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How can I stay positive?
Hi all, this is my first post so I hope I get it right 🙂
I have been with my partner for 10 years now, and I've noticed that he's gotten more and more negative over the past four or so years. He was diagnosed with depression and anxiety around 6 years ago, but he refuses to do anything to address it. He won't take medication or see a counsellor or anything. I myself have been battling depression and anxiety since I was a teenager and I know how hard it can be.
Every time something bad happens (no matter how small the problem) he just gets so frustrated and angry. He always puts it down to never having any good luck or me jinxing things. He just always assumes the worst in everything.
He constantly puts me down, either it's my weight, my laziness, stupidity or lack of compassion. We end up fighting all the time because I'm just so sick of his negative comments. I feel like he's trying to control me because he feels like he has no control over his own life.
He told me I'm a horrible person to be around because I'm so angry all the time, but the funny thing is that when I'm at work or away from him I'm very happy person! His bad attitude towards everything, just frustrates me so much!
I want to try and stay positive around him and not let his attitude get to me and maybe it might rub off on him a little? Is it even possible?? I'm at the point where I don't want to be around him at all and seriously thinking of leaving him altogether.
Does anyone have any advice?
Welcome to the Beyond Blue forums, I am glad you are talking about this. Your partner sounds just like me 10 years ago and I can tell you that I got a lot better. In fact it was my wife's persistence that got me on the road to recovery and together we are so much happier now. We had different conditions obviously and we worked on stuff together and separately.
I guess you can focus on your self as you say, be on top of your own recovery and gently point out when your partner isn't 'being himself'. Anger for me was a mindset, probably inherited, I didn't even know why I was angry. Over time I have learnt to make the choice between reacting with anger and responding with calmness. I choose to conserve my own energy that I lose from emotion and I can feel calm and happy instead, it has taken much practice.
Have you told him that you 'don't want to be around him'?
Why doesn't he want to take medication or see a counsellor? It might be some emotional stumbling block that can be reconceived, skirted around, or otherwise dealt with.
If you're thinking of leaving him, it's obviously bad enough that something has to be said. It might be that your shouting matches have become kind of "routine", and so have lost their power to really cause change. You should have a sombre talk about this, imparting the full depth of the problem and consequences. "I love you. I remember when we played on the swings and ate ice-cream and that panda licked your face. But I'm thinking of leaving you because this is so bad and you won't get help.", said calmly and outside the context of an argument, should be very powerful.
As for myself, I'm usually pretty well on top of things. I still have some pretty bad days, but I have some great people around me that are really supportive.
He acts like the whole world is against him, including me. I've tried to talk about it and I've told him how much it affects me. When he gets mad or frustrated or upset I feel like I can't breathe and it makes me feel physically sick. He says it shouldn't bother me because he's not mad at me and I should just get over it.
I've told him I find it hard to be around him because he's like this all the time. He turned it around and said I had changed and not for the better and I'm just a horrible person.
I have changed, I have a great job with great people, and because of that I have grown more confident. I think he's just scared because things are changing for me and he's at a standstill in his own life and doesn't know how to get out of his rut.
He used to take anxiety medication when he was first diagnosed and he took them for a while (about a year and a half or so), but then he said they made him feel sick so he stopped taking them. He didn't want to go back on medication just in case it didn't agree with him.
He doesn't really believe that counsellors work at all and thinks it's all a load of you know what. He doesn't like talking about his past too much either, especially with people he doesn't know even if he knows they won't judge him.
He is capable of so much and he's an amazing person, but I can only do so much to encourage and support him before I say I have to give up, I have to look after myself.
I find it really easy to talk to people I don't know. I mean, what pressure is there if you never have to see them again if you don't want to?
There are different drugs. Experimenting is a part of the process. And drugs, in my opinion, are ideally a temporary thing - just a bootstrap measure to get you functioning well enough that other things (therapy, self-help, ..) can take over.
I'm not sure if you can reason him into going through with this stuff, but his objections in the face of logic might be insightful.
"I think he's just scared because things are changing for me and he's at a standstill in his own life and doesn't know how to get out of his rut.". Offer him your theory, and reassure him it's okay to feel like that, and there is help available, and even if one thing doesn't work, there are other things to try.