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Trying to help him

Community Member

Hi everyone.

My Partner and I have been together 3 years now, he has suffered from mild depression/anxiety for around 6 years now and is medicated.

I dont know how to describe it but lately he has become extremely self centered. He if off in his own world so often than any outside influences just aren't considered.

He's not coping in social/crowd situations and becomes overwhelmed and frustrated quite quickly.

His memory is becoming worse, and lately he has been getting his left and rights mixed up. He'll also be so incredibly adament that an incident took place, relaying the story, explaining it in great detail etc and it turns out to be a completely false thing.

He says he needs help, that he doesn't feel like himself but refuses to do anything about it. He asks me to help and support him but never follows through with anything. I once scored him an appointment with a specialist mental health clinic that usually has a long wait list. There had been a last minute cancellation, he got incredibly angry and defensive and I ended up cancelling the appointment.

I just don't know what to do anymore, I feel like I keep sacrificing, I keep giving and giving while being hurt by Continuing patterns of behavior.

I'm almost Broken

17 Replies 17

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Dear Mermaid@heart

Hello and welcome to the Beyond Blue forum. Your partner certainly sounds in need of help and I can hear the frustration and hurt in your post. Helping someone, especially a partner, can be a hard job. You need support as much as him. Can you talk to your GP about this? It probably sounds silly when it is your partner that needs help, but some expert help may be good for you plus some tips on staying well. Your doctor may have ideas on how to help your partner get help.

BB has a good store of information including some for family and friends. Look under the blue tab at the top of this page, The Facts. You can send for some information, free of charge, or download the fact sheets. It's a good place to start.

It is always hard on the partner without a mental illness when the other is not trying to get the help they need. You are not a professional medical person and the skilled help your partner needs is something you cannot supply. When you become so distressed and feeling at the end of your resources that you are hurt and broken it is definitely time to do some straight talking.

Even though your partner gets and angry I think he needs to hear how his behaviour is impacting on you. I suspect the anger is due to shame for being unwell and quite possibly the reason for not getting help. It seems strange that when we become physically ill there is rarely any debate about going to the doctor, while mental illness frightens the living daylight out of us. This is true of so many people who believe they can get well by themselves without realising the pressure they place on others. And getting well by himself and/or with your help is totally unrealistic.

When someone is as unwell as you have described the capacity for rational thought tends to be lost. Your partner has reached this stage by the sound of it and I am concerned for both of you. Pleas start by having a chat with your doctor and book a long appointment. At the very least you need support.

Please continue to write in here.


Community Member

Than you for the quick reply.

I actually suffer from PTSD myself, and I've tried to pass on what I've learnt through therapy etc but he just doesn't do it.

Yesterday I had to drive 3hrs to attend an appointment, I barely had any sleep and today At his request I drove him to the shops in the city (more than happy to) and at the last location I said Id love to get a coffee and a Snack and just sit somewhere for a while to relax before the drive home. I told him my entire body was aching and tense.

He tried to buy a fresh juice for himself but couldn't decide which one and then bam 0-100 he was over it, had enough, didn't want to move. So we immediately left and I drove the 3hrs home.

I've explained soo many times how these behaviours leave me feeling invisible and not respected, he says he understands and appologies, but says he doesn't realize he's doing it.

And the cycle just keeps continuing 😞

Hello Mermaid@heart

Whoops I made some assumptions there. Please accept my apologies.

I am sorry you have PTSD, it must be quite uncomfortable especially when trying to help your partner. Do you see a mental health professional? It sounds like you need external support. I am quite concerned about both of you and am at a loss for suggestions to get him to a doctor. I understand that you cannot force him to go even when you have made all the arrangements.

Does he not drive? I wonder why he did not offer to share the drive home as you were tired.

I see you have explained to him several times how you feel and he says he does not realise what he does. Can you stop him in the middle of one of these conversations and tell/show him what he is saying and what distress he is causing? The feedback needs to be immediate otherwise he will not recognise his behaviour.

Do you think he will see someone if you go with him? Maybe if you try and ask him he may agree and if he gets angry you can tell him what this is doing to you. I think I could have phrased that better and I hope you know what I mean.

I have asked other Community Champions to reply to you as they may have more answers. Will continue to drop in.


Hi mermaid@heart,

Welcome to the community here. I'm sorry to read both you and your partner have issues that are less than desirable. Both my husband and I have mental health issues so we sometimes bounce off each other.

My husband likes to talk to me from a different room of the house then gets angry when I don't hear what he says. It would be so much easier if he came to me and talked directly to me or asks me to come and chat where he is. I have explained this many times, but nothing changes.

We can get stuck in one way of doing things and don't know how to change or maybe think the other person needs to change. Hopefully you can find ways to communicate more how his behaviour is affecting you.

In the past I have had issues with medication. I am wondering if the type and dosage may be adding to your partners issues. I am certainly not a medical person and have no qualifications to make this a s a general statement, it is just a suggestion to maybe have the medication checked.

I don't know how you "make" a person attend appointments. I have asked my husband to seek further assistance, but it doesn't happen. I have talked with our Dr. about stuff and that has helped me feel better about our situation.

In the circumstance you mentioned, could you have bought a juice for him and ordered something for yourself? My mind is sometimes too frazzled I can't order for myself so I get my husband to do it for me.

Is there any where on your way home where you could have stopped for a break and refreshments?

Can you look at ways to make your own life better and more pleasing? When you are struggling with your own health and your partner's as well it can be tiring. I need to find ways to boost my own well-being.

I've prattled on! Wishing you both well as you travel this journey of mental health!

Cheers from Dools

Wow it sounds like you’re telling my story 😞 ptsd personally, partner with anxiety/depression won’t admit everything isn’t so rosy on meds..

I hope you have a happier ending than mine.

When you really love someone it tears you apart when they can’t see they’re hurting you and how small the changes would need to be to make it better.

I hope your partner can learn to support you through your ptsd as much as you support him with his anxiety and depression.

Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear Mermaid@heart~

I too would like to welcome you here, and I can understand the situation, however like the others who have replied feel the only real answer lies with your partner.

I think you are already starting to see that accommodating him is simply wearing you down and perpetuation the situation. You are not an endless source of energy and care, no one is.

All the things your partner is doing, including mixing left and right I have done when PTSD,depression and anxiety has struck me hard. The left-right thing, which I still do from time to time, was because I'm basically left handed but was "encouraged" to use my right at school. Now I'm not a doctor and of course there could well be some other reason. All the other things, being preoccupied with self, anger, forgetfulness and so on have been there too.

The short answer is your partner needs to see his doctor urgently, I presume he has one as you mentioned medication. He needs to have a complete checkup, both mental and physical. It may sound harsh or unrealistic but hoping things will get better and just dealing his current behavior is not fair on you, and really is not fair on him either in the long term.

I've no real suggestions on how to get him to go. I'm sure you will have tried everything you can think of. Is there someone else in his life, a parent perhaps, who he might listen to?

It is also obvious you need support. You are in a horrible stressful and worrying position and have no easy path forward. Do you have anyone to support you? When I was really bad my partner had her mum, which made a great deal of difference.

As Mary suggest being in close contact with your doctor would be a very good idea, you too need both medical and personal support at the moment. It may be if you are on a regime of meds and therapy it might need altering to reflect the current circumstances.

We are worried about you and would like to know how you are going


Community Member

Thankyou for such a lovely and supportive welcome.πŸ’—πŸ’—

He has woken up today as If nothing is wrong, nothing happened. While I still feel emotionally exhausted and invisible.

Dolhof - yes I could've bought him a juice but he was after a particular mix of fruits that he felt like, I attempted to suggest looking elsewhere but He said no.

There are places that we could've stopped but once on the Highway it's pretty limited and by then I just wanted to get home.

White Rose - I do see my Dr regularly and Reach out for help when I realise things are getting ontop of me😊

He does drive but were from the Country and He just doesn't cope with The City, traffic, parking, people there are so many things that quickly get him to a point where he shuts down and the day is over. We were in this amazing part of the city with markets and a massive cafe strip and instead of it being an enjoyable day it just gets ruined 😭😭😭😭😭 I feel like I don't get to have any enjoyment with him, I don't get to do an activity that tops me up. As soon as we were on the highway he was fast asleep and slept the vast majority of the way home.

I've offered to go to appointments with hI'm but he still refuses. I feel like I have to do the thinking for him and me every single day. And I realise that in a relationship you do that at times but its give and take and I feel like he just keeps on taking and taking.

I debate with myself whether I'm going to have to end the relationship to save Myself.πŸ’”πŸ’”

Hi mermaid@heart,

Those highways are wonderful but a bit limiting as well when it comes to stops. We travel along one to reach our nearest city as well. There isn't always anywhere to stop. I occasionally go off the highway to one of the smaller towns and take a toilet break and a short walk there.

Is it possible for you to do more things for yourself, to make your own life more worthwhile and enjoyable?

My husband and I both have our own social groups and activities we enjoy. Today I have been to Church and he has been out with his mates all day and has not yet returned home. It can be good to have separate interests.

We also do things together too. Sometimes a balance needs to be found.

One holiday we went on, my in laws came with us. I told my husband I was becoming really stressed trying to keep a track of him and his parents and the tour guide who did not hang around and happily left people behind to fend for themselves. I did not want to be one of them and did not want to be separated from my husband in a different country.

My husband told me I worried too much. The next day I looked after myself. My husband asked where his Dad was. I told him I didn't know. His Dad later asked where his wife was. I told him I didn't know. His wife asked where they both were and I told her I didn't know.

We all made it safely to the motel that night. Sometimes we just have to let go. Some people need to become responsible for themselves. Yes, help and assist those who are ill, also allow them to find inner strength to help themselves. It is a balancing act!

Cheers from Dools

Hi Mermaid@heart, I think you have said the exact words in the last line of your last comment, I don't need to repeat it.
Maybe he is in denial and this also means 'not wanting to know' what he may have wrong with him, refusing to know if he has a mental illness.

If he doesn't want to see his doctor, then you 'you can't make a horse drink water', so you have to look after yourself and if that means a separation this could shock him into getting help. Geoff.