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Partner problems, family problems, self problems
I am new to this site but I have been considering reaching out for some time. I feel surrounded by depression, and it can be overwhelming because I have no power to make the situation any better and perhaps make it worse.
I have been with my partner for 6 years now. He has had depression and anxiety since childhood. I have been as supportive as possible, often encouraging treatment, however he has been struggling for so long he is adament nothing can help him and it has been very difficult to pursuade him to keep trying and not give up. Fortunately he is going to see a psychiatrist soon, I hope they can help, he suffers so much and the medication does not seem to be helping.
My parents are also depressed, and have struggles of their own. Neither have any interest in seeking help or treatment. I think its mostly becaue they believe what is available would not help so there is no point. It may also be finances, they know seeing someone long term would take years for helpful results and feel its too much. I feel powerless to help them, I can say I care about them but not much else, just observe them being completely miserable.
As for myself, well perhaps I can't complain. I feel unhappy mostly, I feel alone and isolated. But it is selfish, to be unhappy with a relationship where my partner usually wants to be left alone and pushes me away, because he is suffering. I understand his predicament, I had depression as a teenager to the point of being bed bound; I wanted to sleep away my life and ignore everything around me. Now I am able to focus on other things and interact with other people enough to have worked, volunteered and gone to uni. Of course, the interactions I had with others was always superficial. Only ever professional, my partner is also my only friend. Part of my isolation is the inability to make friendships, I am sure there is something wrong with me since so many people advise starting new things inevitably leads to supporting groups. I did not form worthy relationships at my job or at uni. Its a bit pathetic really.
Hello Lepidoptera, (nice name !),
It certainly sounds like there is a lot on your plate right now. Far too much ! And no, it is not selfish to be unhappy with a sadly one-sided relationship. Your partner's depression makes it impossible for him to respond adequately to your own needs. That's a difficult, draining situation.
Like you, I grew up within a dysfunctional environment, had parents who refused to acknowledge their issues and preferred to put the blame on everyone else when things went seriously wrong. I have had past relationships with a partner suffering from schizophrenia, another was manic depressive (little did I realize at the time that I was reproducing the only pattern I knew). So I understand your feelings of helplessness and isolation in the face of it all. I also understand your reluctance to engage socially when close relationships with family and partner have somewhat let you down. Trusting again doesn't come easy.
You have worked hard at putting parts of your life in order. A lot of positive, courageous steps were taken. So well done. But you know something is missing, something is not quite right. Isolation saddens you. You are obviously a strong person, but inner strength alone does little to satisfy our emotional needs. It only makes isolation a little more bearable ! You need and deserve a lot better.
You are giving a lot of yourself, which is terrific but without ongoing support, this makes us feel unbalanced and depletes our emotional resources. Joining these forums is a good decision. It tells me you feel time has come to consider and nurture your own needs. So well done for reaching out and venting your thoughts. A good place to start, safe, non-judgmental and supportive.
If you scroll down to the bottom of this page, you will find there is a section which concerns supporting someone with mental illness and also looking after yourself while doing so. Navigating your way around these forums will let you know there are a lot of caring people who share your predicament and can offer help, support and cyber company if you feel comfortable with it.
I hope you keep posting and let us know how you go. If you feel a cyber hug is acceptable...here's one for you.