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Living with a partner with depression/anxiety/OCD

Community Member
I don’t normally do this kind of thing but lately i’ve been struggling more than ever. My partner has quite severe depression which I would say comes as a result of severe anxiety/OCD, due to a certain family situation. It’s unfortunately a situation that won’t get better until it gets much much worse and my girlfriend knows this and sees absolutely no happiness in life. She’s constantly down, unmotivated and negative towards just about everything we ever talk about. I’ve asked her what I can do to help and supported her as much as I possibly can through just listening to her, talking about things and discussing potentially seeing a therapist but i’m afraid she’s just hit rock bottom and has no intention to try to be happy, whenever we speak about it she says ‘what’s the point of being happy when nothings going to change’. I feel completely and utterly useless in helping her and feel as though I sometimes put her problems onto my shoulders and even sometimes try to do too much to try and fix things in her life which often causes fights and arguments between us. I know I shouldn’t try and fix her problems but if i’m not doing anything I feel more useless than I ever have in my life. Everytime I see her it seems as though she sinks further and further into a depressed state and there’s just no sign of her getting better. With a history of depression myself I don’t know how much longer I can stay in this relationship and be able to handle the stress and pressure I put on myself to help her. It’s like I take on her emotions which puts me down and stops me from doing things that I really need to do like university assignments, getting to work on time and just being motivated to do things for myself. Recently I’ve felt as if i’m losing feelings for her, whether that’s just how it is or her problems are just taking a toll on me. I couldnt possibly break things off because i’m the only person she has. She has minimal friends and never goes out to hang out with anyone which I find puts so much pressure on me to always be around her. I guess I just wanted to ask if anyone’s been in a similar situation and has any advice for me because i’m really struggling and I don’t want to make the wrong decision about my relationship because of this. Thanks
3 Replies 3

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hello, and I am truly sorry for the situation this has caused, because I was the person in our marriage that had depression, anxiety and OCD, so I know how she feels and as a result know what you are trying to understand as well as being able to cope with all of this.

As much as may love your girlfriend your priority is to look after yourself first of all, once this happens then you will have the strength to produce ideas to help her.

You can't keep giving and giving until you feel drained, emptied, and exhausted because as much as you love her it becomes tiring, that's why you need to look after yourself.

I do totally know what she has to struggle with and will get back to you.


Thanks a lot Geoff. Seeing from someone similar to my girlfriend that looking after myself is important is really helpful. Unfortunately I just don’t know what to do to look after myself. Today I found myself staring at a wall and listening to sad music all day and couldn’t find the motivation to do anything. As you said, I genuinely feel exhausted and as if I have nothing left. I know I need to look after myself but I don’t know how I could live with the guilt of leaving her when she’s in a time of need. I suppose that’s the decision i’ll have to make it, but I am hoping I can find the strength to lift both herself and myself up.

Hello, what my ex did was know of what I was struggling with, but if she fell down into depression then our two sons would find it most difficult to participate in their daily sporting activities as well as being able to work, cook, solve any problems, (although these aren't necessarily looking after yourself) but enjoy any excitement coming from our sons.

If you are able to put your partner to one side, and I mean this with respect, then look at what you aren't doing but really want to, also means that feeling physically and emotionally drained by your partner has to stop and perhaps separate yourself and do exactly what pleases you.

If you need help to get back doing this then talk with a psychologist or a counsellor that may encourage you to step aside and do what you have always enjoyed.

Take care.