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Boyfriends depression. What to do?
My boyfriend (Aden) of 2 years (and bestfriend of 9 years) has been diagnosed with depression; he's very distant and doesn't open up anymore. Before he got bad, he would have no problem opening up and telling me whats going on and now he just pushes me away and that's what hurts the most. He'll be super touchy and starts fights about the stupidest things, or when he's done something that has gotten to me and then asks whats wrong and I tell him, he's gotta get defensive straight away and put the blame on me and basically make me feel worse about feeling the way I do. Now it's reached to the point where I feel as if I can't talk to him about how I feel or anything in general. He's becoming very distant with his friends, he's one to always go out with the boys on the weekend and have a few beers but now I'm lucky to get him out of the house once a month; and now his friends are thinking I'm the one who is making him stay at home to have "quite ones" because he doesn't want me to tell his friends what's going on. One night I told one of his closest friends, who is also my cousin, because Aden pushed him up against a wall and threatened him for a total minor misunderstanding so I felt like I needed to explain his actions, yes I know it's not my place to say anything but he's my cousin and one of Aden's best friends so I didn't know what else to do; when I told Aden that he knew, he flipped. He's totally changed and I feel like he's not the guy that I fell inlove with. He's not affectionate anymore and on the rare occasion he is, it's just because he wants sex and then straight after it's back to basically being non-existent. He doesn't ever want to go out for breakfast/lunch/tea, nor go to to movies or the beach, he'd much rather stay home and watch Netflix or sleep. He's been seeing a psychologist but he keeps cancelling his appointments and not telling me he's canceled them until after the appointment was supposed to be, so now it's resulted in me booking his appointments, telling work I have to leave early on the day of his appointments just so I can basically babysit him and make sure he attends. He goes on about how "I'm the only person" to make him feel better about everything that's happening yet I feel like I'm worthless, that I mean nothing and I'm not helping at all with the way he's treating me. I have tried talking to him and even went to his Mum but even she is stuck herself. What do I do? I feel so lost and I don't want to lose him.
G'day, welcome to the Beyond Blue forums.
I'm sorry to hear what you're going through, this wouldn't be easy for either of you. There is load of info under the 'supporting someone' tab on the home page, check it out.
Would it be possible for you to attend one of his psychologist appointments? Perhaps you can talk to your BF first and the doctor, having an appointment together is a way of improving your understanding of his condition and you can take the opportunity to air your feelings. He has a health condition, his normal responses may be hindered. I hope he knows that he can recover from this, most people do recover from mental health issues, it takes support and work.
You are doing great, keep sharing the love and concern.
Welcome to the forums and thank you for your post.
I'm really glad that you decided to join us but I'm sorry things have been so hard between you and your boyfriend. It sounds like maybe things have been bad for a little while now and that it's been quite a struggle.
I've both had depression and supported a partner with depression so I can get and agree that it can be an all consuming thing in a relationship. I'm concerned though that Aden doesn't seem to be wanting to get better; and that he wouldn't be going to appointments if you weren't 'babysitting' him. A lot of the motivation of couples when one partner is struggling with depression is that there's hope of getting better. Where there's hope there's action; whether that's pushing yourself out for lunch, going to the beach, seeing a therapist or even just talking about things.
I'm not sure what your conversations have been like, or if you're still interested in being together but I would really want to try and understand how committed he his. Maybe he is glad that you push him to go, or he does feel a bit better after the appointment. I also agree with Jack in that it might help to attend a psychologist appointment. Some partners even make appointments of their own to try and get a better understanding of their relationship and how to cope. Learning how to support a partner with depression is tough but it can get better.
I also think it's really important to take a step aside from the caring role sometimes (not always literally). You talked about being worthless and meaning nothing. This is just not true. You are more than this relationship. Aden is a huge part of your life, but he's also only one small part of it. I really encourage you to get some support yourself; whether that's self-care, talking to friends or whatever that might look like for you.
Thanks for your post.
I'm so glad to hear that you had a talk about everything; communication is key and it really does sound like he does want to get better. That's great news! I really hope the appointment for both of you goes well and also the appointment for you!
Will be thinking of you both; feel free to post again if you want to.
I found your comments very helpful as I am going through the same thing with my partner, he definitely has been on a mission to get himself better once he realised that he has some issues from the past that he never dealt with.
he has been motivated to get better but he has his days where he feels helpless and that he cant go on anymore fighting this battle. He is doing it alone as he doesn't affect me and found counseling not useful. How do i help him and make sure he doesn't give up ?
Thank you so much for sharing your story, I am going through the same thing with my partner so this definitely helped me and made me feel hopeful to hang in there with him. I love him very much and just like you I don't want to loose him.
Hope all is going well, please let me know how you guys are going as it would be helpful for me also. xx