10 Ways to Help Yourself When Your Partner Is Depressed

When depression takes over your partner, you’re likely to go through an emotional waterboarding, a torture you have to escape. You may feel overwhelmed, confused, helpless to do anything. You take the brunt of the punishing anger or indifference that is all your partner can give you.

The relationship that means the most to you feels like it’s breaking fast. What can you do to keep yourself together?

There are thousands of men and women who have lived through this struggle or are in the midst of it right now. They have a lot of insight and share their painful stories in face-to-face support groups as well as online communities.

The members of one of the oldest of the online forums, Depression Fallout, report over and over again that the support of such groups has been a mainstay for dealing with their depressed partners. Communities like these might be a good starting point for you as well.

Here are 10 ideas drawn from the experience of people who have had to live with depressed partners as well as from my own experience as a depressed partner.

  1. Take care of yourself as well as you can. When depression strikes and you find yourself living with a distant stranger, it’s only natural to focus first on your partner. You’re likely shocked and confused and want to bring back the familiar loving person you know. But it’s easy to lose sight of your own needs and gradually undermine the health and inner balance you need to get through the crisis. The obstacles are huge since your partner is right there and depression is now part of your life. It’s important to keep your own life going, get out of the hothouse as often as you can and spend time on the things that most help you relax.

  2. Get help. There’s so much stress in living with depression that you should reach out for support. Perhaps you have caring friends you trust enough to confide in, or can find a support group, online communities, perhaps individual counseling, . That’s the critical first step. And keep on getting their help. You need regular support because the injury doesn’t stop until depression does.

  3. It’s not your fault. Depression is the cause of the problem, not you. Nothing you’ve done could have brought on the ugly transformation of your partner – whatever accusations they might throw at you. Nor is it possible for you to fix the illness. Depression is complicated, not fully understood, and has multiple causes. No one really knows how to cure it. You may be able to help your partner get the right kind of help, but they need to commit to the work of recovery and stay with it.

  4. Learn about depression and how pervasive an impact it can have. That will prepare you to recognize the many ways it can distort your partner’s behavior. You should realize, though, that what you’re learning is just a small part of an evolving field of research. It’s easy to jump to conclusions about exactly what’s wrong and what can be done about it. Consulting a mental health professional is a good way to get further insight into your partner’s illness.

  5. Offer love and support without trying to be directive. Suggest it might be helpful – but pushing it, demanding that he get help in certain ways or learn what you’ve been learning won’t work. Tell him you’re trying to figure out what all the changes in the relationship have been about – and will be there to help as much as you can.

  6. Depression can control you both. Be aware of the danger that you can easily be drawn into the same vortex that’s spinning your partner around. Anne Sheffield describes it as Depression Fallout. Michael Yapko writes that Depression Is Contagious. It’s common to develop your own illness as a result of living with a depressed person. That’s why it’s so important to get all the help you can and to watch your emotional and physical state.

  7. Break the Cycle. One way to keep from being dependent on your partner’s moods is to look closely at your reactions to each of them. What are the worst, most painful moments for you – the ones that trigger your most intense feelings? What does your partner do to set you off? What is the feeling that wells up in you – anger, fear, hopelessness? And what do you do in response – meet attack for attack, hold your feelings in, leave? How do you feel about your own reactions afterward? It can help to track these reactions on paper at first to help you recognize the triggering events. That tactic could make it easier to interrupt your usual reaction, restore a sense of emotional independence and break the cycle that’s hurting you in so many ways.

  8. Be tolerant of yourself. You probably can’t stop the emotional rollercoaster all at once or persuade your partner to get help or take perfect care of yourself. Expecting too much too soon can only lead to more frustration and reduced self-esteem. You already have enough of those to deal with.

  9. You Can’t Go Back. Try to remember that the relationship you used to know may not return. It’s likely to be changed as a result of living with depression, especially if it recurs of if a single episode continues for several months, perhaps even years. It’s only natural to long for the return of the loving partner you used to know – your partner wants the same thing – but be prepared that it may not be so simple as that. You and your partner are more likely to face a gradual process of redefining how to live together.

  10. They’re responsible for getting help. (edited 12/20/2013) Depression may be the underlying problem, but that fact doesn’t take away responsibility for destructive behavior. This is a difficult subject to talk about, and I do so from the perspective of someone who inflicted pain on his family during bouts of depression. When feeling better, I might well say something like: it was depression driving me to say and do those things. It’s not about you – don’t take it personally. But of course it’s personal. I was constantly leaving my wife and kids out of my awareness and often spoke and acted abusively. The anger, attacks, threats to leave and emotional withdrawal are as personal as it gets in a relationship. It’s especially important, then, to set boundaries. Depressed partners have to know when you can’t take anymore, or they cross a line that can’t be crossed. Remind them about what’s at stake and what you are really feeling. A depressed person is ill, yes, and probably wouldn’t choose to act hurtfully when well, so simple blaming is not appropriate. But there are supportive ways to remind them of your limits and insist that they get treatment. That is what my wife did for me, and it was a powerful wake-up call that got me back into treatment after a long period of denying the problem, despite my long history of depression.

192 Responses to “10 Ways to Help Yourself When Your Partner Is Depressed”

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  1. pd says:

    Hi, I’m struggling intensely with my partner who lost his job a few weeks ago and i blame myself. We’ve only just got together as well (nearly 4 months now) after 4 years of long distance and it was such a whirlwind having him back in my life.

    I have security in the UK because I’m from this country whereas he has only just re-entered so it takes a while to readjust. It was also a big deal we got together because of the past we had where it was always so uncertain.

    A month ago, I found a diary in his bag from a time before we were a couple and I stupidly read parts of it. It was like a massive sex list of his and I got scared. I admitted I read it and we discussed it, he felt shame and I kick myself for being that nosey person who made him feel like that, but it made me think he had a secret side and different to the guy I fell in love with. He said it was a thing of the past when he went through a bad phase and I asked if I was enough, to which he said yes. It didn’t stop me looking at the bigger picture and I still knew I loved / in love with him. I have been really good to him before and after that event; spoiling him, looking after him when he’s sick or down, taking him to spa weekends etc. It makes me feel like perhaps I was a bit overbearing but it was also making up for lost time. He’s also not the kind of guy to take either, this came from me because he wasn’t always working and didn’t have the funds and I wanted to do fun couple stuff. I guess also because the beginning of a relationship is exciting and you do grand gestures.

    Now I blame myself for this part : that we both like to party on the weekends, but I’m more intense with it and I know that it can be quite crippling the week after, I guess my own issue is I dont feel relaxed unless I get high after a long working week. He then lost his job, but he was with a very bullyish boss who put him down intensely and he couldnt focus and told them he was leaving. He said he couldnt cope with her and felt like a failure. Since then he’s rapidly declined. He has big debts in his home country and some family issues. I said I’d support him emotionally through this but he has retreated into himself. We then had a big chat because I was getting anxious over his state of mind. He then confessed he feared he is a sex addict and was going to get help, whilst not acting on these urges since being with me, he says its eating him up inside. It made me feel awful hearing that, scared again I guess after reading bits of his diary where he said it wasn’t the way he was. He saw a therapist last Friday and will see him again, but he’s so raw and not the same as he used to be. I’ve broken down every day for as long as I can remember now. I’m trying to be strong for him but also so scared inside.

    I think he’s likely going to head back to his home country and not work through this properly. I feel helpless because I have no idea what’s going to happen or how to work through this with him but also myself. I dont want to lose him but I’ve no idea what the best thing to do is.

  2. Veronica says:

    I’VE BEEN WITH A DEPRESSED person for going on 6 years in February 2015. We recently moved in together around 2013, I realized I was making a mistake but I did it any way. I fell in love with this man. I thought and hoped that maybe he would change. I truly realized that I set my self up for a uncontrollable crisis. There was nothing nothing else to do but leave our home we share, leave every time he pointed the finger at me, called me bad names and pushed me away. Fortunately I have family and a few friends to support me during these awful times when he would say he hates me and certain people, which in reality I knew who these people are. Not only that ” he hates himself” There was many times I didn’t want to invite my family and friends over for dinner or birthday parties because he would not agree. I felt like I was living in isolation. So I would leave my home for hours than days. I recently went away for about 14 days to have my sanity. But here I am back writing my story for the first time ever. Two days ago I pleaded with him in a loving way we cried together in the process of it all. As we spoke I told him that in order to survive our relationship that he would have to commit to a in house for what ever time it took him to recover and along the way I would support him through this time. If not I would surely make that decision to leave for ever. We talked about how much we love each other. He agreed to go out and find recovery. In just 2 days he changed his mind. Now we’re back into the same cycle because he feels he can work it out on his own. But in reality I know he cannot. I’m ready to say that I am ready to move on with my life to live a peaceful life with out having to worry when my love ones come to visit with me. Over all I just pray that he does decide to get the therapy he needs .

  3. christina says:

    My husband has cerebral palsy and has battled depression for many years. From 1999 to 2008 he took prozac, starting in his late teens. He had a rough childhood – no father and a mom who dealt with chronic illnesses and monthly hospitalizations for a myriad of issues. She herself is depressed, takes many meds, and has given up on him and life.

    We have been marries since 2007. He was doing very well when he gradually went off meds. Since then, however, we have faced numerous obstacles that would challenge any marriage: primary infertility, long-term unemployment for him, changing jobs (me), deaths of loved ones, his mother’s illnesses and her negativity towards everyone, my hubby’s own chronic health problems and a near death experience, loss of “friends” due to hubby’s depression and/or their lack of compassion, changing churches several times, etc.

    We now have a 2 year old and I’m desperate to help hubby, but he has already isolated himself to the house almost 24/7 and even to the best at least once or twice a week now. He is very negative about himself, outlook on life, future, says we’d be better off without him. We’ve had many doc appointments to find root causes of pain he is in. I KNOW a lot of it, icluding elevated heart rate and inability to sleep, constant anger, etc. Demonstrate a strong need for meds again. However, he blames prozac made him infertile and refuses meds no matter what I or anyone else says. He thinks his sweet caring doc is a dummy and won’t listen to him either. What can I do? This is a daily struggle for us, and I am constantly unable to cheer hi.up even when I give up my own free time to hold him. Please help! Need advice – how can we get him back on meds?

    Also his mom makes things worse, has made herself unwilling to help him with even simple things like sending him photos conditional on him getting back on meds. Her attitude makes him all the more upset, and then she bad-mouths him to any family friends who would have helped. Aside from me and my dad, he has no one. Hurts to watch him!

  4. BB says:

    Hi,

    I’m struggling and I’m reaching out. Which sounds incredibly selfish of me to say when a loved one is going through what they’re going through. I am in love with someone who needs help. I try to help, and I try to take everything on myself, but it’s a struggle. I can’t tell her that, I know I can’t. I’m her boyfriend and I’m meant to be there for her. I’m meant to help her cope with all this stuff. But I get things wrong. I’ll say the wrong thing, or talk about the wrong thing and all of a sudden we argue. We argue about the smallest of things. And then it becomes an argument about my failings. Then she tells me that she hates me, or that I’m hopeless. That she doesn’t want to be in our terrible relationship anymore. I tell myself that it isn’t her talking, but all I want to do is breakdown and scream. I don’t eat properly, I don’t sleep properly. I don’t want to leave her, or walk away from her. Not just because of the fact that she’s at a low point, but because I am so deeply in love with her. I want to help her and get her better. She’s still the smart, beautiful, funny, loving woman I fell in love with. And I see that all the time.

    • Jet says:

      Hi BB,

      I haven’t posted on here for a while, but when I saw your message there were a lot of things that hit me as being similar to my relationship that ended a year or so ago.

      Firstly, “struggling” is not a selfish word, nor is it selfish to reach out. In fact, it’s probably the best thing you can do right now, as it sounds like you’re taking so much strain on yourself that your doing yourself some harm. Do you have any friends you can reach out to at home? When I was in my relationship (and I don’t know if it’s the case with you or not?) I cut myself off from those I had been closest to to focus on helping my boyfriend through his struggles. If you’ve done the same, I’d highly recommend giving them a call and arranging a night/afternoon out together. Sometimes just getting out of what can be a highly toxic situation is a relief and release.

      I know it’s not much advice, but I hope it is of some help, and perhaps the start of a longer list of people with more advice than I have.

      Take care of yourself – you need to come first sometimes, too!

      Jet
      x

    • ljs says:

      Hi BB,

      I have only just found this Website and your story rings true in very similar ways to mine.

      my other half has refused help a number of times, threatening that she’ll leave, that it would affect her job etc.

      She has ups and downs, but the big down times can be triggered by anything and, as you said it could be the slightest thing you have done “wrong”. Three days ago it was because I didn’t defrost the chicken.

      once it’s started then it’s the same things she says, she hates me, she regrets us being together, she’s sick of me. The argument about my failings is another one that always comes up too! Yet what can you do? You can’t lash back because she can’t reason as per her other self.
      self-harming is an issue, usually nail scratches and biting. If she has these issues too it would definitely be worth seeking assistance. Many times I’ve had to physically restrain her so she doesn’t seriously hurt herself.
      She always packs a bag and several times I’ve had to stop her from running into the street with no shoes. Then she’ll finally break down and cry and collapse. She’ll say she’s not coping and doesn’t want me to feel she’s a failure.

      It may be of some comfort to hear that that you’re not alone, that whilst there’s nothing you on your own can do to fully help her, as much as you want to, she probably really appreciates the support you do give her. And that those things you describe are not you’re fault and aren’t something unique to your loved one. They are cruelly yet simply a symptom of this illness.

      Thank you for also letting me realise I’m not alone either. That it isn’t my fault. It’s very easy to become so self contained in this little bubble of helplessness you can lose track of who both of you are and that to be shouted and abused isn’t the healthiest of relationships.

  5. lucie says:

    Would you say that anger outburst is a depression?should it be treated differently?the doctor dont think that my Husband is depressed,but I feel like im reading about my life when reading your blog.

  6. AD says:

    Hi everyone, I’m so grateful for this blog, and those of you who have posted your stories here. So helpful.

    My husband has struggled with depression his whole life, and goes up and down, in and out of depressive states. Lately, he’s been more on the low end, over the last 4 years. We have two small children together.

    I feel stuck, and would appreciate advice. My husband is never cruel to me, thankfully. When he’s depressed, he just checks out, and goes off alone to sleep or play video games, stops all participation with me and the kids. When it was more serious a few years ago, I was feeling very alone and unloved, and angry, and burdened by all the responsibilities of caring for my family. I developed “depression fallout” – stress/anxiety/eating disorders, which I’ve been to therapy for, and am recovering from, I’m much happier today.

    I’m just not sure where to go from here. He’s not cruel to me. And he does see a doctor and take medication regularly. I know those are two of the big issues for some of you, who have decided to leave.

    I don’t feel like I have a partner anymore, I feel like I have an adult dependent that I care for, along with my two small children. He doesn’t want to spend time with me, even to watch a TV show, we’re not intimate, we’re very polite to each other, and he helps with things when I ask, but that’s about as deep as it goes.

    I feel stuck. Are there boundaries I should be setting that I’m not? Do you think it’s okay to accept that my life isn’t ideal, but it isn’t terrible, and that I could still be happy by mainly focusing on my kids, career, friends, self, without having the love and support from my partner that we all fantasize about? Does this set a horrible example for my daughters? Darn those Disney fairy tales for setting us up with unrealistic expectations! :)

    Thanks.

    • JF says:

      Hi there AD! I just read over your post and cried until the end of it. I can identify with you. My husband has been struggling with depression for over 13 years. He has a good heart but always sees the glass as half empty or more like completely empty. He has been on meds for 3 years now and on different doses and meds. Everyday, I wait to see who is going to come through the door: a kind loving man or an angry, annoyed, distant husband. I have three kids and they struggle with how moody their dad is. He has ruined vacations, holidays, and just about every happy event that occurs in our lives. We almost mourn for a marriage and life that we know is not possible anymore. I cant even stand to watch romance movies because I know I can’t have that. Everyday is a struggle. I have found that his depression seeps into us all. The only things I have found that help is taking care of yourself(diet exercise, things you enjoy) a relationship with my heavenly father( he is my shield and buckler), and talking to a good friend of mine who grew up with a father with depression. Sometimes others don’t understand the hardship of a spouse with depression-we love them and want a life with them. It is a very lonely marriage when your married to someone with depression. Almost always, depression comes with some kind of abuse whether its physical, emotional, verbal and other ways. That is where you draw the line! It took a threat of separation for my husband to get help. He was emotionally, verbally, and sometimes physically abusive (no hitting just pushing and wrist grabbing). There is no excuse for any abuse. I think we just have to love them and do what we can to survive with them .As for just investing in the kids, I thought about that too but then realized that if my identity lies solely in them, what happens when they leave? Who will I be then? I hope and pray things go better for you. I am so thankful to read your post because you have touched me with your words and made me feel like I am not so alone.

  7. Andrea-1 says:

    I really thought depression was a state of mind and that you could just sleep it off.. I’m not really sure of how to know if someone is really depressed or just tired.
    My husband and I started a business abroad. His father is on it with us.
    As every business, ours was full of inconvenients and trouble at the beginning. And his father was extremely hard on my husband and on the employees, so the environment was really hard.

    For three years we have been working like crazy to make it. But finally we decided to close the business. Everyone is happy about it. Actually eager to close since that way we can go back to our country and start over.
    However, my husband claims to be extremly tired all the time (since 2011) , and this tiredness makes him very angry and explosive.
    The smallest issue becomes this huge problem that makes him mad and either silent or just screaming.

    Last one was because I was driving and the car passed over a whole on the road!! or because there is a 3 min traffic jam, of because he doesn’t have a notebook near to write etc..

    I tried to talked to him, since his behavior is upseting his parents . He claims I go on a one way conversation, that I make him tired and I’m trying to make him feel like he is just a big dissapointment and that he is only tired and needs to finish with this business.
    I just tell him how inacceptable it is for him to be angry and hurtful about stupid things

    He also cries sometimes, (overtired?) and spends little time with our 1 year old baby. When I ask him to shower the baby, he drags his feet to do so. (he loves our son very much though).
    Life is not great right now since we have no privacy because in order to close ASAP, our parents in law are living with us to help with the baby and business.
    Then there is the stress of work and living in a city he hates.
    However, it is really not so bad. His parents are very nice to us (even if my mother in law doesn’t really like me) and it is great help to have them. Then even though his father is tough on him and my husband got tired about it long time ago,now he is trying to get better and to be less difficult.
    The city is not great but it is not horrible. We have an ok life standard, we have food a nice car, great kid, we love each other and to me that should be enough.
    He is, however, very angry and explosive. It is hard sometimes to tip toe every time I have to say something, since there are good chances he will get mad.
    Is it really some sort of chronic fatigue? I don’t really know if I should wait and see how it goes once the business will close or if I should have the big “Get help” talk.

    I hope he did not change for good. He is a very sweet and smart guy and I love him vary much, but I don’t really know what to do or if I should do something at all.

  8. MR says:

    Thank you for providing such a comprehensive website for understanding depression and how to cope with a depressed spouse. My husband and I have been married for 18 years and have 3 children. I found out on our honeymoon while visiting his family that his father had committed suicide in his late forties, I learned of this before my husband did. His family hid this from him until he was 29 years old (he was only 7 when it happened). I have always been concerned with the possibility of depression with him but he seemed to keep those feelings at bay until now. He recently took an assignment for 5 months away from the Family , with a few short visits home. In his assignment he was praised, ogled over and almost attained celebrity status. When he returned I did not recognize the man standing in front of me, he had lost 35 pounds began exercising for the first time in his life every day and he also cried almost daily. He became withdrawn and said that he has never been happy in our marriage. He has been home for 3 months from his assignment away and i tried harder to make him happy and he withdrew more and recently said that he did not want an intimate relationship with me and was not in a place to work on our marriage now or most likely ever. Ouch that hurt, followed by if i were you i would leave me. I thought that he must have had an affair and I was hurt and angry and he says that he did not and this is about him and has nothing to do with me. He has been in counseling for 3 weeks now and insists that we continue to live together while he works out his disdain for me i.e his excuse for his lack of happiness. I spent about 10 days just crying and mourning our lost marriage, then I started to pick up the pieces an come from a place of strength and understanding. I told him that I am letting him go so that he can find his happiness, but he still lives with us. I sent him an article from this site and suggested that he may be depressed.He says that he wants his space to work through his darkness ( but it is not depression )in the safe environment of our home? What, that does not make any sense, unless he is depressed. He said that his counsellor has not identified that he is depressed, the article Relationships in Conflict Depressions Role describes his new persona to a T. We have had a wonderful life together with the normal ups and downs of a long term relationship but he does not see it that way, he talks about how terrible it has been for our entire marriage. He insists on living with us but our marriage is over in his mind.? What do I do now?

  9. favour says:

    Am happy that am reading all this story and I hope that oneday my boyfriend will come back to his sense i have been dating this guy for 1year now last year was so sweet and but 3months ago he turn into someone else a guy that loves me just called me Oneday after having sex with me that he don’t love me and he don’t have feelings for me again i asked him why he said he just don’t have feelings for me. He start accusing me of things I didnot do.even to extend of locking himself that his house he avoid everybody his friends and his family even me his girlfriend. But now he is at mental home.his friends were now telling me that he is always like that and he is always at mental home i don’t know what else to do i need your advice to wait for him or to walk out of the relationship

  10. Jess says:

    What do you do when you love someone and it hurts to see them suffer from depression but you know if you stick around you will never truly be happy or live the life you deserve? I can’t remember the day I woke up and thought about something other then I wonder what il get attacked for, blamed for today? Will I wake up to the man I fell in love with and the man everyone else gets to enjoy or the man I see as a black,dark miserable shadow that tries so hard to trap me into his black cloud.

    We have a 17month old daughter and another baby due in November. I need to find a way to mentally cope living with this person before I become an angry, bitter and a negative person myself (which I feel is happening).Over the last four years I’ve tried to suggest help, found him psychologists though he claims he’s tried this, suggested medication though he states he reacts to them all, brought him books but he wants me to study them because they don’t make sense to him, referred him to naturopaths and all sorts. I’m sick of thinking I have to be his mentor and counsellor , I just want to be his friend and partner to experience life with and grow stronger and older together. I love him but I can’t say I like being around him, I only enjoy his company when others are around, because some how the dark shadow and black cloud around him seems to have disappeared.

    I try hard to be strong and feel guilty for feeling so much resentment, as he warned me about his depression the week we met. I honestly didn’t know what I was going to face. This sounds so cold and heartless but if I knew what I’d be facing I wouldn’t have stuck around, I love him dearly but I’m sad!!

    What advice is there to try and get through this pregnancy as a happy, positive and loving person? The person who I really am. How can I prevent this man from breaking my soul? I’ve been searching for the answer for years and I’m still puzzled. I’m stuck and have no where to turn and I know in my heart its his depression talking but it really hurts!!! Finding this blog and reading these stories have been amazing for me!

  11. Beth says:

    I have been in a relationship with a depressed partner for seven years. He is ten years older than me. We are now 65 and 55. When we first started dating, it was wonderful. I was a widow and he was my first real partner after losing my husband. He treated me like a princess. Within a few months we were living together. He did have sleep issues, and I knew he was on prozac and welbutrin, for ADD and depresssion.
    After about a year, I noticed that he would overreact to certain situations, often retreating within himself, not talking, and often saying mean and hurtful things. Our sex life the first year was fantastic. Now, we have not had sex in over two years. We now seem to be just roommates, we never go to bed at the same time. He never initiates any type of affection. No hugs, no kisses. He does however shower our two dogs with all sorts of love, kisses, babytalk, hugs. He often seems upset, sometimes just sits and stares. He goes from manic interest is certain things, to apathy. To get him to engage in a conversation, I have to really ask him about something he is interested in, or we could sit in silence for hours. I have lost so much self esteem, often going through senarios in my head as to how to approach him so that we will have a “good day”. I don’t want to live my life this way, walking around on eggshells. Keeping my mouth shut and not ‘overreacting” so that I won’t rock the boat. He is constantly saying that I overreact, that I am responsible for my own actions. He also spends so much time telling me what I am doing wrong, from cleaning to cooking, to how I talk to others. My past self would respond to his comments, but now I just bite my tongue, because it would just make it worse. I think about my life almost every day without him, how I am just about ready to tell him that it is over, that I want him to leave. But I never seem to find my voice. I am a caregiver by nature, but I really am losing myself. I have gained a ton of weight, and I have pushed a lot of my friends away. I feel so stuck.

    • Beth H says:

      If I were you I would do a Shirley valentine. Get away for a few months, pamper yourself. go abroad, move out if need be and join a gym to get you stronger mentally and physically. In short focus on you and maybe he will follow you. Stay upbeat and ooze health and happiness as best you can and he will be drawn to you again or else you will at least have yourself back.

    • Jet says:

      Hi,

      I haven’t posted on here for quite a long time, as me and my depressed partner split some time ago. Reading through your post, I would suggest trying to get back in contact with some of those friends of yours; take some time out and go for a coffee or do something as a group you used to enjoy doing you haven’t done for a while. Those friends will be the people who will be there to support you through the rough patches, and help pick you up if things get too tough. I say this as I did the same as you; I pushed all the people closest to me away, and when things became a struggle I imploded as I no longer had the support networks I so desperately needed.

      I agree with Beth H. as well. Taking a bit of time away for yourself (even if it’s just a “girls night out” a couple of times a week, rather than going away or moving out) will hopefully remind him that you are not his carer, you are his partner, and that you have your own life and your own needs too.

      Please take care!

    • Ruth says:

      Beth I cried when I read your post, because it is so familiar! Sounds so much like what I’m going through, except we’re in our 30’s and married with kids to complicate things further. I have started to do things for myself – getting back in touch with old friends, trying to get more exercise and eat healthier. But a hard road when you’re living with someone so negative towards everything…all the time. Good Luck. hope it helps to know you’re not alone? as made me feel a little better.

  12. Lizbeta says:

    I have a husband who suffers from depression since his youth. He lapsed into a critical phase a couple of years ago and had to be hospitalised. All the while he was deteriorating all he was doing was baiting me into arguing – withdrawing when I went into a room, being dismissive of me especially in front of others – then he sought help and declared his love and that he couldn’t be without me. I recovered too during the time he was away in hospital. I never really know when he is down as he puts on a smile and gives me the runaround but a clue I detected recently is that I start to get down with him as he makes me give out more joy than I have but returns no affection. Then I get annoyed and he provokes the argument as a way of blaming me for his feelings. I broke the cycle today by reminding him that when he got medical help he realised it was the depression and not me. He says he feels better. I will feel better tomorrow.

  13. malika says:

    I came to this website to try to find answers to questions about how to deal with my husband’s depression. Apart from a wealth of experiences and tips, what struck me the most is the difference in the way men and women deal with this illness. Most wonen hold onto their relationships for years and years despite everything, while most men tend to give up and run away choosing themselves. I wonder where this difference stems from.

    • Liam says:

      I would say everything goes on your attitude, male or female. Men find it easier not to deal with things, just run away as you say. I am a male and my partner is suffering, so I am learning what I can to try and help because I don’t want to lose her. It would be easier for me to move on from her but she is worth fighting for!

      • Mark says:

        Liam,

        I feel the same way about my girlfriend of almost 4 years. The highs and lows drive me crazy and I find myself drinking during the lows. The highs are awesome with her wanting to get married and thanking the lord for having me in her life. The lows general consist of her isolating herself from me days and weeks at a time. Usually if I leave her alone she’ll snap out of it and want to see me. I’ll take any pointer I can get. This has been a rollercoaster ride from hell.

  14. Wendy says:

    My husband is often depressed. He is convinced that I am to blame for it. I have an anxiety disorder for which I am undergoing treatment and counselling. He married me knowing this. He says there is no point in taking medication himself to “mask the symptoms” because the root cause is me! Living with the burden of his blame, even though I don’t buy it is terrible. I just don’t know how to “be” in my own house as I am being held responsible for such a dreadful situation (sometimes he is uncommunicative for days). We have twin bosh aged 13, one who has special needs…..

    • Jessica says:

      My husband blames me, too. It is so painful to hear. He blames me for everything that is bothering him and it seems as though there is something new that bothers him each day. A phrase he uses often with me is, “It’s all your fault.” It is so hard, because I am doing my best to be loving, supporting, patient… but it hurts. It really hurts even though I know that it is utterly untrue. What I struggle with the most is the burden of taking the blame from him. He feels justified in becoming angry and saying regrettable things. He dismisses it by saying, “I’m sick. I can’t control it.” Maybe that is true, and I try to be understanding of that. But as the one taking the brunt of his anger and hopelessness, what am *I* to do with it? Just take it inwardly and convince myself he didn’t mean it? Hope that tomorrow gets better while gently encouraging him to continue with his help plan? I’m tired. I love him so much, and I will remain by his side no matter what. But I feel small, I feel reduced to a significantly lesser version of myself; I feel constantly nitpicked, I feel unloved and disliked by him, I feel disrespected, I feel, feel, FEEL. I have hope that our husbands can overcome this, even if it means being a different person when it is all said and done. I have hope that if we remain patient and loving wives, that we will one day be loved for our sheer endurance in the matter. But often times, I feel so deeply lonely and hurt by this illness that I am left not knowing what to do. Now my four year old has taken to asking, “Is Papa going to like us today, Mama?” It breaks my heart. It makes me so sad. I’m sorry for such a long reply with so many ‘I’ statements… I am just trying to express that I understand your hurt and I feel it to. My thoughts are with you.

      • Lizz says:

        Wow Jess you just described my daily life, lizz

        • Beth says:

          Ladies,
          Why do we continue to live our lives like this? I had an awful day yesterday with my partner. He just blew up about nothing. My day was ruined (as usual). I was given the cold shoulder, yelled at, and then told to shut up. 70% of the time, I just bite my tongue and don’t respond, but the other 30% I respond back, often joining in the fight telling him I don’t deserve such treatment, I did nothing wrong, why do you treat me this way? Later in the day, I just went on like nothing had ever happened, treated him respectfully and nicely, and he finally began to behave like nothing had ever happened. WHY, WHY, WHY can’t we take better care of our selves? You young women, with young children have your whole lives and loves ahead of you. You need to put your children first, before your husbands. If you have family, seek out their help. You need to find you and your voice, so that your children see you as the strong woman you are. You might not be able to save you husband or your marriage, but you can save and improve the lives of your children.

          • Elizabeth says:

            I left my partner 3 weeks ago, because the verbal emotional abuse of every day had just became harsh of his words and started believing what he would say of how stupid, retarded, useless I am , and just a simple question of what would you like for dinner with set him off, saying I could not making a f## king decision,, it would be my fault that he got mad on a daily bases, my child copped a lot of the the verbal abuse!!! So I would manage to keep him away from his pathway,, lucky for us he finished work late,, I never told my family anything about all of this for over 18 months because every one thought he was such a loving man, he now is making me feel guilty for leaving and he promises he will change,, I know he is just saying what I want to hear , how do I get through this ????

  15. AA says:

    Hey you all!

    I am in need of help and i would be so much obliged if you give me your advices!

    like other stories my partner is depressed :( we have been in a relationship for almost 9 months and i know him for 3 years.
    we had a satisfactory relationship until last month when his little brother was diagonosed with cancer.fortunatly he will survive after treatment but this event has affected my partner profoundly.I know he will be sad for sometime but suffer deeply when i see him depressed and reticent. He has lost all of his hopes including our relationship.
    i love him so much and i don’t want leave him,even now that he is angery and depressed!
    i am not a very happy person by nature! and i have been through depression for 2 years. i understand him
    what to do?:(

    • Robynn says:

      First let me say that I know exactly what you are going through !
      My husband has battled depression 28 of our 29 years of marriage ! I have stood beside him out of love and when I questioned that, I stood beside him out of obligation (sickness and in health). At times when our kids were all little, I had to make quiet mouse games to keep him from projecting onto them ! It has not been a happy life, In fact we have only lived an existence ! At times when he has been on medication , I could see a glimmer of the man I fell in love with but he usually stops taking meds after a few months and starts spiraling into depression again and refuses to start back on meds !
      Let me say this……. You don’t fix someone with depression , you help them cope with it.
      What you are seeing right now is a preview for the rest of your life !!!!!!
      If I could go back in time, knowing what I know now…….
      I would run as fast as I could away from this crazy life !

      • Debi says:

        My husband has been battling depression for the past 18 mons. He has had rages, has verbally been abusive, has broken things by throwing and punching things, and is suicidal. I had him evicted and I have left twice. Only to have him make promises he can’t keep. I see what you mean Robynn about just coping and just existing. If this is truly just a preview of the rest of my life I am about ready to “run as fast as I can away from this crazy life!”

    • Geraldine says:

      My advice, leave. You are only in this relationship a short while, be thankful that you have no children or large financial commitments. My husband of 13 years suffers from depression and PTSD, this has increased in the past 4 years. The cycles are her horrendous. I only get glimpses of the man I fell in love with. He goes in and out of denial of this situation several times a week!! I have set boundaries and he has pushed me to the limit and even gone beyond them. We have 3 young children, all born before he was diagnosed 4 years ago. The things that he can say to me when he’s in one of his “moods” are so savage. He goes on and off his medication, refuses councelling, tells me he doesnt need it but always goes anyway. His councillor is sending him to a phyciatrist now, she feels that she is not meeting his needs! Sorry I am going off point. I can see that you are a kind caring person, and that you do love him, but I am sorry to say that your love will never be enough to make this condition go away. And even if /when he does get better you & he will keep asking yourselves for how long. Love is amazing and wonderful but you must love yourself too.

  16. Julia says:

    Hello,

    My boyfriend and I who are almost 27 and 29 have been together for three and a half years. When I first met him I knew he had epilepsy. Epiliepsy incase no one knows is when you have more than three seizures and not knowing what causes them. I didn’t care about that because who he was and how amazing he was outshined that. I also had seizures when I was little and my brother does too. I am a Medical Assistant and I know how to handle people when they have seizures. He started to have seizures at the age of 24 years old. I also found out down the line that he had an alchohol problem and just recently was diagnosed with Bi-polar disorder. These last three years have been wonderful and I was always there to support him through all of this. Recently after being sober for over a year, he relapsed. His seizures before that had increased tremedously as well. After finding a job that he loved, three months later, he had to stop because his health had declined and he was having too many seizures left and right and in and out of the hospital. He also was not allowed to drive anymore. After a while, he became even more depressed because he said “he just wants to live a normal life and be a normal person” He is in therapy, which i helped him get into and after a month of seeing his therapist, he ended things with me. At first, he told me he just thought it was best that we go our seperate ways, two weeks later after he had ended things with me and I moved out he said that this was just a break and he needed time to find himself. He said that he loved me and cared about me, but he said he needs to love himself and figure himself out. He said that he feels bad for always depending on me to take him everywhere and sitting at the doctors and hospital with him. He said that I deserve better and its not fair to me. I have always told him that i do these things not because i have to but because I love him and thats what people do when they love each other, they support one another. I told him that this didn’t matter and I would be there for him always. I told him he wasn’t a burden on me and he made me the happiest woman. I told him we were meant to be together and he was my best friend. I pretty much told him honestly how i felt. I told him i missed him and life without him was not what i wanted. He told that he needs to be independent and he needs to learn to take care of himself. He said that he wants to find a job and go back to school, which he also had to leave just 12 credits shy of a bachelors degree in something he is very passionate about. His parents have been supportive and have been paying his half of the rent so that we can live together and until he can recooperate and get his health together. Doctors have tried over and over again changing his meds and trying to get the seizures controlled. Last night we had a conversation, he told me that he loves me and has intentions of getting back with me, but doesn’t know when. He said that he has a lot going on right now with trying to get his life together with finding a job and going back to school, getting wrist surgery and he said that he doesn’t have the time to be overwhelmed with worrying about giving me the best relationship i deserve. He said that having a girlifriend right now is not an option because he has too much on his mind. He told me if I want to wait then i need to be patient, but if i can’t be then its not going to work. I love this man very much and I just want him back in my life. I am trying to understand where he is coming from, but its so hard. How do you love someone but you can’t be with them. Also, when you are in the worst part of your life and you are suffering from your relapse, accepting the seizures aren’t going away and having a mental disorder, wouldn’t you want the person that loves you most by your side?

    • Eva says:

      I’m sorry you are young through that. I would think he would want you there. He is probably stubborn and embarrassed.

  17. Valorie says:

    I have had a relationship with my ex spouse for over 35 years. We were married for ten years and have a daughter who is 25 years old now. He hides his depression from her so she thinks it is all me. He has allowed me to take the blame for the failure of our relationship all these years but now I realize it is not me. Thank you! Small comfort there though.

    • Valorie says:

      We have back together for a couple of years. He has been the best dad for our daughter. I never remarried, mainly because I figured I screwed up one relationship, why take a chance on another. When we finally reconciled, I thought, yes, finally the redemption I have craved for a long time. Then the same ugly pattern began to emerge and I remembered why I divorced. I am determined to not let this depression win this time, tho. I am older and wiser now and so ready to put some of these strategies to work for his sake and mine.

  18. J M says:

    Well, this is depressing. My g/f was just admitted into the hospital from therapy yesterday. I have been aware of her issues but she really has been trying to get help. She completely lost trust in her therapist, yet she needs the treatment due to suicidal talk and depression. I am lost. I love her dearly and we have great times together. She is an absolute sweetheart, but sometimes I see the depth of her pain. Yet, she tries so hard. she thinks that I will leave her, but I am not ready to do that. I see potential, but now that she has lost trust in her therapist, I am unsure of what to do. She will be hospitalized today, probably for about a week….

    #unsure of what to do to help???

  19. Curt says:

    I have been with my wife for 24 years, at first i noticed allot of sleeping and bills paid late minor stuff i thought, and i still remember to this day she came into the living room after i spent 4 hours working on her car holding a towel. i hadnt cleaned my hands enough and it left marks on the towel she lost her mind in front of me, I responded with are you nuts can you hear yourself this is a towel we can get more. Next was the migranes they were so bad she would vomit, i rushed her to the hospital the first time no mention of depression was ever made. Then came the road rage and more sleeping more irrational responses to simple problems or issues she would have. and me responding with are you nuts ?, can you hear yourself i used to actually tell her im going to record this so you can see what you sound like. after 7 years i began to think it was me that was the bad person, i was causing her to much greif somehow. then it came i remember this day, she blew up at me again and i said you need to see a doctor your not right are you nuts ? she looked me in the face and said no i have depression…. OMG all these years i have been responding to her that way my comments holy crap she actually does have depression. I have never felt so bad in my whole life. I had been saying this to the woman i love and she in fact did have problems. she had been hiding medications she was on money was always missing or we didnt have enough etc. fact was i made enough to support us both and she only worked to keep busy but managed to spend every cent we had. This is were the story starts 7 years into our mariage she finaly tells me her whole family has had depression issues some severe some minor. OMG OMG…. well it gets better as time goes on i start to recognize the signs as fall comes she sleeps more, sometimes she gets stuck in the sleep issue and it will last for months, she simply stops taking the meds and dosnt tell me. One night she said she was having a night out with the girls well 3:00 in the morning she comes home and yes i lost it remember now she never goes out past 8 or 9, she tells me she got drunk and fell asleep in her car then drove home. Well i dont believe it so i start to yes i did it look into the things she was saying and doing, i find out she is talking allot to some guy at work going in sundays you know all the stuff that looks like an affair then i find a cell phone she got that she didnt tell me about, i find out the guys name and call him. he tells me I NEED TO LISTEN TO HER MORE and that she has been in a relationship with him for the last 6 months. okay now im mad as hell i tell him there is 1 in a thousand that wont walk away from her and theres always that one who will find you and beat you into the ground. i tell him did you know she has severe depression issues and your preying on a sick woman. he was speechless. what he didnt know was i was accross the street from his house deciding wether or not to kill his rotten ass. I did nothing he went away i had thrown my wife out of our appartment. my wifes mom shows up while im at a gas station and says do you still love her i responded 100% honest YES I DO. within a couple months we were back living together. going on with life living with the ups and downs, one days she say now that we have settled down we should have a child, so we did the most wonderfull little boy you could imagine, so i have a house built for us we move in and time passes when my son was 3 years old we find out my wife has hodgkins lynphoma cancer we spend the next 6 months with her in chemo and she was in bad shape, well the docs never caught the fact that she was having an allergic reaction to bleomyacin she goes into respiratory failure and goes on a respirator, they brought in hospice and i told them to get out she wasnt going anywere, i went home and read about a test drug that might possibly save her but its not passed testing yet, the toxicity causes her lungs to turn into like leather and she cant get oxygen into her body. i go back to the hospitol and get 3 docs in a room and i had printed all the paper work on the trials and said your going to try this they wouldnt at first i told them you have said she is done i am telling you to try this now. they did and a miracle happened she lived. this is were our life gets really bad. She tells me shortly after she is off oxygen that i shouldnt have saved her and its my fault and that i should have let her die. ok depression is back. well she starts having manic times allot and one day she takes off goes to camp and dosnt come back for 3 days when she comes back she says you and alex are not good enough and need to change in fact everything is gonna change around here. by now your wondering why i am still with this woman im sure but i still remember the woman i married the woman i love and i know she is in there somewere i just have to find her. and on some days its her most of the time i dont know who she is. she spends the next year and a half yelling at my son all the time at me dosnt do anything in the house no dishes one day she left my son crying at the back dooe screaming mommy come back, he wasnt ready for school in time for her to bring him, he came to me with tears running down his face i never felt so bad in my whole life. for the next year and a half i brought him to school changed my job to accomidate the life changes that were happening. the entire time she keeps tellimg me shes a bad person and i shouldnt have saved her. well now it gets even worse, she is an accountant by trade and has always hadnled the money in our house because she wouldnt have it any other way yes, shame on me for allowing that to happen, i find she now has 30k worth of precious moments in the house then i find out she hasnt paid the mortgage in 19 months and the hous is in forcloser, guess how i found out ? her mom got our mail one day and saw a forecloser paperwork and brought it to me, she says i know tracy handles all your money but are you ok, well yes i lost my mind, her mom asks to get involved she meets her one morning and tells her she found out her husband still wants to keep her but from here out he controls the money etc, yes all toll she spent almost 50k and when asked were it was she says she has no idea she just spent it. well all the new stuff i was noticing and then realizing she had been hiding the mail and had the house phone number transfered to her cell phone so i didnt get messages all made sense now. yes allot of this is my fault and theres so much more to say with all the things she has done but i finally had enough, i told her im done waiting for her to come back done waiting for her to get help she had to make a choice, she is about to go away for a week to decide im trying to decide if i she even give her the chance, there always seems to be a good reason why not to divorce her her dad just passed away her grandmother passed 4 weeks later, I hit my head about 4 months ago and had a hemmorage in my brain had a craniotomy and it looks like im going to be diabled for life. My poor son in the middle of all of this if i divorce her will they let me have him and if they dont she raises him ? im not sure but i know one thing she cant keep track of herself much less him, heres my question what the hell do i do now ? if i divorce her i risk my son being raised by her and she isnt stable while im disabled my cognitive side is still there a little slower but not gone. i finally took all control of our money away from her, oh and if your wondering yes my employer is still paying me 100% of my salary with the hopes im going to come back in 6 months or a year, i still make plenty of money. this post all started because on top of all this our house was damaged by a tornado a few weeks ago, i had asked her to set up everything direct withdrawl and she assured me it was done i saw no late notices nothing. i call the mortgage company to report it and file an insurance claim then mortgage company tells me your late on your payment i said thats impossible its direct withdrawl they explained no it wasnt. well yes she did it again, she only got me for about 5k this time but i really havnt been in any shape to check on her im walking with a cane now and have allot of problems but have to deal with this now. anyone ANYONE have any ideas or suggestions theres so much more to say but i have to stop and simply ask does anyone have any ideas on what i can do at this point im at a loss and mentally spent done with the fighting with her,all of it, My son says to me about 2 years ago dad if mommy keeps yelling at me we have to leave, i told him son this is our house we never have to leave here. I will never get past all this stuff but im not sure what to do, i WILL NOT let my son down, please help me someone.

    • Beth says:

      Sorry to hear this. Your son sounds like a lovely boy and you are strong for him. I’m sure she doesn’t want to loose you deep down. She needs to understand that you cannot continue like this. She has destroyed your trust in her and jepodised the security of the family. Perhaps you could set up all the bills from your account and give her an allowance. If she doesn’t like it she knows where the door is. Don’t keep her from your son, because she needs him to get better (if she ever does) but she cannot be in control of money anymore, simple as. Perhaps she should go away for a bit and find herself. It’s worth a try.
      Maybe she will come back a better person, maybe you will split but either way you will be better parents for your son if you are happy and better able to support him. Your still a team for your son, even if one gives more than the other. Let her defend herself but stick to your guns about what she has done wrong and how it’s hurt you.

  20. Jonathan says:

    Hello All,

    My story is much the same as many of you here. Here and there the specific details vary slightly, but in short I have had a depressed partner for 12 of the 14 months we have been together.

    My question is this: Would presenting these stories and confronting my partner with the above article help or just be another cause to increase my partner’s anger and give her yet another reason to blame me for why her world is so horrendous? (Her depression is severe, 95% of her life is spent in bed, she is taking at least 5 types of medication for this, which she suplements with others prescribed to her in the past and has spent a period in a mental health clinic.)

    I don’t know how to help her anymore, the coldness and blame are just so hurtful. I don’t want to turn the blame on her, I just want her to see that this illness is destroying her, me and us.

    Advice?

    • Ben says:

      Give up and move on.

      • AB says:

        You only had two months healthy with her? You’ve dated her a little over a year? She’s in bed 95 percent of the day, is blaming you, on several medications, and is cold? She is not seeking proper treatment?
        And you’ve read these posts about marriages that don’t survive this…
        Is there really a question about what you should do?
        Run. Don’t look back.

    • Elizabeth says:

      Hi some time presentining these stories to our loved ones with depression, can bring up a lot of anger for them as they feel you are pointing out their faults, I have tried and got yelled at for 3 days straight..

  21. Ben says:

    This is sort of a postscript. I had posted in late 2013 about deciding to break up with my bipolar (primarily depressive) girlfriend of two years. Our story is a bit different because I’d known her for many years, knew she was bipolar when I initiated the relatonship in Dec. 2012, but we lived apart most of that time. During our many months together in 2013 (she finally moved to my area), I became aware of how pervasive and treatment-resistant her illness is. Other than having to live with a volatile, usually depressed woman, there was almost no sex and little other happiness. On Thanksgiving night, I finally got the courage to break up with her, saying that I thought there was no chance she was capable of what I (and my therapist, and trusted friends…) consider a “normal” love relationship. Today (March 13) I call the postscript because I was able to complete a big promise to her (I bought her a newer car, now it’s hers). I reclaimed my house keys and credit card and cried some on the hour drive home. Love dies hard. I don’t know how long it’ll take for me. If there are any lessons here, the most important one is that it is nearly impossible to “cure” a mentally ill person. By all means, if he/she/you have not tried help, try to get it. But there comes a time to get the hell out and save yourself.

  22. Jackie says:

    I’m so glad I found this website and read through the comments. I’m currently in a relationship that is beginning to spiral down into apathy due to his depression. We’ve been together for three years and have weathered many things together (death of loved ones, distancing from family members, financial issues, etc). He used to care so much about us, although he was never particularly expressive, his actions showed his love. Our love life has taken a nose dive (he says his libido is just ‘not there’, but still finds me attractive), but we hardly touch (hug, pat, anything) anymore. I told him I’d be there for him, but he quite obviously does not want to spend time with me, limiting our time together. When we are together, we have an abyss between us. I have to initiate the conversations, and I can tell it’s only getting worse. He’s not himself, and I don’t know if he ever will be again. When we’re together, it’s more hurtful than when we’re apart.
    When all this started, I told him I’d be there for him, and would stay the course. I did not realize when I promised this, how long this would last, or how much it would hurt/damage me. To top things off, his confidant (his father) is going through several issues and might not be as supportive. I’m worried about my guy, but I don’t know whether I should stay the course and deal with his apathy, or leave. Both of those options would destroy me, but I fear the latter would destroy him (his words, once). Or maybe not. He’s so cold these days. I love and miss him, but I worry I’m making things worse. Started out fighting this, then giving him space, and neither was helpful. I’m beginning to be as lost as he is…

    • Carl says:

      http://depressionfalloutmessageboard.yuku.com

      Head here you will get some great advise there is a very active support system.

      • Jackie says:

        Thank you, Carl. I’m surprised (but so grateful) there is an active community of people experiencing the same thing.

    • gg says:

      Sometimes it feels so “funny” to read the comments here, because it’s like we’re all dating the same person! Jackie, you just described the relationship I was having with my ex.

      I’d give anything to have my “real” boyfriend back, the person he was before something triggered the depression… but the man he became is just mean and heartless, so – I never thought I’d say that – I’m not suffering that much after he dumped me. I truly love him and miss him so much, but now I know the man I love & miss is not there anymore. With all my heart I hope he’ll be again that loving person so we can be together (this thought makes me smile) … but until that.. it’s just like you said, “When we’re together, it’s more hurtful than when we’re apart”.

      Be strong!

      • MM says:

        Well my dp came over yesterday. Apologized and held me. Said he never meant any of the things he said in anger/depression. He said he wanted to talk on Wednesday. To try to explain. He said he misses me and I’m very special. He said he wanted to explain why he has trouble expressing emotions and that he was crazy about me. Let me say these were not said eloquently and often with a forced anger behind them such as “I miss you. Okay? I do “. Like it was hard to admit to me and himself. I reminded him that expressing emotions was a positive. ;)

        I joked that he didn’t act crazy about me. When he was well he did but the past year he has fought me loving him and supporting him. I told him I was scared for us and him. I also mentioned again that I’d been dating. He said he wanted to talk about all of it in a few days.

        He looked bad. Shaken. Thin. Like he aged ten years in one. I wanted to shake him senseless and hug him tight all at once. So confusing.

        But his arms felt so good around me. His touch. Kiss. It’s all still there. Our connection survived. I can’t deny that. Damn I miss us.

        I wonder what he will do with it. With us. With himself.

        I learned a few months into this now 11 month journey that no worry, pleading or talking would change his path. I’ve fought for him for months but eventually turned the fight into a three week reminder I would send him (a call or message) that I was still here and he could get better.

        I’m trying not to be too hopeful. Remember he returned in December for several weeks. Although he has never before said the things he said about talking about us until yesterday, I know to proceed with caution. But damn I sure do miss him.

        Today was out first date three years ago. When one third of our history has been this state, it gets harder and harder to hold on. I think yesterday helped me though to confirm that it wasn’t ever us or me–the depression truly is the only reason we are apart.

        I love him. Send prayers.

        I did a few months ago buy him johns e book. I suggest others do the same and send it to your DP via email. I read it but can only imagine the peace it may bring a DP to discover through john’s experience that they aren’t so alone and the treatments they can find to begin to heal again.

        Wasn’t I giving up on this three months ago? …..

        MM

        • gg says:

          MM,
          I’m happy to hear he could say all those good things to you! I wish you can get back together and be happy again.

          Have you been to the this forum?: http://depressionfalloutmessageboard.yuku.com
          It’s helping me A LOT.

          • Mm says:

            GG

            I have visited the site. Thanks for sharing. I typically don’t post there though. But find comfort in others stories that mirror mine and yours and many of us.

            I am nervous about the talk coming but maybe it will be a story of hope I rarely read stories where it all works out and the DP returns but my hopes are in check. I definitely can’t go back to the shock I felt in April when he left. We would need a plan as a couple and I’m not sure that’s what he wants to do. He may tell me he can’t come back.

            Time will tell. Thanks for the thoughts.

            I’m amazed at how nervous I feel. He used to bring me such peace before the depression.

            Sigh. How are you ?

            MM

        • gg says:

          MM, hope it works out with you man.

          Well, mine dumped me on last Valentine’s Day. I think the miscarriage triggered an anxiety episode…. but just yesterday I saw he reactivate his profile on the dating site we met (I’m there because I talk to some friends). It was a shock, I was devastated. On his profile: “I don’t mind if you want to use me just for my body”. Oh boy, it hurted like hell. I had to go on sedatives, I coudn’t believe my eyes. My heart was crushed.

          Some people on the forum said I shouldn’t worry much, because sometimes they do that (going on dating websites) only to try and scape their own pain; this thought helped a bit, but when I think about it, I fall to pieces. So I’m just trying to stay positive and hopeful thinking he’ll see the absurd and come back to me. A few weeks ago he couldn’t kiss or hug or hold hands because it was “too intense” and would make him feel unwell; he said it was because of the disease, nothing to do with me… and now he put that on the dating site………. Oh boy…. So I’m just trying not to think about what I saw last night, because I cannot cope.

          • MM says:

            GG,
            I am sure that hurt. Our stories have some very very very common threads. I would be furious if I saw that on a web page after he told me that. I often feel so foolish for supporting him . . . being loyal to something that doesnt exist.

            He didn’t show. When I called him he said he didn’t have anything to tell me and that he never said he did.

            Then he denied that and said he did say those things and he did want to talk to me.

            What?

            Then I asked why he didnt call to reschedule and he said he worked 15 hours and started screaming.

            I’m done. See you on the other side of this bullshit. This man is not the same man. He has lost all respect for me and himself. He acts like a pure jackass. The depression doesnt warrant me being treated like shit, taken for granted, and pushed and pulled around–a big f**k this shit is my feeling today…and I will hang on to feel that way tomorrow, and the next day, and the next. : )

            I did my part. He wasnt doing me a favor talking to me. He asked to talk to me. It’s like someone saying after you are searching for a job for 10 months, hey I found this great job and want to talk to you about it soon and then when you ask them about it again they deny they ever said it. . . then admit it…then get angry about it. Who has time for this madness?
            Margie

          • Carl says:

            Im so sorry MM…i know what its like to get a flash of hope..even tho you shouldn’t you do hope for the best. Only to find yourself under the bus where they left you. Im truly sorry xx

          • gg says:

            MM,
            (Don’t know why there’s not a ‘reply’ option below your last comment)

            I’m really sorry to hear what happened, but I’m glad you could give a “f%$k this” to it all. I hope it works out well for you. How are you feeling? Hope you’re ok.

            I’m on sedatives almost all day long. Being a bit numb is what I need now, there’s no other option but despair and I don’t want that, so I’ll keep my magic tablets for a while. It hurts so very very much. I love him deeply, I miss him deeply. I don’t understand the cruelty.

            I want to be positive, I want to be hopeful and serene, but sometimes it’s just impossible, so I’m happy when I’m closing my eyes to go to sleep.

          • BIB says:

            Thank you for all your contributions, you were of major help on my journey with a depressed man over the last two years. I gave my notice today after a long struggle of ups and downs with very destructive phases which caused me too much stress to be sustainable. I hesitated for a long time, but pulled out now. Relieved on one side, sad on the other. The fact that he rejects any kind of help plays a key role in this. I would have been open to support any kind of therapy or counselling, also jointly to help our relationship to survive, but he did not want any of this. So there I am, free again with a few scars and two years older. Letting it hurt a (this will take a while) but looking ahead. Take care of yourself, all of you, that this depression doesn’t eat you up. Difficult to leave somebody who one loved and somehow still loves, but me staying in the relationship might not make any difference for him at this stage and slowly ruins me.
            Thanks again and good luck to each and everyone of you.

    • BAH says:

      Wow. You basically just wrote my story for me. I got sad just reading your message, because I know exactly how you feel. I’m also at the very same crossroads as you, with the same possible outcomes. Good luck to you

      (I feel like we are in a battle and I’m wishing you well before heading back into the battlefield. Sad, right?)

      • BIB says:

        Sad and crazy. Good luck to you, too. I have started to feel better, but it takes a bit time to change those old thinking habits. Would be interesting to know how you are making out.
        Every best to you, and stay mindful. Not too much battling, if possible.

  23. Heather says:

    I would love some insight/advice. I recently moved myself and 21 month old daughter 7 hours away to my Moms house and left behind my husband of 5 years.

    First a little backstory, my husband was never super emotional, had a rough childhood with abuse and being moved from home to home. His mother was never really emotional as well and always put her needs before his. We were married at 19 and 20 and everyone told us how perfect we were.

    Fast forward, a year ago he came home from work, sat down to do some college work and began to have an anxiety attack. This turned scary when his eyes glazed over and he looked as if he could kill me. He then told me he was angry at me and didn’t know why. He then started shaking uncontrollably and then started speaking to himself. He was seeing things in his head. Doctors ended up telling us he needed to be on antidepressants. They said everyone handles stress and depression differently. He then told me about this man he made up when he was 9. This imaginary friend would fight off the bad people in his life from his childhood and help protect him. I had never heard of this before. This imaginary friend reappeared and he couldn’t control the images in his head.

    Fast forward again up until a couple weeks ago. He finally admitted he was not better like he said and had been lying to everyone. He told me what a wonderful mother/wife I was, how I always did whatever I could to make him happy. How I gave him his dream and always took care of everything. He loved me but was no longer in love with me. As well, he has some feelings for a friend/co-worker of his, a connection he has never had with someone before. He sees her in his head and this imaginary friend attacks her. Since he lied for a year and me being with him didn’t solve anything, I decided to move shortly after when I realized I was just enabling him and I could not help. I begged the past year for him to talk to me, let me know if we needed new professionals and etc. He just lied about everything, said he was fine, he loved me and was so glad he was better.

    I could no longer afford where we were living because he refused to get another job or change jobs (He makes less than $10 an hour). We agreed on me leaving. Days later he asked me not to but he still wasn’t willing to communicate or speak to his feelings or what I could do. I ended up leaving and he said he needed his space after all.

    He isn’t sure about anything but now says since I left, it means I didn’t’ want to help him and he wants to divorce. I told him I would always be there for him (said this on numerous occasions) but I cannot continue to support someone who won’t support them self. I have a child to take care of since he does little to nothing to provide for her I needed to do what was best for her. I literally did not have rent money after being laid off from a new company buying the business I worked for.

    I do not wish to be with the person he has become. I want my husband back, however, it still hurts so much and I worry about him. I didn’t want to divorce, I want him to get better and realize what he had/has and not have me by his side, enabling him to be this depression person who is so detached. He blamed me at first so I eliminated that by giving him space. He tells me to leave, then to stay, then to leave. His unstable mind is causing me to question my sanity.

    I know I made a good decision by moving but can’t help but think I’m hurting his progress. BUT being told something different everyday and his unwillingness to talk to me or seek more treatment makes me think otherwise. I’m just so confused.

    • gg says:

      Hello Heather.
      I think you made the right decision by moving since it’s impossible to live with someone behaving like that and refusing treatment. It’s really sad things have to be that way, but as MM said here, depression or not, it’s an abusive behavior they have towards us. Ideally, I think we shouldn’t accept that for long if they don’t make an effort to try some kind of treatment.

      I can imagine how hard it must be having a small baby to look after; I’d say try to focus on you child and what’s best for you both. I was questioning my sanity too, as my depressed ex would blame me for putting him on an “emotional turmoil” when he was the one acting completely unstable..

      Try and read the comments here, it helps a lot knowing we’re not alone. I’m sure you’ll find a good advice here.

      My best wishes. Take care.

    • gg says:

      Heather,

      I think you should also join this forum: http://depressionfalloutmessageboard.yuku.com
      Just like being here, it’s been helping so much!

  24. Peter says:

    Hi, I guess I’m just after some advice and reassurance. I’ve been in a relationship with my girlfriend for around 8 months, which has up until recently been about as perfect as you can get. We’d known each other for years before and both jumped at the chance because of that knew we were a very good match and we had both been telling people that the other was for keeps.
    She works in a high pressure job, although I known she’s always loved but for the last three months or so due to trimming of the staff and increased hours/workload had been getting worse. I saw her moods and enjoyment of the job slowly deteriorating all this time until she texted me and told me that she didn’t know what was wrong with her and just felt like crying. Now, I stayed over at her flat almost probably 4-6 times a week and she very gradually started to be a little less affectionate and noticably unhappy and I tried to do all I could to help her, which she knew and appreciated.
    Things started to take another dive when three days before christmas, her sister along with her two young children and a 5 week old baby were kicked out of their home by her control freak and unpleasant fella. My girlfriend took them in which lead to the young kids being given her room while the baby, her sister and her started sleeping in the living room. That of course has led to being woken up regularly at night and probably getting only a couple of hours of sleep a night, on top of the hard work load this has made her terribly unhappy. I have offered that she comes to my house, but she won’t because what she feels is duty of care for her sister. Managing to find a new home is proving to be a long and slow process as the sister has no money to speak of and social services aren’t exactly being quick to assist. Now obviously I’m not blind to the fact she has problems much greater than mine and I’m offering to help where I can but my girlfriend has it seems become so distant from me it’s becoming extremely hard for me to cope. I’m hardly seeing her, which I have been ok with as I understand the difficulty of the situation but I’m now virtually not hearing from her either.
    As I say it’s being particularly hard to deal with as we’ve gone from the most wonderful and loving relationship to me having this huge void, not knowing where we are going right now.
    I’ve done a lot of reading up on stress and depression recently and are I feel in a position to understand where she is.
    She does feel bad that it’s like this, recognising it’s not fair on me and she did say last week she couldn’t ask any more of me in the way I’ve handled it so far but it is becoming increasingly difficult to handle the situation and feeling so alone right not.

    I wouldn’t swap the last year for anything and if it hadn’t been such a brilliantly ‘perfect’ relationship up to this point, it wouldn’t, I feel be so difficult to cope with

    Thank you any one for listening, I’d be very grateful for any reassurance or any piece of advice for me please?

    • Lili says:

      Peter, you are a kind and caring man. Sounds like you and your partner is going through a rough patch. Does she have a history of depression or admit that she have it? I dont really have any good valid advices, as i have failed to save my depressed partner (will be ex soon), except you must try not to be dragged down by all this. One thing i learnt about depressed partners is that they can become extremely apathetic towards everything, and if you are the closest target, they would treat you with the greatest coldness. It seem like you have been left abit shell shocked by the change in her, which i absolutely can relate to. My partner turned from the most caring and loving man, who was passionate about me to someone who would happily not contact me for weeks, and not reply to my messages. It has gotten to a point that i had to ask/request a hug, even then its like a pat on the shoulder more than anything while his eyes are still fixed on his computer screen or tv. The lost of itimacy and closeness in a depressive partner is extremely hard to deal with, if you dont manage yourself well. It could rob you of your self worth and confidence as the partner grow more distant and cold. Try not to relate their behaviour to yourself. I wish you and your partner all the best, and succeed in beating depression where my soon to be ex partner and i have failed.

      • gg says:

        Hey Peter,
        Lili said it all. Unfortunately it’s a really difficult and heartbreaking situation, but try not to be dragged by her depression. I feel I’ve been defeated by my boyfriend’s illness since he refuses treatment and is getting worse… so I just gave up after so much suffering. He was just amazing, but now is just a cold and distant person..
        How does your girlfriend feel about treatment? I think it’s always worth trying.

        All the best.

        • Peter says:

          GG,
          Thank you for speaking to me, I’m really am sorry to hear things went wrong for you. I find it so sad that so many people still struggle to acknowledge depression as a genuine illness seeing how it affects so many people and often creates a chain along others.
          I’m pleased I found this site as there are many kind words from people like yourself, and it will be just another thing to keep me strong. There are many people much worse off than myself and some things, or rather people are worth fighting through for.
          Thanks again the comments have given me a lift when I’ve been down today

        • Carl says:

          Peter, its very important if your recognizing the symptoms of depression, that she get it diagnosed by a doctor that way she cant ignore it. Denial its so hard to get pasted.
          Essentially, depression lies to you—about everything. And when you are used to trusting your thoughts and being self assured and confident, it takes a long time to realize that the torrent of negativity in your brain may not be an accurate representation of reality.
          Much like Gg and Lili I lost the battle once depression had set in..i couldn’t reach her she was someone else cold heartless. It don’t matter how perfect we think we are as a couple depression dampens the connection between two people, they question this as they are not that into us anymore then look for happiness else where. And i wouldn’t wish this one anyone.

          • gg says:

            “Essentially, depression lies to you—about everything. And when you are used to trusting your thoughts and being self assured and confident, it takes a long time to realize that the torrent of negativity in your brain may not be an accurate representation of reality.” Perfect explanation, Carl. How did you get out of this? Are you seeing another person?

            Best.

          • Carl says:

            Hey Gg i cant take credit for the quote i found it in my endless reach of trying to understand how my ex could treat me like crap and throw away 6years like it was nothing. I only ever knew about the passive symptoms of depression :(. My ex felt off she didn’t love herself,she felt she needed to be on her own she wasn’t happy..so i had to go it was us that was the problem i had no choice no say it was out the blue tho now i can see all the symptoms. Best friends to strangers i didnt my best to get her to see she was depressed again but she wont have it, and plus she moved on weeks later like you do (not us healthy people.) 8months on im still grieving slowly getting there, And no new person in my life yet. When we have been hurt like this we need time to heal.

      • Peter says:

        Thank you for the kind words, and I’m truely sorry things have not worked out for you.
        Yes she does know this is depression and It’s actually the third episode she’s experienced. She did actually give me warning it could be coming when we both knew her usual self was gradually spirralling down. The fact that she has got through before is a source of hope for me, and also something I’m regularly keen to remind her of, but something that does concern me is that she is currently refusing ant treatment because she won’t go down the medication route this time due to adverse effects which she explained to me last week.
        She’s just explained that she wants me to give her a couple of weeks head space to know what she wants, which I understand I guess but obviously concerns me too to an extent. I’m trying to remind myself that it’s not her but the depression in control right now and she was pretty frank with me when she warned me of how she goes.
        Thank you Lili, as you most likely know it sometimes just helps to talk to someone afar from your own situation.

        • Lili says:

          Hi Peter,

          The refusing treatment sounds abit concerning, especially with herself knowing about her own depression. As it’s something i have experienced with my now ex-partner. Like GG and Carl said, it was all picture perfect till depression sunk its teeth in. Yes, they may return to their usual self for periods of time, but relapsing is unpredictable and would hit when you are most unprepared. I know you are full of hope at the moment, just as i was a year ago. But no matter what you do, you must put yourself first. Because when a partner is in depression, they will not consider you at all. You must be prepared for episodes of depression, and each time they may push you further away. I, as do GG and Carl, can all relate to how you feel right now. When you love someone so much and they want to be away from you. It is very painful, and unfortunately Peter, it is something you would have to be prepared for in the long run.
          And just as GG, Carl and i have done, we held out hope and stuck through with our partners till the end, came out battered and bruised.
          I wish there’s something i can do to help except just telling you that you must try to detach yourself from her illness. Be there for her through her illness, but don’t believe the words and actions of the illness. You are right, it’s not her, its the depression talking. But remember, you are a person too, as must as you care for her, you must put yourself first for now.

          I broke up with him last night. Cried the moment i saw him. Him? Not a single sign of sadness. His depression left me lonely and heartbroken, but free at last.

          • gg says:

            Yes, Peter, as Lili perfectly said: “detach yourself from her illness. Be there for her through her illness, but don’t believe the words and actions of the illness.”

            Lili and all of you, I wish you all the best. I’d like to thank you all for being such a tremendous help.
            Maybe we could all meet one day and, somehow, laugh about it all.

            Sweet dreams to all.

      • MM says:

        I can relate to this. My ex who I have watched slowly die to depression for a year now doesn’t call me for weeks. When I reach out to him, he is angry most often. Other times he is glad to hear from me and says the things that still give me that tiny bit of hope. Eventually though it became not enough. He doesn’t reply to text messages and basically ignores them. Often I have gone weeks without seeing him or hearing from him and will send a nice note or a helpful link or a are you okay? I am here if you need me. . . and get nothing back. He used to be warm and hated when I let a cuss word slip. Now he curses worse than anyone I know–even at me! He used to be soft, gentle, kind and cared about life. Now he says he doesn’t care. I’ve seen him scream that he is going mad. . . I’ve tried everything. Trust me–everything. Eventually you have to walk. You can’t convince them or force them to do it differently–often you can’t even talk to them. . . you are the closest target. For me I think my partner is damn angry I expect him to still fight this and find a way back to the wonderful man he was. . .my not giving up seems to make him very angry at me. . .a far cry from my loving boyfriend of two years who I never once even saw rattled, shaken, angry or upset. So so sad how depression destroys relationships. I feel helpless. I have to give up. I have before for months at a time and returned but it’s time to walk away. Wash my hands of it. Let what will be , be.

        • MM says:

          I am sad– I can’t believe I can’t stop feeling so sad, confused, angry, bitter, upset, worried, lonely, rejected, guilty…oh, what depression does to the partners too. Why is it so hard to not still have hope? I’ve been doing this for 14 months. . . 9 months of it broken up–and he just gets worse. Maybe that’s the hard part, the guilt associated with this. I have said I am done–just look at old posts through the summer last year–but this time, it feels different. I feel less guilty. I am exhausted but it still hurts. I think what bothers me the most is I went from his best friend, partner and solace to his enemy and I didn’t change a damn thing. It hurts that he avoids me over all things and people. I never never wanted to be that to him–especially when he needed me.
          But I know his thoughts are not rational. I realize I am the one who pushes him and reminds him of who he was–the one who expects him to fight this–and perhaps the one who he feels pressure from to go back to who he was since I am so neglected, and we have lost our relationship in his disease. The pressure that must feel like to him I get, but it doesnt make it any easier.
          I miss him. I miss intimacy in my life. I miss my best friend. I miss his laugh. I miss kisses. I miss being hugged after a bad day. I miss being appreciated. I miss sharing my bed with someone. I worry. Each day I force myself to not think about it when I do. To let go. I’ve been using meditation at night–something new to me but it helps.
          I did the best I could. I have no other choice. I keep telling myself this. Maybe one day, I will stop posting here. Maybe one day, I will give up all hope. It sure is difficult to say the least. We were so happy. It was like watching a storm come in slowly creeping over everything bright and distorting it–and witnessing him and us slowly die in it–day by day, month by month and now it’s going into year by year : (. It’s been miserable. I love him so much. Ever have days like this?

  25. isabel says:

    I’m 33 and have been with my boyfriend for almost 7 years – we’ve been living together for about the same time. We have no kids and some ideas for the future, but we both come from unstable backgrounds and constantly wrestle with our own demons and insecurities. Lately, his seem to be getting the best of him and I find myself getting so angree and frustrated that I say things I wish I could take back. I’ve been fighting my own battles but feel helpless when it comes to his. He means the world to me but he doesn’t seem to be able to fight his battle and doesn’t seem to want to get help and I can no longer be the stable one for both of us. What words can I use to get through to him? Is it possible for both people to come out okay in this situation? Who can I turn to when his friends and family don’t see what I see or turn a blind eye? How can I make up for the mean things I have said? I feel like a terrible person but I don’t think I am, just stuck fighting an endless battle.

    Sorry, just needed to vocalize.

  26. Tom says:

    I currently am dating a girl who is suffering severe depression. I showed her this list and she STRONGLY disagreed with #10 about telling the sufferer your limits and what they can lose if they don’t get help. Was just curious for someone else’s opinion

    • maria says:

      mm i was just reading ur comment, i believe that she and i feel that number ten is a bit hard hearted. because it kinda implies that they are hurting u on purpose and that u might not really want to be with them if they do not get “fixed” or respect your limits. When severely depressed my own reaction would probably be like ” who are u to tell me anything, fuck u, if ur not happy with me then leave. while thinking, he doesnt love me. Nobody in their right mind would. i wish i could just die.
      The getting help though…i think is very important. but when u are very depressed and even might have done treatment but in the end it didnt “cure” u, its very hard to convince to start another treatment…every time u gotta start over it sucks. It all gets better when u accept it as a life long desease and get a lot of information on symptoms and treatments and coping strategies. plus the talk therapy, and the medical therapy, and overall body nurturing…like massages, and chirpractics…to help with the aches and pains involved.

      • Carl says:

        Sometimes from the person who’s been getting hurt point of view its hard to understand, My D ex was awfully cold flippant with my feeling cut me off like it was the easiest thing to do after six years, And weeks later started with someone else.

        Depression may be the underlying problem, but its also the driving force behind their actions and behavior, depression lies but its there truth there reality. I Get why shes done what she did, yet its still so hard to be cast aside like you where nothing.

        • Lili says:

          You have described my relationship to the T. Being tossed out like i worth nothing after all that him and i have been together certainly left a dint in how i see myself. It make me feel unwanted, and unworthy. And the way the Ds do their ditching makes it appear like depression is an excuse for the real reason of them gone bored of you. (or maybe it is in my case, i dont know what to believe anymore.

          • Carl says:

            Lili dont discount yourself, it says alot about the type of caring person you are looking for answers and trying to help your SO. I know how you feel ,feel like ive wasted my best years to robbed by depression it dont seem fair?, But they dont ask to be that way there detached from the people they love and the world. There losing to they just dont know it yet. Dont doubt yourself x

  27. gg says:

    How was Christmas to you guys? This time of year can me more difficult…
    Wishing you all a better new year. I still have hopes, after all. May we all find some happiness, stay positive.

    • Lili says:

      Xmas has been terrible. I have all but completely given up on the man i have given everything to. Looks like im going to have to say my goodbyes soon.

      • K says:

        I know how hard it is, I too had a horrible Christmas. And somehow we are always made to be the ones in the wrong. Are you seeing a councillor or anything to help you through?

        • Lili says:

          Hi K, :)

          I am currently not seeing a councillor, although i am boarderlining depression myself due to this mess. All efforts of communication were down to me, if i do not contact him (the depressive), he would never try to contact me first. So for 3 weeks that i have stopped trying to chase after him now. I caught a flu virus and the sickness lasted for 2 weeks. It was the one time i did not bother letting him know i can not visit, which i normally do, despite his negative condition. And guess what? He did not bother ask either. No contact for 4 weeks today, I could very well be dead, and not even a single call/message, but he could’nt care less what im up to i guess… So this is what my 5 year relationship turned into.

          Please tell me that you had a better holiday than i did, i could use some happier stories right now.

          • gg says:

            Hey Lili,
            Is he on meds?

            I’ll never understand this indifference and carelessness… Same thing with my boyfriend. Last time he vanished for a week and wouldn’t answer my calls or emails, then came back as if nothing happened. To be honest, I decided my happiness won’t depend on his behavior towards me anymore. It took a long time and much suffering, but I’m feeling free.

          • K says:

            My bf is the same, he wouldn’t bother to contact me either.. I had to drive to his parents house and convince him to come home. He won’t go and talk to anyone. And I think now he is sorry he told me! I keep asking him to leave because he is driving me mad I feel unattractive and boring, he makes me feel like this because of his lack of interest in me, but yet when he is at work he is so happy! He told me it’s all a front for work and that he is miserable everywhere… All I think then is well you could act happy at home for your kids atleast! I truly believe that he now thinks I’m the problem because I’m picking at him constantly. I just want attention from him. I just want him to come back to me :(

    • Lili says:

      To give a brief run down (sorry i need to voice this out somewhere). Hi gg, no he’s not on meds. When he ‘claimed’ to be suffering in depression he told me he would seek help. I do my best to support him on the idea, at the same time not push him so hard he push me away. Which he did regardless. Despite caring for him through his minor surgery, working and attending university, not to mention he is 12 years senior (here i am expecting to be the one being taken care of). He has not put in any effort to be a better person. I have been with him since i was 18, now im 24 and cant help but to feel i have wasted some of the best years of my youth on a man who’s readily to throw me away like trash. It is as K says, i just want alittle attention, to know that i was still fighting the good fight. But i guess not. I need to set myself free.

      • gg says:

        Let us know when you get to set yourself free. I could use some happy news now…. It’s SO difficult.. =(

        • Lili says:

          Hi gg,

          How are you feeling these days? I have to say, i feel so much lighter, yes i closed the door on a 5 year old relationship. But the anxiety and fear is gone. I am at peace at last. And may i add, for once in my life i start to notice all the other men that are after me. I have been feeling unappreciated and unworthy for so long, i lost all self esteem. Turns out that’s not the case, and there’s plenty of fishes in the sea!

          Please take care of yourself, and keep us updated gg, i hope one day we can all be free from this devil of an illness, and find happiness that we truely deserve.

          much love to you gg, and everyone.

          • mm says:

            Lili
            I echo you on this. I just started dating again and it’s amazing how much I forgot what being wanted felt like. I forgot how much fun it was to talk and not feel like I had to censor what I said because I feared any thing would set him off. I forgot what it felt like to feel desired sexually by someone. How it felt to feel beautiful again. How nice it felt to laugh with someone. To feel valued but most of all to feel appreciated and heard. My needs haven’t become secondary during his depression ; they were non existent.. I certainly don’t miss giving myself to someone who acts as if my loyalty is a burden and my place in his life is optional and only when he feels “clarity” from it all will he talk to me especially when standing by him and loving him through this for a year plus hadn’t been a joy ride. I don’t miss the nights of blank stares. The absence of love. Oh but the guilt for moving on. For giving up even when he pushed me out.

          • gg says:

            Dear Lili and MM,

            I feel really happy for both of you. Hope things keep going well, hope you find the happiness and love you deserve.

            My situation, unfortunately, is still the same. Sometime ago I wrote here I was moving on, but I just couldn’t keep my decision. And the disappointment I had with this relationship is so big it broke me down; I just feel exhausted, old (I’m only 30)… feel really tired to even think about starting a new relationship.

            A few weeks ago I had an important health problem, and my boyfriend coudn’t say one nice word to me, just couldn’t be sympathetic at all… just careless – but he’s always there for the others, always willing to help – to me, nothing. That’s how I’m repaid for being there to him all the time, for being patient, caring… I feel drained and sad. How come he says it’s depression but I’m the only one affected? I’m the only one left without love, affection, kind words – all the others – his family and friends have the best of him – smiles, kindness – but nothing, nothing is left for me.. why??

            I’m sorry for being a moaner..

  28. blueeyes says:

    Finding this thread has been the greatest breath of fresh air in months. Thank you all for sharing your stories–it has helped me more than you could ever know, and I feel a little less alone.

    I have been with my boyfriend for 14 months, and I am certain he is suffering from depression and anxiety, although it has not been diagnosed. For the first year we knew each other we built a strong long-distance friendship (talking on chat/Skype up to 8 hours a day) which eventually became a romantic relationship once we both lived in the same country. The first couple months that we were officially together were wonderful and we were together every second. It was an intense and undeniable connection, but this soon turned sour.

    Fast-forward to now and I am living my life walking on eggshells at all times, and he is constantly mad/upset/disappointed with something I’ve said or done. If I so much as look at him in a way he doesn’t approve of (delusions of me being annoyed or angry) he doesn’t speak to me for days. When I finally get him to open up he goes on and on about how I don’t treat him with any respect etc. Today I broke down because it had been two days of him completely ignoring me (we live together) and I asked what have I done, why are you sleeping in the living room, closing doors in my face and ignoring me. It was the same story from him as always, I don’t respect him, etc.

    He is writing his Master thesis and claims this is the reason for all of his stress. I can only imagine how difficult it is (I am also doing a Master’s and will start my thesis in February), which is why I have endlessly supported him through the process–editing and correcting (English is not his first language), offering to help design charts and tables for him (I’m a graphic designer), spending upwards of 40 hours transcribing 30+ pages of recorded oral interviews for him, doing at LEAST 80% of all cooking and housework to take some burden away from him, but he has been writing since before we even got together (about 16 months ago) and there is absolutely no end in sight. When I told him last week that I was feeling nervous about starting mine in a couple months because it would be a big challenge, I’d need his support, I hope I can finish it in time because I only have max 6 months to do it, his response was, “but yours will be way easier, it’s a creative project, writing mine has been like a nightmare,” completely minimizing my work and my feelings.

    We never go out or do anything at all anymore. If I want to do anything with him other than watch tv in a dark room, I have to make the plans, and even then it’s a huge hassle and the most annoying thing he could ever imagine having to deal with.

    I could go on and on with examples… I’m sure you all know the drill.

    Any advice or comments would be very welcomed and appreciated :)

    • adavis says:

      Leave him before you have kids. This type of behaviour is never, ever, ever going to change. Even if he gets treatment (med, therapy) bouts of depression will continue to go on. This is not your fault. It is also not your responsibility. Why are you putting yourself out, exhausting yourself emotionally and physically, to help him. He has a mental illness, but you are not responsible for that. If he will not recognize that he has a problem, try to help himself, and abuse you in the process, which is what is sounds like he is doing, then leave. You can do better than that. I do not mean to be harsh. I have a husband who suffers from depression, and I love him very much. But I am married. You are single, probably still young, have no children to take care of, and you better leave before things get too entangled and complicated. Imagine dealing with his depressive episodes while trying to nurse a baby on demand, run after an active busy toddler, clean, cook, and work, with no help, no encouragement, no appreciation, all while your significant other is right there, but just can’t participate because of their depression. It is very aggravating. When you finally accept reality and stop expecting any interaction with them, then they are hurt that you no longer seek them out. It is maddening. If you are able to achieve a good education, put you love into yourself, graduate, have your career, and find a healthy, sane individual who is capable of loving you the way you love them. I would say this to my own children. Please remember what I have told you.

    • maria says:

      I am thinking that u are a wonderful person. But his depression aside, he needs a lot of work. Work on learning how to communicate without resorting to hurting u. He needs to accept what is going on with him and deal with it. I understand stress…but u really are on time to find someone who will help u grow not hold u down. and he seems to not really nurture u. If u love yourself half as much as u love him…u would leave and take care of your school its more important than ur current unhealthy relationship. It needs work…and frankly not a lot of people who are depressed have the strength of making themselves better…they tend to give under the pressure…because it is very very hard to learn how to cope…and to keep doing so every minute of the day.

      But if u will not separate and want to suffer but somehow help him insist on medicine and therapy
      but why would he think he needs it if u are really protecting him from failure by doing work for him??
      i dunno just my opinion

  29. lil says:

    I’d like to ask for an advice. My boyfriend suffers from depression and he doens’t like talking about it, says “it hurts too much”. I don’t want to bother him with the subject, but when he gets all apathetic and cold towards me and I feel he’s just about to break up, it’s horrible. I mean, not knowing what’s on his mind and not being “allowed” to ask… when it happens I do want to say things like “you’re just depressed again sweetheart, it’s not me, it’s not us”, or ask things like “you feel you don’t love me anymore? do you want to split up? How do you feel?”

    Should I ask him or just wait for depression to go away? Even though I want to question him I’m really afraid of the answer; at the same time, feeling you’re not wanted without knowing if it’s really happening is hard…

    Thank you very much.

    ps:
    I’m sorry for my English!

  30. lil says:

    Anyway, I just wanted to thank you all for sharing your experiences.. it makes me feel a lot better knowing I’m not alone in this.
    Best.

  31. K says:

    I’m currently living with a depressed partner, we have been together for 9 years we have 2 children 6 and 2. I’m im the situation where I don’t know if I can take much more, but I want to be strong and happy for my children it’s so hard! He is snapping at me I feel no love. But when I see him at work with other people he looks so happy and even acts normal toward me then when he gets home he turns into a different person. Last week he told me he never wants to get married doesn’t want to buy a house and doesn’t want anymore children. This was a shock I was never interested in marriage but buying a house and another child mean the world to me. He told me he might change his mind that his head is in a bad place, but I’m so scared that if I wait around for another year and he hadn’t changed his mind what do I do then? I don’t want any of those things with anyone else I love him so much. I’m so hurt scared and alone I’m too embarrassed to tell anyone. I feel like he doesn’t love me anymore

    • Tom says:

      K; I understand, my wife of 43 years has battled depression for most of our married years. Sometimes I feel like if I could only do what she wants, and not what she doesn’t want, everything would be fine. But from years of experience, it doesn’t work.
      The bottom line is; if you truly feel you did not make a mistake choosing your partner and everything was good until the onset of depression, you and he have to get professional help, that is the only answer.
      You may have quite a time finding the right shrink also. Do NOT see a counselor, they are a waste of money. Your relationship is worth every penny of good advice.
      My wife had her depression under control for several years & I was spoiled by having my girl back, but now she is struggling again, and life is tough, but she would not give up on me & neither will I her.
      Good luck.
      T

      • maria says:

        wow Tom (Sir),
        I wish to say that reading ur post was so wonderful to my ears. To know that there is a man out in the world who loves his depressed wife enough to stick through the hard times for so long. I just wanted to send u my best wishes for your wifes depression and that she has the strength to come back from the dark side to u. Keep being strong, even if she doesnt tell u. You being by her side is probably one of the biggest motivators for her to keep fighting. hugs :)

    • Coral says:

      K, i can write this after separating from my husband who has been suffering from depression for years quite simply because i became so concerned about the potential damage the situation could be doing to my 4 year old. We spent some time apart after he began lying about where he was and wsn’t coming home and instantly my daughter calmed down without daddy in the house, she didn’t need to misbehave to either get daddy’s attention or to stop us arguing. The hard thing is that everything you are feeling in terms of rejection will be things your husband will feel, he will push you further and further away until you say enough and then he will say you have rejected him. You have to put yourself first, and the well-being of yourchildren, you can support him from afar, amazingly my husband has been more of a father to our daughter in the past couple of weeks than he has in the past year, they’ve enjoyed spending time together and he makes the most of the time they have together. I wish you well, you are not alone, don’ t be embarrassed and look after yourself and your babies!

  32. KG says:

    I am currently trying to come to terms with a relationship with a depressive. She and I started dating a little over two years ago. We knew each other as teens, and had shared a chaste kiss, but that was it. I reached out to her years later, finding her on the Web, and things just blossomed. It was a great relationship for the first year–best of my life, and best of her life if I am to believe all the words and signals. I should note that this was a long distance relationship, although we planned on living in one place once my daughter (previous marriage) is out of high school (a couple of years). But we saw each other about 20 times that year, and talked for hours on the phone nearly every day. It was very intense, very loving.

    But then she suddenly went into (what I came to understand as) depression. Full on. The switch was flicked and right was wrong, I was bad, the good things I had done became bad things I’d done. Classic stuff.

    Not being prepared for it, I was shocked…It took about 2 or 2.5 months to start to pull her back–and I did a lot of the heavy lifting (reaching out, being non-judgemental, etc.). Things finally got back to some semblance of normal about 3.5 months later. But, as has been written on this site, you can rebuild Humpty Dumpty, but he’s not exactly the same. I still loved her deeply, and she still loved me deeply. When things were good, they were great. But I knew that another episode might come at any time, and so I wouldn’t allow myself to get as close–at least not very quickly. As time went on, I’d get closer, start to let down my guard, and then she’d have a hiccup episode which might last for a day or two. And then I’d find myself putting up the protective shields again.

    Anyway, despite the small episodes and being more careful to not put myself in a naked position where I could be as hurt, things progressed for another 9 months. At their best, things were great. She’d talk to me about riding into the sunset together, about how she wanted to get married (eventually), how I was the best thing ever for her.

    Then, three months ago, I was at her place and she told me “I need you to leave.” I could tell she was going down the black hole again. This was two days after we’d sat at the kitchen table with my mom and she was telling her (unprovoked) that I was the best person in the world for her, how I got her, how I was so safe, so loving, so perfect, so whatever.

    As she drove me home, I looked at her face, and it looked very strange, very flat, as if all emotions had been entirely drained from it. I had never seen this before (with anyone).

    Anyway, a few days after that, I called her, asked her to meet me in a public place near where she lives. She hemmed and hawed, but agreed. We sat there, I consoled her and calmed her and gently dissuaded her of assertions she was making about “us” that were ridiculous and untrue–and this seemed to work. She invited me back to her place, and we made love. While we were doing that she told me that “I really do love you, and I am just so messed up.” When I left, she told me again she loved me, that she’d see me “soon” and to be careful.

    That was the last time I heard from her. Since then, I have tried to contact her by mail, by phone, by text. She answers none of them. I contacted a mutual friend to make sure she’s OK, finding out she’s OK (as in, she is going to work and dealing with life). She just won’t acknowledge me. At all.

    I know I should just accept “it’s the depression.” But what do you do with this? Do I wait for her? Why should I wait for her if she won’t even bother to communicate with me? Or is this just her way of making life easy for herself? Has she recovered and just moved on? Maybe she figures not talking to me is simply the easiest thing to do.

    I wish she’d call me and break up. At least then I’d know something. This is horrible.

    • j says:

      I am not a psychologist. I am an ordinary person in my late thirties. I had depression in my teens. It ruined every relationship I had. I dated nice compassionate people. My behavior hurt them. When I realized that, I stopped dating and remained single for 15 years. Then I met the person I was able to have a relationship with. I opened up and I am happy. It was like I was a totally changed person. Anyways, I think it will all boil down to how much of this you can endure and for how long. I don’t think your love can save her from her black hole of depression. This appears to be an unhealthy situation for you. I am all for loving and caring and sacrificing. But I am also for balance in all we do. Balance is the key. At least that is what I have observed. You’ve given her your best. I can see that. There is just this much you can do. You make the decisions for yourself.

      • KG says:

        Thanks. Yes, I agree: Balance is the key. Although I loved her enough that it would probably have taken nothing more than an apology to bring me back in, even with the imbalance.

        However, it’s now almost four months later, and she still has never answered a single attempt to call her (I try every couple of weeks), never emailed me, never sent or replied to a text…nothing. I assume she has created some sort of narrative about me that makes it possible for her to justify this behavior. What that narrative might be, I have no idea. And it’s simultaneously extremely sad and extremely maddening to believe that she could do something like that.

        Sigh…

        • lil says:

          Oh, boy. Such a difficult situation… So hard to see the person you love turning into a strange. =(

          • Carl says:

            Yes its hard to see that one person you loved so much convince themselfs your the problem. 6months my ex has ignored all attempts to reach her letters emails texts. The cold heart behavior its horrible because we know they are better than this. We have no idea whats going on in there heads if only they could talk to us, i know they cant. I feel your pain ive lost my gf and best friend and cant do a dam thing about it.

  33. Michelle says:

    I have been married to a man 16 years my senior for almost 30 years now. He suffers from depression, dementia, BPD, and chronic back pain. I am at a loss. He sees a Dr. for pain management and his mental illnesses. He is on so much medication and he sleeps so much. His personal hygiene has gone out the window. He barely speaks to me. This was not always the case. It has just been about the last 10 years. I am so lonely. It seems as though he just doesn’t care what this is doing to our family. I need help, I feel like it is starting to effect my mental welfare.

    • Lingerly says:

      Michelle, I am so sorry for your situation. I wish I had something meaningful to offer you. Given the complexity of his mental and physical disorders, I wonder if he would be eligible for some kind of home health or nursing care? At least this would provide you with a respite and give you the chance to develop relationships and interests for yourself. If his dementia worsens, it may be necessary to look into a residential program.

  34. Dawna says:

    Hello, I am engaged to a wonderful man. We had a wonderful relationship and I adore his family. It was almost fairytale how we met and even the first year or so of dating. I then started to see little bits of depression sneaking in. Of course, I didn’t realize that was what it was – he was aloof, acted like he was annoyed to be around me and argumenative. It’s back and forth, he’s wonderful one day and showing signs of depression the next – it’s driving me crazy. His family has shared that depression runs in the family (both sides). He is just now starting to get treatment, so I am trying to be upbeat, but I am not sure what to do about moving forward with the wedding. I love him, but if things don’t change, at least some, I am not sure if I should sign up for this for the rest of my life? He does seem to be very serious about his treatment – so I feel bad even considering not standing by him. Advice?

    • Kathy says:

      Run! I know I might be sounding drastic but depression is really hard to live with! I would postpone the wedding until his treatment is farther along. I know from experience that treatment is good for a bit then they feel better and stop treatment and the next time the deression strikes it is worse…..I know I am biased, but you asked. I love my kids and recognize that I wouldn’t have them if I didn’t marry him but feeling rotten and walking on eggshells is truly awful – I find myself thinking if I can really be a caretaker for someone who is angry, irritable and generally miserable for the rest of my life- right now for example he has grumped off, muttering something about how annoying me and the kids are and is in bed for the night and it’s only 7pm.

  35. dawn says:

    Some good information however that last point is so wrong. It just comes across angry and bitter from the author. Not one other site tries to place blame on a person because although a spouse might not be acting with love and affection its not really their fault. How can you place blame on a person when their brain is chemically altered into affecting their behaviour. I haven’t met a single person who wants to be depressed and the shear fact of depression itself is the feeling of hopelessness and helplessness to situations and your ability to control emotions. If I had helped my partner better through love and support why would I then sit there with the just out right nasty thought that everything was their fault because how dare they suffer from a debilitating serious illness.

    • Bianca says:

      I agree that a person cannot help when there is something chemically impacting their brain and behavior, but I think that maybe what the author means is that it is their responsibility to seek treatment and work through their problem. If someone knows they have a problem and refuses to seek treatment, then at that point it does become their fault because it is their responsibility to take care of their health.

  36. Girl says:

    Hi,
    I’ve been in a relationship for 3 years with a sweet guy who suffers from depression and anxiety caused by a chemical imbalance, it will be a lifelong condition. We started dating young (I was 15 he was 19), in hindsight it was a bad choice, I was grieving and trying to deal with divorce and my mum being an alcoholic.

    He is 22 now and still doesn’t have a job. He is happy sat at his computer all day. He is very clingy and needy; ‘cuddles’, ‘I love you’ and ‘I need you forever’ are said at least 5 times a day. It was sweet at first but now I’m starting to panic and feel trapped.
    I’ve worked since I was 16 and I’m also still in education. It’s hard to keep trying to imagine a future when they’ve made little progress. I pay for most things until his jobseekers allowance comes every two weeks but instantly £50 goes on his phone and a computer game leaving £50 to get him through the next two weeks.
    We both still live with parents which keeps costs down but I have a car which means I pay fuel to and from his and I pick him up if he comes to mine. It’s only a 15 minute drive but it adds up alongside the costs of driving to my courses.

    I want it to work but he often gets defensive if I talk about seeing a counsellor to help with the depression or if I ask if he’s applied for some jobs yet. Still no.
    I asked for time away today and it didn’t go well as expected. I want to see if anything improves now that i’ve taken action but I don’t know what to do If nothing improves.

    It’s so difficult because I still love him, but should I keep trying? or end it and focus on my job and getting good grades??
    It’s such a shame because he is intelligent and an amazing musician. Everyone around him has supported him through these years but there has been next to no progress. Am I being harsh to expect this of him? I’m a terrible decision maker, so any views would be appreciated.

    Thank you

    • kay says:

      I would like you to ask yourself a few things.
      1. Do I want to be a care giver for the rest of my life?
      2.Will I be happy if I stay with him?
      3. How is his depression affecting me?

      I have been married for a little over 2 years. About 15 months into our marriage I found out that my new husband suffered from depression(partly because of a injury which resulted in surgery that failed and he is now in pain all the time and unable to work) and had tried committing suicide several times. He had never told me about these before we got married, honestly if he had I would have never married him.
      Within 4 months of me finding out about his depression he tried to kill himself again. He is now on meds for depression but they are not helping and his doctor says he doesn’t want help. He also sees a therapist and the first time he saw a psych. she sent him to the hospital to be evaluated.
      For the past 8 months I have walked on eggshells trying not to set him off and make him more depressed. He doesn’t talk to me. We never make love anymore. We are like 2 people sharing a house and that is it.
      I am not happy anymore. I used to be a happy person even though I have a lot to do, school, work, family. There are times I feel depressed, angry, trapped. I really do not see this ever getting better.
      My advice to you is ask yourself these questions. If I were in your shoes I would not stay with him. You are so young and if you stay I fear things would get worse not better. For your sake you have to take care of you, because in this relationship he can’t take care of you.
      Take care and you are in my prayers.

    • KJ says:

      It sounds like you really care for this man, and I’m sure he has great qualities. Unfortunately, I think you’re doing what I ended up doing for 12 years from my early 20s, which is waiting for something to change, and putting your own life and feelings on hold until they do. Whilst depression and anxiety are important, and hugely affect people’s day-to-day lives, they do not have to create ‘learned helplessness’ (e.g. needing to be picked up from 15 minutes away) in people. The issue of you picking him up is indicative of a wider problem isn’t it? Can’t he get a bus, or walk? You appear to be creating a co-dependent relationship in which you will find yourself increasingly tightly involved in, until you feel you can’t walk away because his life depends upon you. What I’ve learned is nobody’s life depends on you, unless they’re your child. And whilst you provide someone with all the things they need but can’t or won’t provide for themselves, things will never change.

      What will change is that you will both develop resentment towards each other, and your frustration and unhappiness, if not expressed and acted on, will come out sometime and somehow! I ended up becoming extremely depressed myself which took a while to recover from. I don’t know what you mean by “I asked for time away today” but you need to TAKE it if you need it, don’t request it. You need to start prioritising your own needs, which sounds harsh but is simply how it has to be, because you are in charge of you, and you can either decide to sacrifice yourself to someone else in the belief you are being kind, or you can remember that you get one life and that he is perfectly capable of coping without you. So you’re putting what he WANTS above what you NEED.

      You might still love him, but you want to get out of this situation don’t you? Love – on its own – isn’t enough to sustain a relationship. You also need mutual respect, support, and a sense that you are pulling in the same direction. You can’t do a relationship on your own. It’s time to be stern with yourself and stop trying to make the ‘nice’ choices or to avoid hurting people. Hurting someone you love by leaving them is a terrible feeling, but hurting them and you by spinning out an untenable situation and making yourself unhappy is much worse. It’s also kind of arrogant (this is what I told myself!) to make everything hinge on you. It doesn’t. Be brave, be bold, be strong…and follow your head. Don’t just hide it in the sand

      xxxx

    • Lingerly says:

      I believe you know the answer to your own question: focus on your job and academics, and allow yourself to leave the relationship. Leaving doesn’t diminish your affection for this young man, but it does remove you from a path that will ultimately bring you down as well. When I was your age, I thought depression was a pervasive feeling of sadness. I had no idea of how deeply its effects traveled beyond feelings to behaviors, interactions, perceptions, and more. You are correct when you recognize that his will be a lifelong condition. And, after five, ten, fifteen years of this he will no longer seem sweet. I’m not saying that he doesn’t deserve to be loved and have a relationship. I am saying that you don’t need to be saddled with this while you are still building your own life. Best wishes to you. You are not a terrible decision maker–you just need some of us veterans to support what you know is right inside of you.

  37. Kathy says:

    My husband has been diagnosed with depression and anxiety disorder and add I think. He’s on medication wellbutrin and effexor but I don’t think it’s working the way it should. He hates his work, and was in counseling to look at career alternatives but because he can’t find a lucrative buisness to buy that requires little maintence, or effort on his part, he has stopped counseling. He has no friends and very few hobbies. We have been married for almost 10 years now and the depressive episodes are getting worse. This last month he has been cutting himself on the hand with scissors he tells me that eventually he will cut deep enough to need stitches but won’t get them and that eventually he will commit suicide because he wasn’t meant for this world. We have children who don’t really know what’s going on just that daddy is grumpy – he goes to bed very early and is apathetic to most household things. Then things will change and he will be laughing and happy and active with the kids and all will be well. It’s so hard not knowing what it will be each day, I know he blames me and sometimes it seems like he’s trying to punish me by telling me about wanting to die and just the way he will talk to me – as if he’s a teenager trying to get a rise out of his parents. This is so lonely – I talk to some of my friends about it but I’m embarrassed I’ve seen a counselor but I’m ashamed – I don’t know if I have the strength – people offer suggestions and things I can do but he doesn’t listen to me – I have no power – it’s so lonely – I just want someone to hug me and tell me it will be okay, or to have him just die already – then I feel horrible for thinking that. I don’t want to leave him, I love him, I love my family. I’m afraid

    • kay says:

      Kathy I am sorry for what you are going thru. My husband too suffers from depression and is on meds that are not working.
      I do have a suggestion. The next time he gets in one of his moods call the police and have him Baker Acted or as some states call it 72 hour hold. He will be evaluated and maybe his meds will be changed or increased. Also you will get to tell them how he is at home and that he is trying to hurt himself and threatens suicide. He may be mad at you for this but you will be doing the right thing. He maybe bipolar also with extreme ups and downs, just a thought.
      I understand your feeling in this situation, I have had the same feelings. You don’t need to feel ashamed, his depression is not your fault.
      Your responsibility is to take care of you and the kids. You can’t take care of someone who doesn’t want help.
      My prayers are with you.

  38. Caroline says:

    Jennifer, i can totally relate to what you are going through – i have to start everyday thinking it is going to get better, it has to, things really can’t get any worse. Stay strong, make the most of the good days and write off the bad ones!

  39. Struggling says:

    Hi…I am the same “Struggling” who wrote here on May 29th. Since then…well…yesterday my partner and I split up. It was his decision really as he said (I quote) “I cannot deal with a relationship right now.” I don’t know how to feel. He hasn’t returned to work since I wrote my original post, and I did live with him over the summer. It was tough, while I loved (and I still love) him, I also felt the depression moving across to me, slowly trying to draw me into it.

    My partner continually ended up having very little money, and there were times where we would use the last tin in the cupboard just before his work (who after 9 months were still paying him despite him having been off sick all that time) paid him. I have always been a carer and a mothering person, and despite my partner being 25 and I being 20, I still mothered him. Over the summer many friends of ours told me I was doing so and told me they were there to support him just as much as I was…but I still felt I had to because they weren’t living with him, and I was.

    I have gone back to University recently, 7 hours away from home and my partner, and he has struggled. He has spent so much time with friends rather than at home, and often we would fall asleep on Skype together when I was at University last. Because he has been at friends’ houses, he hasn’t been able to do that, and it began to take a real toll on me; not having my boyfriend around when I needed him most, when I felt low. I called him on this and he told me he would try to change it, but the following week (this week) he has spent four consecutive days there. I finally blew when he told me he would skype me from home and instead was still there. It was a small thing but the stress and upset had bubbled below the surface for so long that it erupted.

    He began asking if I wanted to end the relationship, and I had an hour of trying to explain that no, that wasn’t the case, I just needed some give and take, and I felt I was doing 90% of the giving. I told him that I wanted 2-3 evenings a week where I could sit on skype and chat, which had been what we had done last semester. He told me he couldn’t. That was all I got. He couldn’t. I suggested we sleep on it but ended up calling him a couple of hours later, telling him to stop telling me he was ending it “for my sake” and to give me the real reason – which was “he couldn’t handle a relationship”. We’ve agreed to stay friends and to keep connected but…it will be tough. I can’t pretend I’m not relieved in some small way…but I do love him, and it feels a little callous to just say “I can’t do that” when I’m asking for time together, not for him to move the earth.

    • kay says:

      My husband suffers from depression so I have learned a bit. I would suggest that you let him go because honestly he can’t handle a relationship. Being in a relationship where you give 90+% will drag you down and you might wind up feeling depressed also. His depression is not your fault or responsibility.
      It is ok to love someone but let him go. He honestly can’t give you anymore than what he has already and you will always be left wanting more which can make you feel pretty empty and trust me when I say, it is an awful feeling.
      You need to take care of yourself. Focus on your studies and in the words of my husband(his advice to me) “Go be your happy self”.
      Take care and you are in my prayers.

  40. Geoff says:

    Hi, I can relate to these stories. My girlfriend of 2 years, now fiancé has been living with depression for 7 years or so. Im 30 she is 25. When things are going well we are on top of the world. But then she turns on me and says that I sleep around with other women when I don’t even think about being with anyone else. I convince her that I really do love her and we get back together. But deep inside her she thinks that I lead another secret life. It is so frustrating and saddening because I love her more than anything. This has been happening off and on now for about a year now. I asked her to marry me and we moved in together 2 weeks ago. I work in the bush 2 weeks at a time and when I left for work everything was fine. The day I got here she told me she wanted to break up and is moving out. Now she won’t even answer my calls. I don’t know what to do. I want to keep calling and try to make her see that she is the only one for me. But she refuses to trust me. It’s really hard and I have really no one for support. It was nice to find this site. Hopefully it can be helpful.

    • kay says:

      Geoff
      I would like you to ask yourself a few things.
      1. Do I want to be a care giver for the rest of my life?
      2.Will I be happy if I stay with her?
      3. How is her depression affecting me?
      4. Is this the kind of life I want to live, never being trusted?

      My suggestion is to let this relationship go. Yes the lose will hurt but if you answer these questions honestly you will find it is for the best.
      My prayers are with you. Take care of you.

  41. TJ says:

    My boyfriend of 7 years has been diagnosed with clinical depression about a month ago. I had noticed that he was moody alot, getting angry at me for no reason, thinking negatively about himself and sometimes he even said that he would be better off dead. At first, I just thought that he was being so just for purpose. Last month he had a block out and he went to the doctor but he made me believe that it was just stress that he had but he didn’t tell me exactly what it was. I thought that may have been it because where I live, jobs are really hard to come by and he has been unemployed for about 3 years so I figured all of this was the cause and maybe some of it contributes to his depression. It wasn’t till last week thursday, he blocked out again. He complained of being hot and he couldn’t eat anything because he would bring it back it. That was during the day. As night approached, he began to act really weird. He told me stuff like, i abandoning him, i don’t love him anymore, I don’t talk to him nomore etc and i just thought that he was being silly( I didn’t know about his depression up to that point)… so I told him I was going to bed .. I don’t wanna have this argument with you and he just starting acting even more silly. I asked him what really was the problem because the last time you felt sick ( complained go being hot with severe belly aches) that you were stressed out and he said that he has a mental illness and that he is mad. I was like, stop talking like that and i asked him if he was serious and he said yes… long story short.. eventually he got calm enough to tell me what was going on etc. After that I researched depression online and I realised that it isn’t going to be easy but I don’t know what to do. Im 20 and he is 22. I wanna be with him I know that for sure but I don’t know what to do. I don’t know how to help him. Im afraid that I may lose myself in this process. I want to be there for him but I don’t know exactly HOW to be there for him. I am afraid that him being depressed will make me depressed. Btw….he has medication but say that he is only suppose to take it when he feels like a mood will come on. Any ideas on how to cope with it without getting angry or frustrated with him?

  42. Caroline says:

    This is the first website i have found that has anything useful for those people living with someone with depression, so thank you to all of you who have posted something, however painful. My husband suffers terribly from depression and anger issues – this latest bout is the worst, 7 months in and no effective treatment, i feel we have been really let down by the UK healthcare, so i am trying to address that through the official channels – he has been passed from team to team with him before referred to another team at every turn. Over this last week, i have been shouted at down the phone, been on the receiving end of a torrent of verbal abuse, had my family called the most horrendous names and over heard him threaten to slap my 4-year olds face. He’s not gotten out of bed for the last 3 days and not worked in 4 years everything is on my shoulders – i am the breadwinner and have supported us financially for all of our relationship. There have been fall outs between both wider families and I sometime feel I am trapped in my own home. I can’t leave my daughter on her own with him because he can’t cope. If anyone has come out the otherside and has any advice please do share!

    • Ann says:

      I think you’re all so much stronger than me… I’m just too weak.. I get destroyed every time my partner makes me feel unloved or acts like he would end the relationship at any moment… I get really desperate, it’s a terrible feeling. Everything was perfect in the beginning, but to watch him turning into a cold and distant stranger makes me feel shallow and abandoned, it hurts physically. Depression is a terrible disease. Don’t know how much more I can take, but last thing I want is to let him go.

      • Jennifer says:

        I feel the same way my husband and I have been married for 13 years I did not realize it for the first 7 years I just thought he drank to much , but he was really self medicating , it wasent until I was 7 months pregnant with our second child , he told me that he didn’t love me anymore and left I was devastated until I finally realized he was depressed and he was for a long time he started taking medication and was fine for the next four years, until he started getting in shape exercising , and decided he didn’t need the meds anymore he stopped taking them about a month ago, and sure enough he told me he didn’t love me anymore and left I was devastated again left with 2 kids, now he has been back on the meds for a week, he is starting to come around again, I am just petrified that he will stop taking them again, I am very weak when it comes to my husband I love him, but when he gets in these moods I feel like he hates me and my children, I have panic attacks when he leaves I cant sleep or eat, I have to take stress leave from work. I am waiting for the meds to completely kick in to tell him if he ever stops taking them again we will definitely have to get a divorce, its just to painful, he is a totally different person when he dosent take those pills

        • Ann says:

          I just can’t understand why they always stop the medication!!!

          • William Sheppard says:

            I do, they think they are over it, (like a headache) the often dont even remember the way they treated you. Also sex goes completely out the window when they are on it. The last time my wife went on them for a year, there was no sex for a year. Now she has started again finally, sex is once again missing, as they feel blank, and never get happy or sad, they just go null. so what r u to do, you love them, but they cant show you much emotion , or they go off, and they go from rage to passion in an hour? I wish there was better meds that didn’t dull them , and yes she has tried 4 or 5 different ones, and it on the lowest dosage, wish there was better drugs!

  43. William Sheppard says:

    I am late 40’s Male, and I have been married to my late 40’s wife for 26 years.

    7 years ago my wife had an incident at work, which my wife got PTSD from, she had to quit work and was diagnosed with PTSD, she went on antidepressants for a year and got counselling. Things seemed ok, for a little while, but then every time a situation would crop up that reminded her of what happened to her , she would relapse, she would lash out at me or our 3 sons in horrid torrents of verbal abuse, this would continue for weeks, then as quickly as it comes she would act like nothing has happened. Only after breaking point, after I stated that I cant continue in our marriage if she did not seek treatment she would go back on antidepressants , but usually only for a few months, then the cycle would continue.. I have begged and pleaded to get professional help and for us to go to couples counselling, but she totally refuses, saying she is not MENTAL. For the past 7 years now she has been unable to work, and stays at home, with very little to NO social interaction. She often says she hates her self, and or just doesn’t speak for days on end. No one cant talk about their jobs as it brings up memories of work, and she has locked herself in her own mind prison. I find there has been so many hurtful vile things said to me, and paranoid behaviour I just cant take much more, I really have done everything I can to try and help, but I can’t help (cant lead a horse to water).

    I think I am about to file for a divorce, as I don’t want to live the rest my life with some one who can turn on a dime, and let loose with abuse from hell for no reason at all, and then two days later says they love you, it is too confusing for me to try and understand anymore, and I find I am being constantly stressed and unhappy. I REALLY think she is only staying as she cant
    support herself without my income. I am feel totally used and abused and unwanted. I really dont know what else to try anymore.

    • Ann says:

      The situation is really difficult and sad when the person refuses treatment. I think if after 7 years she still doesn’t had enough pain to “surrender” to a treatment, maybe it’s time for you to move on..

      • William Sheppard says:

        WELL NOW on last chance, just after I wrote this she went back on, see how this final ship sails, as I am really at whits end!

        • Jennifer says:

          I know exactly how you guys are feeling I was 17 when I started going out with my now husband & I didn’t even know any different I thought this is the way a relationship is, I am now 30 older & wiser just about at wits end with the stress my husband brings to this family when he gets in his moods, at first I am hurt desperate to make him stay tell him a hundred times a day how much I love him, & there isn’t any emotion on his face at all, & than I hit the stage of anger I just want out I want a husband who loves me & is always there to help me solve everyday problems, this disease is so frustrating its getting harder to feel bad for him I do everything In this house from pay the bills take care of our business raise our 2 young children & work full time. I wish somebody could just tell me everything is going to be ok, My husband is no longer the Man I need him to be, His parents beg me to stay with him, just ride it out Jennifer he will start to come around when his meds fully kick in , My family tells me to leave him find another Man while your still young, that is my roller coaster of a life with my depressed husband

          • William Sheppard says:

            I think you just have to draw a line in the sand, and write it down, and if it gets crossed then make your decision. I know its very difficult, I have sough counselling for myself , tried and tried to reason with not just her, but my own thoughts. Sometimes the best thing you can do, even if you love them, is let them go. I have been doing that in my own mind for a while now, cause I know if the meds stop, then so will my marriage which is hanging in there, if only by medication. The thing is we get so beat down by all the hate, the rage, and the anger, we take neutral as a good sign, and think this is ok.

            But is it really ?

            Do we think we are too entitled to have real love , and compassion? I don’t even think I know anymore what those are, as its been so long since I have experienced it. I have had the rage for so long, I have forgotten what that is. I just know I long for it, but realistically I know its no longer there, as much as I might want it to be.

          • Jennifer says:

            My Husband has been diagnosed with bipolar has of yesterday, I don’t know if that is good or bad, it definitely answers a lot of my questions I think he was bipolar all along, I had to trick him into going to see the doctor but I am relieved I did I told the doc, everything that was going on I didn’t care how mad my husband got, but before he left he agreed he said he felt betrayed by himself, he has been very withdrawn since I think he is just thinking, the doctor upped his meds I am just hoping & praying this works, if not I have already made the commitment to myself to leave him I have to try to have some kind of life.

  44. Sarah says:

    Recently married (about two months ago) and having dated for a year, I knew my newlywed husband had a history of depression. I didnt know how bad it was until we moved in together about 9 months ago. He had worked for himself up until that point when I felt it was necessary that we both have stable income to pay for the wedding. I quickly realized that the “seasonal” depression he had told me he experienced was really severe depression. Once we moved in together, things were fine for about a month before he randomly started missing days at work and staying in bed…sometimes for two to three days at a time. He lost his job after only 2 1/2 months…all the while I was assuming it was also due to the stresses of planning a wedding. He got another job but things just got progressively worse.
    After only four months of us living together, I was struggling to keep up with bills, rent, and wedding planning. I kept the cheery outlook that it was wedding jitters and that once we were married and settled in, things would be better. A month after our wedding, he stopped working all together. We had to move in with his parents because we couldn’t afford rent, one of our cars broke down and he (a mechanic) hasn’t fixed it so we are sharing one car. This is the excuse he uses for not seeking employment…that he doesn’t have a car for his own use.
    He doesn’t have a job, sleeps most of the day, and isn’t seeking any help for it. I’m at my wits end! I never thought it would get this bad and the depression is starting to affect me. I’m beginning to feel down and hopeless. The life I thought I would once have has disappeared and in place I have a husband that isn’t always there, blames me for his short-comings, and has refused to seek any help.
    When I try to talk to him about the concerns I have, it just leads to more fighting and bickering. I dont know what to do anymore. I love him and want to try to work this out.

  45. Cynthia says:

    Tonight my depressed cried and cried. He hates everything but us. Since being pregnant, I have been snoring really badly. I am sleeping on the couch away from my baby for the first time to night because of this because he said he can’t sleep. I want to be close to my 3 month old. I miss him. I miss my husband.

  46. Michaela says:

    I’m very confused….My boyfriend of 3 1/2 years has been very depressed lately. He’s been taking one hard hit (from life) to another, then another. His misfortune in continuous. To top it all off, he has a crazy ex wife who is determined to make his life miserable, and believe me; she does! Anyway, he knows he’s depressed and he knows that he needs to snap out of it, but it’s simply not happening. I suggested antidepressants, but he’s against medication. He went to a therapist a few times, but didn’t find it helpful. I was starting to take it personally; I was feeling like maybe he just doesn’t love me any more. I was getting offended that he doesn’t call me as much during the day, and he doesn’t text “I love you” to me much any more. It was really bringing me down and stressing me out. I Thought Of Leaving Him……then I realized that it wasn’t me…It’s his depression. I love him dearly and I realized that I should be by his side. It’s hard sometimes because it feels like he doesn’t want or need me there. My problem now is, “What should I do?” How should I handle him? Should I just let him be? Should I just be there for him; sit there quietly (he’s not into conversing much either)? Should I demand we go out? What about me though? What about us? Am I supposed to take a back seat to all of his drama until he feels better or until some of his major crisis are resolved? I feel like I’m in limbo. My life feels empty. I feel like I’m holding on to a hopeless dream waiting around for him…Any suggestions? Please help…

    • Ann says:

      Oh dear, I know what you’ve been trough. Personally I avoid all kind of medication, but about ten years ago had a terrible depression and was determined to die. I only didn’t do it because of my mom, thinking she wouldn’t cope. So I just looked for a psychiatrist and took medication for about 3 years, then stopped (without medical supervision – really stupid thing to do) and since then I am all right. Been trough really difficult times, including the loss of a loved one to a terrible disease, and even so wouldn’t really depressed. Now I’m in a relationship with a depressed person – being feeling unwanted and unloved, but he’s willing to try treatment, that’s what gives me hope.

      I understand being against orthodox treatments, but what about alternative ones? Do you think your husband would agree? There’s loads of really good and successful alternative treatments.

  47. Stu jones says:

    Hi, my partner has been dealing with this issue all her life alone and scared. I’m new to this with her and I’m just looking for help so as that I stop taking everything said personally.

    • Lili says:

      Hi Jones,
      i know you probably have seen this written many times before but you must tell yourself not to believe in her words. Her accusations, blames, twisted realities said against you and towards you. And you must believe this for yourself, that you are not the cause for her depression. I feel like a hypocrite for telling you this, as for myself i still struggle with this myself.
      They say there’s two sides to every story, and it is true. the non-depressed partner may or may not have contributed towards the negativity for the depressed partner. But that’s just how relationships go, no one’s perfect and we all make mistakes. Normally in a non depressive relationship you should talk to eachother about the wrongs and work together to right them.
      But my experience in the depressed relationship everything just somehow automatically became my fault. Its shocking, hurtful and crushing to hear the person you love have held so much against you and now views you as the enermy. And no doubt, its almost impossible not to take it personally. How can you not?
      The only thing you can do Jones is be there for her, listen to her and talk to her.
      It probably would be the best for you two to go couple therapy sessions where a perfessional can assist on ways to communicate. That way you dont have to be only person she vent out everything to, you will only end up being the punching bag for all her blames, frustration, negativities and anger that she helf inside herself. As depression goes, the closest one and the one love the most will always be in the front line of fire.
      Unfortunately there’s nothing we can do to ‘fix’ the depressive partner and the only thing we can do is do our best to be supportive at the same time take care of ourselves.

      • Tom says:

        Lili,

        You said everything to a T on my marriage of 5 years now. We’ve been together 8, and the last two have been terrible and I’ve felt helpless. I had depression when I was a teenager so I understand it. My relationship with my wife when from being with the most loving, caring, and aware of my feeling s to just cold and hateful.

        Depression sank in due to the nature of her job. Regular therapy failed, then marriage counsuling failed, now she finally saw a psycotherapist with weekly meetings and a small dose of prozac. She’s eating better, not drinking two glasses of wine each night. Lost 12 pounds in two months and being to care again. I am still hesitant, my cloths are still damp from the heavy storms the past year…

        All I can say is that I’ve been there for her the whole time, and took the abuse. It’s been hard. I’m hoping things will continue to go well…I pray everyday for this angel I love so much, as well as for all the depressed people in the world.

        • Lili says:

          Hi Tom,

          Thankyou for sharing your story, its always comforting, yet so tragic to see yet another couple suffering the same fate.

          This quote “I am still hesitant, my cloths are still damp from the heavy storms the past year”, this is perfect – I know that feeling all too well.
          That feeling of walking on egg shells, not knowing when another ‘episode’ will break out and what mood will the partner be in today. It is like living everyday in fear and uncertainty, not sure which ‘partner’ you are waking up or coming home to.

          I too have been hanging onto my relationship by a fragile thread. For the last year and a half my partner have pushed me further and further away to the point he mentioned 3 month ago that he can not consider himself in a relationship anymore! Imagine hearing that after 4 years of loving him, and out of no where he just dropped the bomb on me.
          Ofcause at the beginning there were warning signs as he started to isolate himself in his study, his cold and distant demeanor that constrasted to the man that he was before. But he refused to tell my what is really going on even when i asked.
          Yet i stayed and things slowly quieted down. But i can never tell what mood will he pick on a daily basis. Last week he had a minor surgery, and i had been the only person who stayed by him day and night, tended to his every need, took on all the works around the house and grocery shopping. All at the same time juggling work and being a full time university student. I am completely drained of all energy and feel like i have added 20 years to my age! I can only hope he can appreciates my unconditional love and improve for the better.

          Prayers for both of us and everyone suffering!

  48. Sarah says:

    Ladies,
    You can’t fix it for him. End of story. My husband of 7 years and father of my beautiful toddler has suffered from depression as long as I’ve known him. It’s only gotten worse. I had no experience with depression before knowing him. We are married and parents so I’m going to keep fighting the good fight, but if I knew then what I know now… This is going to sound harsh, but don’t marry him and certainly don’t have children with him until he gets help. And I mean real regular on-going sessions with a therapist help. Just like you wouldn’t commit your finances to someone with a ridiculous amount of financial debt, don’t commit yourself emotionally either. You will start to think you’re the problem, mostly because his depression will tell you that on a regular basis. I tried to respectfully express my concern again tonight and he called me vicious and vindictive, which I know I’m not, but when you hear something over and over… It starts to get to you. If he won’t treat his illness, you need to walk away while you still can.

    • Ghostwoman says:

      Sarah, I couldn’t agree more with what you posted. For young people considering a marriage with a depressive, I would give the same advise. After a 20 plus year marriage and two children, I can tell you it has been largely a hellish situation. I have wasted years being sucked in and spit out by his depression. We have many great things in common, and have had many wonderful times together,but I never know when the bottom will fall out and he will do something crazy to push me away. It has gotten to the point where I can no longer enjoy the good times because I know what’s coming next. Remember that sign in the Wizard of Oz, “I’d turn back if I were you”? Meanwhile, Sarah, I feel your pain. Hang in there with the good fight because if you can get this manageable you may all get to a better place. I am also thinking about boundaries, though. There are some things that we shouldn’t allow these people to do to us, even though we love them, and even though they are ill.

    • Ann says:

      Couldn’t agree more. Thanks for sharing.

  49. Struggling says:

    Hi,
    I’m a 20-year-old woman with a 25-year-old partner. He suffers from depression and is seeking help from his doctor. We’re intending to live together over the summer while I’m home from University, but his depression is making it very, very tough for me. He came home from an event on Monday, and when I went to visit him, he told me that had it not been for a close group of friends there with him, he would have committed suicide. Obviously, while I knew he was on anti-depressants and was taking sleeping tables occasionally, it came as a bit of a bolt from the blue that he believed everything had become so bad in his life that he felt a need to end it. Because it was so unexpected, and I love him dearly, I ended up going into meltdown to some extent, in tears and trying to hold myself together while talking to him about why he felt that way and what had gone on.
    What concerned me was the coldness in his voice when he spoke. There was no emotion, no upset, or concern, or anything…just a chill. He was coldly logical, and it upset me that he could be that unfeeling about taking his own life. Over the past few days I have tried to be available as often as possible (while still finishing coursework and essays) and to try and be as gentle with him as I can.
    I’m struggling, though. I am unable to be there every hour of every day, and I am currently splitting my time between my familial home and his home, across the city. I have asked him to make sure he buys food and cooks for himself, rather than relying on takeaways, as he always ends up with no money – despite being in a fairly well-paying job, and I had to pay for food for him out of my rather meagre funds last month – I am currently looking for part-time work, and yet I know he hasn’t done so so far this month and I worry on his budgeting this month too. I don’t have the money available to bail him out again. He has had 2 months on sick leave from work and is contemplating taking more time off, which he has said would leave him almost certainly jobless. This would mean he would have no money to pay rent or bills, and his sick record would make it very difficult for him to find work elsewhere. I have told him I’ll support him with whatever he decides, but we both know the risks/probabilities. I am certain this is not helping his depression.
    I try to offer him thing to do or chances to meet, and he always seems keen, but ten minutes later will change his mind, and then maybe again, and again. I don’t want to yell or shout but I can’t change my plans as quickly and I don’t want to make decisions for him as we are both strong-willed and I don’t want him to think I’m ignoring his opinion or views.
    He buries anything that worries him away, which doesn’t necessarily make the worry lesser or the issues smaller – it just pushes them away for a few more days (and they sometimes come back bigger.) I have no control over his finances, I have no contact with his doctor, I know he’s seen a counsellor but I think their sessions ended a month or so ago. I can’t physically take some of this strain off him, and nor do I think I could mentally manage it. I’m just about holding myself together, having been signed off from University three months ago due to stress, and while I want to support and I am trying to support him as much as I can…I am really, truly struggling.
    I love my partner to pieces, but recently the emotional strain has begun to become too much. I need advice, and I need it fast. Please help?
    Struggling.

    • nora says:

      Hi,
      does your partner have any family or friends that perhaps you are able to contact? What about your family? Have you told them about the situation?

      I am worried about your well – being. It sounds as though you are in a tough situation. Do you know what triggered his depression?

      Your partner obviously needs further help, but you cannot do it all. Is there any way you can spread the load of responsibility for him. Have you spoken to your advisor of studies or the Samaritans? Whatever happens you must take time to look after yourself. As you pointed out you cannot be there every minute of the day anyway and also you cannot be held responsible for your partners actions, you can only provide him with support. If you do not look after yourself you will be unable to support him.

      Speak to as many people as possible. Helplines, study advisers, friends, family. There is nothing to be ashamed of.

      I also have a partner with depression. It is extremely difficult and draining to deal with him and I also know how easy it is to turn into yourself so please do not do this.

      Take care friend.

  50. Anie says:

    Hi,

    I’m not sure what to say, my fiancé and I have been together for 7 years and are due to be married in less then 3 months now.

    Out of the blue he started to act really strange then had a co fess ion if guilt about way hong porn which I really didn’t care about it was the fact he kept it from me.

    The confession turnt to self loathing of not being the person he wanted thought he should be. He has guilt about all the things he should have been doing, wedding stuff, looking for a more for filling job, actually talking to me. He started having panic and anxiety attacks as well as compleat lay irrational thoughts and fears which were beginning to scare me a bit so he kind of stopped telling me but now just seems deeply depressed!

    The weird Thing about all thus is our relationship seems to be the best it’s ever been when he’s thinking straight, the depth of love has intensified somehow which only make the crushing lows even lower!

    He promises me he had no idea where all this has come from and he wants nothing more then to marry me in 10 weeks but he is so down I’m terrified he’s going to pull the plug on the wedding!

    I don’t know what to do?! We have 2 small children and he really is an amazing dad and an amazing man I love him so much but I feel so angry that I’m struggling to be the person I need to be in this situation!

    I’m so tired! I can’t sleep, I can’t eat, I can’t think I just feel consumed by him and how he’s feeling! So I switch off and focus on me and the kids and its great then I get the guilt all over again!

    I just feel so lost and scared, it’s all only happened over the last 3 weeks I’m usually such a strong person but I can see myself falling apart especially when I’m close to him!

    He has agreed to seek council g which he started last week and is getting back into exercise and seeing his friends, which is what he is doing now. Ordinarily I would never worry but now I haven’t heard from him and I’m going out of my mind!

    I know it’s only been 3 weeks and I’m being so impatient but I just want my life back or to know what to do at least?!

    • Lili says:

      Hi Anie,

      When you say you haven’t heard from him is it because you two do not live together? Im sorry Anie but it sounds like your fiance probably carried depression for awhile and finally broke down during the confession. It’s just the mentioning of the use of pornography also, alot of depressed men use porn as a way to distract themselves from reality. I know that my partner did, and when i confronted him, he broke down and cried, apologized and begged for forgiveness. Telling me that he’s not himself and would never do this to hurt me again. Everything just flooded out, sobbed in my arms like a child.
      Unfortunately for me, my partner is still deep in depression, and till now, he have yet to have professional medical help of any sort. It got to a point where last week and this week, he was talking of the pressure he’s feeling from our relationship, and the fact im doing so much for him with him unable to return that love back give him so much anxiety, pressure and sadness. After a week of begging, i was able to have him hang on to the relationship, and he finally told me he’s going to seek help from a doctor first. So for me, our fight, have just started.

      I do recommend you talk to your fiance again, just to follow up on his progress. It also sound like to me he’s quite sensitive and talking seem to put him on the edge, so maybe also engage in his activities like taking walks together and going for a jog together even. That way you can observe how he’s coping and watch how he respond to you being around him, without him feeling pushed or questioned. Keep in touch dear, you are not alone in this fight and i wish you two all the best!.

  51. jack says:

    one can defeat depression by controlling how we think…

    • Mardi says:

      lol, you obviously dont have or havent had depression.

      • MM says:

        “Mardi” : perhaps this person doesn’t understand depression but the fact that they are here trying to sort it out because their mate is going through it is commendable. I wonder what misconceptions you had about depression before it hit you…
        MM

  52. Briana says:

    Hello, i’m 19 and my boyfriend is 22..and it is quiet hard to deal with his depression. This just occurred 2 Weeks ago and he actually admitted that he was depressed 2 days ago. I am at a loss right now. I feel, hurt, and a little depressed myself. I’m trying my best to cheer him up but nothing seems to work!! I just wish things were back to the way they were when he was happy. Somebody HELP!! I feel like i’m going crazy . PS: this is a long distance relationship

  53. rubyredshoes says:

    I’m so glad I have stumbled across thus blog , whilst looking for answers & techniques for dealing with & perfecting myself from my boyfriends depression. I won’t go into details suffice to say its got pretty bad. he’s given up work , he barely goes out , sometimes doesn’t sat for days . We live in different cities & I work full time & have children from a previous relationship, so it’s hard to be with him as much as I’d like, he cannot really stay with me because he finds engaging with my kids a strain right now & because to be honest his behaviour & manner is constantly fluctuating between being withdrawn & bleak & angry / self destructive , he talks of being in constant pain & ending it . he has cuts and red marks in his hands & arms & I suspect self abuse , but the one time I tentatively broached it he became very defensive & enraged.. I am walking in eggshells. he scares me at times.. he’s never hurt me physically , but he looks so dead behind the eyes & can be so verbally unkind that I worry sometimes that he might . it is escalating . he admits he is unwell , but refuses to get help . he had a bad experience with a ‘ counsellor’ previously and was on anti depressants once that made him feel numb & totally spaced, as well as queasy all the time. I managed to persuade him to ring up a therapy centre & was so proud that he did , but they weren’t great on the phone & made him feel stupid & now he’s awaiting an assessment, but is rapidly back pedalling . it’s git TK the point now that he’s claiming its all me , all in my head . I’m trying to control & emasculate him …. he really needs help , he says he’s in constant physical & emotional pain ( he gets lumps in his sdms and kegs, crippling stabbing headaches, panic attacks, but he’s deep , deep in denial…. what can I do ?

  54. Jane says:

    Hi everyone.

    I’ve been with my partner for two years.., we have all the qualities between each other that people would dream of… Our relationship works well, however there is a massive mountain we just can’t climb….,

    My partner has depression. He will occasionally lock himself away in his house for a few day or a week and totally cut off the world…. He won’t answer the door, phone or respond to anything or anyone… It’s so alarming and it hurts so bad to see someone you love hurt themselves. When he goes missing like this I become a mess… I cry and then I feel low!! I don’t want him to hurt himself! I love him! But no matter what I do it’s not enough to heal him….
    He disappears at crucial times or times when I’m on need and it makes me squirm with fret and fear… I lost my grandma and days later he disappeared… We booked a vacation and he went missing for a week, then turned up 48 hours before the flight, we was due to move in together and I had a job near his town… He went missing and I lost the job as I had nowhere to stay as he wouldn’t come round to let me in.. I had to return to my home town 200 miles away…. There is so many more occasions that have been ruined weddings, trips, you name it….

    He is a beautiful striking man and has lovely qualities…. But what he does taunts me.. Sometime when I forgive him I find it hard to forget what he does and I throw it in his face… I’m insecure, down and I don’t feel wanted by him when he does this. How can he want me if he leaves me so often? Or he won’t stop the hurt. I feel like I’m the one with the problem but I know I’m not…. In two years he has left me 14 times. The first thing you think is- this guys cheating… But he is a physical mess? Unshaven and not groomed after these episodes and then all of a sudden he bounces back to normality….

    I love him dearly and I want him to get well but I just don’t know how to help him or help myself….. He is my world and I will do anything to make him happy and well!!

    I’m terrified I’m going to find him dead!! I’m 26… He is 20 years older…. He has kids who are grown ups now and he cuts them out occasionally but not like me….

    We could be so happy and so perfect only for this depression barrier.

    How can I save my relationship and save him.

    Admire you all on here!!!
    Love and thoughts to you all!!

  55. Stephanie young says:

    I need help please I don’t know what to do my husband has been realy depressed for a very long time it got so bad that he had a affair with another woman he is so mean to me.. Before we got together he lost 3 of his children and he is always upset about it . We have 4 children together and he treats them bad to.. I realy don’t know wht to do anymore I am starting to feel depressed from all this please help me

    • anon says:

      Maybe I am naive, and I do not fully understand the situation. At first read, this sounds alarming, and I am sorry for your situation. It sounds more like emotional abuse than it is depression affecting a family. The poor treatment and infidelity should be not be results/excuse from depression.

  56. Darrius Woods says:

    I’m glad I found this website, so now I can release my frustration. My wife and I have been marries for almost 2 tears now, and I love her dearly. Recently my wife have had symptoms of depression and its effecting our family. Its unhealthy for me and our kids, it has been taking its toll on me. I’m thankful
    For this blog some great information

  57. NerdyBoyfriend says:

    Hi.

    At the moment I am in a living-together situation where my girl (possibly future-wife) is in a constant and periodic fallout mode where she practically loses all hint of trust , self-esteem , and well-being altogether.

    We recently lived through what both of us would describe as a “dream vacation” spending a lot of time together seeing our favorite bands live and just livin’ it up.

    As someone that submerged himself into depression and self-doubt during his teen years and got back on his feet in his adulthood by basically “feeling like a kid, but with the knowledge of an adult”, I can identify myself with those feelings of insecurity , self-doubt and low self esteem. Man, I even decide to laugh in the face of rampant jealousy because I know that in the years I’ve spent with this girl, I’ve never … EVER … done anything wrong, besides, it’s the depression talking when that happens.

    What I don’t know, (and what I’ve come here to ask) is, How can I make her want to help herself? How can I motivate someone that basically does not seem to have it in her to take care of her well-being ?

    Is she a lost cause? Should I just move on with life?

    Oh, and does marihuana consumption affect at all? Because she seems to be really into it. I have nothing against it, but I just wonder if it does more harm than good.

    Thanks in advance.

  58. Sally says:

    Hi, Thanku for this article it is one of many I an finding useful atm. I kno my partner is suffering depression he was diagnosed after I left him. I left with my five children and fleed to a woman’s refuge three and a half months ago, our only child together was four months old. Within the last month we Hav bin trying to sort things out, because I felt bad because of the depression and decided to giv it another go after educating myself. It has been sooo draining and scary, I feel I’m abandoning him when he needs us desperately now, he threatened suicide about two weeks ago, he constantly accuses me of cheating, he just finds something to b negative and terribly emotionally abusive at me, even when I’m attending church with my five children he accuses me of being with someone and the people who my children and I travel to church with. He calls me every name under the sun, threatens to run his car thru the refuge where we are staying. I am scared and can’t take anymore, I try to talk positive to him but he talks n yells worse at me. I fleed because the last straw for me was after a verbal argument between he n i, he pulled three of my children out of bed at 11pm at night and locked them out on the verandah, they begged and cried to go back in and he swore at them and told them not to ask again. After three mths I thort things would change, but his still set that I am a s$&@. I feel I need to continue to protect my children and let him sort himself out, I feel like I’m gona lose it if I continue in this cycle. Please giv me helpful advice !!!!!

  59. ivyj says:

    My husband is diagnosed with OCD and depression and currently seeing therapist. I think I have tried my best to support him while he is fighting against the nasty conditions. However, his mood swings start to affect me, my way of looking at people, society and world as a whole, getting more and more negative. And I start avoiding people as well, feeling low all the time and cry for no reason when I’m all by myself…He has started drinking liquor too, but I’m not sure if it is to the point of abusing alcohol. My concern is the family history, his uncle is an alcoholic… I also found out that he has been cutting his arms…That hurts me so much. He is a phd student and is at the final stage of writing his dissertation. I think that’s the primary souce for his stress. He doesn’t have a hard schedule, so if he doesn’t go to library he is home alone…and I worry that he would hurt himself seriously one day…I work full time so I cannot watch him all the time…I don’t know who to talk to. I cannot talk to his parents because I don’t think it will help other than making them worry. I feel so tired physically and emotionally…I want this to be over…

  60. Gaia says:

    Good thoughts for us all. I have been dealing with a depressed spouse for two plus years. There was a divorce, so there was already tenderness where children and their issues were concerned, which is normal, I know. Then, the financial troubles hit, coupled by career changes. Then the death of a sibling with which the relationship was complicated.

    The sad thing is my spouse has lost the ability to see all that is good. Life has become a constant fixation on what could go wrong. We are not careless with our finances or reckless in our behaviors, so if anything does go wrong it will not be because we were courting disaster. Every action or decision that is made is scrutinized endlessly.

    Then there is the guilt that is massive. THe thinking which at times is emotional and childish. The other day, there was a massive bout of guilt and berating for not being able to physically attend a meeting for a prospective school for his child. The plan was to conference as the meeting was 12 hours away, and occurring mid work week at a critical point in a business transaction. The school called and said that they could not conference the call for some reason. So, I said, well make your own appointment to go and visit with your child when work quiets a bit, or use your child’s phone to conference. All this was met with was, but I’m a terrible parent. I am a negligent parent. No basis in reality, but that’s what something like this does to my spouse’s head.

    Sex life has been gutted. Although, I am told once a week is better than most. I feel guilty for desiring more, but I do.

    I try to remain patient, talk it out, support, but it does not get better. Then after you’ve spent all this time putting someone else back together, there’s no one to take care of you. I feel mentally and physically exhausted. I so want to help, but I am running out of energy.

    • Mum2Matahari says:

      I feel your pain, frustration and exhaustion.

      I don’t have solutions for you because i too feel EXACTLY the same as you and have no idea where to seek help.

      I live in a country where I can’t seem to find a support group dedicated to spouses with depresion.

      I feel that I am walking on an egg shell – cold home.

      We have a kid who is 4 years old and i really hope that he will not witness this and affect him in the future – just the same way it has happend to my husband and his parents.

      I realise that my husband must have got depression for a long time but has managed to control things when ‘things are good ‘ but often they are ‘half empty cups’ events rather than ‘half full’.

      Any reason for celebration is doomed – doesn’t see that life in itself is worth celebrating – nothing major but a ‘thank full’ celebration would be enough for me.

      I wish to have some kind of connection with someone outthere who can help me with gaining my energy for the sake of my family and my own emotional well being….

  61. tom says:

    Everyone, I am praying for all of us. Finally my got my wife to go to a therapist, and just after our first meeting, it’s seemed to help. Some weight has been off my chest. I’ve been fighting this dark entity called depression within my wife for the past year. It’s that whom I am dealing with, not her. It saddens me because she doesn’t realize how bad it hurts.

    Stay strong!

    • Tom two says:

      Trying to get my wonderful wife and mother of my two boys to get help but how do you tell them they are destroying everything when they can’t see it themselves

  62. Bonnie says:

    Dear all

    If u have or are suffering from a partner with depression I would like to hear from you. For the past two years I have been married to a man with a lot of problems. We have been married and together for 19 years and have two children. His behaviour has crushed me and he swings from total devotion to extreme indifference and cruelty. I am looking for a group to gain support that hopefully I am not the only one caring for man that gives me nothing in return.

    Look forward to hearing from you.

    • K says:

      Hi Bonnie, I’m sorry to hear your story. I would advise you to post on the General Discussion forum on the Depression Fallout site. There are so many people on there going through the same thing (unfortunately) who will be able to give a lot of support.

      Best wishes,
      K

    • Gaia says:

      Hi Bonnie,

      I am sorry for your struggles. I know your pain. You get these brief bursts where there is some joy and happiness only to have then vanish suddenly. I keep waiting for someone to come and say “this is too much for her (me) she needs a rest.” I am just so desperate to take my eyes off of the road for a moment. The constant watching and worrying. It feels almost the way an abused spouse feels… Never knowing what will come through the door, how quickly you need to shoo the kids away… Love is not easy! Fingers crossed for us all!

  63. Debs says:

    My husband has been getting steadily worse with depression over the last few years but even now he is having trouble accepting it. I was in the early stage if pregnancy last year when he started an affair. I suspected something was going in and got really stressed. My blood pressure was high for the first time and I found out at 16 weeks 4 days that I had had a missed miscarriage. When my husband came to the hospital, he sat as far away from me as possible. When I went in the next day, he strode ahead of me leaving me to carry my bag. His whole attitude was cold. At the time I needed him most, he wasn’t there for me and I ended up grieving for my child and my husband. 5 months later I finally found the proof that he’d been seeing someone else and confronted him. I told him I didn’t want to live in a loveless marriage but twice he came back saying he wanted to try to get back on track. Yesterday we went for marriage guidance counselling. Almost the entire session was taken up by the counsellor telling him how hard it was for him cos he felt he had the entire financial burden and had to work 60 hours a week. He didn’t have to. It was his choice and nothing I said made any difference. He had just escalated things out of all proportion. She said he was showing signs of depression and suggested he speak to his GP about anti depressants. He then had a major rant and cried saying he felt no-one gave a stuff about him. How he wanted us to sell everything and live in a caravan. How he was earning good money but couldn’t buy what he wanted. Every time I tried to comment he shut me down. All the time the counsellor was sympathising. I wanted to shout at him that EVERYTHING was about him! I’d been walking on egg shells for years. Nothing was ever good enough for him. I had always tried to bring extra money in with work but had to juggle it with childcare. I didn’t want to live in the caravan because I knew he wouldn’t be able to control his rages when the kids were noisy. I am working part time now and we do have money left over but he keeps spending it on unnecessary things that he justifies by saying he needs something for himself cos he never gets anything. I never get anything. He resents any money that I spend on the kids and fritters away money on things we don’t need. We came out of there and he starts acting as if nothing happened. I just felt furious. It’s almost like he now thinks he was justified in treating me so badly. Where on earth do I go from here?

    • Mimi says:

      Leave him. He’s destroying your life. Depression is not an excuse for how he is treating you. If you are afraid of his “rages” that’s a relationship you need to get out of. You should never be with a partner you’re afraid of. That’s a terrible way to live.

      • Debs says:

        I’m not worried for myself. He’s never physically hurt me. I just don’t want him shouting at the kids. I feel like I need to give him opportunity to sort himself out before I close the door for good. So difficult though when he says he wants to try to get back to how we once were and then he says he feels nothing for me. Just don’t know what to believe any more. Family life has been much better recently but I can’t stay in a loveless marriage.

    • robin says:

      If i was in your shoes….. i would sit back n take a good look at ur whole relatioship n write down the good points n than bad ones…i would than see the reality of my marriages future…i would also try n focus on my children n how i want them to learn how a relationship works….if they r seeing u two always fighting if they know ur always hurting than what example are u truley setting…. i also feel u should never allow someone to belittle you n make u feel all their wrongful actions were because of u ….. ur husband cheated he cheated on u when u were carring his child i say go back to the therapist n take a stand n let him have it tell him how u truley feel n dont give him a moment to interrupt u n when ur done walk out with ur head held high n a new life which u n ur children deserve god bless u n sorry for ur loss

  64. Carolyn says:

    This article makes it sound like the depressed person a virus. It consoles the partner but paints the “depressed person” as poorly behaved child that should have no cause for complaint with the perfect partner. Throwing labels around so lightly only gives people reasons to blame their partner and not take any responsibility themselves. When you are labeled the “depressed partner” you now become the scapegoat for any legitimate issues in the relationship. Why don’t we just get rid of these stupid, useless, offensive labels and look at the person as a whole and not “diseased”

  65. Thousands of men and women who have lived through this struggle or are in the midst of it right now. They have a lot of insight and share their painful stories in face-to-face support groups as well as online communities.This is a good reminder to me that others don’t make me depressed.

  66. Eva says:

    Hi
    I’ve been with my husband 4,5 years married 1,5 years . He started becoming distant from me when I had my son lady year before that we had few episodes of fighting but always made up and it was fine. Now I’m sure he is depressed it’s all money and stress at work which I understand and tried to support him but he’s not taking it any more . He blames me for everything doesn’t sleep well started avoiding work , doesn’t spend time with his son . He has 3 kids from previous relationship much older two of them are over 18 one under 18. They were slaways demanding a lot of money which was sort of bareable at the beginning but now got us into serious trouble. He finally said something and stopped paying main tench for the oldest one which he should have stopped year ago. But it’s too late in terms of debt that we have now. We could start slowly changing things to be back on track but wherever I try to save he spends a lot on drinking beacause he doesn’t want to wait few years until I will be ae to go back to work I’m much younger and doing my degree to have a decent job and if I would start working now I would not be able to pay the nursery bills even so I’m stuck at home taking all this abuse now. And starting feeli g depressed myself . I try to be positive not blame him or talk back when he does . But it’s very hard. I’ m afraid he may do so etching stupid and I want to take my son and go either to my mum or mother -in-law because I don’t want him witness what’s going on in our house. I don’t know what to do anymore . I feel guilty now that I wanted to have family when he wasn’t sure cause he had kids already now I’m paying for this really bad … I love him so much we were so happy why won’t he talk to me and try to sort things out? He promised few times that he would change but its all the same every month around pay day … The lack of money and his other kids blaming him for not seeing them often and not sending enough money when they should work already .. Please someone give me some advice I can’t take it anymore … He doesn’t want any help or talk to anyone says he doesn’t have friends and the kids are bothering him and I said we are here for him and he ignores that … It’s a vicious circle… Help

  67. T says:

    This is a great article, I have been married for four years and am dealing with a nightmare….my wife, was the sweetest and most patient person you could ever know. No it’s the opposite. I just feel like she hates me for who I am and what I do. Fortunately I’ve dealt with my own depression in the past so it’s not a total mess. Reading this article has made me realize I need to protect myself. I care and love her so much, and it’s like a knife stabbing my heart when I get the ‘cold’ shoulder/vibes. She won’t even let me hug her. Asking how her day was is as if I insulted her. She cancelled therapy, no I asked for her to seek anti-depressants from her primary doctor, at the last resort. Divorce has crossed my mind….this has been going on for the past 8-10 months or so.

    :(

  68. Lou says:

    Thank you for this, just when I needed it.

    I fell in love with a really lovely warm, funny, affectionate loving man, and gave up my life as I knew it to be with him.

    I came with baggage which I had to deal with, but forgot that he was having to deal with me dealing with it. He already had a lot going on in his life with a difficult former partner a headstrong 11 year-old daughter, & a busy stressful job (we work for the same organisation).

    Last Christmas he thought I was finishing with him after all I’d put him through, but it was a huge miscommunication, and that’s where it started.

    We sorted things out, but I never truely got him back because from January this year onward I began to lose him to depression.

    I didn’t know that’s what it was at first, neither did he. He became distant, closed and cold – the total opposite of the lovely man I met. I dealt with it wrongly because I had no idea it was depression, so I shouted and blamed and took it all very personally. Couldn’t believe he was treating me like this after we’d been through so much to be together!

    So the roller-coaster began…..in April he moved 40 miles away to be nearer daughter so we hardly saw each other (I still don’t know where he lives), and we split up several times, he became quite cruel, cold & unemotional. Unrecognisable.

    Then he went to doctor’s & was told he had depression. But, refused tablets ans the doc didn’t offer counselling, and he’s never been back. Stalemate.

    In June we tried again deciding to start again from the beginning. All was going ok – not amazing, but we were starting to build up the closeness & friendship again very slowly.

    Then 3 days ago, it went wrong again. I mentioned I was hurt by something he said, and I’ve been ignored ever since. He won’t talk to me, he won’t reply to any messages, he blanks me at work.

    I know it’s not him, I know it’s the depression, and I’m 100% that I’m sticking with him – but how on earth do I do it??

  69. Tamara says:

    Thank you. Your list of 10 things couldn’t have come at a better time. Tonight while chatting to my very much loved partner, I idly began picking up all his newspapers and magazines from the coffee table to store on the shelf beneath, to clean up. His response to me cleaning up was jawdropping, and we’ve been together for 4 years! I was accused of nagging, called names, he roared derogatory comments about me, he slammed a beer down on the counter so hard it sprayed right around the kitchen, (without breaking the glass), he picked the whole coffee table up and slammed it on the floor, he kept saying ‘see what you made me do!’ This was the only thing I raised my voice to, telling him firmly not to blame me for his actions and lack of control. I refuse to let him blame me for his destructive actions. He gathered up a pillow, blanket and change of clothes and drove off. I’ve scrubbed the beer smell out of my kitchen, cleaned up the splintered wood and papers, tinkered on the computer and found this site. And finally dissolved into tears when I read point 10. What you have written sounds like you were in the room tonight. I hope I can put your resources to good use now – if he comes home.

  70. John Folk-Williams says:

    Hi –

    I’m often confused by what counselors say – especially to advise someone to separate without any effort to talk to both partners. It’s important to remember that you are hearing about the counselor’s opinion indirectly (I presume) from your husband, so he may unintentionally be attaching the meaning he wants to hear to the counselor’s words. I obviously don’t know, but I would focus on your husband and ask him to be as clear as he can be with you about his feelings (and he may not be able to be very clear or consistent). The medication would take more than a week to have much impact – and he does sound as lost in depression as I was at one time. He’s ill and confused and what he says and does won’t make much sense. He probably can’t feel much of anything but could read that as a lack of intensity in the relationship – that’s an easier explanation than trying to deal with your own depression. Whatever is happening with him, I think it’s important for you to let him know your support and compassion for him but also the devastating impact his behavior is having on you. Since the depression has been going on for over a year, he (and you) probably won’t find any quick relief from it. Unfortunately, you can’t do the work of recovery for him, and I hope you’ll get all the support you need to get through this difficult time. It would be good if you and he could see a marital counselor together, hopefully someone who has dealt specifically with the effect of depression on relationships.

    John

    • Rose says:

      Hi Wife of depressed husband and John,

      I can understand what you are going through. My husband lost his job and his father past away within a month of each other. His personallity changed. He was angry, upset and irrational. I had no idea of what was happening. I convienced him to go to a therapist. He got a name of someone through our insurance company. After he started seeing the therapist it got worse. He came home of therapy and started blaming me for his depression and said that he didn’t really want to buy the house that we lived in, he didn’t want the kids go to the private school that they went to and he didn’t want my father living with us. He said that his depression and anger was my fault. We had discussed in dept these issues years before and I couldn’t understand why he was bringing them up now. He eventually invited me into his therapy sesssion and the therapist spoke for my husband and told me that he wanted more of my attention and that my father was taking too much attention from him. He stopped seeing this therapist soon after I sat in on the session. When he started to come out of his depression I asked him why he had said such things and he couldn’t explain because he didn’t know why but said that he left therapy each time thinking that the reason he was depressed was because I had too much control. It’s very frustrating when a therapist is not probably trained and the spouse is on the other end dealing with the outcome of her bad advise. A depressed person has a distored view of reality and if a profession is telling him something then it is assumed that this profession is correct. See a new therapist if possible. Unfortunately, my husband’s therapist not only damaged my marriage but my husband refuses to ever see a professional again. His way of dealing with the depression is to try not to rage. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. I’m usually on the receiving end of his rage.

      John – it would be nice to hear from your wife and how she delt with her feeling toward you during and after an episode. I find it extrememly difficult to forgive and forget.

  71. Krystie says:

    I have been Living with My Husband for 4 years he has Depression. Somethings happened to him in his past that caused him to break. He is a Wonderful man. I love him very much and try my best to help him because I know what happen was not his Fault. He is a Amazing man that I would do anything for but sometimes he gets to where he thinks he don’t need his Meds. please help me to find away to reassure him that he has to have his Meds before he can live a normal life. I love him with all my heart and soul and when he don’t take his meds he ends up getting sick and has to leave me to go and get help. It kills me that he has this Illness and I don’t know how to help him…… :(

    • John Folk-Williams says:

      Hi, Krystie –

      It’s always hard to see your partner get careless about treatment and not be able to do much about it. I think the main thing is to keep offering support and love as you’re doing and let him know you’re there to help him in any way he thinks you can. Of course, you can’t make him stay in treatment if he won’t do it. Treatment, though, includes a lot more possibilities than medication. In fact, people often get better with a combination of meds and one of the many forms of psychotherapy. Some types of therapy focus entirely on ending immediate symptoms without going into past history at all. Other types do just the opposite and probe terrible events of the past that may have contributed to the present problems. If he feels that meds aren’t the answer, then you might help him get information about other possibilities.

      I wish you both the best — John

  72. Donna-1 says:

    This is a good reminder to me that others don’t make me depressed; I tend to do things and react in ways that make and keep me depressed. Also is a good reminder that our depression DOES affect others, whether or not they choose to show it or talk about it. I tend to withdraw — that is my first response to depression. How difficult it can be to reach out instead, to make that effort to restore relationships once they are damaged.

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