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Is my ex depressed?

Community Member

I really wanna to know what's going on with my ex boyfriend, and what should I do.

We were about to get married 4 years ago but due to some family issue we didn't end up together. He moved to Netherland after that. for 3 years we didn't contact each other until this February he sent me an email and said he wanted to talk with me. I got to know he was depressed when we broke up, and had medication then. Later on we realised that for the past 3 years none of us had a serious relationship. then we were back together, but long distance. I went to Europe on July and August, we had great time together. we started to make plan to move together. He always said he was tired, he couldn't go to work, and needed some time alone. I told him if he didn't want to be with me just saying it. But every time, he would say he was tired and he needed time. On sep he broke up with me and then told me he loved me but his body was saying NO to this relationship. he told me He couldn't work, he stayed at home weeks after weeks......I didn't know that was depression, and accepted his decision. after I know about depression. I tried to contact him and offered him help, he said he was seeing doctor but didn't have any medicine. We had a few times back together and break-ups over the next two months. I couldn't tell whether he broke up with me because of his depression or he really meant it. But at end he said he had to break up with me so that he could get over the pressure and be able to eat three meals a day.

Two weeks ago, he rang me. He said he was so depressed. I tried to be nice to him and check with his status almost everyday afterwards. But later on he was a bit of angry with me saying his was sick and needed to change the doctor and get medicine. I tried to avoid these words. Every time when I called him, he would say he was getting better, he went to work everyday and even went to gym sometimes, he even planned a
trip to visit his friend in another city. I felt like he was ok but I wasn't. I couldn't understand why he broke up with me. It seemed I was a terrible person, his life was so much better without me.But why he asked me for help when he was desperate? I shouted at him last
Friday when he was telling me the plan to visit his friend. But after the shouting he said he couldn't tell me how depressed he was, he had to do things to motive himself.

Now I regret and afraid his depression may get worse. What should I do? Dose he really not love me?

8 Replies 8

Community Member
Can anyone tell me what to do? Really need help

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni
hello Kukumalu, when depression hits your b/friend or anyone else it always leaves a trail of 'what if' and 'I can't understand what is happening' or 'why is it so', that's why this illness is so confusing, it changes the personality for the person affected.
I wonder about the time after you were about to get married and then because of family issues there was no contact for 3 years, so was this because his family knew that he was suffering from depression and the reason why he went to the Netherlands.
What happens is that people with this illness often say that they want to be alone, however what they still want is to have the person they are in love with to be there in the background, so they can fall back onto them when they need to and this is what first of all happened here.
It's great that you have offered to help him, that's the back stop he needs, but people have a tendency to say that they don't want to keep this relationship going simply because they don't want to upset you or drag you into the web of problems he is going through.
It does concern me that his doctor didn't offer any medication to help him, so he needs to contact another doctor, someone who is ready and willing to go those extra yards to offer extra help.
I would feel a bit offended by him going to see another friend whether or not this actually happens, but now for you there is too much to think about, too many questions and uncertainity which is now bringing you down, and this question you are asking yourself 'does he really love me' must be plaguing you, only because he is still depressed and doesn't know what to do.
You need to ask him if he wants you to help him, because at the moment he is very unclear as what to do, I know depression does this, but he needs to be encouraged to see a psychologist, where therewill be times when he doesn't want to go. Geoff.x

Dear Kukumalu

Hello and welcome to Beyond Blue. You have been struggling with a situation that plagues many people. Depression can make people feel they want to be alone and at the same time want someone to be with them. Can I ask you, where is your BF living? Is he still in the Netherlands or has he returned to Australia? Your post doesn't make this clear. I ask because a long distance romance plus depression is a very difficult situation. I will presume he is in Oz at the moment.

Geoff has explained about how someone both wants you near and at the same time pushes you away. It's confusing for both of you. The best help you can give him is to get him to see his GP. If your BF feels he is not getting well and the doctor is not helping him, then get him to see another GP.

You are not a terrible person. Helping someone with depression can be highly emotional and draining. It seems your BF is trying to make himself feel better by having lots of activities in his life but without the strain of developing a relationship. It doesn't necessarily mean he no longer loves you. Confusing isn't it? Also a depressed person often feels bad about themselves and thinks a partner would be better off without them. So you have someone who wants you nearby and also wants to keep separate from you. It's difficult.

You need to keep yourself well. I suggest you visit your GP and explain the situation. Take a copy of your post above, it will help to start the conversation. Your GP will make sure you are travelling OK and help you to understand where your BF is. Ask about depression and how it works and get some tips on how you can help your BF without being exhausted yourself.

It sounds as though you need to set some boundaries on this relationship. It's all very well for him to contact you when he feels unwell or upset the his depression is not going away. That sounds OK but in reality it is keeping you dancing to his tune. Once you have had a chat to your GP you may feel more clear in your mind about what is happening. Have a talk with your BF about what is happening and make this a face to face conversation, not email, text, or phone. This is one situation where you need to be together in one place.

Tell him you will help him but not by being there whenever he calls and being ignored the rest of the time. I also suggest you decide if you want this relationship to continue. You are being used here for his convenience and it is not fair to you. Go on writing in here.


Community Member

Hi Geoff

Thanks very much for your reply. It was my parents who were quite controlling about my life, and I wasn't quite sure about the marriage then as well. He went to Netherland to work. He has to another 2 years contract to go. His research work had been paused for long time because of the depression as he told me.

He never tells his family about his pressure, that's the thing worries me as well. He said his depression was originated from his childhood experience with the family. he said that he broke up with me because I hurt him by some of my words. it's not like that he didn't want to drag me to the problem ,

We didn't contact each other for 3 days now, I don't know whether I should ring him to ask hows going or let him to sorted out by himself. It was only one time I heard he said he wanted to knock his head against the wall. Other than that he nv mentioned he wanted to hurt himself. And if we take into Consideration that he is an antisocial person, being in a foreign country by himself, his parents not aware of his illness, What is the best thing I can do?

Dear Mary,

Thanks very much for your help. He still lives in Netherland. I offered to go over there to keep him accompanied, but he rejected. he didn't even want me to visit him as he claimed this gave him too much pressure. Once we were discussion to celebrate my birthday (4th Nov) in Netherland, he was making all those plan, but 4 days later he told me not to come and didn't want to have a relationship with me any more. 1 week later he sent a msg on my birthday.

I love him, especially after the 3 years I still have the feeling to him. I could picture a life with him when we decided to be back together early this year. But now I am really confused, is he really the one I loved?

Thanks for your advice, I will take time to see my GP. Because of what happened with him, I couldn't concentrate on my work these days, and I have had some health issue to be fixed myself. I really don't know how far I can go with this.

Community Member
It's been more than ten days no contact. Had bad dreams abt my ex. Should I contact him to see how he is doing or just keep silent, which is the best option for him? Can anyone tell me?

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni
dear Kukumalu, I'm sorry that we haven't replied because sometimes we miss return replies so this is something that needs to be addressed by BB.
There is nothing wrong in trying to make contact either by phone, email or sms, because you are feeling agitated by not knowing how he's going, plus I think you want to hear his voice.
Let us know. Geoff.

Community Member

Hi Geoff

Thanks very much for ur reply. He didn't answer my call but replied a msg saying He already made an appointment with another doctor. I m relived. I reckon thats gonna be the last conversation with him.

I am so disappointed in him, no matter it was four years ago or now. I did everything I could to make this relationship work.

But still, I hope he could end up with a happier life with someone he loves as much as himself.

Thanks very much Geoff.