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Partner won't get help, I'm exhausted.

If you're concerned about, or care for, someone with mental illness
danielleking4
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2018 4:30 pm

Partner won't get help, I'm exhausted.

Postby danielleking4 » Tue Apr 03, 2018 4:57 pm

I've been with my boyfriend (BF) for almost 11 years. We were young when we met, but even then I knew he was "different" (how many of his family and friends around him put it...). What we didn't know at the time is that he was suffering from depression and social anxiety, and the grip they've got him under has got stronger each year we've been together.

Skipping ahead to two years ago, he decided he wanted help. His doctor prescribed a few different types of medication that didn't work, and he was given a few sessions of CBT over the phone that failed - both because BF's head wasn't in it and also because the trainee he was assigned seemed unprepared.

Local charities, on the other hand, were brilliant. He went to supporter sessions and talking to people seemed to help. He decided we needed a change, so we ended up moving closer to his family (in fact, with his parents) and have a puppy to try alleviate his depression. He's even going to the gym. But it doesn't seem to have helped. Moving area meant we were too far away for him to continue with the support group, and had to change doctors. since then, he's weaned himself off of the medication he was given.

Our first week here, a nurse told him that in this area, mental health support is "crap crap, compared to the rest of the UK where it is only crap." Well, that was it; he no longer wants to seek help. He won't even refer himself for anything as he thinks he's going to have to go through a worse kind CBT over the phone which for him, was a disaster.

I know the steps he's done are big ones (gym, moving, getting a pet), and I know recover is hard and long, but he's slipping back to a place before he started seeking support, to a place even worse. He's stopped talking to me, and when we are alone it's usually watch something on TV while he also browses online or plays games on his phone. I try to talk to him and get a brick wall, then I feel bad for bringing it up and he just looks...lost. We're getting past the age where people get married, buy a house, have kids, and I just don't know what to do. I want to support him but don't know how if he doesn't want professional help, and I worry I'll start to resent him if we never have children or own property. Just typing that makes me feel like a horrendous person, I'm just so exhausted. Every breath I have goes into thinking on how to make him feel better - someone please help me break this cycle.

mihaela
Posts: 1071
Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2016 12:42 am
Location: Lancashire and Moldova

Re: Partner won't get help, I'm exhausted.

Postby mihaela » Wed Apr 04, 2018 6:22 pm

Hi Danielle and welcome!
From all you say it sounds as if he could be on the autism spectrum (as I am). From the moment you said that his friends and family all see him as 'different', you began adding more and more clues. Obviously I'd need to know more about his 'difference' to be more certain. The very fact that treatment seems to have little effect is a big clue, for this kind of treatment is aimed at neurotypical people. Being socially anxious and depressed is classic too. Not talking and immersing himself in video games or TV - another big sign. So is 'looking lost'.

It's worth you both carefully thinking about this. Let me know what you feel. x

vitasw
Posts: 51
Joined: Mon Feb 19, 2018 9:09 pm

Re: Partner won't get help, I'm exhausted.

Postby vitasw » Thu Apr 05, 2018 9:51 am

Hi Danielle,

What a difficult position to be in! I can understand why you feel exhausted. It's a shame he had such a negative experience with CBT and that he was put off by the nurse's comments. It's incredibly difficult to feel motivated when you are depressed, even more so when you've been trying very hard but it feels like you are not getting anywhere. Suffice to say, I can understand how he feels but that doesn't discount your needs. You have been supporting him for many years and I imagine that's been very difficult. It does not make you a horrendous person for worrying about resenting him in the future if he does not pursue professional help - I think it would be understandable if you resented him a bit now given how much of yourself you have put into the relationship and his well being.

You said yourself that every breath you take goes to thinking about how to help him and how to take care of him. It doesn't seem like you are being taken care of so no wonder you are exhausted.

Have you thought about seeing a couple's counselor? Or maybe seeing one on your own to explore this a bit more?

All the best,

V


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