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Making it worse, but just want to help
I'm new to posting in the forum, but a long term reader of all the post and advice, it has helped in so many ways. I'm reaching out to the BB community to hopefully get some support and perspective on my situation.
I'm a partner of someone who suffers from depression and anxiety, we've been together for 9 years, for which he has had un-diagnosed depression for all of it. This year he was medicated and diagnosed with depressions, however, over the last few weeks he has really spiralled, he stopped seeing his psychologist around 6 weeks ago (he thought he was on the road to recovery) and the medication he's on does not seem to be taking effect. After a number of bad GP visits (unfortunately it seems there are a number of GP's out there who did not seem to understand his condition) we have finally found one that is caring, compassionate and wants to help. However, due to my partners work, he is often interstate so the appointment have been delayed time and time again.
More recently he has told me that he finds it hard to be around me, because I am the only person who knows the real him. He has told me he can't be at home with our family because when he's at home he can't pretend to be someone else and can't cope with the anxiety and depression that overwhelms him. He told me that when he's with other people he can pretend to be someone else which eases the pain. He has been interstate a lot over the past few weeks, and when he is here he's being staying with friends and family as a distraction (his words, not mine!).
I am finding it hard to cope myself, I worry about him a lot and just want to help. I am the type of personality that just wants to fix things, but understand that depression and anxiety cannot be fixed by another person.
It's almost like I'm walking on egg-shells around him because I don't want to upset him, but more than anything I want him to come home so that I can be there by his side while he fights this battle - but am I making things worse? It's hard to not think that I am just adding to the issues. I am trying to be supportive, loving and giving him the space he needs - but I'm also human, and I'm starting to struggle with my own emotions and feel the cracks showing.
I've read a lot of articles about depression but will never understand what sufferers of depression and anxiety go through, so it's so hard for me to understand where he is coming from.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Hi Leo, welcome. Glad you posted
Reading your story I cannot stop feeling you both could benefit from family counseling. His account of why he wants to stay away...sorry I'm suspicious.
If he doesnt want to attend counseling then I suggest you go yourself on the basis that you are learning to cope with his behaviour. If he asks for details of the meeting dont give them and suggest he attend with you.
Here are some threads that might help. Use google
Topic: who cares for the carer?- beyondblue
Topic: does stubborness have a place?- beyondblue
Topic: is there room for stubborness?- beyondblue
Glad you came along. Post anytime.
It is still possible for him to find some happiness when he's with other people, but as soon as they go, he's back to where he was, and it's not uncommon for him to want to be by himself, that's what depression is telling him to do, it's not necessarily that he doesn't love you, I'm sure he does, but now I would email BB and ask them to send out the booklet they have published on depression, there you will learn so much about depression, plus going through the different section on this site will certainly help you to understand.
Please get back to us, because it's a very uncertain time for you and we want to help you as well as your partner.
Please ask any specific question that is worrying you. Geoff.
Just thought I’d chip in here on the back of Tony and Geoff.
Yes it is very hard to understand and makes it probably even more frustrating when your loved one is afflicted with this and you as a partner, just want to help, but for whatever reason, this help is not being accepted.
Has he gone back to his GP when he felt his meds weren’t having an effect? Did he take them long enough, as they don’t usually kick in straight away, it’s usually around a 4-5 week period before they’re in the system long enough for them to start doing what they’re supposed to. The other thought I had on this was, did he make a return visit to the GP, if he felt his meds weren’t helping? Cause there are so many different varieties out there, and I would imagine his GP would have sourced out another type for him to take.
May I also ask, when was the last time that you saw your partner or when was the last time he stayed with you? From your message it seemed like it could have been some time, which I believe is not that good a situation.
Would love to hear back from you.
Do you also have a close sibling or friend network, who you could unload and share with … your own well-being is very important in this whole situation.
First of all, welcome tot he community as a person reaching out for help and advice. Sounds like you might have read quite a few posts that are similar to yours. Each situation is different as you are no doubt well aware.
You mentioned that you want to help your partner, have you asked him how you can help him? It may be the case that he does not know himself. You could ask him what he finds so different when staying with family and friends compared to when he is with you, and if that can be replicated when he is with you.
From the perspective of a person with depression and other mental health issues, I have realised that I am quite often happier outside of the home or when we have other people here. Recently I have realised that is because I have expectations for my marriage to be different than it is, my husband can not be everything I desire him to be. Sometimes we need to have gaps filled in by ourselves, family and friends. I can not expect my husband to meet all of my needs as he is not God and he is not a magician.
Depression can twist our thoughts and expectations. When I am able to sit comfortably with my mental health issues and not fight them, I get on a lot better with myself and the world.
My own expectations can suffocate me. Maybe something similar is happening to your partner. Counselling would help. Reading about depression and trying to understand it more may help. There is information on this site you can read.
It may help to read and print out the section on "Supporting someone with depression and anxiety", show it to your partner and ask how you can help him.
For yourself, try to keep in touch with family and friends and continue to do activities you enjoy so you too don't sink too low.
Cheers for now from Mrs. D.
Hi to all that have posted,
Apologies for not responding sooner. Your words mean more than you know. It's comforting to hear other people's perspectives, so for that I am grateful.
Over the past 3 weeks he went to two different GP's who were unfortunately not suitable. We have finally found one that is great, but due to work commitments he has been unable to go back. He's been on his current medication for around 10 weeks now - the first 6 weeks he was attending sessions with a psychologist, but since stopping the sessions has most definitely spiralled. He was not 100% comfortable with his psychologist and has decided he wants to find a new one.
He left all of last week, but came home on Sunday, and I told him how happy I was to have him home and he said he was also glad to be home. I have asked many times what I can do to help or make it easier, but unfortunately he has said there is nothing I can do. So I just feel helpless.
I do have several close friends and my parents who I have shared all of this with and it's nice to have their support - however most of them are a fair distance away (interstate or 2hr trips) so its hard for me to be with them.
Thank you again,