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Boyfriend of 3 years struggling
My boyfriend was assaulted when he was quite young and has experienced depression ever since. On occasion i have seen him upset about it (mainly when he's drinking) but he really always seemed quite well put together and as someone who has never had any challenges thrown at me in life i've not known how to look for warning signs etc.
The last 3 years i have not seen a lot of issues as a result of this. in the last 3-4 months he has become extremely reserved, wont leave his house very often, cancels on plans with both myself and his friends and wont let me help him when he's down. He sees a psychiatrist/psychologist (to be honest i don't know the difference) and has recently, about 3 weeks ago begun to take anti-depressants again for the first time since he was 16 (now 21). It has become so hard for me, especially when he refuses to see me and we have now taken it to a stage where we are taking a break to give him some time to work on himself. However, I am not really ok with this and don't know what I should do because he really brings me down with him and I am now finding it hard to be happy myself, as i am always worried about him and his well-being, especially when he chooses to see his friends but will ignore me offering to be with him. I have been crying at work out of stress and it really can't go on anymore. He has not self-harmed for many years now but that is how i feel it will head if nothing changes.
i really don't want this to end but at the moment it feels like my only option and I just need assistance on how to understand him/help him through his problems without seeming to controlling or clingy.
Thanks, and hopefully this all makes sense..
This looks like your first post with us. I hope you find our forums supportive and useful.
Sorry to hear about what is going on with your boyfriend. It is so hard seeing someone you love go through so much pain.
On the positive side it sounds like he is getting professional support and hopefully it starts to work soon. Is your boyfriend doing any exercise? Eating well? Is he working or studying?
However, the impact on you is a huge issue. Unfortunately, it is very common for people who are struggling to take their pain out on the person closest to them. I have been through something similar with my ex and it had a huge toll on me. Our relationship wasn't strong enough to match his depression and even after we broke up he relied completely on me for his emotional support. I was so worried about him all the time and I remember crying at work too. We tried to get back together two more times over the next two years but it wasn't meant to be.
We have some information about supporting someone, it might help you understand what your boyfriend is going through:
There is also some information about looking after yourself:
At this stage, looking after yourself is key. Neither of you will be able to get well, together or separately if you go down too.
Looking forward to hearing from you.
Blue Jane has given you excellent advice, looking after yourself is essential at the moment. Crying at work is just one thing, seeing your 3 year relationship fall apart for reasons you are not that clear on is heart-breaking, as is seeing someone you love decline.
I've been on the other side, so I thought I'd tell you about it so you could see what you are dealing with, and while I think of it sometimes meds take a while to reach full effectiveness.
When very depressed the whole world seemed a different place, and I had no energy and could not really think. I did not know myself, which seems funny to say, but did not know if I loved anyone, or even if I was capable of love. I was sort of standing outside everything, myself included. I had no energy or patience to deal with people and just wanted to be alone.
Funnily enough at exactly the same time I wanted to protect those I loved from me and tried to keep them at a distance, when they tried to be close I tended to get angry.
OK the above does not realy say what you should do, it might help you to know what you are dealing with - though I'm not saying your boyfriend is exactly the same.
I don't really think there is a great deal you can do at the moment to actively change things, like me your bf has to get to a better stage before anything can happen. Letting him know you are there for him and will support him as far as he wants is probably about the limit.
This is gone into more detail in that link Blue Jane gave you.
In relation to your own well-being it is easy to be overly affected by constant worry and grief. If I was in your position I'd talk to my GP and see about counseling and perhaps be tested for anxiety or depression too, can't hurt.
As well as possible medical support do you have anyone in your life now you can talk with, who will care and be a support for you? Many people have a family member or a friend they can do this with. It can help lift a load and make things more bearable.
Blue Jane, I and others here would very much like to know how you are getting on
Really glad you've posted to the forum. Definitely is a sign of how much you care, with is important to keep in mind when you feel down about your relationship with your boyfriend.
As mentioned by Blue Jane, it is a great positive that your boyfriend is undergoing treatment for his depression. However, treatment for severe symptoms of depression often have life-changing impacts on that person, and subsequently those close to them. Anti-depressant medication can have a variety of effects on one's affection towards others, be it sexual or social impacts.
I recommend you see the same psychiatrist your boyfriend is seeing. Not necessarily for your own issues, but more so to be brought up to speed with how your boyfriend is. This may clear up some confusion, and provide you with a better understanding of what to expect, and how to respond to, your boyfriend's recent changes.
The downside would be that regardless of how much you know of your boyfriend's condition, your relationship will still be a bit difficult. However, I believe it would be worth it to find out as much as you can from his psychiatrist.
Hope I could help. Let us know how you're doing soon!