Find answers to some of the more frequently asked questions on the Forums.

Forums guidelines

Our guidelines keep the Forums a safe place for people to share and learn information.

Supporting SO with mental illness in long distance relationship

Community Member

Hi there!

I’ve been on these forums for a while reading and wanted to reach out for thoughts from the community.

I’ve been dating my SO for almost 3 years, predominantly doing long distance with only living together for a year. He is currently undertaking studies outside of Aus.

Before he moved, I was aware he had anxiety but it wasn’t until the last few months, it became apparent he was also suffering from depression. The year we lived together was relatively relaxed for him and he said that was why he seemed okay.

He notes that he is going through an existential crisis - his degree deals with the inevitable destruction of our environments. He really cares and has made it his mission in life to do something purposeful, to make an impact. This makes it difficult with me in the picture as he feels as if he’s just dragging me through his journey, making him feel guilty. We met overseas, and our homes are on two different continents, and he has now moved to a third continent.

There are essentially then two things pulling him in different directions (three if you count his family - which do not live in the same country I do either). I love him dearly and I think he does love me too - he however finds himself wrestling with his own thoughts in struggling to find a deep purpose in life but also with the difficulty of us maintaining a relationship while he is so anxious and stressed. He has never been great at communicating and this has made it even harder to connect.

I do not feel equipped to support him but I want to do what I can. I’m prepared to move overseas to be with him, maybe to remind him that we do have something good and can bring him some sort of stability. This is however taking a burden on my mental wellbeing as I don’t feel like my needs are being met but I cannot be upset at him for this.

Would love some advice, both from people with mental illness and also their SOs and how they manage/support their loved one.
1 Reply 1

Community Champion
Community Champion


Welcome to the forum. this is a caring, friend,y and supportive community.

I understand your situation is quite complicated and Living with someone with depression an anxiety is difficult but having them in another country makes it extremely hard to offer support. Also his studies would have an incredible effect on his health as he feels things so deeply.

I wonder is he getting help from a counsellor from the university where he studies Or from another health professional.

It is hard trying to put all your time and energy into making someone well while neglecting your own needs.

How would he feel if you moved overseas? would moving overseas meet your mental well being needs or would that put more pressure on you.

If you type in long distance relationships in the search box on the top of the page you will find threads by people that may help you.

have you spoken to a counsellor about how you are feeling?

Thank you for sharing your story here and feel free to post here as much as you like. you are not alone .