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Help! Partner with depression

digit_
Community Member

Hi everyone.

Myself: I have depression, anxiety, panic disorder, CPTSD. I’m trialing a new medication. I was on my last medication for 7 years, I had been on another for a year and now trying the new one, need one that fits me best. Previously have had talk therapy, thinking of starting up again. have a partner who has depression and anxiety. He supports me utterly when I’m suffering which is 99.9% of the time, my anxiety is severe. However I find it hard to support him when he’s feeling down or anxious because of the way he behaves, his anxiety comes out in anger, yelling, throwing things (this is never at me) this is a trigger for me due to trauma with yelling etc. so it’s hard for me not to react and yell at him and let him know I’m having a panic attack because of his outbursts. He then tells me It’s only ok when I’m anxious and not when he is and I try to explain I do care but it’s hard when it triggers me this way… how do I support him with that situation?

He also had depression and is really negative and retreats when he’s depressed and the whole vibe in the house is awful, dark, he doesn’t wanna chat, he is negative about every single aspect, and when I try to offer a solution or support he knocks it down with more negativity so also very stuck there. I know I want to support him, like he supports me but I really don’t know how, I just feel stuck and like I have to deal with it, and allow his negativity to affect me( it really does ) but then again he’s suffering so it’s affecting us both. I am fearful the way he is will lead to the end of our relationship one day. Note: he has never done therapy, or tried medication or anything to help his mental illnesses really.

please no hate. I’m just asking for help to learn to support him better.

3 Replies 3

Croix
Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear Digit~

I'm very glad you partner does support you, and sorry that you have so many problems meaning you do need that support so often. I hope your new meds and maybe resuming that therapy will ease matters for you.

It sounds pretty grim when you have to deal with anger, withdrawal and negativity from your partner, and I'm not surprised it is triggering at times.

I guess it might be easy to give a hasty judgment about his behavior however that is probably not going to be fair - or productive.

Many men do resort to anger when under pressure, either externally from circumstances or internally by depression or other issues. There is a pretty strong emphasis on masculinity in our society and in some ways anger can seem more acceptable than talking over emotions and feelings.

Then again, and here I'm not rying to be sexist, some men simply do not have the words to describe what is inside without assistance. I'm not a therapist, just someone who has gone down the same path in the past, and even now do not know all the factors involved.

I do suspect that often when one raises a subject it can be seen as a criticism, even when that is not the intention. Just asking how things are can be met with resentment. I know in my own case I was sort of pre-wired to see just abut everything as a criticism - it was very hard on my partner.

I would think the best sort of support you can give is to encourage your partner to have therapy or counseling to find the causes of his anger and depression. I know I did not improve, in fact got worse, until I had competent medical help.

If you find you are not able to persuade him there may be a friend of his or a family member who might be in a better position. What do you think?

Of course all this is no doubt putting more pressure on you, so may I ask what sort of supports do you have -is there anyone in your life you can talk frankly with? They do not have to fix things, just listen and care.

I hope you come back and say how you are going

Croix

geoff
Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hello Digit, when somebody supports you 99.9% of the time when needed, it's not so easy to return the favour, simply because he may seem to be stronger than you in this particular situation, so you could be unsure of how to approach this, especially as your anxiety might be severe.

What he says to you is his opinion and the more you react to this only creates a worse situation, and this could be the worry that his anger will progress to affecting you physically, which hasn't happened as yet.

When he retreats and shows a negative attitude, then it's difficult to know how to approach this as he doesn't take medication nor had any therapy.

Are you able to suggest he goes to his doctor on another issue, for just a checkup, if he has a cough or any continuous headache, just as an excuse to get him there, then the doctor will notice his mood.

Geoff.

That Other Guy
Community Member

I have suffered a lot of depression in recent years. My wife tells me she'd drive home crying. We nearly separated early last year, and again early this year. I stayed only on the basis we did therapy and it worked wonders. I would suggest you agree that you both need to work on making your marriage work for both of you, and get a marriage counsellor to help you explore the issues. Mine got my wife to address things I'd tried to talk to her about for years!! It's worth a shot