. When I do see him next in person, whenever that may be I will try and talk to him about how I’ve been feeling about his depression and hoping he gets some help like I am for my mental health. Despite other people including my psychologist and worker telling me the complete opposite to what my mind says it’s still really hard to deal with and my worker actually has said that this is a trauma response. But I really do hope that my boyfriend gets help for his mental health as it is really quite bad and I don’t like seeing him like this.

30 Replies 30

Community Member
Can depressed people make themselves super busy too escape their illness/reality?
I can’t remember if I stated this in my original post but ever since my boyfriend fell into his depression he is often ‘busy’ and I know he’s been working on several project cars as he likes doing that and he’s a full time mechanic but could him being constantly ‘busy’ through a depressive episode be an escape from him illness?

Community Champion
Community Champion

Hello Dear maddie_faye,

I too hope your boyfriend starts getting the help he needs for his depression....No matter how hard we try to convince a person to reach out for professional help...it’s something that they need to have a want for...

I have depression along with a few other mh diagnoses...I find when I’m constantly busy and doing things I like to do..that the negative thoughts that my depression causes me to think about...are not as strong and most times non existent...that is until I’m not busy again, then they pop back into my thoughts...

One of the most common and I think the best way to distract negativity from depression is to keep our mind busy with other thoughts..ie:....maybe one example is of your boy friend... maybe him working on his project cars...helps to give his mind a break from unhealthy thoughts...Our mind can really only think of one thing at a time...and thinking/working on his cars may give him some peace from his depression....

Different things work for different people...I use music and candles mostly to distract the negative thoughts due to my depression and PTSD...

Talk here anytime you feel up to it...We are all here for you..to help support you the best we can....

My kind thoughts with my care..


Hello maddie_faye, people can have the tendency to look as though they are busy, especially if they are pretending to others that everything is OK, whether they actually achieve what they seem to be doing is another question.

This doesn't happen to all people.

Best wishes.


Hi Grandy,

I have noticed that ever since he has gotten into his severe depressive episode he is constantly ‘’busy’. We used to see each other all the time and now it’s only once a month if that since his depression has gotten worse and when I do see him he’s just so out of it and it’s like he’s shut down and the only thing he loves for is work and cars, that’s it.

he’s definitely pushing others away like myself and I’m starting to notice he’s doing that to his family and he said he’s not doing that even though I think he is and he has no interest in sex anymore at all. It’s hard not seeing him as much as I used to and as I said when I do he’s really depressed.

That’s a very interesting point Geoff, he’s definitely only really existing for work and his ‘business’ but if he’s trying to convince others (including himself) that everything is fine or ‘Ok’ as you put it then he’s not doing a good job of it lol.

Community Member


I will probably be seeing him tomorrow for the first time in over a month. I am super excited to see him but also nervous too because my psychologist wants me to talk to him about how he’s been feeling and how it’s caused a lot of stress for me and she doesn’t want me to ‘protect’ him from the conversation but my Mum also said to gage how he is tomorrow before I make the decision to talk to him or not because as she said it might ‘put him off and make things worse’

im really confused and stressed about it, any advice on what I should do?

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Here’s the thing, we can’t ignite someone else’s fire, we can only influence. We can’t change or fix others either. And you have to get yourself right before being in a relationship.

also people who suffer depression are very self absorbed and so people who are hurt or in pain tend to breakdown in communication they withdraw from the world.

and he can’t be there emotionally for you and you mite have to call it quits.

focus on loving yourself joy peace and true love comes from within. To be loving is to display loving to others.

as For ptsd read the untethered soul by Michael singer, along with the power of now by eckhart tolle,

you see depression and anxiety are not who we are, they are conditions that are caused by what has happened to us. As you know domestic violence or being raised in a broken home moulds you to seek and find a world that fits your conditioning, meaning we create a negative world because we don’t know it can be different

trauma can take many times of acceptance and letting go, the scar never leaves but we can learn to forgive the people who tormented us too, we have to let go, we don’t have to hang out with them but we can forgive them in our hearts.

the books I listed are life changing, you see our thoughts create our feelings, and so it’s our thought life and our thinking that creates our emotions

these books will teach you how to change your self talk and thinking.

it’s very possible to become a very positive person. The brain can change. It’s not a easy journey but it can be done

every human is born with total love, we have been programmed by society to become negative. It’s just a matter of changing as a person.

And also in life we have seasons, it hasn’t come to stay and it will pass, it’s only temporary. The more you work on the root cause of your pain then that’s how you transform

yes I am very aware that he has to get help himself and there is a possibility that it might have to end but that would be a last resort solution. Even through his depression I can still see that he loves and cares for me as well as him supporting my mental health and other people have said that’s very clear.

hopefully we do see each other tomorrow and things will be okay.

Community Champion
Community Champion

Hello Dear maddie,

I also hope so much that you get to see your beautiful boy friend tomorrow....and you both have a lovely day together..

I am just thinking...maybe your boy friend is a bit scared of reaching out for help...on his own..Do you think that if you offered to go with him, he might go with you?

I think tomorrow if you do get to see him....to go with your heart...you know him better then your psychologist...and know if he will be mentally well enough to say what your psychologist has said....

It really is so sad to see our loved ones struggling so much with their mental health the hurt goes deep in the other partner...I can hear through your words how much you do care for him..,and he with you as you have said he is supportive towards your mental health...

I do wish you all the best tomorrow, please do remember that your mental health is important as well...and be very gentle and kind to yourself..no matter what happens tomorrow...

Talk here anytime you feel up to it...We are all here for you the best we can be...

My kindest thoughts, with my care sweet maddie..