I need help with my partner :(
We've been in a relationship for 2 1/2 yrs and planning on staying together long term. He's going through a serious bout of depression and in the past (over 8yrs ago) had attempted suicide multiple times due to this (and other factors). When we got together I thought that he was just going through a tough time, but as I've learned, being seriously depressed and negative is a mood he very easily falls into. I know I can't keep handling this by myself, as it's extremely draining to constantly be unsure of of his mood. I've spoken to some of mine and his close mutual friends and they don't seem to grasp the severity of it.
He also heavily identifies with his addictions (alcohol, pot, cigs) and is very stoned/drinks every day. It makes it hard to chat w him.
If we have even the slightest relationship troubles, he instantly begins blaming himself and (although he says he would never actually do it) often says "I'm a a s*** human being", or "I just want to die, I keep imagining it". He always says afterwards that he would never actually do those things, but it's a massive guilt trip to be told that I make him feel that way just for asking him to do small things in our relationship (eg go out on a date once in a while, not be so stoned every day etc). I never yell either, I always speak very kindly and respectfully.
Because of this I feel like I'm walking on eggshells and have to be constantly happy, because it's never my turn to be sad about anything. It gets to the point where I'm the one consoling him and apologizing for ever bringing something up.
I have asked him to see a professional about this, but because he saw professionals in the past (after his suicide attempts), he says he "already knows all that stuff". He also won't take on board any suggestions that I make for the same reason.
How do I get him to seek help about this? What can I do? I can't keep helping him by myself.
The reason he is now so depressed is because I want to move towns, back in with my mum for a while (because I can't handle this). But also to work on my own life goals. Its not forever but he's guilt tripping me so much about this I feel like I'm single-handedly going to cause him to commit suicide. He says he won't, but he seems very unstable/manic. I'm constantly afraid for him and worried.
Thanks for any help you can give :(.
My apologies for the delay in you getting a response. Normally we are a lot faster.
Looking after a person with depression can be a huge task. You situation is compounded by your boyfriends' attitude of 'been there, done that' where seeing a counselor is involved. Just my opinion as a long term sufferer of depression/anxiety, he is self medicating and with the alcohol and pot stirred in it would make this really bad news.....and not only for your boyfriend but for your own health and mental well being.
I still just a check up from a counsellor on a regular basis even though the bulk of my anxiety and depression has gone away (sine 1983). If I was in your shoes right now I would be at your mums in a heartbeat as their is little you can do for a person that is unwilling to help themselves even with agreeing to a few simple visits to a doc.
If you can get temporary respite at your mums place please go for it. You cannot be held responsible for your boyfriends health.......you have tried so very hard Alice.
There is nothing wrong with being constantly worried for his health, that is fine. By having some time at your mums might 'kick start' his recovery as he wont be able to place the guilt of his illness on you.
Im really sorry about the delay in you getting a response Alice. Your health right now is paramount and you will be able to look after him more effectively by phone from your mum. The pot and the booze combined with depression is a bad combination.
I hope you can put yourself first here. Your boyfriend is a great guy but over self medicating with only drag himself down the spiral of depression. Please dont get caught up in this. You are a smart and caring person who has their own life to build. Sometimes there is only so much we can do as a carer/partner.
There are many super kind people on the forums that are here for you. It would be great if you could get back to us with your thoughts.
My kindest thoughts for you Alice
Yeah I'm getting out of this 'til things get better for him on his own. He knows all the avenues he can use. And now that I've really spoken to a close friend of his about his situation, I feel that he will have that friends support for himself.
I'm actually so excited to relax and spend some time with my mum. It's honestly a bit of a mental rehab for myself as I feel like I need it now. I'm hoping to still continue a long distance relationship of sorts, but like you said, I'm also hoping this will kind of kickstart him into gear and then he won't have the pressure of me being upset at little things daily. He can focus on number one (himself) and I can do the same.
I think I just have to trust that he will look after himself, as he has a strong network of friends and family (something which I don't really have living with him.) And leave for a while to fix my own soul.
Thanks again Paul :). x
I understand your BF has serious depression, however he's got to do something about the booze and pot. Same situation if he didn't have a mental illness. It also sounds like he's slipping into instability again but is refusing outside help. You cannot do much without outside help. Therefore as hard as it sounds I totally support you moving away for a while. Hopefully he will find some motivation to seek the help he needs and not guilt you into do what he wants. He cannot continue to hook up his emotional hose to you, expecting your sympathy and energy whilst he continues to self medicate and reject professional help. Simple as that......
I don't want to sound harsh but who is paying for the pot and the booze? You're asking him respectfully to do good things for your relationship (like dates, not smoking pot) and he ignores you. Your needs go unmet. Put aside the depression for a second and it sounds like a pretty crappy relationship. Without knowing the intricate details he also sounds quite manipulative and that depression isn't his only issue (I'm thinking borderline personality disorder).
Anyway, good on you for taking time out for yourself. I'm hoping this will sort things out for you one way or another. If you stay in this relationship I really to fear for your long term mental health and happiness. good luck
Yeah, I'm kind of hoping that when he gets better, he'll be able to see how great life is and not weigh himself down with imaginary stresses. When I say imaginary, I mean self imposed. Eg: He works a very stressful job that he doesn't like at all. But won't quit/find other work, even though he has the skill set to do plenty of other great jobs out there. That also answers your question about who pays for the pot and booze - He does. He can also afford to do fun activites if he wants, too.
I made another post a while back titled 'How I Cleared Debilitating Social Anxiety From My Life' and that was all about how making a big change, such as moving or going traveling can completely help you and change your mindset. But for one reason or another, he still wants to stay here, even though the city and our friendship circle is quite toxic (lots of drinking and smoking).
I read somewhere (maybe on these forums?) That an addict will always make excuses for why they need to feed their addiction - eg, alcoholics will always find a reason to have to have a drink, like work events, a friend comes over, they just finished work, or it's their day off etc.. And he is very much like that. I was hoping maybe a big change or a move to a more relaxed region could bring about some peace and calm for his soul (and mine lol).
I guess when it comes to whether our relationship would be good without the booze/pot? Well, I don't know, I've never known him without it. I wanted to wait to see if maybe it would. At the moment he is very self absorbed and I feel that really stems from his addictions. If I ask for his company for a day or an afternoon - to go somewhere, to a movie or for lunch, there is always an excuse. Like he's just finished work and is tired, or if it's his weekend, he's already started partying before I get the chance to ask, or if it's his 'sunday' he just wants to chill at home and play games before he has work the next day. Honestly, yeah... He needs a massive wake up call of some sort. I know he is a good guy because he always says he wants to do fun, fulfilling things. He just can't make the moves when push comes to shove at the moment.
On your point about possible borderline personality disorder? Well I have no idea, maybe Bipolar, but it's really just throwing random diagnoses out there until he goes to see a professional for himself lol.
I honestly just want to feel appreciated at the moment lol.
Why do I hang around? I guess I've made him seem like a pretty dodge BF, but he is really charismatic and has a heart of gold and is so full of love for everyone. He never does anything purposefully mean or rude. He's just so highly strung with personal issues. I mean, it's hard because we have the same friendship circle, and I guess our friends love him so much and have so much respect for him, that I partly feel like there must be something I'm be missing. Like, why does everyone love him so much? And they love him because he makes the time for all of them. He really cares about friends who are going through tough times and will always make the time to visit anyone who needs him. He also makes sure to attend events that any friends have, even if he's tired from work, so everyone really appreciates that. I guess he just takes me for granted at the moment... and I want a piece of that love that he shows everyone else.