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But what about me?

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My partner recently recognised he has anxiety/depression.

I feel sad for him, that he struggles with this, and I desperately want to help him.
We have good days and bad days and he still functions in every day life, goes to work, does social things in the weekend.
He isn't a talker and likes to figure things out for himself. He isn't ready for professional help yet.. he wants to try himself first, by doing lots of research, seeing what the pharmacy has to offer that's available without prescriptions.

Sometimes he shuts down. Needs alone time, gets irritated by small things, doesn't communicate or outright gets angry with me.

And even though I know this is depression it hurts. Because I'm always on the receiving end.
And selfishly I think; what about me? What about my feelings?
I don't say that to him but I think it... consider how I feel. Consider how hard it is to just sit by, knowing things you want to try are not going to work. How lonely I can feel when he isolates himself. What effect his behaviour has on me. How unfair it is he gets angry with me for just trying to help him. How about my feelings that are getting hurt?

I'm not completely sure what I want with this topic. I know I can't say this, because my feelings are probably very low on his priority list plus it's not him but depression. I shouldn't take it so personally.. but I find that very hard to cope with. I'm a talker. I like to talk about things and getting it out there. And sometimes we do and we have such a good talk and we take 2 steps forward.. and the next day we go 3 steps back.

It would be good reading experiences of other people in the non-depression position or ways to maybe communicate in a manner that doesn't cause a 3 day fight, that I have a hard time coping as well.

6 Replies 6

Hello Summerchild, welcome to the forums, and well done for recognising that you also need support in this situation.

Have you seen this thread in Supporting Family & Friends section? It offers some helpful tips from a partner's perspective:


Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear Summerchild~

Thanks for your post, if it was me I'd be guilty about posting, and guilty about my feelings -and I'd be very wrong.

I have PTSD, depression, anxiety. It started a very long time ago and now I'm able to mostly live a normal life. This gives me a measure of understanding for what you are both going though.

The first thing to say is if your husband has a mental illness it needs treatment. It is not a case of soldiering on or initial self-treatment, any more than it would be for a broken leg. I made that mistake, had physical symptoms dealt with and left the causes alone. I ended up worse and more difficult to treat.

It may be that by endeavoring to self-treat your husband is denying part of the problem. There is no doubt that he should be properly diagnosed, and if found to have illnesses then have the appropriate treatments. Until this happens there is, or I should say - was in my case - not much chance of things getting better.

For me there were four things, medical help with meds, with therapies and self-help combined with family support. I doubt I'd be here without my wife who had to bear the burden of it all.

I guess that if all that is underway then things might get a little easier. When I was down it took my wife a great deal of patience -and insight- into knowing what to do and when. To comfort, just be present, leave alone.

It may be possible to enter into a pact that your husband can stick with, even when in the blackest place -not to say anything irredeemably hurtful. I almost got it right with my first wife, and when she died and I remarried I have got it right this time. We do not say anything that can't be taken back. This is what I, in my more human moments, tried to set myself to do when completely self-absorbed and suffering.

Two more things, please, if you have not done so already, have a look through The Facts menu above for causes, symptoms and treatments for anxiety and depression, and have browse though those sections (plus Carers) of the Forum to see how others have coped.

Please post as often as you'd like, you will be met with car and understanding


Hi Sophie_M & Croix,

Thank you for both your answers.
I just finished reading the whole booklet with information about depression/anxiety + the part for carers.

I guess, Croix you exactly say what I want to try make him understand: self diagnosing and treatment isn't going to get him there.
But at this moment he refuses to seek professional help and for me that's incredibly frustrating and making me feel ''powerless''. If only I could make him see sense.. but if I mention that (in a subtle way ofcourse) we will end up having a fight. Luckily we don't say anything hurtful. It's generally him getting mad at me, me getting frustrated at him and then deciding to ignore each other for a while... until I can't take it anymore and apoligise for ''my behaviour''.. making me feel a bit annoyed as well because I don't feel like I'm the only one '' in the wrong''. (I know how childish this sounds.)

It's like I'm stuck in the middle. I need to support his decisions even knowing they won't help the cause.
I need to try get him to professional help.. but he doesn't want to. I can't force him. I don't want to force him. Help won't be help if he doesn't want it himself so now what do I do?
What if he doesn't want help in 6 weeks? 3 months? 6 months? 1 year? Am I just to sit by and watch it detoriate and be more and more unhappy myself?

I'm glad to hear you're doing so much better now and hope my husband will get there too at some point. 🙂

Community Member
I know exactly how you are feeling. My now ex partner treated me exactly the same way. It is so confusing and exhusting as I would always try and put him first. Anything to help with his depression just to make life easier for him to cope. He would sleep nearly all weekend while I would wait patiently for him to wake up and want to do something with me. I would be constantly frustrated at his lack of attention to me and when I ever raised this with him, he would become so angry and say the most horrible things to me and then isolate himself even further. We would go weeks without seeing each other and I would constantly be lonely. Being in a relationship and be lonely at the same time is so heartbreaking. So I totally understand how you are feeling. I just crave to be loved and appreciated my him but unfortunately his depression cripples him. He has just recently ended our 4 year relationship. I am blaming myself because of my frustration I feel like I have him pushed too much and he has completely isolated me. It is very hard to love someone who is depressed...but i do with all my heart. I feel your pain. I wish I could give you a hug x

@KassJo's; gosh that's heart breaking. I feel sorry for you and wish I could give you a hug too.

Surprisingly enough it's seems to be going very well at the moment. We had a great weekend, went out for the whole saturday doing things like a picnic, a hike. And went to see a movie.
We laughed a lot. I really enjoyed the weekend.
It's going well still now. I notice that during the week his mood goes down a bit. It makes me wonder if his depression is instead more work stress related?
He isn't depressed like for example KassJo's ex partner. He likes to do stuff in the weekend, likes to plan trips away or events with friends. Happily goes out for drinks or dinner or wants to organise a game night. We even do some things during the week if the job isn't too stressful. He loves being with the dogs and playing with them and they make him laugh a lot.

I love how he is when he's in a good mood. We both forget about the worries. I think that's making me even more confused, when he's fine 1 moment and suddenly or the day after he's not.

Community Member
I so know how you feel. My husband is a loner and won't seek help. We never talk about anything deep, all superficial stuff. I have to work around his moods and want and be grateful when he decides he can share something social with me (a rarity). He gets angry with me and demonstrates this by ignoring that I am even in the same room as him. I go silent as I hate his anger and will avoid it at all costs. I can't confront him as he turns it on to me. I call myself his mosquito as all I seem to do is annoy him by asking questions re daily stuff as if I don't I have no idea what he wants. He is battling a drinking problem as well which doesn't help and he seems to blame me when he tries to go without and I have a glass in the evening. He says I don't understand his depression and am unsupportive. I have actually done everything I can do such as research and suggesting help etc and yes my feelings are very low on his list, if there at all. I have become quite a loner and my only social outings are on the odd occasion with girlfriends, but for the most part I live a single life. Why do we do this?