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Relationship-Linked Anxiety and Depression

Community Member


This is my first time posting on this forum, I'm hoping I can get some perspective and help on relationship-linked negative thought patterns.

For the past 2 years I have been suffering from cyclic bouts of anxiety and depression. I saw a therapist last year for a few months but can no longer afford it.

My depression/anxiety has a particularly pernicious aspect in that my negative thoughts are almost entirely focused on my relationship with  my boyfriend: including thoughts that I don't love him, that he isn't attractive enough, that I will never find him sexually attractive and that things will never work out.

This is particularly frustrating because I will have 'moments of clarity' either whilst with him or apart from him where I realise all of this thinking is ridiculous, I have an amazing relationship and we have so much in common, and I find him very attractive. Whenever I get to the point of asking myself: 'do I want to leave the relationship?' the answer is always a very clear 'no' in my head.

Yet my thoughts plague me every time I see him. Sometimes I can apply CBD tactics and shut the thoughts to the back-burner, other times they overwhelm me and I feel incredibly sad. We have been together for a year and half now, and I'm kind of at the end of my tether.

Treatment options I have tried are mindfulness, stopping negative thoughts through block  tactics ('I'll deal with that later' 'lets just refocus' etc), behavioural changes (better sleep, exercise etc) and herbal based anti-depressants. They can help for brief periods, but my cycle of doubt often starts again and lasts for months.

We have a very honest and open relationship. He knows exactly what is going on with me and is very supported. We talk about my thoughts often and helps to spot bad patterns. When I get him involved though, I do often feel guilty. Nobody likes to be told they aren't being loved and are being criticised based on appearance. He does appear to take it in his stride though.

Because this has continued to plague our relationship since its beginning, I'm often forced to ask myself "Is it all just the relationship?" and I don't know how to get the perspective to figure that out.

Should be noted that I'm 25, gay, and whilst I've had semi-serious relationships in the past (couple of months) this is my first long-term one. I never really saw myself as much of a 'relationship' person before meeting him. It is also worth noting that we began dating a few months after an ex-boyfriend and friend of mine committed suicide, so I've struggled to figure out if that has prejudiced my perception of the whole thing.

So, I'm here for some advice.

(1) Have any of you been plagued by relationship doubts leading to depression/anxiety? How have you dealt with them?

(2) Any tips for figuring out how to separate 'real doubts' from mental illness?

(3) Any good negative thought-stopping techniques I can try?



16 Replies 16

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hello Keeping Still, one of the things about going to a therapist is that it does help you to get a perspective on your life, but the good news is that there are a lot of us who have experienced these same anxioeties and doubts so by talking to us here you might be able to get some of that perspective.

I have suffered from anxiety and depression for many years, before i was properly diagnosed I used to think that it was my mental illness that was ruining relationships but I came to realise that it was a bit more complex than that. Yes, my mental illness was colouring how I thought and affecting my behaviour and relationships, but it was also causing me to m ake poor relationshiop choices in the first place.

Now you are a young man, and this is your first long term relationship, plus as you say it came at a time in your life when something tragic happened. Maybe you were looking for security and that is why you are hanging on to your curren trelationship? Maybe the man you are with now would really be better as a close friend? 

When you ask yourself about leaving the relationship and you say 'no' in your mind, try asking yourself another question: do you say 'no' because you love this man, or do you say 'no' because you are scared of being alone?  If you can think through that one it may give you some more clarity.

Hello JessF,

Thanks for the reply!

The question you've asked is certainly one that I've asked myself many times. 

I actually don't have many fears about being alone. I'm something of a natural loner. If anything being alone is my place of security, as I don't have to worry about another person.

I'm not an overly romantic person either, I don't think that relationships do (or should) last forever, nor that a monogamous long-term relationship is an ideal goal for myself or anyone.

So I can get how you would interpret my post the way you have, but my values are a bit different from the norm. I'm not somebody who needs a partner, but I have a rather nice one right now.

I have certainty that I love my boyfriend because I miss him when we are away, I get rushes of pleasure and happiness when we kiss, I relate to him on a really strong intellectual and emotional level. We never have conflict or disagreements, because we hold the same views.

Yet when I'm down I get plagued by recurring thoughts: Is this how I am supposed to be feeling? Do other people feel differently about their partners? I should be feeling more, shouldn't I? Do I find him attractive? If I don't find him attractive now, does that mean it is all a lie? Have I tricked myself into feeling this way? If the sex was average, does that mean our sex life is terrible? Maybe we have no physical chemistry? etc etc

I then feel guilt and sadness for being unable to figure out my feelings and for having doubts. After all, it isn't really fair to him is it? Then there is a cycle of questioning: Do I really love him? Am I wasting my time? 

Then when I think of breaking up with him, I get another rush of sadness and guilt because part of me really doesn't want to, even though another part of me is sick of the doubt and would rather leave to end it all.

The whole thing is really frustrating, because honestly, I know if we broke up the world wouldn't collapse, it would suck for both of us but we would both move on. Yet at the same time, I'm drawn to him, and we have quite a deep connection.

I know from cognitive behavioural therapy that my problem here is that I'm setting up 'tests' for myself that are doomed to fail: asking myself to *feel this now*. I do my best to ignore thoughts and be in the moment, but it is an incredibly frustrating exercise. 

Hello KeepingStill,

Im in the exaxt spot as you. Every relationship i ask, is the rite? Is this how its meant to feel? Am i attracted enough? Why do i have days and weeks where i dont even feel i like them and then momwnts of "clarity" where things are great and i could actually be happy marrying the person!

My current partner has such a great heart and caring soul. We have lots in common and i dont know of a person in this town who doesnt know her or rave about how kind and caring and wonderful she is. I seen all this at the beginning but i get into a dark spot and dont see anything! It can last weeks 😕.


I think someone else should answer this post for you and give a more experienced answer. Love has nothing to do with how movies portray it, constant emotional connection and positive interractions every moment.

i know your pain of questionning, evaluating and nearly having the mind beat you down to walking away, but my support group (my partner and old lady and counsellor) believe i will continue the cycle with the next one and it wont help me overcome The issues i have experienced.


I have set a high bar for my partners because i just cant "be" in a relationship, i feel they have to blow my mind every day to keep me feeling that there is some sort of.emotion. pride in them is one i feel quite easily so i try to recreate that with them doing things. I have hated myself. Cried. And repeated. I will find answers and i will overcome to be with this 1 in a million girl.

Hi KeepingStill and JessF, apparently this site doesnt like Mobile Phones as it was jumping around and i missed the last paragraph of KeepingStills' post... 3times!

Still though i believe im experiencing the same issue and have so in the last 3 relationships.

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member
Hi UN19UE, sorry to hear you're having issues with the site on your phone - our site should resize automatically if you're on a phone. If you have time, could you send me an email and let me know your phone type, operating system and browser version so I can pass it on to our tech people.

Hi UN19UE!

Thanks for the kind reply. This post was made nearly a year ago and I'm happy to say I've had a complete transformation since then.

Despite a strong reluctance, I started going on an SSRI  - it has changed my life! I now recognise all my previous doubts and anxious pre-occupations as just that - anxiety. My relationship is going well and I'm no longer troubled by intrusive thoughts.

I wish I had more practical advice for you then medication, but in my experience (2 years of CBT, 2 different therapists) a visit to the GP was all I really needed.

I hope that helps.

Hi KeepingStill!


Wow thats amazing news for you both! That serves me well knowing that the seeming exact issue (myself and my partner) both thought i wrote it 😊. I mean on the entire internet, what a find!


This gives me calm and hope. I think you for your reply 😆😉



Hey all I've been reading your posts, I'm in the same situation but it's abit harder for me as I have had generalised anxiety disorder since I was 15. And also seperation anxiety disorder from my parents. 3 years ago I met someone who I truly believe is the one for me. But we only just moved in together 6 weeks ago n my anxiety has made me extremely sad, feeling guilty n wanting my family n life back that I had. Where I was comfortable. I'm 23. I am so close to just giving in n goung back to my parents but it will affect our relationship a lot. I'm torn on what to do 😞

Hi Rachms11


Im sorry to hear of your situation. Any advice given is purely my own thoughts based on individual experiences and is by no meams "professional".

I think you should find a little comfort to know that you have a diagnosis Which will allow you to voice and better understand your anxiety of living with your partner (as we know anxiousness just causes us to worry and ask unanswerable question after unanswerable question Until we fall apart).

I feel i have a unique and gentle women with great attributes that i should be happy with. On paper she is a saint and a win! But my mind does other things to who she is and can turn her into a monster (which isnt fair on her). I manage this and my reaction quite well according to her because i seeked proper help in identifying the problem is with me. 

would it help for you to chat with your partner and family together about how you are feeling? Is this possible?

Do you think they could all support your decision and help you together?

 Have you chosen to seek prpfessional advice? Counsellor? I know i feel like a kid at the snow after a good session (lifts weight and makes you feel alive and relaxed).

Do you still do the same things as what you did at home i.e. (general example) wake up, breakfast, work, home, dinner, bed?

If so maybe try mixing it up? With or without your partner? I know i couldnt live without the gym. Always makes you feel alive...!