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It's finally starting to take it's toll...

Community Member

Sadly my first post has to be a unhappy one however my boyfriends anxiety and seasonal depression, alongside our moving across the country to California is starting to take a toll on me psychologically. I am beginning to think I am too sensitive, needy or blindly selfish to function in a way that won't negatively impact me.

My boyfriend has admitted he has extreme anxiety which results in him isolating himself in the bedroom and sleeping hours at a time to get rid of the buzzing. And in reference to his seasonal depression, God forbid he get a stuffy nose or else the world should be set on fire. The past year it seems that all I have learned is to build blanket forts on the bed for him and avoid him if I have the smallest f needs, like being told I am loved and being given some form of physical affection like a kiss or a hug once a day - but alas that seems to much to ask and ends up making me feel selfish just for asking. I am walking on pins and needles days at a time feeling invisible hands choke me all because of his inconsistent behavior that leaves me wondering if I should chock it up to his anxiety or if I did something wrong and he just wants to leave. You'd think after a year of living together I would figure it out by now.

Needless to say its gotten to the point where once a 3 day bought of depression starts, I start thinking of all the things he is going to say to end the relationship, or that he is not happy anymore and has been with someone else. Then one day he will snap out of it and ask for sex or attention like he was never mentally absent. It's far more difficult to balance than I thought, especially for someone as sensitive as I am who desires a one daily second of affirmative intimacy. 

What's worse is my frustration in trying to understand why if he is so aware of his illness, why he can't be aware enough to do things to alleviate my worry and/or concern. I've convinced myself I should be happy that he is willing to show me his true colors, but it's so not fair when our roommate walks in the door and he becomes a completely different, bubbly person around them. I assume it's because he puts on a show, regardless I wish sometimes he would give me a break and put on a show for me. I hate feeling like a great boyfriend one second and a useless piece of annoying trash the next. And it's pointless to talk to him, because no "I feel" statements make a difference. I feel like I have to suck it up or be ready for an argument.

4 Replies 4

Community Member

Hi Haze, guessing you're from America? Hope you can understand us Aussies in here 😛 😛 😛

Mate, it sounds like you're in a tough situation and I can hear you're frustrated by your man's depression and anxiety, but from what you describe he sounds pretty unwell. Yes, you need support too but your comment that if he is so aware of his illness, why can't he be aware enough to alleviate my worry is a bit unrealistic. Is he getting any professional help?

The stuff you describe about him putting on a happy mask as soona s your roommate around is typical of depression. A lot of us do it. It shows that he is actually comfortable showing how he is really feeling around you because you are close.

Supporting someone with depression in a relationship is hard work, I'd be looking into getting some counselling for yourself, and if you're not able to communicate between the two of you without triggering off an argument, then maybe some couples counselling might not be out of the question.

Moving to a new place where you don't have any of your regular friends or famiyl around makes things twice as hard too because I'm guessing you have each other as your only source of support.  Have you got anyone else around you can talk to? Has he?

Community Member

Thanks for getting back with me justinok. And yes I understand you Aussies! I waited tables in New York for two years and all you love to talk about are hitting cane toads with golf clubs lol!

You are right about being unwell from my perspective at least. He has discussed with me the several medications he has taken in the past and found they never worked. And now he self medicates with THC for the anxiety, which works - when he actually does it.  This is part of the reason we are moving to California, in hopes he will be able to better treatment there plus alleviate the seasonal depression aspect. This move, alongside wanting to get couples therapy, will hopefully turn things around.

I think today was just one of my days where I needed to unload to anyone who understood what I was going through. I feel guilty so often for expecting more from him and at times feel like I could do more but don't know what or how. I just don't understand why if he feels so comfortable then why he does open up to me when I ask? It's like he just gives me a look and it's back to being ignored for days at a time. Granted, he used to use his job as an excuse (three - 12 hour days per week). But then it started happening on the days off and then got worse once the winter set in.

The hardest part is feeling like the sex (at times) comes off as something he feels he has to do because he was aware he has been so disconnected. However no matter how I try to explain that intimacy is more important to sex to me, he still comes off as robotic at times then rolls back into his depression. 

Sorry for going off on a tangent. Like I said, I hope that moving helps. He definitely has friends that are like family to him out there.


Community Member
Great that he has close friends out there, but what about you?  You're going to need some mates as well.

Community Member

Hi Haze,

I feel you:(my two year relationship just ended because of my ex's depression. It was hard for the both of us. Certainly it took its toll with me trying to fix him and walking on egg shells. You need to look after yourself. You can try to help your partner but at the end of the day he needs to help himself. With my situation my partner gave up due to depression. I know he didn't intend too.

I hope you get the help you both need. I did my very best on my relationship but i realised its not up to me:(

All the best mate!