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His depression has taken a turn for the worse

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redleopard
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Apr 06, 2014 10:31 pm

His depression has taken a turn for the worse

Postby redleopard » Sun Apr 06, 2014 10:56 pm

So my boyfriend and I are in our mid twenties. He was managing depression when I met him. We've not been together for a very long time, only six months, but are very very close. Ever since we met, we have talked every day, message each other constantly, send each other good morning and goodnight messages etc. See each other every 2-4 days, depending on what else is happening. He calls me regularly to tell me he misses me, calls me pet names, is generally really sweet to me. Obviously he has his bad patches, but he usually bounces back within a few days.

Now I knew all about his background before we got together. Mid 2013 he tried to kill himself and was put in a mental health unit for a week (voluntarily). He's been on a few different types of medication since then, was seeing his GP regularly and was trying to get some CBT - he was offered group therapy but declined as he feels too anxious to air his issues in front of strangers and desperately wants one-on-one CBT, just can't afford to go private. He had CBT privately before, but couldn't afford to continue it - he says he was like a different person when he was having it, hence why he wants more.

When we met, he was in two minds about whether he should have a relationship, and we started off just being friends. He said that he didn't want to be with anyone until they knew what he could be like, because they'd just leave him. His exes were, according to him, unsupportive about depression and would have a go at him for being moody or having the arse. But we spent a lot of time together, and I "broke down all his walls and got through like no one else has" and we fell for each other. Right after we got together, he broke down and told me he was terrified I was going to leave him after I "found out what he was like". Since we've been together, he's had his off days where he hasn't wanted to see anyone as he says being around people makes him worse, and that when he gets in a bad patch he wants to be alone. He says it's not healthy for me to be around him.

In the last two weeks, everything changed. He's suddenly become incredibly withdrawn - not wanting to talk to anyone, not wanting to leave the house, not answering anyone's calls. I don't live with him - he lives with his family - and they've said as much that he's been very distant with them too. I've tried talking to him, but the most I've got out of him is that he's full of self hatred and doesn't believe in his self worth - I told him i missed him and his response was "why?" and genuinely couldn't understand what I could miss about him. Normally this would be returned with "I miss you too, when can I see you?" but he doesn't even want to get out of bed at the moment.

I'm finding it incredibly hard to know what to do. I have fallen for this man, and I'm very concerned and worried about him. I've tried leaving him alone and not contacting him for a few days, I've tried being extra nice and telling him how much he means to me and reminding him of all the reasons why I'm crazy about him and want to be with him, but he said "you're so strange... i'd change myself into anyone else right now". I've told him I'm here if he wants to talk and that I'm not going anywhere (but considering how he said before that I'd probably get fed up and leave him, i don't know if he believes me). I've asked to see him, but he doesn't want to go out. I offered to go up to his - said to him that quiet cuddles might help. But he said no, people will make it worse.

The problem is (and I know this first hand, as I have suffered from depression myself in the past for many years) that if he stays in his room for days on end, nothing is going to change. He's signed off work at the moment due to workplace bullying (after they found out he tried to kill himself they took bets on when he'd do it again - even his boss) so obviously that's not helping. When he had the drive to go out and see me, he bounced back from these episodes more easily.... now he's got into this repetition of not going out and seeing anyone at all... and unless he takes steps towards fixing it i'm worried he's just going to get worse and worse and undo all the steps he took towards recovery... I've told him he should revisit his GP but he just dodges the subject when I bring it up.

I haven't seen him for two weeks (which is unusual for us) and all I want to do is go buy him the film he wants to see that just came out on dvd, his favourite takeaway and some chocolate and just take it to him, give him a cuddle and tell him I'm not going anywhere and I will support him through all of this... but I don't want to just turn up when he said he didn't want to see anyone... though maybe I should? Maybe it would be good for him? A friend of mine did tell me to stop giving him what he wants and give him what he needs.

I love this man, but I'm so lost. I want to be here and help him through this, but he doesn't want to help himself. Just... any advice from someone who understands, or has been there, or can help in any way would be appreciated so much. Thank you.

PureFrustr8d
Posts: 591
Joined: Fri Mar 28, 2008 11:21 pm

Re: His depression has taken a turn for the worse

Postby PureFrustr8d » Mon Apr 07, 2014 2:13 am

Hi redleopard, welcome to the board. I know it's difficult to see someone you care about suffering. Your boyfriends depression sounds really bad. There is only so much bouncing back he can do before the effort of doing that itself becomes tiring. Plus, have you thought about how much that may have been for your benefit and not a genuine feeling of an improvement within himself? It's obvious he cares about you or he wouldn't try to protect from himself.

I hope you know there are different types of depression. The depression you bravely overcome is not necessary the same depression your boyfriend faces and although you understand him to an extent you have said that 'he doesn't want to help himself' ...you know, that's not strictly true. When I get in to my most depressed states I don't have the energy to uphold any kind of contact, it demands too much. I shut people out and don't leave the house and yes the cause is the depression but at the same time this works for me...it's like I withdraw to get my energy back, I just do nothing because I need the rest and peace if I'm to continue.

If he hasn't had a serious dip in the six months he's been with you then trust me, his mind and body need a rest. I appreciate what you are saying but think about it, it's not just low moods and anxiety he's fighting, it's himself. He doesn't sound like he likes himself, this must be so painful for him. Caring about him and supporting and especially standing by him is helping without a doubt but just because someone else cares about you doesn't make you care for yourself. It actually brings tears to my eyes imagining what thoughts are going through his mind re the work bullying...betting on when he'll kill himself, it's inhumane. For someone with so little self worth this must be crushing. They ought to be ashamed of themselves. Maybe they thought he could take the teasing, that he'd shrug it off because to them he doesn't seem like someone who'd do such a thing. Who knows.

Back to the point, 2 weeks...yes I'd give him notice and tell him your plan and that you are coming, even if it's just for a little while. Tell him there is not pressure to commit to when he'll see you again after that because you want to respect his space. It's important not to rush him. Obviously your feelings are important too but in the grand scheme of things 2 weeks apart is nothing when you may end up with this guy forever :D

Is he on a waiting list for cbt? He felt the benefits of cbt but can't access it at the moment which must feel as if help is just out of reach for him. There is absolutely loads on youtube about cbt, they are actually quite helpful - here is a very straightforward vid that I appreciate for it's simplicity:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IEsYiCDoJks

By the sound of it he's expecting you to abandon him. Sometimes we create situations to test a person when in fact it's the last thing we want. Be sure to keep that in mind for the long term.

You have to be mindful not to take things personally or that will reinforce his thoughts that he's bad for you and he may stop seeing you altogether which really doesn't sound like that's where this relationship should go...you both sound like two caring individuals who both care for each other mutually. I found the following vid re abandonment insightful:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9r5dcy4o9Ek

I really hope things work out for you both. You could always suggest this site to him, just delete your post before. It'd sure be helpful for him to know he's understood and not alone with his mental health problems. I'd be happy to delete my post if you thought there was a chance of him using the site.

All the best,
Peace

redleopard
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Apr 06, 2014 10:31 pm

Re: His depression has taken a turn for the worse

Postby redleopard » Mon Apr 07, 2014 4:56 pm

Yesterday he said he didn't want to get out of bed, so I said to him that I can always come get in with him as quiet cuddles can help. He said no, people make him worse when he's feeling like this. I don't know what to do. He has a meeting about his work tomorrow (they are coming to his house) to do with hopefully sorting out something about going back but into a different department but when I asked him about it he was pretty much resigned to the fact that it was going to go badly and like he didn't see the point in bothering with it.

I was thinking about going to visit him tonight, but since I found out he has the meeting tomorrow and he told me all he wants to do is get high. He's started smoking weed as a coping mechanism and it does worry me. I can't really form too much of an opinion because I don't know much about it, all I've really heard are horror stories about how it makes depressed people even worse, so obviously now I'm worried about that too.

I feel like I have no one to talk to about this because my friends just tell me that since it's only been six months I should just cut my losses and leave because he'll drag me down and make my depression worse again. While in theory that makes sense, and that yes, in theory maybe, from a truly logical point of view, what's best for me would be to walk away and save myself all this pain. But the heart doesn't work like that. My heart tells me that I love this man and I want to stay, I want to help him, I want to wrap him up in my arms and never let him go. But for now, he's keeping me at arms length and nobody understands why I am putting up with it. "He's being a dickhead" everyone says. "He's treating you like crap". Nobody is perfect, everyone has issues and problems and we all need help and understanding and someone who stands by our side and says "right, I love you, and I'm not going anywhere"

His dad is very unsympathetic. He doesn't believe in mental health issues and thinks his son just needs to 'pull himself together' and that 'men don't cry'. I'm lucky because I had two supportive parents. My dad didn't really know what to do, but he tried, and my mum was the most supportive person in the world. She took so much crap bless her, I really was horrible to her. My problem is that I can't relate to the not wanting to see people part of my bf's depression - when I was going through the periods like he is now, where I was that low, I didn't go out - but I had no one wanting me to either. I had no friends to speak of, no one except my parents - and to be perfectly honest, I was horrible to them.

He is on a waiting list for CBT as far as I know. He needs to go back to the doctor but obviously I can't force him.

I said to my friend that my bf doesn't believe he's worthy of love and compassion. She said "but if he treats people the way he does now then he doesn't deserve it because he's just being cruel" (this was when we were talking about him saying no to seeing me). Am I alone in really not agreeing with that? I was awful to my parents when I was going through this, and it's only years after that I can truly understand how much I put them through and how lucky I was to have them stick by me. My bf's mum told me she laid down with him on his bed and told him that she loves him, she would always love him and always has loved him. He said to her "maybe one day I'll understand"... that's really sad.

I'm trying very hard to be strong but it's very hard when I've got no one to lean on! My parents are supportive still, but they know how much I've been through and how much it's taken me to get through the lowest points of my depression and they don't want a man to undo all that good work. Which I can understand why they'd think that, but it's still hard to hear them say.

Thank you for your post and the videos, I will definitely take a look at them.

PureFrustr8d
Posts: 591
Joined: Fri Mar 28, 2008 11:21 pm

Re: His depression has taken a turn for the worse

Postby PureFrustr8d » Wed Apr 09, 2014 4:04 am

Hey redleopard, how you doing? Did your bf go to his meeting, if so how'd it go? Does he appear any better/worse?.

Don't panic too much re smoking weed, I'd only smoke when things got really rough and it helped me...this is probably the reason why:

http://news.vanderbilt.edu/2014/03/disc ... f-effects/

I don't find your friends to be compassionate people. Do they understand depression can effect anyone at anytime - yes it's only been 6 months but that's that make him less worth caring for? What exactly is it that's he's doing wrong that merits their attitude towards him? How are these friends of yours justifying their comments? If you think it's 'logical' to call it quits on this guy you don't sound as if you have much hope for him - you got better, why can't he? He's keeping you at arms length, let's be realistic here...it's only been a little over 2 weeks - maybe you need to address some issues of your own here...I say that politely...I think you are taking him not seeing you personally and that's what's dictating such thoughts...can't you step back and just say to yourself...he hasn't ended it, he wants to be with me, everything before this dip was real, he just wants space to recover and in the mean time we have each other on the phone? You don't have to relate to someone to respect what they want - he wants space, you prefer company. There is the differences of sexes you have to consider too.

Use this site for support. Your friends are not helpful at all...they are putting crap in your head about the way he is treating you, do they have any bloody sympathy at all for what he's going through! and how much this hurts you because you care NOT because he's treating you badly!

If you haven't seen him, I'd just go because that comment he said to his mum to me sounds like he's suicidal...I'm not saying he is but it's exactly what I say when what I actually mean is - you'll understand when I'm dead. Just remember it hurts you because you care NOT because he is being bad to you. You also have your own issues which raises feelings inside you, that he may trigger but is not responsible for. You have awareness of what may happen if this goes too far in that you could relapse in to depression...you just have to trust yourself...make any decisions by yourself not because of others...

Keep posting, hopefully the board will give you strength when you need it most.

Peace

p.s tell him to watch cbt vids on youtube, I watch stuff and it helps to remind me that it's an illness, I watch all sorts related to mental health and it's like being hit with a reality stick because you get so lost in your thoughts believing anything and everything until someone offers you a different perspective...or simply just some clear cut facts about your illness...it's easy to forget and always beneficial to be reminded.

redleopard
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Apr 06, 2014 10:31 pm

Re: His depression has taken a turn for the worse

Postby redleopard » Sun Apr 13, 2014 10:48 pm

So last Monday my bf asked to see me. Said he was going to the next county (he knows someone he can get weed from there - about a 45-60 min drive) and asked me if I wanted to come with. Wasn't really the best situation in which to see him, but I agreed and went with him because I just really wanted to see him. As soon as I got in the car, he put his arm around me and gave me a kiss. When we drove up there we talked for a bit and I said how worried I'd been about him, that I'd been concerned he was getting much worse and that he might end up on a downward spiral. He says he doesn't feel nearly as bad as he did when he ended up in the mental health facility last year (something I was worried might be happening) but that he's in a pretty dark place right now. He said he'd been driving to this next county to see his mate with the weed several times in the two weeks that he and i hadn't seen each other. I'm trying hard not to take that personally, as he told me not to, and my friend says that he's probably just going for the weed and would end up going wherever that is because it 's the only thing that does anything for him right now. Anyway, he chatted to me on the way up, seemed relatively normal, but not the happiest person in the world. We went to McDonalds afterwards and he bought me an ice cream and gave me his free apple pie because I'd never had one. Little gestures but made me feel like he still really did care, because I'd been worried that he didn't. When we got back to our town I asked him back to mine and he said yes (he'd smoked half a joint before he came into mine). We had a cuddle, he was quite affectionate, and I expressed my feelings on how I'd been worried that he was going to leave me. He reassured me that he wasn't going anywhere but how he could only handle being alone lately. We were quite cuddly and close and stuff - this makes me think he can't be at complete rock bottom if he can still have physical contact with his girlfriend - albeit maybe only once a fortnight? I don't know... just hoping for some hope, somewhere.

His meeting was on Tuesday, didn't go well. They told him there was no evidence of anything about his case so they were closing it. He wasn't happy. He went back to work on Thursday for a few hours, and he told me one of the bosses was being a dick about him. Friday didn't go well either. He was in a bad way on Friday - so badly that when he was messaging me, I had to go lock myself in the toilets at work and cry because I was so worried how he seemed to be deteriorating. He was saying weird things, worrying things, and making me really concerned. He kept saying he was fed up with being awake, that he was sick of everyone, that everyone was a joke, that he was going to end up back in the mental health place if he kept having to go to work at 'that hellhole'. Also said that work made him have a few cigarettes (he's given up smoking and has just been vaping since january) because he was so stressed.
Friday night I asked if I could see him at some point over the weekend, he said not unless i'm a fan of being snapped at, and that if I was around him when he was in these kind of moods, I wouldn't want him as a boyfriend any more.

I talked to him last night about how if he's sitting at home not going out or doing anything there isn't going to be anything to lift his mood so it's like a vicious cycle, and he said going out makes him worse and he's better by himself. I said I was worried about him not wanting to be awake, and he said he's tired all the time. I said he should go back to the doctors, he said, no point as they'll just give him more pills.

I'm not sure what to do to help. He says there's nothing I can do to help, but I still want to, because I love him, even if it's just to give him a little helping hand along to helping himself. He's depressed, permanently tired, stressed through his job and just wants to be alone all the time. Yet he won't go to the doctors because he says they'll just give him more pills. I said he should ask to be referred to the psychiatrist, he said any referrals he's had have been useless and no one ever does anything that helps, and the mental health teams both at work and outside of it are useless. He has no enthusiasm or drive for anything any more, his general outlook on life has changed to "can't be bothered" or "what's the point".... but surely like that he's never going to get better and just get worse and worse? I'd tell him to read cbt books or watch videos, but to be honest, I think he's become so despairing that he wouldn't even bother to help himself by doing that.

I haven't heard from him at all today, he never replied to my message or phone call, so I'm feeling rather sad. I had a lovely day with friends, but it still put a dampener on it that i didn't hear from him when I'm missing him so much.

PureFrustr8d
Posts: 591
Joined: Fri Mar 28, 2008 11:21 pm

Re: His depression has taken a turn for the worse

Postby PureFrustr8d » Tue Apr 15, 2014 3:25 pm

Hi redleopard, this is getting tougher and tougher for you. Now I'm beginning to think that he's not understanding the impact this is having on you - that you are starting to suffer too. It's those distressing text messages - if he doesn't want your help or won't listen to your suggestions why is he sharing such thoughts...saying those things to you is as good as being in his company being snapped at because they are as equally hurtful. I think it's good, especially him being male, that he is sharing his troubled thoughts with you but he lacks the understanding that because you care about him these messages are actually difficult for you to cope with.

Does he know your past, your struggle with depression? I feel your hurt, you don't want to give up on him but faced with all the evidence you are thinking you might have to. I imagine he does care about you but some peoples troubles run so deep that they can't see the trees for the forest. Maybe it's how you are communicating with him, putting so much emphasis on his feelings. He needs to see you care about yourself too. Tell him that as much as you care about his circumstances that it's not all about him, that you are strong but not a rock.

Tell him to stick at his job but to apply for other jobs at the same time, at least like that he'll feel he's doing something proactive about the situ. Tell him to go to the dr to find out how close he is to getting cbt or to even ask the dr to chase up his referral find out when it may be possible...this will give him a goal. I once went to my dr after waiting almost 4 months for help and you wouldn't believe it but they sent an appointment to my old address and I had to go on the waiting list all over again...7 months in total I had to wait cause they messed up (my old address wasn't even in the catchment area so that should have been something to question but no).

You need to stop this 'i need to help' thing, can't you see you are already helping? Stop putting pressure on yourself. I imagine it comes from when you were in need all you wanted was for someone to help you (and because you care obv). Honestly if you could read your posts as an outsider you would see how caring you are and how much you are helping him. You are doing as much as you can, ok. You are being patient, kind, caring, sympathetic, understanding, supportive...and the rest!

It's easier said than done but don't take his problems personally, just remember he had all his issues before you came along so you are not responsible nor are you responsible for making him better.

Peace

redleopard
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Apr 06, 2014 10:31 pm

Re: His depression has taken a turn for the worse

Postby redleopard » Tue Apr 15, 2014 8:53 pm

He doesn't understand, no. I tried explaining to him how it made me feel, and he just said "then stop letting how i'm being get to you, i've gotta fix myself, no noe else can do it. so stop getting all worked up beucase i won't let you help me" - and I said that he didn't seem to be taking any steps to 'fix himself' and it worried me because I don't want him to slowly spiral and get worse.

He's been saying weird things like how everyone at work should probably just do him a favour and die, and that he only rides his motorbike these days "purely in the hope that someone will take me off it" - he said that last night, said g'night, and I haven't heard from him since. He hasn't read my reply. He's been on facebook, but that was 5 hours ago.

As for the job thing, I told him my friend offered to read his CV and help him, because she used to be a recruitment consultant. He never replied to that piece of information. The whole work thing got messed up because his doctor signed him off with work related stress by mistake and not depression, so they've sent him to occupational health rather than the mental health team, and he's not been getting the proper health or the proper action. He knows there's something wrong with him but he's not doing anything about it - he NEEDS to go back to the doctor, but he just keeps saying there's no point.

It's got to the point where I cry every day about this. I broke down at work today again. My boss is getting pretty sick of this and said he'd have to give me a week or two off if i keep doing this - but that will make me worse as I'll have nothing to distract me!

PureFrustr8d
Posts: 591
Joined: Fri Mar 28, 2008 11:21 pm

Re: His depression has taken a turn for the worse

Postby PureFrustr8d » Thu Apr 17, 2014 11:15 am

Ok we've established he doesn't want you helping him and wants to say stuff to you without a big reaction but has he forgot he is in a relationship? You have needs. I imagine you want to hang out together, do fun things together, be intimate etc not have the focus on his depression all the time.

I gave him the benefit of the doubt because he hadn't had a big dip in 6 months and there seems to be just cause for the trigger (the work issue) but from what your writing he needs to be reminded of what makes two people a couple as opposed to just friends. You don't want be in his depressing shadow, knowing this is effecting you so much...crying everyday, interfering with your work etc you really are going to have to be frank with this guy. Find out what his exceptions are of you and if they don't suit you tell him straight. If he won't meet you in the middle, in terms of making plans to hang out, do activities, be close...then...you'll have to think of your own happiness. You are not a bad person not to want all his problems in your life. I wouldn't want my pal with someone who made her cry everyday. However, love is not easy to walk away from and I hope you can talk to him in a way that touches him and he sees that what you have is worth fighting for. There are people who give up on love never to find it again...when it's true love it's worth exhausting every option, only when you have tried and failed can you be sure walking away is the right thing to do.

Your work is important to you, hard as it may be save the contact til after work because you know his messages may trigger you...you really don't want the time off, you'll feel defeated, keep the focus...you are an employee the team needs you ;)

Peace

redleopard
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Apr 06, 2014 10:31 pm

Re: His depression has taken a turn for the worse

Postby redleopard » Mon Apr 21, 2014 12:26 pm

It seems he has forgotten he's in a relationship.... he did say to me "don't take this the wrong way, because I know what a gimp you are, but this, right now, is why I didn't want to get into a relationship" - he still wants to be with me, but he was just saying that right now, he's finding it hard to know how.

I've not heard from him since Thursday, and it's now Monday. It's difficult, because he's been on Whatsapp, facebook etc, just isn't replying to my messages. I haven't pressured him too much, I just asked him how he was doing on Friday and then sent him a funny picture yesterday. He saw them but never replied.... but he's replying to somebody's messages, because he keeps going on there. That I find quite difficult not to take personally.

Because I haven't seen him, I haven't had the chance to speak to him properly about how I feel. I've tried here and there, but it just isn't going to work unless it's in person. The last time we talked, on thursday, he was basically acting like a complete dick. Talking about how he was going to disappear for the weekend and turn his phone off and not talk to anyone (but he's been online so that's not happened) and when I said I was worried and asked how I was meant to know he was safe and alive considering he'd been talking recklessly lately, he just said "I dunno"

It's very difficult at the moment, but... I know he's in there somewhere, the man I'm longing to have back. If he won't talk to me or see me I'm not really sure what I can do.

GrannyV
Posts: 661
Joined: Mon Dec 30, 2013 8:57 am

Re: His depression has taken a turn for the worse

Postby GrannyV » Mon Apr 21, 2014 1:13 pm

Hi Redleopard

I have been reading your messages and the replies and I felt it was time to put my twopenneth in for what it is worth.

There are lots of different degrees of depression. In most cases, I would say, that the people who care for you most are the ones that get hurt most because whilst in depression they are the ones who see the massive changes in you. People want you back to your normal self, just as you do yourself. However, it I not always possible to do this. I for one could not manage to help myself even though I could see how badly it affected my loved ones.

I wished to hide away from those who loved me because it just pained me further to see their suffering, whilst I was suffering. It is a terrible situation to be in and there is not always a solution. Not an immediate one anyway.

My thoughts are that even though it is hurting you very badly try to back off a little more. You obviously are trying to do that and it takes a great amount of courage to do what you are doing. He may be trying to safeguard you by distancing from you at this time. That was how I felt when I was severely depressed.

He may be contacting someone, similar to you are on here, who will not be affected by what he is doing or saying.

Keep us up to date with how you are. For the moment try to focus and look after yourself. I get the feeling that at the end of the day that is what your boyfriend would want you to do as I do think he cares for you deeply.

Much love & hugs
Granny V x x x x x


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