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So explain this to me

If you're concerned about, or care for, someone with mental illness
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So explain this to me

Postby lilliep » Sat Oct 14, 2017 12:04 pm

I've discovered from reading many posts here that depression seems to have a script. I've heard from my boyfriend all the same quotes I've seen here: it's too soon, I don't want a relationship right now, I love you but only as a friend, I need to be alone, I can't give you what you need, you are better off without me.

What I'm struggling with is he complains bitterly to me that he sees no one, he feels alone and no one cares. I care, I offer to take him out for meals, coffee, walks, or just sit with him and keep him company but he makes excuses and pushes me away. What can I do? I try to stay calm with him but I'm getting to the point that I just can't take this anymore. It's bad enough I have to treat him as a 'friend' but now he's making me feel bad for somehow neglecting him and blaming me for the fact he only loves me as a person now. Part of me cares about him deeply and wants to stick by him and hope he comes back to me but the other part just wants to give up and find a man who actually appreciates me and wants to spend time with me.

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Re: So explain this to me

Postby Isap » Sat Oct 14, 2017 1:23 pm

Hi there

Its your call

I'm a depression and Anxiety's sufferer and remember once trying to push my wife away but I'd never do that again.

Some depressed people do not do enough to help themselves towards recovery and he may fall into this category.

If I was a "normal" person I would not want anything to do with someone with severe mental illness. Sounds harsh but being a carer is no fun


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Re: So explain this to me

Postby lilliep » Sat Oct 14, 2017 5:06 pm

Thanks Isap. I just feel a bit down today. I offered to go over tomorrow, buy him lunch and keep him company and he came up with so many obviously lame excuses it wore me down, I'm loosing the will to fight for him anymore because I'm the only one fighting. It will break my heart letting him go because when he was well he was honestly such an amazingly lovely man, he made me feel like the luckiest girl alive to have him in my life and he meant the world to me, still does really, but he won't do anything to help himself.

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Re: So explain this to me

Postby lucym » Sat Oct 21, 2017 11:59 pm

Hi Lilliep

I saw it post and I just wanted to say I know how you feel. Partner has depression and very often doesn’t reply to texts, isn’t able to be affectionate etc. I hope what I’m about to say is helpful but also that it doesn’t influence you too much either way, as whatever (and whenever) you decide (if a ‘decision’ feels right), it has to be right for you as it’s your life to lead.

One thing that has really helped me is to remember my partner’s lack of affection/coldness is a symptom of the depression- ie it’s not about me. It’s not because they don’t want to be around me, but that they’re trying so hard just to get put of bed and function that sometimes, during a depressive episode, which can last for days or weeks, that responses and hugs might be quite thin on the ground. But I am fairly certain, from my experience and from these forums, that your support does mean something. It’s just that he might not be able to show it right now.

On the other hand, that isn’t to say you have to put up with coldness, rudeness, or being pushed away. It is not easy supporting someone with depression, no matter the allure of remembering the wonderful person they are underneath, when that person is being- for want of a better word- strangled by the horrible depression they’re going through, there can be times when you won’t see that great person underneath for a long long time (ps that’s not me saying that’s their fault, it’s totally not and I have so much sympathy, I’m just trying to be honest about my experience to help you).

Remembering they’re not choosing to feel this way, and are having immense trouble dealing with those feelings, is what helps me to be patient with the situation, with myself and to remember the great person underneath. But this also means you need to have clear boundaries- which is something that tends to come with time and experience with the situation.

However- on a practical note, also you need to be honest with yourself. By this I mean how long has your partner been suffering with depression and are they currently getting help or willing to get help? You need to know that you can only offer support but like the saying goes- you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink- Which could be helpful to you as you’re considering whether to stay in the relationship?

I hope none of that was at all patronising, just intended to be helpful and sharing. Just be honest with yourself, have you got the energy to support him And yourself? Depression and anxiety can be catching so if you do stay, you have to learn to detach from his mood- which may sound a bit hippy airy fairy but it is important. It doesn’t mean not caring, but just making sure you look after yourself too. Also if you decide it’s not for you, that’s totally fair enough.
I really hope that’s all been helpful and that things work out and that your partner’s depression improves. Let me know how it goes. (Sorry for the essay).
Lucy x

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Re: So explain this to me

Postby rsxo » Sun Oct 22, 2017 8:47 am

Hi lilliep,

The important thing to understand is why he's doing this. Like any human being, he does want that affection that you get in all kinds of relationships. However, his low self-esteem convinces him that he is not worthy of you, hence the distancing.

In the end, it's your decision as to what you do. You could stay with him, and hope things improve. Or, you could move on from this, and find someone else who gives you what you want in a relationship. Either one is perfectly okay to choose. In the end, I'm sure you'll pick the right one for you!x

Much love <3
RSxo <3

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