Where the Science of Psychology Meets the Art of Being Human

When Someone You Love Has Depression

79,879 views

When Someone You Love Has Depression.

Depression builds walls around people and between people. When someone you love has been dragged inside those walls, there can be a distance between you both that feels relentless. You miss them, but they’re right there beside you, except that they’re kind of not. Not in the way you both want to be anyway.

The symptoms of depression exist on a spectrum. All of them are normal human experiences, but in depression they’re intensified. Not everyone who has depression will have a formal diagnosis, so knowing what to watch out for can help to make sense of the changes you might notice.

Depression looks like a withdrawal. It feels that way too. It’s a withdrawal from everything that is enriching and life-giving. Depression sucks the life out of life. That’s how it feels. When depression bites, everything becomes hard. Life starts to hurt. Those who are bitten stop looking forward to things. They stop engaging and they stop enjoying things, even the things they used to love. They can feel hard to reach, and sometimes they can be angry or appear as though they don’t care. That isn’t because they want to withdraw from you or push you away, they don’t, although it can feel that way. 

Here are some ways to fight for them, beside them and for the times the fight has to be theirs, behind them:

  1. Depression is never a choice.

    If people with depression could be happy, they would be. Depression leaves people feeling as though they’ve been scooped out with a spoon. It’s a hijacking of everything that feels good. The hopelessness, emptiness and loneliness is relentless. If they knew how to be any other way, they would be. 

  2. It’s okay to feel frustrated or angry.

    The helplessness of loving someone with depression can be frustrating, exhausting and lonely. It’s okay to feel angry at times, or as though you want to throw your hands in the air and walk away. You’re human and when you love someone with depression, there will be times that you’ll be in the arena too, fighting the battle. Remember that you’re fighting a common enemy and it’s depression, not the person beside you. Try to see through the symptoms to the person you know, because they’re in there.

  3. Depression is a withdrawal, but not from you.

    When you love someone with depression it can feel as though you’ve lost them for a while. The person you’ve always known and loved is still there, but they’ve withdrawn into themselves, away from the pain and hopelessness of it all, not away from you. It just feels like the safest place to be, but it doesn’t mean that they wouldn’t have you right there with them if they knew how to do that.

  4. You’re grieving too.

    Depression steals people. If the depression has been around for long enough, you might feel a sense of grief. If you need to get angry, sad, or fall to your knees some days, that’s okay. You’re fighting a battle too. It’s okay to pull back to recharge now and then. Be kind to yourself and do something that replenishes you. Reach out to someone, but don’t lean on the person with depression. People with depression already see themselves as a burden, and anything that inflames that might cause them to withdraw even more.

  5. When nothing is as powerful as something.

    People with depression won’t always have the words and will feel the burden of being with you when they don’t know what to say or do. Let them know that you love that version of them too – the one that has nothing to say, or plenty to say but no will to say it. Let them know that you’re there for them even if they don’t want to talk. Silence with someone can be lovely when you’re depleted. ‘You don’t have to be anyone different to who you are. You don’t need to change or pretend or put on a happy face. I love you and I’m here for you.’

  6. People with depression are strong.

    People with depression are some of the strongest people I’ve met. They have to be. The pain and hopelessness of depression is immense and to keep existing day after day under the weight of that takes an almighty fight, fuelled by almighty strength and courage. 

  7. What they’re doing makes sense.

    We all have needs we can’t give up. They’re the big ones and they’re an inescapable part of being human – love, validation, respect, visibility, safety, influence, connection, appreciation, purpose. You know the ones. When one of these needs isn’t met, the temptation can be to push it down – to ‘depress’ it – to where it’s out of awareness and can’t cause trouble. But of course, any symptom whether physical or emotional will always cause trouble when it’s ignored. It takes the strength of a warrior to keep pushing things down, and getting on with life. Eventually, when people have been strong for too long the armour will crack. Depression hurts, but it makes sense. It’s a creative, adaptive withdrawal from a world that feels painful to be in.

  8. Being positive probably won’t work.

    Reframing things positively is generally done with loving intent, but most likely it just won’t work. The messages that are sent with love will likely be received as ‘nobody understands’. For someone who is being caned by depression, there is no positive. Research has found that people who are already unhappy don’t want to be talked into the glossy view of life, they just want understanding. The view of reality is shaped by a lifetime of experience and sometimes, the way people see the world is exactly the way the world is for them. Trying to push against this can work against what you’re trying to do and intensify the loneliness and desperation of it all. Reframing things in a positive way is important, but it can’t be forced.

  9. So if positive is out, what then?

    You don’t have to fix anything or change anything. If there was a way to do that, they would have done it themselves by now. Instead, acknowledge their pain, ‘I know this is really hard for you,’ and validate what they’re going through ‘I know you’re hurting. That’s understandable given what you’re going through’, or ‘I know you’re fighting a tough battle right now.’ Be the one who can be with them without having to change them. This will probably explode your own feelings of helplessness, but reworking things towards a positive angle will ease your helplessness, not theirs. That helplessness you’re feeling is the bit you’re doing together. So is the pain and the confusion of that. That’s what makes your love unconditional and your support something extraordinary.

  10. Try not to let the negative talk go on and on and on and on and …

    It’s really important to hear people from where they are, but if the discussion of a negative thought goes on and on and on and starts to feel circular, it’s not good for anyone. It’s called rumination and it can make it harder to move through depression. Talk about it with them for sure, but try to persuade the conversation in a different direction after a while if you can.

  11. If you’re struggling for words, let those be the words.

    There’s no need to gloss it up. The truth is that it’s hard to know what to say because there’s nothing that can take away the pain. Don’t worry about saying the ‘right’ thing, there is no right thing. Instead say the ‘real’ thing with love and an open heart. Share what you’re feeling, because chances are that they’re feeling it too. Common ground will shrink the distance between you. You might not be depressed, but chances are you’ll be feeling a lot of the things they’re feeling – sadness, confusion, frustration, helplessness, and the greatest wish that you knew how to make it better. ‘I wish that you weren’t in so much pain and I wish I knew how to soften things for you, but I don’t know how to do that. What I will do is be here for you for as long as it takes.’

  12. Ask them what you do that doesn’t help. And listen.

    Depression can be different for everyone. You can’t be expected to know how to respond. Ask what they need from you and whether there’s something they need you to do differently. Be open to the response and don’t take it personally.

  13. Don’t ask them what they’re depressed about.

    When people are sad they generally have an idea of why. Depression doesn’t always work like that. Sometimes people will be aware of what has triggered their depression, but sometimes it won’t be obvious. On paper, people with depression can look as though they have everything to be happy about – they can even believe that themselves – but depression doesn’t play by any rules.

  1. Try to initiate the things they used to love, that depression has stolen.

    At a time when people need connection the most, depression forces distance. Do everything you can not to let it. Connection and positive feelings strengthen the brain against depression, and exercise can cause the same changes in the brain as antidepressants. The problem is that the very nature of depression will hold people back from doing any of these. Don’t wait for them to feel like doing things. They won’t. Their depression won’t let them. Depression is there to nurture withdrawal, remember. It does this by stealing motivation, and creating exhaustion. Be tender, gentle and loving and reintroduce them to life, connection, and positive feelings. You’re likely to get resistance, and a lot of it. Know that this isn’t personal and do what you can do anyway.

  2. Another reason to initiate.

    Thoughts, feelings and behaviours are intimately connected. They tend to follow each other, so someone with depression will think depressed thoughts (‘Nothing makes a difference’; ‘I’m useless’), feel depressed feelings (pain, hopelessness, exhaustion) and this will drive depressed behaviour (withdrawal and a depressed mood). A change in one will eventually lead to the other but the change is unlikely come from the person with depression. Out of the three, thoughts and feelings are the toughest to change. They’re tenacious. This is why things like, ‘get over it’ or ‘it’s not that bad’ or ‘just try to be a bit positive, hey?’ won’t work. The best way is through their behavior, but you’ll have to be stronger than their depression. Initiate walks, dinners, holidays – anything that has the potential to create positive feelings. Take their hand and lead them there gently.

  3. They are not broken.

    There is nothing abnormal about the symptoms of depression. They’re a very normal part of human experience, but with an intensity that’s relentless. We’ve all felt sad, disconnected, the need to withdraw, hopeless, helpless, exhausted, and as though the fun has faded for a while These are all common experiences, even if only fleetingly at times and from the kinder end of the spectrum. What makes these very human experiences lead to a diagnosis of depression is a question of degree. People with depression experience the same we all experience, but at a different intensity, duration, or cluster of symptoms. 

Depression rarely takes hold of just one person. When depression settles into someone, helplessness, fear and sadness bleed through the walls it builds around that person and into the lives of those who love them. It’s exhausting for everyone. There is always a way through depression but it takes an almighty fight. You won’t always have it in you to fight alongside them and you won’t always know what to do but that’s okay – you don’t have to do any of that to fight for them. Few things are as powerful as human connection and anything you can do to nurture that will help to put back what depression strips away.

Like this article?

Subscribe to our free newsletter for a weekly round up of our best articles

187 Comments

Tereza

Hi, great article, and so true. But what when you know why you are depressed (see point 7 ) and what you need, but people are not takeing you seriously? How do you get yourself heard? How long do you try before you say :” I see you dont realy care about me. Please dont contact me until I contact you (if ever)” ?

Reply
Hey Sigmund

Hi Tereza – thank you for your comment. It sounds as though you are with people who aren’t able to give you what you need. Not everyone will understand what you need or be willing to work with you to make the relationship better. They won’t necessarily hear you – you can’t change that – but what you can change is how you respond to that. It’s okay to want more for yourself – it’s important. It’s okay to act from a position of love and strength and pull back from a relationship that is hurting you when it feels right to do that. When you’ve felt enough pain, you’ll know, and then you’ll be able to do what you need to do. It’s possible to pull back from a relationship with love and respect for both people and sometimes that’s the thing that’s needed to feel better about moving away from someone. ‘I care about you / love you, but this relationship is hurting me/ not working for me. Perhaps it’s about the combination of us. For the moment I need to pull back,’ or whatever words are right for you. It’s about intent. Let you intention to withdraw from the relationship be about healing yourself, not hurting the other person. We all deserve to feel whole.

Reply
Jack

A very touching and accurate collection of very useful suggestions and supports. Thanks so very much.

Reply
Robin

Very good article. And very helpful as I now know that this might be what has been going on with myself thank you so much . As I thought I was going insane . Glad to know im not thank u

Reply
Hannah Keegan

I have suffered from depression for a long time and I have never read anything that sums it up so beautifully, thankfully I am now out of it and can see depression in other people. It is not always obvious for loved ones to know what to do.
Thank you.

Reply
Hey Sigmund

It sounds as though you have come through your depression with a wisdom that can only come from experience. I expect there will be people’s lives you change in some way for the better because of the way you can relate to what they are going through. You’re so right – it’s not always easy for people to know what to do, but thankfully there are people like you who are able to notice the signs and help people feel less alone.

Reply
isabelle

hi Karen. Since 8 years I’m in depression after a Burn Out (I am nurse). What a surprise to read that people in depression are strong!!! You have put words on what I’m feel, but it’s not so easy because around me many people have a negative attitude and they don’t accept the fact that I’m depressiveand often I want to say to them ” I have to be strong to support what you think and what you say, I have to be strong to “continue”, I have to be strong to help others , etc etc”. but I’m not enough strong to speak!
thanks for your website
Isabelle

Reply
Hey Sigmund

Hi Isabelle,
But you have spoken – you’ve spoken here and your words are strong, wise, insightful words. Your strength doesn’t change because of what other people think or because of what you say to certain people. I expect that inside you somewhere is a knowing that if you speak, you won’t be heard the way you need to anyway. Depression is still very misunderstood by many, but we are working towards changing that. Thank you for adding your voice here – your words are powerful.

Reply
Thea

Great reading and very helpful In difficult situations
Who seem at times to be never ending.
Luckily after the storms the sunshine returns.
Thank you for your helping hand.
T.

Reply
Stine Lomholt Hansen

So beautiful, caring, precise and useful. Thank you for giving words to how I felt during 2,5 years of severe, agitated depression. Thank you for giving light to the most painful condition a human can go through.

Reply
Hey Sigmund

You’re so welcome. I understand how deeply painful depression can be. I hope you have been able to find comfort, and that the strength and light that is in you continues to grow.

Reply
KB

My mother suffers from deep hurt and pain and I have tried my whole life to help her and relieve her. I identify that depression could be the root of the problem thanks to this article. The issue is that she hasn’t a diagnosis nor believes she needs help and also tries to make me and others change my life choices to align with hers believing that will solve her problem, pain and hurt. I am exhausted, and can no longer live my life being manipulated, put upon, or challenged about all my choices. I am approaching 50 yrs, I should not have to justify putting myself first if it feels right for me. I was wondering if you have any tips for dealing with someone with depression with this type of problem also and if there are any other articles. Thank you for your incredible website.

Reply
Hey Sigmund

You sound as though you have been a wonderful support for your mother. One of the issues you’re dealing with in relation to her is that when the symptoms have been there a long time, they just feel normal for her, which is why she may be reluctant to get help. You certainly don’t have to keep justifying your decisions. People don’t have to like your decisions to make them good decisions, and it sounds as though your decisions are made in strength and clarity. All of the depression articles are under ‘Being Human’ in the menu bar, then click on ‘Depression’. Otherwise, if you use the search function in the top right hand corner and search ‘depression’, you’ll be able to find other articles. I wish you and your mother all the very best.

Reply
Sharon

Thank you Karen for your wise insightful thought provoking words. I have been gripped by depression at different junctures of my life but it was only when I met someone who was brave to share their experiences that I began to be able to be vulnerable myself. I still get worn down but have been able to listen to others in needs.
Your response to Teresa is very poignant thank you

Reply
Michael Lapointe

I had 2 ‘almighty fights’ with depression where it took months of one positive thought at a time to climb out of it.

Reply
Diana

This is a good list. Sometimes people don’t know that the reason they are struggling is because they have depression. A list like this can help.

Reply
tania

Hi. My loved husband has a bad depression and he told me that he is not sure about our relationship. At the moment he lives in a room on his working place. I know that since them he is just sleeping and working, he won’t hear and see nobody. I love him very much and I thought that it’s a form of respect if I give him the space the needs for himself. But now I’m not sure if all this time alone with his depression and without medication (he is against antidepressiva) is the right choice. But on the other hand I don’t wanna force him to come home if the doesn’t want it too. My therapist told me that I can’t do anything for him and that I have to leave him alone. But I’m very scary for himself so lonely and cut away from anything and anyone. This is the first helpful article I have found online that match for me as partner of a depressed person. But now I don’t know what to do to help him. Maybe you can help me?

Reply
Hey Sigmund

Tania, I can hear how distressing this is for you. Your therapist is right – there isn’t much you can do for your husband if he does not want you to, but it is not healthy for him to be on his own. It is understandable why he would want to be – his depression will be taking away his energy to do anything differently – but it is not healthy. Keep letting him know that you are there and that you love him. If he is at all open to you, offer to go for walks with him when you can – exercise and company are important.

Reply
Jenn

I just keep coming back to this article because I love it so much. I’m such a “fix it” by nature and this really challenged me to walk a different path of support for those I love that are experiencing depression. I quoted you an am linking back to this on an article I wrote about PPD. I hope that’s ok! I love your work so much.

Reply
Hey Sigmund

Thanks so much Jenn! Of course I would love you to share the link to the article. If you would ever like to guest post here about PPD, please let me know – I’d love to have you.

Reply
JT

Sigmund… Wow…
I’ve been telling myself for years that “depression isn’t real”, I’m just being weak, it’s all in my head, yada yada yada… You’ve heard it all. Reading this article finally convinced me that this is a real thing that I’m dealing with, and I’m not just being weak when I have a depression attack.
It comes out of nowhere, or is triggered by something seemingly entirely innocuous; it starts “randomly”, I get upset about something and I know is not something to be upset about, I get mad at myself for being upset about it, frustrated that I can’t control it and helpless for the same reason, I start to feel crazy because I feel like there’s something wrong with me, sad because nobody can/will sympathize, (let alone empathize), lonely because… Etc…
My girlfriend has been feeling helpless because she doesn’t know how to help; I tell her she doesn’t need to, I just want her by my side. This article is so astoundingly accurate that it feels like you’re putting my thoughts in writing, and it is everything I’ve wanted to tell Hanna.
Thank you so much for this; I genuinely can’t tell you how much I appreciate your words.

Reply
Lor

I suffer from depression. My family doesn’t see it as a real sicknes. I have no one I can open up to except for my boyfriend. And I have ruined his life. He says he needs to heal too, and that we should have a break.

I don’t know what I can do in this life anymore. Anyone who tries to help me comes out as hurt or more as I am. Should I just suffer by myself?

Reply
Hey Sigmund

No! You don’t have to do this by yourself. I completely understand how alone you must be feeling right now, but keeping fighting for you – don’t give up. Depression is a very real illness. Are you able to speak to a doctor or a counsellor? They will be able to set you on track to the right support. Here are some articles that talk about what depression is and ways to manage it http://www.heysigmund.com/category/being-human/depression/. You can beat this. Please reach out for support – professional if you need it. We all need a hand sometimes.

Reply
Anne

Hi, this article has been really helpful, I have been with someone for a while very much in love and all of a sudden hid depression has taken over and has recently ended things with me. I need some advice on how I can be there for him I love him so much and honestly believe that we can be together either through this or after but I just dont know what to do in the meantime. No one else knows about what he is going through he said he doesnt want any contact with me but I really feel like he needs to talk to someone or at least have someone in his life aware of it but if I go behind his back he may never trust me again and make him more secretive. Does anyone have any advice at all please. Thanks

Reply
Hey Sigmund

Anne, if you believe he might be at risk of hurting himself (or someone else), it is important that you do what you can to help him to get the support he needs. Depression can make people feel completely alone and the hopeless feelings that come with it can persuade people that nothing will make a difference. If you have no reason to believe that he will hurt himself or anyone else, I would respect his privacy on this but let him know that you are there for him. Let him know that if he just wants to sit with you that’s fine, and that he doesn’t need to talk. Try calling him once a week to let him know that you are there, but don’t take it personally if he doesn’t want to talk or return your calls. It might be helpful to let him know that you respect that he doesn’t want a relationship and that you won’t interpret time with you as a potential relationship, but that you know he is struggling and if he wants to chat or go for a walk or something with you from time to time, that might be good for both of you. Then, call him sometimes and see if he would like to do something, but of course make it clear that there will be no expectation attached to that.

Reply
Anne

Thank you so much hopefully it will work in time and i just have to be patient. Thanks for talking the time to respond to me

Reply
Marie

I am in a very similar situation only that an additional problem is that my boyfriend who withdrew from our relationship is living in a different country and therefore I can not just ask him to hang out to support him. We have decided to take a break. I didn’t want to, nothing had changed for me but I had no choice because before this he broke up with me impusively and when he came to visit me to talk about the situation I managed to show him there’s another way. He says he needs to heal first before thinking about coming back together again and it is really painful for me as he says he still cares for me and is sorry I have to go through this with him and that he is aware what a great person I am but that he has no energy for problems or fights in a relationship as he can’t even deal with the demons inside him. He also said he hopes the break will be the key to finding back together. However, he can’t promise anything and when I tell him I love him, he doesnt say it back, it seems to hurt him. I know it could probably take months or even up to one year before he gets better and with this distance it’s really difficult to stay attached and I am scared too much time will kill the feelings left but I really want to wait. He has left on a 3 week vacation that he told himself he needed to do for his birthday because he feels he has reached nothing in life. He asked for no contact during these three weeks and said he will call me when he’s back. He is currently taking antidepressants and going to therapy. How would you procede? Is it the best thing to give the depressed partner the space they are asking for or will it only worsen the depression because they are suddenly alone? Or does he know what he is talking about?

Reply
Hey Sigmund

Marie it sounds as though your boyfriend knows how much you love him and that you are there if he needs you. It also sounds as though he is clear about his need for space for three weeks. It’s a good sign that he has put an end point on this and not made it indefinite. I really understand how difficult and painful it must be for you to pull back from contact while he takes his space. If he is taking antidepressants and going to therapy, this is a good sign – he is trying to get strong again. Unless you have a good reason to worry about his well-being, give him his space – it sounds important to him. As difficult as it is, if you do feel the need to make contact, it would be best to make sure you’re doing it more for him than for you. I can tell how much you care about him and miss him. Hopefully when he gets back he will have some clarity.

Reply
Marie

Thank you for your quick response. I’m very grateful and really want to give him this space hoping it will help him move forward. But still, everyday I think of all the great moments we just had a couple of weeks ago and how happy I was before everything changed and it is hard to understand where all this has gone and that it is not supposed to exist anymore.? How can one cope with this? i find this is the most difficult thing and I am seeking therapy soon as I don’t think I will comprehend this by myself though I do feel kind of ashamed and ridiculous searching for help with this problem as I was simply “left” like my friends view it.

Reply
Marie

Things have changed to the point that he has told me he can not be in a relationship because he is taking a high dosis of medication and almost having panick attacks almost every day. each of us now just needs to focus on themselves and trying to build back a relationship at the same time is not possible for him because it would be an additional problem in his life he can’t handle right now. he has said that it seems to him that I have hope we are almost back together. he has offered to meet but said we would meet as two friends and not as partners and it wouldn’t mean we are back together. and eventually we would see where it goes. but he doesn’t say that he also hopes we will get back together. so he asked me if I can take it lightly. of course I have hope because everything we had collapsed in an istant and all my feelings for him are still there. I feel this behaviour is pretty selfish. he doesn’t want me as a partner but he doesn’t want me to move on to be with anyone else in the future. it’s so difficult to understand because just a few months ago when we lived together he was able to be a boyfriend so how can he say now that he can’t anymore? I don’t know what to do. of course I want to be in his life but I don’t know if that’s really healthy for me and it seems he hopes I will always be this sure factor in his life. I’m starting to feel I need to draw back and get better myself again before I can meet him because keeping me hanging on like this makes it impossible to move on. or am I wrong and should be able to be his friend even with the possibility that we will never find our way back together? I’d be so grateful for some help.

Reply
Larry

Hi

My partner and I have moved to the UK from Australia 6months ago so we could work and travel, We are both on working visas for two years. My partner has a serious of events that are bringing her down daily, she knows no one here (except for me and the people i know), she hates her job, she hates where we are living, one of her best mates commited suicide two months ago back home, she has on going family troubles with a younger sibling who is putting stress on the family. She is constantly crying and down all the time and wants to stay in bed! She has said a few times that she will just leave and go back home The whole objective of us coming here was for adventure, meet new friends and to see the world and when we are off doing that everything is great but when we come back to reality it all goes back to the dark thought patterns. I mention that this is a once in a lifetime opportunity for us working and living abroad. She doesnt want to bring new people into her life as she is afraid she will loose them, she went and seen a serious of doctors and a psychologist on Monday but all they are making her do is tick some boxes. She tells me she isnt suicidal but just exhausted, her confindence is gone i dont know what to do and im not going to give up on her! Any adive would be great.

Thanx for reading

Reply
Hey Sigmund

You are doing exactly what you need to do. Don’t give up on her, listen to her and be there for her. I know how difficult it is to watch someone you love struggle day after day. It sounds as though she has had some big changes in her life and this might take some adjusting to. The work the doctors and psychologists are doing sounds like it is to get a clear idea of what might be happening for your partner. Don’t be disheartened or frustrated by the lack of action at the moment. It’s important to get a clear picture of what’s going on so they can, with your partner, come up with a way to best manage your partner’s symptoms. That might be therapy, medication, or lifestyle changes. Keep encouraging your partner to work with them and keep being there for her. You sound like a wonderful partner.

Reply
Harleyquinn

It’s a very insightful article though you have missed one very vital aspect: what happens when that person you love that has depression pushes your thoughts, emotions and needs so far down that you yourself feel that your suffering from this terrible affliction. When they are not able to allow you to be there for them and they can not be there for you or see that your going through the hardest time in your life. You then have not only your own helplessness to battle through but theirs as well. When the love of your life ignores all aspects of that love because they are dealing with there own demons, how can you ever get through that and regain the happiness that is now only a distant memory

Reply
Hey Sigmund

This is one of the awful things about depression. It can bring a loneliness to everyone – the person who has it and the ones who love them. The important thing is to try to be clear about what parts of your relationship are being driven by the depression. The person you love is still in there, but depression steals people for a while. I understand how difficult it is to feel as though you can’t reach the person you love. If your partner’s depression is severe, there may be a need for medication and professional support, if this isn’t happening already. Even this can be difficult because depression also brings a sense of hopelessness and ‘what’s the point’. Do what you can to stop from being dragged down – sleep, exercise, connecting with people you enjoy being with and doing things that you enjoy doing. Above all else, try to remember that the changes you are seeing are from an illness, not because the person you love has changed who they are. And know how important you are to them, even if they aren’t sure how to show it.

Reply
V

Hey signing has been with my fellow 27yrs love him madly but 7months ago he had a break down think it was cummin on a few months before that, his mum died 4yrs ago and he never got past that also he changed jobs and his good friend committee suscide which he took badly, anyway when he started to act differently towards me I thought he was having an affair not wanted to be round me, staying away from me always at work, not wanting to go places with me so I accused him of this and asked him to leave, he always said he wasn’t having an affair but never said he was depressed either, I was so confused as we were great together always with each other and the kids and grandkids always going out don’t nag things, holidays etc but then he just changed said he loved me but not in love with me I was and am heartbroken, but then I read about depression and now relize it was what he’s going through but at first I didn’t know how to deal with it what to say or do cos whatever I said or done wasn’t right so I sometimes got angry with him, it has now like I say been nearly 7mths and I’m trying to reach out to him still and being careful what I say he’s far from better but not as bad as he was he’s had a bit of counciling but he said it makes him angry, he asks me how I am in myself but I’m to scared to tell him I feel lost alone hurt confused etc incase it drives him away so I just say I’m ok, how do I know if he wants me back how do I know if he still loves me sometimes things he’s says and tells the kids bout me I think he still does but then doubt sets in and I go down hill again I can’t take rejection I don’t want to hear he doesn’t care anymore, I’ve been praying for him to cum back he doesn’t txts me or phone it’s always me and he started drinking and doing drugs to numb his pain when he first left now ad far as I know he only drinks which is still not nice as he’s still numbing the pain his self instead of dealing with it the right way just don’t know what to do I feel like running away just travel for a while but worry he will think I’ve deserted him please what should I do I try to talk to my grown up children but it isn’t fair as they feel his lost so badly to. Thanks from val.

Reply
Hey Sigmund

Val the only way to know is to ask. I understand you are afraid of being rejected, but knowing is always better than not knowing. At least once you know, either way, you can move forward. At the moment, it sounds as though you are stuck and that can be a painful place to be. Whatever happens, you’ll be okay, but end the pain of not knowing. All the best to you.

Reply
stehanie

Hey Sigmund,
My partner and I were together for 1 year. This was 3 yrs ago now. All was wonderful. He had been separated from his wife for 2 years and I from my ex_ husband for 3. Everything was going well until his financial settlement with his wife. He changed. Could not see a future with me, and totally pushed me away. Wanted to be with his wife again though she had moved on.He phoned maybe once a month, then was diagnoised with depression. Now phones every day for the past few months. And wants me back in his life. I have read all the literature possible on depression and tried to help him as a friend. But, it hurts me like crazy to try and be objective after our past together as I still love and care for him like I did before. I don’t want to be someones second choice when all else fails, yet I feel compelled to be there for him. I don’t know what to do anymore.
This hurts so much.

Reply
Karen - Hey Sigmund

Stephanie I absolutely agree with you – you don’t want to be someone’s second choice, if that’s what you are. The only person who can decide if being in his life is the right thing or not is you. f the relationship doesn’t feel right, then it’s not. The only person you are responsible for is yourself. If you want to be there for him and be a part of his life, that’s up to you, but make sure you’re doing this because it’s what you want and what feels right for you – not because you feel obliged. You don’t owe him anything at all, but you do owe yourself the opportunity for love and happiness.

Reply
Natasha

Hey Sigmund, this article has been really helpful in giving me insight about how the right people should deal with me. Unfortunately, I’m the one going through all this and although I have people in my life that love me and care about me, they don’t know how to handle what I’m going through. My family and friends, most of those who are closest to me, either think I’m completely fine or know somethings up but aren’t in the loop because that’s the facade I put up. The only person who ever really sees my moods is my boyfriend, because when I’m moody, I don’t hide it from him. And I express all my negative thoughts and sadness to him. However, I think it’s taking a toll on him. He tries to comfort me in his own way, but it doesn’t help at all (The usual “do something about it”, “things will get better” “complaining won’t get you anywhere”, trying to compliment me to make me feel better kind of routine) and we both get more frustrated because I don’t feel better at all (sometimes worse) when he tries to comfort me, and that makes him feel inadequate. I’ve tried explaining to him that when I really need him, he isn’t really there and try to explain the kind of help I need, but it doesn’t seem to be working. He knows he can’t make me feel better, and it kills him. And seeing him feel bad because I’m just constantly negative kills me.

I’ve been thinking that maybe the only way out of this is to just bunch him up with the rest of my friends and family who I pretend to be happy in front of because I don’t want to hurt him anymore. I feel like a terrible person, and I know it’s affecting him. My mood swings, irritability, the fact that I absolutely abhor myself.. I know it’s affecting him. We’ve had so many fights about how he’s not providing the kind of support I need, and he’s clearly feeling really worthless because of it. Like, he “can’t even help his girlfriend feel better, what good is he” kind of worthless. And I feel so awful because I know it’s because I tried to express myself to him. So I’ve decided to just pretend I’m okay in front of him so he won’t have to suffer anymore.

But I’m afraid…is that the right thing to do? Is that.. how relationships are supposed to be? I do it with everyone else, but isn’t your partner supposed to be the most intimate person in your life? I don’t want to lie to him, but I don’t want to hurt him anymore.

Reply
Karen - Hey Sigmund

Natasha I can hear how confused you are at the moment. Depression is awful for the people who have it and for the people who love them. You’re right, your partner is meant to be someone you can be honest and open with, but the thing to remember is that your partner also needs to feel as though he is also supported and can be open and honest with you.

If you feel as though things are getting overwhelming for you, it would be worth speaking to a counsellor. As much as your partner loves you, there is a limit to how much we can do for the people we love. The emotional resources in a relationship aren’t endless, and if one person is doing all of the supporting for too long, it can start to feel lonely for them. Be honest and open with your partner, but also let him know that you are there for him too. Relationships will always struggle if there is too much focus on the negative. If this means that sometimes you put away your negative thoughts to be available for him, as he is for you, then that will really help to heal your relationship. There will be days where you will need more of the emotional resources in the relationship, but don’t forget that he will also want a break from the negativity and where he will want support of his own. It sounds as though you have a wonderful man there, and as though he knows how lucky he is to have you.

Reply
MA

My fiance and I have been together for over 5 years now. I have come to the point where I understand that depression is like disease or chronic illness. I do my best to help him understand this as well and as of two years ago he started taking medication. What I struggle with the most is when he withdrawal from everything lasts more than a week. I don’t know how to get him back to work. I’ve tried baby steps like getting him out walking the dog or quick trips to the store. But then in the morning, after I have left for work, I get a text or a phone call telling me he just can’t do it. Unfortunately, I can’t support us on my income alone. I know if I could just get him back into his routine, he would improve. I’m simply unsure how to make this happen. Any guidance?

Reply
Karen - Hey Sigmund

You sound like a wonderful support for your fiance. You are doing everything right. Depression is powerful and intrusive and sometimes it can be difficult to know what’s needed. Ask your partner when he is not overwhelmed by his depression what he thinks he needs from you. Alternatively, see if your fiance will speak to a counsellor with you. It’s important that the effect of the depression on you is also acknowledged.

Reply
TW

Hey Sigmund,

This article has been extremely helpful to me since it validates some of the feelings I’ve had with a close friend suffering from depression.

Up until 3 months ago, my best friend (and former co-worker) and I used to get together a few times every month to grab a meal and catch up with each other. The last couple of get-togethers we had however, I noticed that she seemed to be angry and not happy to see me. It really struck me as odd because it was out of character and I thought she may have been upset with me. Not long after that, she started cancelling plans she initiated with me and rejected all my invitations to get together with her. I was really confused and hurt by this behavior.

I finally asked her if anything was wrong and she admitted she is depressed and having a tough time with her pending divorce. I was aware she was contemplating a divorce, and am saddened she is going through this difficult time.

When we used to work together, the close proximity made it easier for us to be there for each other when we were going through difficult times. Since we no longer work together, I feel helpless because my friend has pushed me away and has not wanted to see me. I am really struggling with this because we’ve always had a close, sisterly kind of friendship and at times I feel like I’ve lost my friend. She does contact me by text message on occasion and we have communicated that way, but it’s just not the same as seeing someone in person. I understand her behavior is the result of the depression and I shouldn’t take it personally, but I am human and am hurting because I really miss my friend. I guess all I can do at this point is continue to reach out to her and offer my support.

I hope and pray we can meet again in person one day soon. I am really at a loss right now.

Reply
Lamar deloach

I have been through many things in my live, but at age 64, and my spouse and partner just walked out after nine years. The depression is having a huge effect on her physical well being, as well as her capacity to face each day. She is a beautiful person inside and out, but after two years of trying to be supportive and deal with her physical ailments, all the time knowing it was depression, she will not address her depression ,anxiety, or panic attacks. All which are very real. She moved back to a community she previously lived to recreate that feeling of safety and prior friendships she had. It was only an escape. Since June 10, when I packed her and moved her, only to be helpful, it has been a roller coaster for me. As I said, I am the enemy. I have backed away, but the greatest pain of all was reading a love letter she wrote to me 5 years ago, saying all of the love she had was mine forever. It has been very tough, but I have prayed for her daily. Her friends and family coddle her and been supportive of the great escape, not addressing the real problem. She even said to me she felt disabled. I am her best friend, but I tell her the truth and she hates that. Feels good just to vent a bit. Sorry
. Prayers are welcomed.

Reply
MF

I was recently in touch with my ex girlfriend. She broke up with me quitting her job as it wasn’t the job she expected it to be. She later confirmed she had a history of depression: Despite me reassuring her that I would be there for and do whatever it took to make things work She pushed me away and broke of the relationship. We tried to remain friend but realised it was to painful.

About this time last year we came back into each others lives, we were supportive of one another through a difficult time in our lives.

Our friendship was going well and we even discussed going on holiday together and maybe getting back together, and then a parent was taken ill despite all my efforts to be supportive I was again cut from her life without and explanation. Blocked from all aspects of social media and phone calls.

I to. suffer from depression which I take medication for which has helped me a great deal. I love and care for this person a great deal and want to be there for them, but is the third time I have been pushed away by them and it hurts more than ever. I know that she will not speak to may of her friends and about this and will just brush them under the carpet: I just worry and care for this person.

I have tried to talk to friends about this but they are less than sympathetic as they feel that she really isn’t a nice person and warn me about how much hurt and upset she has caused me in the past.

I really don’t know what do anymore and feel at a total loss. Do I give up on someone I feel so much for and move on or do I stick it out and hope we can have reconcile our differences?

Reply
Karen - Hey Sigmund

One of the most painful things is hanging on to something or someone who is trying to let go of us. There is a difference between giving up on someone and giving them the space they need or want. Love shouldn’t be too lonely or too painful.

Reply
J

Hey,
my girlfriend suffers from depression and she constantly pushes me away. I told her that she’s the most amazing person in my life, I told her that I will not go away that she is not a burden for me but she said that she always feels guilty about what I do for her and that she is not able to give me the same “love” in return. But I told her that that is no problem for me I just want to be there for her, that I love her and there is nothing in the world what could change that. I guess she wants to break up with me because she’s feeling so guilty. But there is no need to. I love her, I give her space and time to think and she said it’s easier just to be on her own. Of course it is. But I love her, I want her to be part of my life. I feel so helpless and I don’t know how to deal with that. Do she really want me to go? I don’t want to, I can stand that. She’s beautiful, smart, funny most of the time. She is just great and I don’t wanna leave. Is there some advice you can give me? Sorry for my English I’m from an not English speaking country.

Reply
Karen - Hey Sigmund

You sounds as though you have been really open and honest with your girlfriend and there isn’t much more you can do than that. Only she can tell you whether or not she really wants you to go. It sounds as though you have been really open and honest with her. Give her the space she is asking for, but put a time limit on it. Continuously getting pushed away by the person you care about just isn’t sustainable in a relationship. You sound like a beautifully supportive partner.

Reply
Leanne

I’m just curious how to begin a relationship with a man who suffers with depression. I too have some mental health issues so we do have some common ground/understanding. I have anxiety disorders though have never really felt the full on effect of deep depression. But we’ve been friends for a long time and know each other well and I fell hard for him. He’s insecure yes but we all have our insecurities. I’m not too sure if I should just leave him be and let him contact me or if I should contact him now. We had a wonderful time together a few days ago and I’m just unsure of his feelings or how to approach him. I guess I have this fear of pushing him away. When I’m upset or even just don’t have a smile on my face it’s like his mission in life to see me smile and make me laugh. So after having been intimate he’s suddenly in a funk and I don’t want to make a wrong move and lose him. It would just break my heart. Any advice?

Reply
Karen - Hey Sigmund

Leanne this sounds like it could be a wonderful relationship for both of you. Be brave and be gentle. The key is to be open with each other about what you need, and also when you are confused about what the other one needs. Let him know that you loved spending time with him and that you’d love to do it again. Make it easy for him, but give him an out if he isn’t feeling up to it. Offer to go for a walk together – that’s something that can be good for his depression and good for your anxiety. It’s also an easy, no pressure thing to do. All the best with this.

Reply
Maria

I am in a relationship with a man who is suffering from severe depression for 1.5 years. He is on Celexa but it doesn’t seem to be helping. Some days he cannot even get out of bed. Consequently he is not working. I never know what his mood will be when I get home and it makes me have anxiety. Some days I come home and he is still sleeping but then stays up all night. Other days he’s just angry for any little thing. I’ve had my own bouts with depression and take medication, but lately his funk is rubbing off on me. I feel like nothing is fun any more, everything is a struggle, I work 2 jobs to keep the household afloat and quite frankly I am exhausted. While I feel deeply for him and wish there was something I could do, nothing helps. I feel stuck. It is so sad to see him like this as he is so young. I want to help him but I also need to live my life. He has no place else to stay and so I cant kick him out. I don’t know what to do.

Reply
Karen - Hey Sigmund

Maria it might be worth encouraging your partner to go back to his doctor. Not all medications will work for all people, and sometimes it might be a case of trying a different one. It’s great that you are such a wonderful support for him, but he also has to support himself in terms of his recovery. If you are compromising to give him what he needs, it is vital that he also works hard to ensure that his depression doesn’t impact you any more than it needs to. Your support is really important but you shouldn’t be giving up more for his depression than he is. There are also other things he can do to help restore the neurochemicals that can contribute to depression. Exercise and mindfulness can make a big difference. There are articles on this link http://www.heysigmund.com/category/being-human/depression/. The nature of depression means that he probably won’t feel motivated to do anything that might help with his depression because of the hopelessness that is often symptomatic of depression. If he wants you to keep supporting him financially and emotionally, it is important that he also contributes to the relationship in some way, even if it is by doing everything he can to help heal his depression. You can support him, but you are not responsible for fixing him, particularly if he is not ready to work on fixing himself.

Reply
Casey

I’ve been in a relationship with my boyfriend for 6 years now…. we were happy until last year.. he was diagnosed with benign brain tumor with occasional seizure… he lost his job… and went into cycles of depression for almost a year… i tried to support him troughout the year..after a year… he seem recovering… started to workout again, going to gym… more cheerful and just recently just got himself a job… unfortunately his new job is too much for him to handle… it triggers his depression again… and here we go… back at square one again.. but this time it is worst than before…he become so hostile… easily irritable… i cant talk to him… every little things i said triggered him easily..the preassure for him is too much… he finally decided to leave me and breakup with me….he feels worthless and said that he doesnt want to make me suffer futher….. after few days of not talking…. i sent him a short message to check on him… he doesnt seems happy… he blame me for his unhappiness and claimed that i’ve never support him, understand him and be on his side all this while… and insist for us to stay apart…this is so frustrating… knowing that he need help and support but at same time pushing me away….i just dont knw what to do? shall i disappear completely and give him time to recover on his own… or shall i check on him once a while and offer my help….

Reply
Karen - Hey Sigmund

Casey it sounds as though your boyfriend has been through a traumatic time. Has his depression been diagnosed? If not, it’s important to make sure that his symptoms are from depression and not from something else. If it is depression, ask him what he needs from you, or if it’s okay with him if you check on him. Let him know that you’re there for him if he needs you, but ask what he would like that to look like.

Reply
mary jackman

I recently met a good man who told me he gets deprees sometimes his wife left him n they have a a 31yr. old son who is disabled since child hood doctor prescribed anti depression drug. I would like to get some advice how to help him n can depress people get voilent

Reply
Karen - Hey Sigmund

Violence is definitely not a symptom of depression. People with depression are no more likely to get violent than people without depression. If this man is becoming violent, think twice before pursuing a relationship with him and be careful about using depression as an excuse for his violence. Ask him what he needs from you – it will be different for everyone.

Reply
Anne

Iv been in a relationship with someone who suffers from depression for just shy of a year, we have known each other for nine years. We have recently broken up, its happened a few times but this was final I still love him very much and I really do see him as my best friend. He has told me he feels guilty for not loving me the same way although he did. Its been a few weeks since the break but he hasn’t told anyone but he has said that he is going to go to the doctors for help I really couldn’t be prouder of him for taking this step but in finding it really hard to not have him in my life we still meet up and take and sometimes make plans to go places. My family have told me I need to walk way and cut contact but I’m afraid because I dont want to lose him. I’m really confused about want to do because I do think we have a good healthy relationship but if he says he doesn’t love me but wants to feel that way again should I just walk away?

Reply
Madison

Hey, I’m no expert, and I don’t know what kind of person your boyfriend is, but taking what I read from the article, he’s probably saying that he doesn’t love you like he used to because he can’t explain it any other way. The thing is, he doesn’t love ANYTHING the way he used to at this time. So, sadly you are included in his mix of emotions too. I think if he gets help, and is starting to feel like his old self again, his strong feelings for you are going to start to come back into the picture. Don’t take it personally, love. Everything will be ok. But, my advice, don’t cut ties and walk away, unless he still “doesn’t love you” after restoring his old self. He honestly is probably trying to protect you; he doesn’t want to “be the reason for your unhappiness” or “hold you back”, so in his mix of emotions, he breaks up with you because he DOES love you so much, not because he doesn’t. Chances are, that’s one of the hardest decisions he’s made in this whole journey. He’ll come back, or he won’t. But when whatever happens, happens, trust me, you will know what to do, and it is COMPLETELY up to you, not your family, friends, or anyone else, girl, Just think about it. Best of luck. <3

Reply
Priscilla

Loved your advice , it help My a bit in my situation … although mine is a similar as hers might be a bit more complicated. Thank you

Reply
Somvir

Hey. Nice article.

I wanted to know what if you hurt them and something you did is the reason of them feeling hurt and broken? You really want to be with them. How do you deal with that situation given that you’ve accepted your mistake, told everything honestly and are ready to make it up for it always?

Thanks.

Reply
Alicia

Thank you so much for this article Karen! I have been clinically depressed before so I know what it feels like. Thankfully, I have had my depression under control for almost 20 years. Now my partner is having a severe depressive episode, his first bout of depression ever, and I am trying mightily to help him through this.

This article is so helpful to me. I know from experience that a person can’t just decide to not be depressed, but at the same time I want to encourage any behavior that will help him. I also need to know when to stop trying and what limits I can place on him, especially with the constant negative talk that is making ME depressed! So thanks for such a thoughtful, helpful article!

Reply
Micheal

I was with a girl with depression, recently it has kicked up badly and she has decided she can’t be with me “right now” iv tried my hardest to be there for her and it’s not worked, she has completely shut me off overthe space of a week and told me contacting her makes it worse, am I best to just respect that

Reply
Karen - Hey Sigmund

If she is not in a space to be with you, there isn’t much choice but to respect that. If you want to, let her know that you will be there for her when she is ready – a type of no-pressure support. I know how difficult it is when someone you care about shuts you out. Don’t forget to take care of you too.

Reply
Sarah

I am married to my husband of 17 years. we had been happily married , or so I was to be aware … I found out my hubby was having an affair this year – 3 months ago. my husband around the time of me finding out also disclosed he had been abused as a child and this is why he lied and kept secrets . he has had councelling for this – approx 7 sessions and councellor ended thrm due to personal issues. we have now decided to start couple councelling and have had three sessions. My husband also lost his mum last year so all three issues seemed to have spiralled into one and he is withdrawn . I have ‘ let go ‘ of the affair and I’m coming to terms with this , but my main issue which I’m finding really realky hard is the fact that my Huby does not show me any love or affection . I have been told he has withdrawn himself and he is depressed . both councellors have said this . I have been told to hang on in there and that it’s not me that my hubby is upset with. it’s just that’s he’s withdrawn . please advise how I deal with this . it is hurting me so bad that I really don’t know what to do.. how long am I expected to wait ? … are there any things I can do to help. he says he thinks he wants me in his life . he says it’s ‘ everything ‘ that’s got to hI’m ( all 3 things) and he is still getting councellingerie but as the other half I really don’t know how to deal with the withdrawal and be neglected in love and attention. is this a normal symptom ?

Reply
Karen - Hey Sigmund

Sarah this sounds like a lonely experience for you right now. To answer your question, withdrawal from people and from everything generally is a very normal symptom of depression. It’s painful for the ones who are depressed, and also for the ones who love them. You mention you have been happily married for 17 years, though things seem to have changed recently. Hang on to that. There is no rule about how long the withdrawal lasts or how long you should wait. You will have waited for long enough when you feel as though you have. When you feel as though things aren’t going to move forward, or that you have no fight left in you for this relationship. All relationships go through make it or break it points – I really believe that. This is an opportunity to rebuild the relationship in a way that both of you can get more of what you need within the relationship.

If your husband is motivated to work through his issues, and to become strong again and to be good for you, then that is a great start. I know that it is a painful, lonely road, and there might be times you feel desperately angry, sad and confused. All of these things are completely okay for you to feel. If you want to know how best to support your husband, ask him what this looks like for him. What does he need from you? On a side note, it’s important to know that the affair is over. There is absolutely no point in even trying to rebuild your relationship if your husband is still seeing the woman he had the affair with. There is no easy way through this. I wish there was, but sometimes the only way through is straight through the middle. Make sure that in all of this, your feelings are also heard and validated. You have been through a trauma of your own, in finding out about the affair. As your husband works on himself and on getting better, don’t forget to take care of you.

Reply
Megan

I have been with my boyfriend for six years,and recently he has been diagnosed with depression. Before the symptoms started he was a fun loving man who did everything and loved spending time with me. When we first noticed the symptoms he would lay in bed till he had to go to work and them come home and play video games all night and not be social to me or sometimes his family. When he was dioing things with his family he would not being me along or say i forgot to tell you. He is on meds and seeing a counsler, but he still states he needs a break to figure out what he wants and where our relationship is going. I have written a letter to state that I respect the space he needs. We lived together and when he asked for the break in early November I moved back in with my parents. Earlier I was pushing for him to open up to me. All I want to know now should I give him the letter when I go and pick up the rest of my things and how should I handle it from there let him make the moves on contacting me when he is ready. I am really confused I am at school studying to be a therapist and I know that I can’t treat him like a client but what should I do. Please give me insight. I am a nervous wreak.

Reply
Karen - Hey Sigmund

Megan the reason you are confused is because this is a confusing situation. It sounds as though your boyfriend doesn’t know what he wants, which makes it difficult for you to know what to do. One of the main symptoms of depression is withdrawal, so the more you push him to open up to you, the more he may feel the need to withdraw from that. This is what makes depression such a difficult thing to deal with for loved ones. It sounds as though you are guessing what he needs from you, so ask him. Does he want you to wait? Does he want a couple of months? Weeks? Does he still see a future with you? He may not know himself, and that’s okay. Let him know that you love him, and that you want to work through this with him – if that’s what you feel. Give him ‘no pressure’ support, but remember that you also have needs and that it is important that at some point, those are also taken care of.

Reply
Yulia

I’ve been with my boyfriend for 2 years now. He’s the best person I’ve ever met and we’re both in college and university. About 2 months ago, I could tell something was wrong. He was being distant, wasn’t answering many of texts, and wasn’t always present whenever we were communicating. He finally told me how he thinks he’s depressed. He’s been depressed before and he’s told me about his passed when we first got together. He told me why he’s depressed and I thought in the beginning that it was because of me. I would call him 11 times in a row and he wouldn’t answer, I’d send him 5 texts and he wouldn’t answer. So I thought that him being distant was his way of pushing me away and out of his life. He never told me those things, I thought them up myself because I didn’t know what else to think. I then began to talk to a counsellor. I told her how at times my boyfriend would talk to me one week and would barely reach out to me the next and I couldn’t take it anymore. I knew that he’d have good days and bad days and that he still loves me, it’s just hard to cope with because it’s still happening. Since speaking to my counsellor, I’ve been much better at how I feel towards the situation. I haven’t been as anxious as I was about what my boyfriend’s doing when he wouldn’t text me. But I want to understand what he’s thinking and I want to help him more than anything but he hasn’t been talking to me about his depression. The last time we talked about it was probably over a month ago. And when I brought up to him how his flip flopping between talking to me and not talking to me bothered me and I asked him what was going on with that, he told me how I know why it’s happening. He’s more on the quieter side when it comes to talking about his feelings, which is why it took a little bit for him to finally come out and tell me that he’s depressed. Sometimes I think that he thinks that I’ll always know why he’s doing things or acting a certain way, but I really have no clue. And I don’t know how to tell him to tell me how he’s feeling so I’m aware and can accommodate to him in anyway that I can. I would love to hear back from you because even though I’m seeing a counsellor about this, the more advice I can get, the better.

Reply
Tonia

I have been looking for real articles about depression for the last several years. We have been dating for almost 3 years and I didn’t know about his depression until the last year and a half. I started researching to understand his struggle. I have made the commitment on staying committed to him and being unconditional. But it is hard. Your article has helped me so much to understand what they are going through. It has been a very hard struggle for me also. I know he wants children, but he is worried that his condition is hereditary. Any new insight or even repetitive information is always welcome. My largest struggle right now is he doesn’t always communicate his plans and he makes decisions without touching basis with me. And sometimes his decisions will make his depression worse. And I have to make new positive attack plans. It is super tough on family members. But if you love them… we support them.

Reply
Camila

Hello. What a wonderful article. One of the best I read about relating with a depressed person, thank you! I am building a relationship with someone who has lived with depression their entire lifetime. I know I am able of understanding their world and a lot of what I read here I intuitively already apply. The reason, though, I am commenting here is because I have GAD and I can feel it can make me trip and ruin everything – would me entirely my fault. GAD gets in the way of everything and blurs my ability to understand and be who I need to be in the relationship. I haven’t found yet anything that could enlighten me regarding relationships between a depressed person and a person with GAD – if there is any input here I’ll appreciate a lot.

Reply
Karen - Hey Sigmund

Every relationship has its challenges, and yours is strengthened by your curiosity and your openness to understanding. Communication is key, as it is in any relationship. GAD comes with its own challenges, as you would know, but it also comes with great strengths, including a great sensitivity to other people, a generous heart, and strength. We all need reassurance and security in a relationship, and depression and GAD don’t change this. Stay tuned in to each other and check out anything that doesn’t feel right – it may well be the work of an anxious mind. Here are a couple of articles that might be helfpul for you to chat about with your partner in relation to anxiety (if you haven’t already read them):

>> When Someone You Love Has Anxiety http://www.heysigmund.com/when-someone-you-love-has-anxiety/
>> The Things I’ve Learned About Anxiety – That Only People With Anxiety Could Teach Me http://www.heysigmund.com/the-things-ive-learned-about-anxiety-that-only-people-with-anxiety-could-teach-me/
>> Anxiety and Relationships – How to Stop it Stealing the Magic http://www.heysigmund.com/anxiety-and-intimate-relationships-how-to-stop-anxiety-from-stealing-the-magic/

Reply
Rachel

This article brings me great relief…
All I needed to hear was “it’s okay to get frustrated yourself”.
I get exasperated when nothing goes right for so long. And even when it goes right and nothing seems to change. It’s a process…And I’m allowed to be exhausted, too.

Reply
Karen - Hey Sigmund

Rachel I’m so pleased this article has been able to bring you some comfort. And yes – you are allowed to be exhausted, frustrated, angry, sad, confused … whatever it is that you feel is okay. You are not a machine and it’s okay to feel whatever you feel. If you are being the supportive one, it’s also important that you have someone you are able to lean on. We all need that from time to time.

Reply
BJ

My best friend has been suffering from depression for a while now, I feel so helpless and afraid that I’m losing her. I tell her that I’m here for her and will always be but she doesn’t want to talk about it. Not sure what I can do?

Reply
Karen - Hey Sigmund

Try some of the strategies in the article. The main thing is not to take anything personally. One of the awful things about depression are the feelings of helplessness it brings to people – the ones who actually have the illness and the ones who love them. Remember that it is an illness though, and it’s not a choice. Keep doing what you’re doing and if your friend doesn’t want to talk about it, that’s okay. Often it’s so hard to find the words to describe the feelings that come with depression. She’s very lucky to have you in her life.

Reply
Raz P

My wife is suffering from depression. I don’t know what to say to her, sometimes she is ok sometimes she is really angry and I end up fueling her anger.
When she is ok I just don’t know how to act around her or what to say, I let her say things first, as when I’ve initiated a conversation first, she has become angry or just said she doesn’t want to talk.
It feels like a no win situation, and one that could end up making us separate.

Reply
Karen - Hey Sigmund

I’m sorry you are going through this, and I’m sorry your wife is struggling with depression. I know it’s difficult, but try not to take this personally. It sounds as though you are fighting hard for her and your relationship. Depression can make the world confusing for everyone it touches – the people who have it and the people who love them. Strength and healing to you both.

Reply
Yulia

I’ve been with my boyfriend for 2 years now. He’s the best person I’ve ever met and we’re both in college and university. About 2 months ago, I could tell something was wrong. He was being distant, wasn’t answering many of texts, and wasn’t always present whenever we were communicating. He finally told me how he thinks he’s depressed. He’s been depressed before and he’s told me about his passed when we first got together. He told me why he’s depressed and I thought in the beginning that it was because of me. I would call him 11 times in a row and he wouldn’t answer, I’d send him 5 texts and he wouldn’t answer. So I thought that him being distant was his way of pushing me away and out of his life. He never told me those things, I thought them up myself because I didn’t know what else to think. I then began to talk to a counsellor. I told her how at times my boyfriend would talk to me one week and would barely reach out to me the next and I couldn’t take it anymore. I knew that he’d have good days and bad days and that he still loves me, it’s just hard to cope with because it’s still happening. Since speaking to my counsellor, I’ve been much better at how I feel towards the situation. I haven’t been as anxious as I was about what my boyfriend’s doing when he wouldn’t text me. But I want to understand what he’s thinking and I want to help him more than anything but he hasn’t been talking to me about his depression. The last time we talked about it was probably over a month ago. And when I brought up to him how his flip flopping between talking to me and not talking to me bothered me and I asked him what was going on with that, he told me how I know why it’s happening. He’s more on the quieter side when it comes to talking about his feelings, which is why it took a little bit for him to finally come out and tell me that he’s depressed. Sometimes I think that he thinks that I’ll always know why he’s doing things or acting a certain way, but I really have no clue. And I don’t know how to tell him to tell me how he’s feeling so I’m aware and can accommodate to him in anyway that I can. I would love to hear back from you because even though I’m seeing a counsellor about this, the more advice I can get, the better.

Reply
hawonji23

I’ve been in the same situation for quite a while now, my boyfriend suffered from depression and it really affects our relationship. As time goes by it get worse that he keeps ignoring me for weeks, I was always be the one to reach out for him and if I said that I want to break up with him he always say no and keeps on reminding me that he still do loves me but because of his actions I’m doubting it already. I said I understand his situation and I’m always here for him he was thankful for that but there were times that if something went wrong we go back again with the same situation. And now its been weeks again of not talking to each other, I really don’t know what to do right now I’m so confused, he was my first love and I want him to be my last I really do love him that is why I always go back to him and always choose to stay. And now I want to know if what is the best way to approach him again. I’m badly need an answer now.

Reply
Kate

My husband and I have been married for almost 23 years and together for 25. He has had bouts of what I considered depression several times throughout our marriage, one leading to an affair. It seems like he comes out of the haze eventually and we continue on almost better than before but inevitably it returns to rear it’s ugly head. When it does I can feel instantly feel him pulling away emotionally but so much so that if feels physical. My heart hurts for him because he has said he doesn’t know why he’s unhappy and feels empty. He says he needs to escape so he fills his time with working out, sports or any kind of physical activity to make him feel better but in the process he pushes me away. Last month he told me that he’s unhappy, no longer loves me and had to leave. He moved out 3 weeks ago. It hurts but he’s said and done it before so I take it with a grain of salt. The pattern is he comes out of the haze and later regrets what he said and that he’s hurt me. The problem is I am emotionally exhausted. Each time I wonder if he will get through it and how long will it take this time. My self-esteem takes a blow every time and I wonder if I’m being strong or pathetic. After the affair he did seek help but only went two times, took a mild anti-depressant and then said he was fine. He never went back and never took the medicine again. I have asked but we have never made it to marriage counseling. He needs professional help…I think. I asked him to talk with a therapist again, not for me but for him, to figure out what exactly the real issue is. I told him I didn’t think they could fix it but they might find out where it stems from so he can learn coping mechanisms. I told him that when he can see a little more clearly that we would need to consider marriage counseling if this was ever going to work out but when he’s like this, he has no desire to work our marriage out. I think I’m at a crossroads. Do I hold on again and hope ‘my’ husband comes back or do I finally accept that he isn’t happy and may never be. There are days I just want to let go but I feel like he’s in there somewhere. So…even though I’m exhausted and everyone says I shouldn’t, I continue to hold on. I’m just really tired. I pray for everyone dealing with any kind of depression or anxiety…it’s a monster.

Reply
Samantha

Hi Karen,

Thank you for the article.

My partner suffers from depression and has told me that he wanted to part ways only a week ago. He cited personalities, many outside forces and timing as being the reasons and I have told him that I respect his decision and will always support him, given he was there for me when I really needed him to be. I was diagnosed with anxiety mid last year and he was incredible. I could never ask for a better support structure than what he provided. I am forever in his debt. For the record, with meds and counselling, I managed to get my anxiety under control within a few months and have returned to work and not really had any issues since.

It was when I realised there was a bit more going on with him that I understood he was fighting an internal battle of his own, but for fear of making it hard for my recovery, he kept it to himself. When I finally got it out of him, I realised just how hard it had hit him.

The thing is, there wasn’t really anything major that caused a rift between us as such. For me, I will fight forever for him because the only time he ever thought that we were not compatible was when he was feeling incredibly low. It seemed that there wasn’t a great deal that I could do to stop this from happening and that it was probably going to happen at some other point. He would often read into things far more than was intended and come to some really strange conclusions to things I said that certainly was not intended. Essentially, if something could be twisted into a negative, no matter how warped, he managed to do it.

He told me it was best for both of us to part ways but when I told him that I would always be there for him, he told me he just wanted me to be happy and that I didn’t know what would happen because he’d been in the same position (but with his ex) before. He also told me that I might meet someone but made no mention of the fact that he might meet someone too. In talking with some friends, it was like he was trying to convince himself it would not work and was wanting me to move on and forget about him.

I told him that I will forever be in his debt, that I will never forget him because of everything he did for me and that I will always have time for him, to which he seemed to be really unsure how to take that. He was thankful but I know he really struggles to accept compliments.

After being silent on social media for weeks, he changed his profile picture today. To me, he looked defeated and it tore at me. I didn’t know whether to but I messaged him very briefly and told him that I was still there and that I had faith in him. I don’t know what else to do, but wondered whether even that was the right thing.

I already spoke about this to friends and my psychologist and they all said that I need to concentrate on me but that I should make it known that I’m still there, like every now and then just touch base.

I guess I’m just seeing whether others have quite been in this position (that they have broken up with their partners and why) and what they have been able to do. It really bothers me that he cited personality as a reason when we have so much in common and can talk for hours but whenever we had a disagreement we could talk it out and come out the other side. This last time he felt he let me down with something and it seemed to be the straw that broke the camel’s back, so to speak. There didn’t appear to be anything I could say to make him feel better and he kept withdrawing (not just from me but from everyone) further into himself.

I’m very interested to hear your thoughts.

Reply
Priss

To start off I would like to say thank you for writing the article it put me at somewhat at peace just like several other articles I have read. I would like to tell you a little bit and small details on my situation and hope to hear some feedback from anyone. I’ve been seeing someone for four years he comes in and out of my life every year at the same time/months and leaves at the same time/months. Every time he would leave especially the first 2 to 3 years he would just pack up his stuff and leave. He always said I love you never denied it but did always say he needs to find himself before he can move forward and that he needs to take care of him before taking care of anyone else and he means me and my two children. I never understood why he would plan a future we would live together and then get up and go. As a woman the first thing I thought was he is doing me wrong but I could never bust him in any type of way not through his phone not through his Texts and not through his three social media’s. I always said this guys too good to be true but every time he would get his things and leave my house and never contact me within 3 to 4 months I always thought he was with someone. When 3 to 4 months would come out of nowhere he start contacting me wanting me back being persistent about it. Even the times that he did leave and during the times that we are together within the years I feel his love and deep down I knew he wasn’t doing me wrong but I couldn’t figure it out what was going on why he acts the way he acts. All that being said he left again three weeks ago, when he does leave he never communicates with me for three months to four months so right now I’m not expecting any contact until then. This time around he started using the word depressed a lot in my head I thought you’re just using this as an excuse. So what I did, I started looking into depression and researching a little bit and reading a lot of articles . He has never told me that he has depression nor has ever had any help I’ve never seen him take medication of any type. And to be honest I don’t know much about his childhood/nor family because he likes to be private. I’ve never met any of his family in these for years and they know of me and about us but never met them. As I was researching about depression I myself came to the conclusion that he has clinical depression or seasonal depression. Every symptom listed in these articles/websites he has. I’ve been used to him coming in and out of my life for these past four years and every time he does get up and go I never contact him I let him be and I wait until he comes back after 3 to 4 months and mind you again the only reason I did not contact him was because I thought he was doing me wrong. This time I know now why he acts the way he acts and does what he does as far as emotionally physically and mentally. He is able to communicate with the world go to work, take responsibilities as far as financially But when it came to us out of nowhere he no longer wanted to be intimate, no loving,everything bother him, backaches, stomach aches, headaches, durability,relentless, guilt,can’t sleep, gain 15 pounds in two months & etc… One good thing is that I’ve never heard him talk about suicide and I know that doesn’t mean it doesn’t cross his mind from what I’ve read in these articles and that too is a scary thought not knowing. i’m so used to never communicating with him when he gets up and takes off to live on his own for these past 3 to 4 months, and again I never did because I always thought he was doing me wrong. But now that I know in my gut and in my heart that he has depression my question is do “I stay away like I did all these other years until he is ready to come back”???? And again he’s never been diagnosed by anyone he mentioned one time he went to counseling and from what I remember it only lasted but two weeks and I also have a feeling he lied to the counselor just as he lies to his pastor, telling his pastor that all we do is argue and that we have a lot of issues and he can’t handle it anymore and that’s why he got up and left this time. Nothing he says is true from what I know we were doing great. Sorry this is so long but it felt so right to do. I would love to hear someone’s input. Thank you

Reply
Priscilla

First and foremost I would like to say thank you for writing your article it has helped with my own research when it comes to depression. I have been reading a lot of articles and reading a book called fallout depression it has to do with couples living with a depressed person. From all the articles that I’ve read I’ve never commented this will be my first time.
I really don’t know what I’m doing on here or how to express myself on here so that I don’t write a novel of my own on this page regarding my relationship with my boyfriend Who I believe suffers from two types of depression. He’s never been diagnosed and a year ago he told me he was seeing a counselor but just to talk about his family he never gave me any details but from my knowledge that only took at least two weeks and to be honest I think he lied about it for I never went with him nor saw proof of it and when he did say he went to see a counselor him and I were broken up so who knows.
I have been with him for four years the past three years he has been in and out of my life and for only periods of time of 4 to 6 months. During those three years I thought he was doing me wrong with someone I felt as if he had two women and to be honest my woman intuition told me that wasn’t the case but I could never figure out why he would act certain ways but that all changed about a month Ago. He started getting into his moods and started using the word depression a lot this time,I thought to myself “here we go again with the same pattern as last time” finally after him using that word depression several times I decided to research on it because someone like me would only think it’s only sadness for a day or two but I was surprised/shocked on what I read although my research was too late because he already had set his mind to move out and he did 3 weeks ago.When he does leave we do not communicate whatsoever within that period of time of 3to4 months. Every time he wants to end the relationship he would always have good excuses to end it,i always thought he was just copping out of the relationship to be with someone else. Every time he would come back around after 3 1/2 months to rekindle our relationship it would be around the months of May late April and the times that he ends The relationship it’s around holidays , Mid October to mid January, mind you this is every year for the past four years. He just did it again three weeks ago. Because of his patterns of actions and the research that I have done I say he has seasonal depression but I also think he has clinical depression as well. He knows what he wants when we are doing fine ,he wants a future, he wanted to get married ,he wants a house ETC. BUT when his irritability, sadness, anxious,Feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness,
Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities that were once enjoyed, including sex, Decreased energy, fatigue,
Difficulty concentrating, making decisions
Trouble sleeping, Weight gaining,
Persistent physical symptoms, such as headaches, digestive disorders, and chronic pain. He no longer wants a future he would say I love you but only if I said it first, he never said he didn’t love me on the contrary he would say it but I would have to be the one to say it first , He would always be the first to tell me I love you or to Text it but that changed too. I’m just desperate for peace and not sure what kind of peace maybe on what should I do,im so used to not communicating within the 3 to 4 months but now that I truly know what’s wrong with him, do I reach out to him?? Again desperate for answers… my research on depression has answered a lot of my questions when it comes to him in and out of my life his mood swings and his actions but tell me why this time I am more emotional and hurting but when I thought he was doing me wrong the past three years I wasn’t so emotional… everything is just a confusion… help please

Reply
Karen - Hey Sigmund

Depression can make people want to withdraw, but there are many ways to manage depression that can really help with easing the symptoms. Many of us are driven to do things, but that doesn’t mean we necessarily do them. Your boyfriend might be driven to leave you for a few months at a time, but that doesn’t mean he has to act on it. Is he doing anything to help himself manage the symptoms? Has he spoken with doctors or psychologists? Has he taken responsibility for getting himself to a point where he doesn’t hurt you with these absences? It’s important to be clear about what parts are depression, and what parts are a lack of commitment to the relationship. Even if depression makes him want to pull away from the relationship and find his own space, there is surely an expectation within your relationship that if he wants the relationship to be there when he feels strong again, that he stay in some sort of contact during his physical withdrawal from the relationship. Be careful not to confuse depression with a lack of regard for you.

Reply
Lauren

I am in a relationship that seems impossible to keep alive. He is not the same he was when we first started out. He is more distant and seems uninterested in me. I feel like I am not important to him even though he tells me he loves me. He has a kid and cheated on me with the mom. As a result I lost trust and we went on break. He still wants to be with me and constantly tells me this. Howevor it feels as if he has faded away when we are texting. I have bad anxiety, which also gets in the way. I do not know what to do anymore. I want this to work but I do not feel valued. I have conversations with him about it but he always seems to turn it around and say that he does nothing right. This is his excuse everytime so its hard to express how I feel to him. Im so lost and broken I dont know what I should do anymore. Expressing myself to him seems to make it worse and make it look like im the bad guy.

Reply
Daphne

I have been dating this guy for about six months and I think that he’s suffering from depression but is in denial about it. Initially we connected really well and was able to communicate on a deeper level. He had some problems in the past, after his Best Friend passed away, he lost his job, had bell palsy, couldn’t find a job for couple of years and just gotten divorced. He’s now jobless and despite my encouragement, he isn’t really looking for another job. He sleeps odd hours. I am really worried about him and doesn’t really know how else I can support him. If you have any advice that would be wonderful. I am just about to be sent overseas for my career and I am really lost about what I could do to help him . Thank you

Reply
Karen - Hey Sigmund

If you can keep the lines of communication with him open, that would be a great thing. There isn’t much you can do until he is ready to reach for help himself. Before you leave for overseas, see if you can encourage him to come for walks with you or to do some form of exercise with you. Exercise can help to protect and strengthen the brain in ways that are great for mental health.

Reply
Gina

Karen, your article was very inspirational to me, it’s as if you had me in mind en you wrote it!! I’ve gone through the worst depression after breaking up with my boyfriend of 4 years. He was my first boyfriend, my first and only love, my heart. He was my best friend and our family values, our beliefes, everything matched so beautifully. He was and still is the only man of his kind I’ve met. His family accepted me with open arms and we had talked about plans for marriage. But then, the long distance, the financial issues he had with his jobs put him in a spiraling down depression that I couldn’t pull him out of. And he changed, he became unrecognizable. I did everything to be by his side, his mom and best friend at the time kept telling me to give him time….but no matter how loving and caring I’d be when I visit him, no matter how far I’d go to be by his side, he’d be amazing with me at first then withdraw again soon after I come back home. In the beginning, he couldn’t wait to talk with ne, always saying I love you, and you’re the love of my life, etc etc ….and his actions also showed it…he was there for me during the most difficult times in my life. And now im left co.pretext ignored, my calls and texts never answered….I know he’s an amazing man. I know this. But after his financial failures he went into clinical depression, completely withdrew and repeatedly told me how much he loves me but he doesn’t know how to make me happy. He said I was the most beautiful person he has ever met, and that this has nothing to do with him, and that *he’s not normal*…it puts tears in my eyes just writing this 🙁 ….. I gave him countless chances, but after 4 years I had to do something…I gave many avenues for moving forward but he didn’t have any motivation., completely anhedonistic without doubt…….I honestly see so much of what you described in your article about him! And though I broke up few months ago, I lay crying in bed every night because I miss him dearly and I can’t take it anymore. I want a life and family with him, but I don’t know how….as I look back on our relationship and realize that it was the depression that destroyed us, I have guilt eating me up since I officially ended things ….I’m a faithful Christian and the last thing I’d want to do is to hurt the person I love most. Is it worth reaching out to him or his family? To give it another chance? Any words of wisdom you may have would be so appreciated. God bless.

Reply
Karen - Hey Sigmund

Gina I wish I had an easy answer for you. Only you can know if it is worth reaching out again. What I can tell you is that depression is manageable. Depression can give people a sense of hopelessness which feels awful for anyone who is experiencing it. It can convince people as though nothing will make a difference, which can make it difficult to seek treatment. As important as it is to be a supportive, loving presence when someone you love is struggling with depression, it’s also important to remember that you can’t love the depression out of someone. It is their fight, and although there will always be a place to fight along beside them, they are the only ones who can fight their way through. I know this may not give you the clarity you’re looking for, and I wish the way forward could be clearer for you. I wish you all the best with your decision.

Reply
Rockiie

My girlfriend is going through depression and this article just helped me a bit but what I’m wondering is how do I keep myself from losing my mind… I’m very impatient and I feel like I’ve lost her. And sometimes the way she blocks me out or doesn’t talk to me for a day or two straight makes me really angry and confused and sometimes I just want to leave… I could never leave, I love her too much… but I feel like my heart being shattered into a million pieces because I miss her so much… I just feel like I need to stay strong for her and not being myself down but at the same time I feel like it’s dragging me down as well and idk how not to feel that way…

Reply
sid

If you love her you will continue patience and when she pushes you away you will stay by her side.

Reply
Hope

I keepbeing told this with my partner he is trying so hard to push me away but all I say to him is I love him and will be there for him no matter what and for how long it takes but some days it is really hard but I love him

Reply
Cheri

Same here! With my boyfriend!!!!
How do you handle the space???
Like he needs space, I’m okay with that, I can do space, but how do I keep telling myself he still does love me? Like, will the depression or could the depression make him leave me???
I guess my biggest fear, is, I will stay and try to work through this, because I love him, and he’s just gonna fall out of love with me anyways?!

Reply
EMC

Cheri,
I know exactly how you feel. My husband of two years has struggled with depression his entire life. He has recently said he has been thinking of moving out and he there is no joy in his life. He is seeking counseling but said he didn’t want to give me any hope that things would change. I have no clue what I did wrong. He says it’s not me it’s these feelings he has that he can’t explain. He says he feels like he has lost himself. I do everything I can to minimize any stress or anxiety. I am supportive and I validate his feelings. It’s just very difficult.

Reply
Sassy

EMC – Im keen to know how you are getting on as I too am in the same situation. I am currently living at my mom’s (have been for nearly a month now. He is seeking counselling too. I wondered if you found that helped your partner? I’m trying to show support but at the same time feel very much in limbo

Reply
Janis

I’m dealing with the same issue with my boyfriend of 2 years, we live together and he’s recently admitted he’s depressed. But has also said he’s ‘confused about us’ and struggles with the future and the unknown. I feel as though he is projecting his issues on me, making me feel like I’m the issue. He hasn’t asked for space and I told him I’d be supportive and do whatever he needs… but I feel sooo neglected and don’t honestly believe he loves me when he says it. He’s not the same person and I miss him and us. My fear is also that I’m holding on only to get my heart broken in the end. Hes suffered from depression in the past and told me about it.

Reply
Cheyenne

Going threw samething ten years now. Have 2 kids with her 9 year old and 7 month old. She kicks me out every few months. Then has me come back next day. I just want her to go try to get help so it stops happiness infront of the kids.

Reply
Millie

These points are so right on, I only wish I would have found this earlier.

My significant other and I have been in a long distance relationship for the last 9 months (We’ve been together for over 6 years) – 3 months ago, he shut the world out, including me and all of his close friends. He found himself in a dark place, and just decided he wanted to be happy and didn’t feel the same way about “us” anymore. I’ve been careful with my words, not to plead with him; but instead to let him know I care.

When he is here I can recognize and react to the depression, when he is away, it’s not as easy. And this time he wouldn’t let me in.

All I know is that I love him, and I know in my heart that he loves me too. I pray everyday that he will have a change of heart and he’ll remember that.

Reply
desperate wife

My husband of 2 years is depressed also.. he’s been without a job for a while and is struggling to find one. He has begin to withdraw from me, my family and all of our friends. He used to love working out and now he just eats whatever and doesn’t want to go to the gym – an activity he enjoyed the most. He sits me down every few days to tell me how he’s unhappy and doesn’t love me.. and he keeps ruminating about how we got married. I don’t know if its depression talking or really him. It seriously kills me when he talks like this. Not sure what to do – I’ve told him a hundred times and even looked up therapists for him. I want him to get help. He’s looking for jobs all over the US so he can move out. I don’t know what to do. Everyone says to just be patient and give him space and all will be okay but I don’t know.

Reply
Desperate Husband

Desperate Wife, I’m a depressed husband going through the same thing, where do we go, when everyone says be patient or be strong and stand by there side. Others say leave them, but with kids, house and family the roots are hard to be torn out. My heart is broken she make me feel like I’ve done something wrong, threatens to leave or trust to kick me out?
The struggles we have, it’s not fare…..

Reply
Tina

My Husband lost both his parents within 8 weeks of each other in January 16. He now seems to have a delayed grief reaction and very depressed. He has hit rock bottom telling me he’s scared that he doesn’t love me anymore with the way he is feeling. I am heartbroken. Been together 20 years with 3 beautiful children. We were so in love with a very strong marriage and now it’s falling apart. He says he needs time away from me to see if he does love me. I’m heartbroken.

Reply
Sadness

My husband has been depressed with high levels of anxiety for going on 5 years (and most of uis life). He refuses to see a therapist. Will only take meds to help him sleep. I’m trying tobe patient, to listen, to know the depression is what’s talking. But, after 5 years I am spent. The continued negativity, inability to recognize how his actions are causing conflict, and not taking action to help himself is killing me. I fight depression too so I know where he is but I am running out of steam. I keep reading these things looking for hope and what to do but it always lands back on the person who is depressed and unmotivated to do anything about it. It’s a vicious circle. 🙁

Reply
Venus

My husband has had depression and anxiety since childhood and it’s intensified these past 3 or 4 years.

He’d withdrawn to a point that I felt utterly alone in the relationship with limited physical and emotional connections. It even at one point went as far as to him wanting to go seprate ways…only then to tell me how much he loves me and he pushes me away because he thinks I deserve better.

He’s just strated seeing a psychiatrist, and I’m slowly seeing improvement in the level of his depression. I know it’ll be along road for us both. I pray I have the strength to see this through.

But professional help is the only way to get true assistance. Don’t let them over medicate your partner. Research medications and discuss with your doctor your concerns.

Keep hope, you are not alone in this. There are people who are going through the same very situation. Stay stron and remember to take care of yourself too. It isn’t an easy journey. But love is worth the fight!

Reply
susan

I know exactly how you might be feeling, my husband has suffered with anxiety and depression most of his life, but has been worse for the last 6 or seven, I too am going through stuff, ie menopause and fatigue etc, sigh, I have just had enough. I want to just walk away, I have told him on numerous occasions, but he just looks at me, which makes me even more frustrated! I know how selfish this may sound, but trust me, I have had a saints patience.

Reply
Lizzie

My boyfriend of two years is pushing me away and thinks he has to be alone to deal with his depression, I want to be there for him no matter what but everything I say he just says he needs to do it by himself. I worry this will make him feel even more alone because be hasn’t even told any friends he is depressed.

Reply
Malteaser

My now ex is going through an extremely bad patch. The other day he went extremely down hill and went to see a psychiatrist the following day, after seeing her I didn’t hear from him until the following day where he explained everything that she mentioned and for him to tell me that he was breaking up with me as the psychiatrist had told him to cut all contact with everyone including his family. For him to go away for 3 months or however long it takes to clear his head.Its killed me as it’s come out of the blue, but him being by himself surely that is no good and only going to make him worse? I am so so worried about him, and want to help him anyway I can! I’m at a loss of what to do or how to proceed but I hate not being able to do anything for him.

Reply
Hugo

It is very hard to read all these comments here. So many people broken, life shattered because of one stupid word depression ! I do not have any solution to that problem. It is just hard to believe it is so common theses days… or has it always been like that ? And also it seems it mostly affects men ?
I am the depressed person, or maybe I am not. This is what I don’t understand. At age of 38 I lost my wife and been left with 5yrs old daughter. I ve known my wife for 20yrs, so most of my life. Now , you could say that it is a valid reason for a depression, but is it ?
The time has gone by, I have started dating the girls again and the same pattern seems to occur. I am excited at first, having great time, sometimes getting involved in intimate way, but very quickly I am loosing interest. It is as if I am looking for a wife in those girls and realising it is not going to happen, I withdraw . Of course hurting the girls and they think I am an ordinary dickhead like a lot of the guys. This is like a vicious circle. I’ve decided to stop dating though I hate to be alone. But hurting other girls hits me even harder. I really don’t want to do that and yet I am doing it. Dr Jackyll Mr Hyde. I hate it and I don’t recognize myself. I think I am a scumbag for hurting those girls.
Bottom line is, I feel so sorry for you ladies that a partner is withdrawing from you either having or hiding behind the depression. Life is a strange journey and I am trying to remember it is also short, so even if you have to go on hurting all your life, stay strong for something , someone . Be it yourself, children, husband, hobby. For there always is a sunrise after the sunset, whether be it in this or the next life. Try not to look and worry to far ahead. Find a little beautiful thing, take a deep breath and carry on even if you feel like you can’t anymore.
Ha ha , I am giving an advice , needing one myself 🙂 . Well as they say , the best way to learn something is to try to teach it someone else ! Gives a different perspective. Big smile to all of you depressed or struggling with the depressed person. 🙂 .

Reply
Tyas

What you wrote help me a lot to relieved. For six months I live and love a depress boyfriend. It’s always painful when he start to pushing me away. But slowly I learn about his depression pattern. What I can do is be patience, take care of him carefully and wait. I know he don’t want to be like that, and anytime I saw him like that I just feel so lucky that it’s wasn’t me. Even feel more lucky that I can have my health to take care of him and beside him on his hard battle.

I notice that I had my own journey and war while I am start to recognize that he have a long story depression. I talk to myself a lot, try to understand myself and situation on this stage. What I know later is that he is really strong person, big heart and good fighter. And I know it will be okay for me to go to his war with him. I love him so much and I believe there always a rainbow after the storm.

Whether we will be together or not later, I am grateful that I can learn this lesson with him. I will keep positive without push him to be “positive” like I want.

I think all we need as supporters is love ourselves more.

Reply
un

hi, i suffer from depression and did not know what was going on with me, my girlfriend couldnt take it and she broke up with me and moved out, i have since got help and im on anti depressants but she wont contact me or respond to me, she has blocked me off every platform. do you think i will be able to fix things?

Reply
Christoper G

Wow hearing some of these stories kinda makes you lose hope. I’ve only been with my girlfriend for a year now but outta no where she just completely shut me out. It’s been about 2 months since we’ve even had a conversation and the situation is feeling hopeless. I think I can make her feel better but where do I start when I can’t even get her to talk to me and I don’t want to force the issue on her. I love her and am trying to be patient but eventually you start to wonder is it the depression taking form in her life he do she just not love me anymore?

Reply
Karen Young

Christopher don’t lose hope. Depression can be a big challenge not only for the people who have it, but also for the people who love them. At some point, there are things that we will all struggle with. For the time being, it is your girlfriend who is struggling. Do what you can to love her and support her, if that’s what she wants, but also take care of you. You can support her, but you can’t do her growth for her – this is her journey. I wish we could do that for the people we love, but we can’t. Also remember that it is an illness, not a personality and there is a way through depression – many people move through depression and live happy, fulfilled lives. I hope you and your girlfriend are able to find your way through to this.

Reply
Chris G

I too hope so. ITs just when we are together she’s so much better or so it seem so at least. That’s what I do dont understand why She chose to go it alone. But I’m patient and persistent, but it seems discouraging when call states and text and any other attemtps contact her gin ignored. IF gives a feeling of why keep trying?

Reply
Chris G

Yeah that pretty much sums it up. I want to help her anyways I can but I don’t know how to reach her

Reply
Ashley

I am going through the same thing right now Chris, except with my boyfriend. I am trying like hell to give him space, let him know I’m here for him, but he’s just gone. I am pretty sure he broke up with me through a text a couple days ago. So I don’t know if it’s the depression, or if his feelings truly have changed. I don’t want to lose him, but at the same time how do you help someone who doesn’t answer texts or phone calls?

Reply
Chris G

Any update on your situation? Mines has reached what you described in your post. I haven’t heard from her for almost 3 weeks and don’t know if I should let go or just remain hopeful.

Reply
Nese

Idk if i can comment without crying. My boyfriend suffers from depression and anxiety. The last month has been hell. He’s so withdrawn, he doesn’t like talking, won’t respond to my texts, voicemail,or video messages. Idk what to do. Four weeks no communication, did he dump me idk. I went to his job caught him before he started his shift and at 7:30am he was already in mood swings. I asked do you still want me here for you, his response was I’m not about to havs this conversation with you and he walked away. I gave him my word that i would be there for him and to remind him he’s no longer the same person. Idk what to do. Can’t stop crying since Sunday, I miss him, I love him unconditionally.

Reply
Heart Sick Man

Living with someone suffering from depression is absolutely brutal. I’ve read several articles over the last few weeks that at least helped me make sense of what is going on with my wife. But I can’t say that they make me actually feel better. I was very confused when this wonderful woman I married, with her bright and sunny disposition, began to recede and transform before my very eyes. She began spending all her time in bed and on her cell phone or computer. She began finding faults and criticizing all these little things my kids were doing (my biological, her step), which then turned into a full-scale assault on the way I parent them. We’ve been together nearly four years, married almost three. At the beginning, she absolutely loved my kids. And I love her two VERY much. But over time, she has gotten more and more critical and disapproving of *my* kids, and over the last few months it seems like the only things she has to say about them are negative. It’s like she doesn’t see any of the positive things that they are doing in school or sports or anything else. They are teenage boys and she told me about a month ago that they are SO rude and disrespectful to her that she can’t even stand to be here any more. And then she actually moved out for about three weeks before she decided she wanted to come back and try to make things work. When I asked her what they were doing that was so bad and why she thought they were so rude and disrespectful to her (because I’ve never heard them talk ugly to her), she said that sometimes when she asks them how their day was it’s like they don’t even respond or she gets like a one word response. Well, yeah. They are teenagers. I get the same from them. Some days they’re chatty, some days they’re kind of sullen and quiet.

Before she moved out about a month ago and since she’s come back, she pretty much spends all her time in bed, and she is still convinced that we are the reason she is so unhappy. I’ve read all the articles about how I just need to be patient, don’t make her feel bad for how she is making me feel, let her know I still love her even the way she is right now, pick up the extra load (which I have been for a good while now, doing all the cooking, chores, taking kids to school and activities and what not)… oh, and don’t take the way she is treating me or the things she is saying personally. But you know what, honestly that is asking a hell of a lot of somebody. I’m supposed to suck it up, take care of all of my kids, my mom’s needs (she has chronic health problems and I help take care of her, too), and my depressed wife. I’m doing all those things, without any thanks or appreciation from the person who matters most in the world to me, and quite honestly I’m exhausted. I really don’t know how much longer I can do this. I feel like her depression is spreading to me and I really don’t want to live that way. Probably the saddest thing is how few of the articles and comments I’ve read from other people going through similar offer any real hope of change. I seriously don’t think I can live like this for the rest of my life. It isn’t healthy. Not for me. Not for my kids. And not for her.

Reply
Karen Young

I wish there was an easy fix for this. You sound like such a wonderfully supportive partner and a loving father and stepfather. It is important to be supportive but being a loving and supportive partner doesn’t mean compromising yourself indefinitely. It is also important that if you are doing everything you can (and it sounds as though you are) that your wife is also doing what she can for herself and her family. That means reaching out for the right support, whether that’s counselling, medication, or the lifestyle tweaks that help with depression.

We all have a responsibility to be emotionally responsible in our relationships and though depression can make this more difficult, it doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Depression is manageable, and people can certainly find their way back from depression but it does have to come from them. You can’t live someone out of depression. I wish we could, but we can’t. One of the awful things about depression is that the hopelessness and exhaustion can make it more difficult to believe that anything can make a difference but it absolutely can. Know that you matter too and in caring for your wife and supporting her, you also deserve happiness, love appreciation.

(And your teenagers sound wonderfully normal. It’s their job to explore their independence from us, and often that will mean that as they pull away, they stop engaging – but they do come back eventually. It’s all part of the adolescent adventure.)

Reply
Jacey

I agree that any of us supporting someone with depression deserve love, happiness and appreciation.
What a difference it would make in my life if the person that I cared about could respond to me more often. He withdraws from me and then out of the blue just reminds me that he still loves me. I know I should be grateful that he is still expressing positivity towards me. Just wish that we could talk more.

Reply
Desperatemom

My 16 year old sons suffers from social anxiety, school phobia and depression. It started in middle school and after treatment he slowly got back into school until a few moths ago. He stopped going and refuses to talk about what’s going on and refuses to seek treatment. It’s affecting our family greatly and Watching him withdraw from all aspects of his life is brutal. I have no idea how to help him if he refuses to talk to anyone or try meds again. School is ending and he will not be passing his classes. I offered alternatives to a traditional high school but refuses to engage in any conversation. Any advice would be much appreciatied.

Reply
Karen Young

I’m sorry this is happening to your son. I completely understand how depression and anxiety can affect the entire family. Sometimes the meds can have side effects, which may be why your son doesn’t want to take them any more. There are certainly other things he can do to help strengthen himself and to feel better. The biggest problem will be getting him to try them, because with depression comes hopelessness and it can be hard to believe that anything will make a difference.

Here is an article about anxiety in teens with some strategies that can be really powerful in strengthening the brain against anxiety and depression http://www.heysigmund.com/anxiety-in-teens/

Mindfulness is really powerful and there is so much research that has confirmed the way it can help with anxiety and depression. The article talks about how and ways to do this. Exercise is also really important to restore important neurochemicals in the brain to healthy levels (they are often lower in people with anxiety and /or depression). Again, motivation might be the main challenge but even a 30 minute walk a few times a week will help. Finally, gut health is really important, so probiotics if lactobacillus supplements might also be helpful. A naturopath or pharmacist will be able to help with that.

I hope this helps. Know that there is a way through this for your son.

Reply
Kevin

THIS IS THE SINGLE ARTICLE THAT DESCRIBES IT PERFECTLY. YOU GUYS ARE AMAZING, THANK YOU SO MUCH ! WISH I FOUND THIS EARLIER

Reply
Staystrong

Depression is a cruel mistress! She steals into your lives, worms her way through every part of it. And if she can will tear you apart. I’ve been with my husband for almost 30 years .. and probably half of that I thought he was just moody, but I put it down to work, to studying, to illness … eventually he got diagnosed with depression. But he had the pills, got better … but of course it’s not that simple … she digs her claws in deep and just when you start to trust, start to believe, in she sweeps to have another go. This is how I’ve learnt to cope with it, I think of depression as a jealous lover, sometimes she woos him, but he loves me and will return. It is hard, impossibly so, and more than once I have wished he would go with her, or that I could was walk away … but then he reappears …

It’s great to hear people who understand, the most hurtful thing I find is when people say it’s so hard to have depression, it’s really difficult for them. I know it is! But try living watching the person you love disappear from view, try living with the blank stares, the numbness. Pick up your life and theirs, and keep your job, home and family on track until they come back. Be a single parent, spend cold nights, make endless excuses, always be ready to change your plans, always live on a knife edge and then tell me how hard it is. This is what it’s like to be a partner to someone with depression, it’s so hard, but your loved one is there, they are just hidden. And you have to trust and believe that. Even on the days you hate. And cry, and want to scream that you can’t take it anymore either. Because like waves it comes and goes. My love to any of you who live this life. You are not alone.

Reply
Chris G

Okay Idk if posting this we’ll find me the advice I’m looking for but it’s worth a try seeing as a lot of you have experience with depression or know someone who does. Anyways my girlfriend whom I have been with for a year now suffers from depression since she was about 14 I believe went through some traumatic experience about 3 months ago. She’s the loving caring person but since whatever happened happened she’s turned a complete 180. When I ask what happened she only says she’s not ready to talk to me about it. She’s had no disregard for me or our relationship since it happened and I feel like I’ve either lost her or am losing her rapidly. I don’t know what to do about the situation because she won’t allow me to be there for her through whatever is going on, it actually seem like she’s pushing me away the farthest and I don’t know whether to just move on with my life or try and stick by her because I love her enough to wait but it seems like it’s hopeless at this point. I’ve been trying countless things to try and get her to open up to me and have been shot down at every attempt. We hardly talk now, in fact she’s not talking to me at all right now but it’s seems like she has less trouble talking to friend than she does me. Her birthday just passed and I was hoping to get a chance to spend some time with her but of course didn’t but she told me her friends did something for her. I took that personally seeing as I have been trying everything to see her since this happened with no success but her friends could get her out the house no problem it seems. I haven’t talked on the phone or seen her since this all started and idk what to do at this point. Everyone I talk to tells me to leave her and just move on but it seems like what I should do but my heart is screaming otherwise. One last thing, from what little I’ve gotten out of her it sounds like she could have been raped or something, maybe it’s hard for her to love someone and easier to just be around friends Idk……

Reply
Lauren

My boyfriend of almost 2 years has told me he’s not happy with our relationship, his life, anything. He then told me he believes he is depressed. He has completely shut me out, we don’t live together so our only communication at the moment is via the phone which is killing me. He said he wants to give me space, but I don’t want space, I want him! He is only 23 and has his full life ahead of him but he can’t see that. I have told him I will be there every step of the way but he is just pushing me further out. What do I do? He’s agreed to seek help, but I can’t lose my best friend I am so lost and he has no idea how much he is hurting me!

Reply
Caitlin

My boyfriend of 2 years has suffered with severe anxiety and depression for years and was in hospital for it in May, and is now seeking professional help with the support of everyone around him including his family and friends. He broke up with me in February because he said he “felt nothing” anymore, but only a week later begged for me back saying he’d realised what a big mistake he’d made and that he didn’t know what else to do in the moment.
Fast forward to now, he says he is feeling emotionally numb again to the vast majority of people around him including me, and that he just wants to be able to not be fixed, to let loose and just go wild without anyone caring (almost as if the relationship is holding him back in some way), and he’s slowly pushing me away again. I am terrified we will have a repeat of what happened in February but I don’t know what to do. I’m giving him space and allowing him time to just focus on himself and enjoy himself without me for a few days but I feel so sad that this is the way it has to be.

Reply
Chris G

I feel for you because I know how you feel only with my gf it’s been months. I’m not even sure we are together at this point because she hasn’t talked to me at all she just tells me she’s working on herself but haven’t actually broken up with me or anything so I’m kinda lost. I hope your situation pans out with your bf, I would hate for someone else to have to feel like this…..

Reply
Lonely Boyf

Please help me!

Reading all these posts I can’t believe I’ve finally found a place on the internet for partners of those going through this.

My girlfriend was such a care free person, life was just one big constant laugh with her. She could make anything funny and even after 18 months I felt like we’d just met.

All of a sudden in around August 16 I thought to myself she was having a bad day. This became a bad week and eventually a bad month… I didn’t really acknowledge it too much at the time but come January this year it clicked that she had changed so much in herself.

She had become withdrawn and noticeably quieter. 100’s (literally) of messages a day became a dozen or so and the lengthy kisses and hugs we enjoyed on the sofa became her in her phone with her back to me. She wouldn’t put her arms round me anymore when we hugged and long passionate kisses became quick pecks that she didn’t seem to enjoy any more.

She is her old self again when she’s out with friends or if I’ve seen her at work but then when she’s with me (her “normality”) she just becomes this flat, non responsive, emotionless shell of her former self.

It’s absolutely killing me and I feel like I’m mourning her even though she’s there next to me. The fact she hides in her phone causes issues and she gets angry if I ask her to put it down and spend some time with me. Her reaction makes me feel guilty for asking for some time with her and requesting her undivided attention because she can completely not hear me when she’s on messenger to her group chat friends or she will surf Facebook.

Physical intimacy has dwindled from daily to weekly but I’m grateful for what we have in that area.

She is coming off her meds as she says she doesn’t want to be on them for ever. Her anxiety started before this but I fear her decision has caused the depression to make its head appear.

I’m beginning to suffer anxiety myself now and I’m having intrusive thoughts that she will leave me. She won’t let me in and help her and pushes me away keeping me at arms length.

I can’t get it out of my head and it’s literally the only thing I can think of all day every day and I think I’m cracking up.

I’ve begun missing work as I can’t deal with the thoughts when I’m in the office so I finish early and come home and I can’t go on like that.

So many people have told me to leave her but I can’t as I love her so much and I pray to God each day to get us through this (and I’m not religious!)

My life has been on hold now do almost a year – I’d decided last year on her birthday that I would propose to her this year on her birthday. I’ve been saving up now and bought the ring in preparation but there’s a part of me that says I shouldn’t now because I’m setting myself up for a life of pain knowing what I feel like now. The majority of me is saying I can’t let my girl down because of this.

It’s so hard to not take all this personally because it feels like I’m the only one she is like this with. We’ve spoken about it and she says she doesn’t know why and doesn’t mean it but that doesn’t help when she’s still like this the day after.

I’m dying inside and she just won’t acknowledge it. I know there’s no magic switch but my goodness I’m petrified I’ve lost her forever.

I feel so lonely, angry, frustrated, rejected, neglected.

Please God help her.

Reply
Chris G

Yo man. I feel for you. I don’t know how common this is for people with depression but my gf has basically become when you just described for yours. Hell I don’t even know if we are still together anymore…. she went through something while off at school and only but hasn’t told me what. At first it was ” I’ll explain everything when I can bring myself to talk about it” but that’s changed and now she just says she’s not ready to see me or talk to me or anyone. I tried to be understanding of that but her birthday passed in June and I haven’t seen her in months but she went out with some friends to celebrate so I kinda took that personal because it didn’t seem to matter that someone she cares about wanted nothing more than to see her that day. That’s the last time I’ve heard anything from her. You start to wonder is this depression or just feelings fading. It’s hard to tell the two apart lately….

Reply
Lonely Boyf

Chris it’s horrible. Mine too speaks to her friends more than me. She sends them messages that are lines and lines long, proper conversations, but with me I get one liners. Very short. There’s no passion in her eyes any more and it’s killing me..

How can I not take it personally when I’m the only one she’s like this with? How can they not see how unfair it is to treat another person like this, depression or no depression.

Reply
Chris G

Unfortunately I can’t give you any good advice because I’m in the same situation. But you aren’t alone in this, to make it worse yesterday was supposed to be our anniversary but she went so far as to block my number so I can’t even get in contact with her. I hate it cause it was so sudden, she was seemingly in love wth me and then she just hit a 180 and become the complete opposite of how she used to act when it came to me. I was hoping that she would get back to herself and she said was working on it but it’s been about 3 months this has been going on and about 3 weeks since I’ve heard anything from her…. idk what to do about it at this point and you start to wonder would it be better just to let go? I love her so much and I’m sure you love your girl too to be going through this for someone who seems to not even wanna be around you or talk. Idk what to do at this point tbh.

Reply
Sage

I’ve known my boyfriend for 8 months, dated for 6 months until 2 weeks ago.

We had what everyone described as the perfect relationship, and that’s exactly what it was, perfect.

We communicated better than most couples that had been together forever and we could talk through any issue.

In the first week of May, his job situation changed and although there was a lot of pressure on the relationship, it was still a happy one.

At the end of May, he started a new position at work and that’s when all hell started to break loose. He started withdrawing from what seems like only me, complaining about how he can’t handle to stress of work and life (which to me seems exaggerated), it eventually got to a point where I had to cancel a trip that we had planned and paid for because he said that he’s not sure if he wants to go anymore.

He kept saying that he loves me and that this is just a low point and that we’ll get strong again, but the communication just started decreasing until he wouldn’t see me or call and I could barely recognize him or our relationship anymore.

I’ve spent the last almost 2 months in tears and had to end the relationship for fear of myself becoming depressed.

He says that he knows that something is wrong but that he feels lost and doesn’t have any answers for me.

I’m the one that’s lost though.

Where are you meant to go from here?

Reply
Chris G

So sorry to hear that’s what your going through. It sounds all to familiar to my own so I have an idea of what you’re going through. Me and my girl was supposed to spend the whole summer together and I’ve yet to see her since she’s been back from school and she’ll be leaving again next month unfortunately. At first it seemed like everything was going to be ok because she kept telling me she was working on it but now I have no idea what’s going on with her. That’s the worst part. I don’t even know if that’s my girl anymore at this point tbh. So I’m stuck between whether or not I should move on from her or pray things turn around with her. I just wish she would tell me where we stand but I’m just left wondering….

Reply
Sage

I can’t say that it’s easy to stay when the person on the other end of the phone isn’t someone that you recognize anymore.

I tried really hard but it almost felt like he wanted me to leave. He’s not the same person anymore in any sense of the word.

I do feel that it doesn’t get any better after you leave though. I’m still left with the same questions, I still want answers, I still want my boyfriend and my relationship back. Nothing has changed except that im probably now a bit more hurt and angry that he hasnt even tried to reach out to me.

I really hope that your situation turns around. This is far more difficult to experience than it sounds like to anyone not going through it.

I’ve never even heard my partner say the word depressed or unhappy before, so I don’t even know if he knows that what he’s going through is depression.

This feels like a black hole that I’ve been thrown into without any of my own doing.

Fingers crossed for you, try reaching out to her or her friends/family maybe.

Reply
Chris G

Trust me I know. It’s been months since we have had a real conversation and about a month since I heard anything from her at all. I’ve tried everything to reach out to her only to end in failure and it’s discouraging tbh. I’ve already been preparing to move on but like you said I’m still left with those questions and left wondering where the hell did I go wrong…if we are done then I at least would like to her it from her so I can have some closure, I just don’t see how you can be so in love with someone one day just to treat them like you don’t know them the next. Looking at her on social media you would never guess that anything was wrong and assume she just didn’t care anymore but I never really understood any of her coping methods for dealing with depression anyways they all seem kinda selfish acts.

Reply
Sage

Reading your comment felt like everything that plays on my mind all day.

The questions. How can he flip a switch off and stop loving me the way that he did? Does he not feel anything about us? It makes feel rejected beyond measure.

The social media interaction is the worst for me, interacting with friends and random strangers but can’t find the decency to give me an explanation of what went wrong or to check if I’m even coping with the situation. In a frenzy I told him that he was a coward and that he turned our relationship into a joke to which he responded that he didn’t know how he did that. I mean?!

My boyfriend was never selfish, he was the kindest man I had ever met. He wouldn’t hurt anyone, he wouldn’t hurt me. I don’t know who this person is.

Reply
Chris G

Yeah it’s hard I know. The hardest part is not letting is ruin your happiness. I wish I had the answers and could offer you some advice but I’m still dealing with it myself. It kinda makes me feel better that I’m not in this alone but it still hurts. It’s kinda crazy your situation sounds so similar, I can say reaching out to her didn’t work for me because lord knows I tried everything I could think of lol. She originally told me she just needed time and that she would explain to me and it was times that it seemed she had come back to me because she was asking to come over but every time she would back out at the last second and tell me she still wasn’t ready like she was scared. But now she’s completely withdrawn from me and I hate. It seemed like the more I pushed the more she retracted from me. That could be where my mistake was by pushing so hard but only she would be able to tell me that….

Lonely Boyf

That’s the same conclusion I’ve come to – well she told me… The more I pushed (with the best of intentions) the more she pulled away.

Hope

I ha e a wonderful partner who is depressed and moved out of our ho.e saying he needs time on his owthis has become more lately we have contact through text and call g and occasionally a meal .he says so.e hurtful things but I k ow it’s not him saying it but because of the way he feels .he has tried to do it o his own for 3 months now .How van I get him to see he needs help from gp without hurting him and pushing me away more

Reply
Karen Young

I wish there was an easy way to help people reach for the support they need. This is your husband’s growth and it is something that he needs to figure out. In the meantime, it’s also important that you are clear about what you need and about the things that hurt you. Of course it’s important to be supportive, but that should stop short of compromising your own needs so much for so long that it starts to cause breakage.

Reply
Carla

I am so sad to read that so many people are suffering the way I am. I have been with my boyfriend for 2 years and we were both sure we wanted to end up with each other. Suddenly he tells me that he cannot be the BF that I need anymore. He shuts me out. We had been talking about spending the rest of our lives together and suddenly he needed me to leave. I was so hurt that I got really angry, shouted at him, threw things at him, and then just left after the worst fight of my life. We did not have much contact for a couple of days and the following week he went to see a psychiatrist. After his first session he told me that I could not contact him anymore. I respected his wish and suddenly realised he had a real problem. Another week later he calls me to break up. “He doesn’t love me anymore. He sees no future. He wants it all to end.”. It was terrible. He had seen a psychiatrist every day at that point. I realised that he must be in a very bad state and I tried being there for him, only sent a few messages of love and support, but then he just blocked me on whatsapp and removed from FB. I was crying for days and could not understand how he could be so cold. I sent him a text message and told him to promise me to not hurt himself and that I would wait until we could talk again. He said he wouldnt hurt himself and said that the “sickness” was a big part of why he felt this bad. But he never actually said it was a depression. Looking back at his withdrawal from his friends and from me and about how he was struggling with life, I am pretty sure, he must be suffering from one. He said I could call him after seeing a doctor myself. That really hurt me, too. The reason why I was so upset during the fight was because he was making no sense and destroying our relationship just like that out of nowhere. I am not sure whether he thinks I have a problem. It is really killing me.
Because I want to talk to him, I will actually go to a psychologist next week. But then I do not even know whether calling him again makes any sense. I cannot take another hurtful word from him. It has been so hard to get through the past 2 weeks alone. I love him so much, I am not angry with him at all, I just want to be there for him. But what can I say to make him feel closer to me again? I am so frightened that that one phonecall might be the only chance I get.
I do not really have any words either. I just want to hold him and be near him and just wait until he feels better. I just cannot stand the feeling of him not wanting me in his life anymore because I know he is really hurting right now. Why does he have to do this to us? And will he ever want to return after his therapy? Can love return if the depression has switched it off?

Reply
Karen Young

Carla I’m so sorry this has happened to you. It sounds like a confusing and hurtful way for a relationship to end. Depression can make people withdraw, but this is more than withdrawal because he’s told you that he doesn’t love you and that he doesn’t see a future for you. You deserve somebody who adores you and love should never have to be forced. Sometimes it takes hard work, but it takes two people to do the work. Sometimes it will be more one than the other, but it sounds as though he has been clear. I don’t know why he is doing this to you. I wish I did. Depression doesn’t make love go away. It can make it feel smaller for a while, and it can make people angry and exhausted and distant, but it doesn’t make love disappear. If he has told you he wants out, believe him. If it has been two weeks and he hasn’t taken back his words, or reached out to you, listen to that. There is something better for you and in time this will all make sense. I know this is cold comfort now, and you just want him back, but love can become which makes us long for people long after we should let go.

Reply
Chris G

Sorry to hear yet another story similar to my own. My girlfrien was at an all time low also I tried everything to get her to open up to me but she also ended blocking my number, everything was seeming like she was getting better and that she needed time and then outta no where blocked. That left me with so many questions and an empty feeling as to what I did wrong. I couldn’t even reach out to her if I wanted to and that kills me. It’s been almost a month since this happened and I honestly don’t see it changing. I see a lot of people saying once you lose your loved one to depression then they are gone and that hurts to think I may never have my girl back. She has so many clothes and my house and we were always talking about the future and just like that it all went down hill without any warning. I’ve thought about bagging all her stuff up and putting it away because it hurts my heart every time I see something of hers and know I can’t see her. I would like to see someone on her just post a happy ending to their story of depression. It’ll make me hopeful about my situation because I don’t know what to do at the point.

Reply
Lizzie

My boyfriend has suffered with depression on and off since his early teens. We’ve been together for just over two years and both he and his friends have repeatedly told me how much I’ve helped him and how much better he is. Recently he has been feeling very low, lower than I think he’s ever felt before. He was drinking very very heavily but over the last month this has stopped since I took him to the doctor and to AA. I can tell he is still so unhappy and he is mean to me a lot of the time and puts me down. He tells me I’m stupid and that I don’t understand anything and snaps at the smallest of things. He freaks out at the most insignificant things, he’s thrown his laptop across the room twice today, completely overreacting to just mildly irritating problems. I love him so much and just want to help him but lately I feel that whatever I do just gets thrown back in my face. I try to do nice things for him and to let him know that I love him but he constantly pushes me away. When we see our friends he is his normal charming and funny self but as soon as they leave he instantly slumps back into it and to picking on me. I feel like a do a lot for him and he doesn’t even notice. I try to give him space too but I am quite affectionate in my relationship with him so this often makes me feel lonely and unwanted and in turn feel selfish for feeling like this when he’s so unhappy. I know I don’t deserve to be treated this way but I know that it’s all part of the illness too and that he doesn’t mean it. I think he resents me and thinks I’m trying to control him…maybe I am in a way but the drinking had got so out of hand, I honestly thought I was going to find him dead from the huge amount he was consuming. I just want him to be happy, and for us to be happy again together like we used to be. How can I help him when he won’t let me?

Reply
Karen Young

The problem is that you can’t help him if he won’t let you. Depression can make people do things that are out of character, but don’t let it be the excuse you both use to let you be mistreated.

Reply
Lonely Boyf

So this is an update to my previous post.

GF and I have had several discussions and the general consensus is that I have pushed too much and been too clingy and needy, and that me wanting to spend time with her has pushed her away.

She has gone from one extreme (wanting to be with me all the time, texting all the time etc) to the other (hardly contacting me and not wanting to spend as much time)

Basically I’ve been told to back off. The problem is that I know what she gets like when there’s no one there. She begins thinking too much and worrying about all sorts. I try to reassure her but she just keeps telling me nothings going to be ok anymore and she will never be happy.

It’s kind of a kick in the teeth to hear that the person who you love and loves you won’t ever be happy despite having you in their life.

All I can say to people here that have the issue of a partner withdrawing from them is – let them – as much as it hurts just let them get on with it.

And genuinely it will hurt like hell and you WILL try to force the matter (and make it worse) while you try to make sense of it. There’s no way you will be able to just leave it. It’s taken me a year to realise there is NOTHING I can do about it and I’ve made things a tonne worse in the process.

I asked her does she think we can recover from it all and stupidly thought she would say yes but she said “I don’t know”. That spooked me.

I am meant to be proposing to this girl next month which should mean I am excited, but I will be brutally honest – I am petrified now that I’m setting myself up for more hurt and upset. Why would I do that to myself?

I’m not as anxious right now as I have been during other uncertain moments but I’m thinking that may be just the anti anxiety meds keeping the hurt at bay.

Reply
Chris G

Yeah sorry to hear things haven’t gotten better for you man. I was hopeful of my situation but I think I’m just being delusional at this point. It’s sad honestly you fall in love with someone just to have them snatched away from you and yourre helpless to it all.

Reply
Lonely Boyf

Mate it’s brutal. I could understand if it had all stemmed from us arguing but this came out of the blue – sent her down which in turn made me try and fix it and then push her away.

It’s a sad chain of event’s; I was convinced we would be happy forever but now I honestly can’t see a future for us.

I feel for you, the no contact must be horrible, not knowing and having so many questions. In all honesty though, for her to do that to you, depression or no depression is just cruel.

I couldn’t leave another person hanging like that for so long.

Reply
Chris G

Yeah but instead of arguing your pushed away from loving someone to much. I don’t hold anything against tbh, she has was of coping with depression that I don’t understand, like whenever we would have an argument she would just withdraw from the whole situation which I hated because that didn’t solve anything. I would wanna talk about it but she just goes in a shell until she’s over it. But this is that to the extreme. One thing I did take personally from this was on her bday she spent time with some friends but when I tried to see her, she just told me she still wasn’t ready to talk to me or see me yet because she was still going thru stuff. I took that personally… that was the last time I talked to her also, so not the best way to end things if it is over with her and I pray it’s not. I’m gonna attempt to have a talk with her mom in the upcoming days to get some insight on what I should do. If that doesn’t go over well then I think I’m going to have to let go for the time being because I’m tearing myself down. This whole process is brutal, and then I see her on social media and she seems fine on the outside and it makes me wonder does she even care anymore. Only she knows that. Sorry for the long post lol but this is the only place I really can share my thoughts with people who have a understanding of what im going through so I kinda just vent.

Reply
Lonely Boyf

Chris it’s fine don’t apologise, I’m in the same boat here and can only relate on here too.

I can totally understand the birthday situation. I can also relate to the social media thing. When you see that person acting “normally” with others but then when around you they aren’t (or avoiding you) it’s a killer.

My GF is the same around her friends but I think it’s just a mask or an opportunity to revisit that normality which is an escape for her. I can’t help but take it personally because I wonder why she isn’t like that with me.

Trust me – if she has had this amount of space now and not tried to reach out to you then I would concentrate on YOU now. You are a person who deserves a life. I should listen to my own advice here as I’m doing the same – thinking about it all waking hours but once the realisation kicks in that there are other things to be getting on with in life it will become easier.

Hit the gym, ride a bike, start making something like a project to keep your mind off it, go for a run. You will destroy yourself if you keep going over it in your mind.

As much as you are longing for her to get in touch, ask yourself, would you do this to her? The answer is no – so why is it acceptable for her to do it with you?

I know this isn’t what you want to hear and you want people to say “hang in there buddy it will all work out” but no one knows that for sure and the hurt of shattered hope can be worse than the hurt of a relationship ending.

I’m such a hypocrite saying all this and maybe it’s my subconscious telling me what to do as I type to you.

Is there any way to PM on here? I’m happy to be a lifeline should you ever need it bro…

Reply
Chris G

Trust me I’ve thought about just leaving the whole situation. But I need that closure. She kinda just left me hanging, we didn’t break up, she didn’t tell me she didn’t wanna talk anymore or anything so I’m just left wondering. I don’t drown myself in sadness thinking about it, it’s just the little things that remind me of her. Like something she likes, seeing something of hers that’s left at my house, videos, throughout the day I’m fine it’s just when I stop moving is when the thoughts come flooding. As for the pm thing, I don’t know if there’s a way to communicate aside from leaving comments.

Reply
Lonely Boyf

No worries – well look I’ve got email alerts set up so I know when someone replies.

It’s crap that you haven’t had closure and I hope you manage to get it one way or another.

I still think of my ex when certain songs come on etc but now they make me smile rather than sad as they are just memories from an older chapter of my life.

Reply
Chris G

For some reason when you keep replying on here the text box gets smaller and smaller. But yeah I’m sure I’ll move on from eventually if need be but it’ll be hard not comparing other females to her because she was my type inside and out.

Reply
Carla

Yes, it’s sad to hear that so many of us are left alone with our sadness. And we cannot stop loving the person that hurts us so much. But my Mom said that love endures a lot. I know that there is nothing I can do right now, especially not when my ex thinks he doesn’t love me anymore. Maybe he can find happiness without me. But I will still be there for him for a very long time. I have said hurtful things in anger, too. I cannot imagine what is going on in his mind. He must feel so many bad things, shame, guilt, despair. I cannot judge him right now. Whatever he says right now, might not be what he really wants. I think he just wants to feel better. And relieving himself from the responsibility for another person might help for a second. I think it’s hard for people that do not know how to hang on to their own lives, to let somebody else in. Why would anybody want to share the darkness and pain that they have inside of them? If they love someone, they will not want to do this to them and rather isolate themselves. We can only pray that therapy and medication puts them into a better space someday. For my own sake, I have to hold on to the hope that he can get better again. And once he is healthy, we might be able to talk to each other again. I read somewhere that emotions don’t last forever. So whatever is reality right now, might feel different in future. I will just pray that his feelings can return because we had the best moments in time together. I have never felt so perfectly in sync with anybody else before the fights and withdrawal started due to the illness. I will try to heal and be the best version of me. I deserve to be loved. And I think new beginnings are also a chance to not repeat past mistakes. Once something has gone, we value it so much more. Time will tell. I really hope that some of us are rewarded for the patience and understanding that we offer to our loved ones. My sister said it takes 2-3 weeks to recover from a bad flu. And if your soul is broken, it will take much more time than we healthy people might think. I think we shouldn’t give up until our own emotions have changed to the point where we cannot hold on anymore.

Reply
Karen Young

I can hear how much you love him – so purely and open-heartedly. You so much deserve the same love back – and it is there for you. Love and healing to you.

Reply
Chris

Amen to this. Lords knows I’m trying to be patient with her, I just hope I’m not waiting for nothing and wasting my time when in reality she’s moved on from me and I don’t know it yet…

Reply
hurting dani

hi i need some advice… I’m in a long distance relationship, which is hard already for both of us, we have been together for a year now, i was planning a trip to go see him. but a month and a half ago he got sick, and had surgery. just after he went back home he started saying he was useless, he don’t want me to go anymore. i knew he was depressed he told me he was, i told him he wasn’t useless, that he will be fine he just needed to fully recover… i thought he needed time… the thing is he keeps saying he don’t want me there, that he can’t have me there with his condition… ( i know he needs help to do certain things and I’m ok with it i always told him i didn’t cared and that i would help him no matter what ) slowly he has been pushing me away, he’s been acting cold and distant, he started by not saying i love you, he used to call me my love not anymore, he asked me to send him good night texts anymore. we don’t talk as much as we did, if i don’t text him he won’t text me… i know its his depression i know he got frustrated after his surgery… i love him so much and he knows that, i know he loves me too. we talk how i would eventually move in with him and start a family… when we met he was such cute, loving guy. i know he just didn’t stopped loving me from day to night. what do i do? i do give him his space and time to recover, i try to act as normal as i can but it hurts.

Reply
Chris G

Update on my situation. I finally got to speak to her but it wasn’t anything I was hoping to hear. We are no longer together for the time being because she said she needs time to find happiness within herself and that she couldn’t love me right now. I don’t understand or agreee with her decision but it’s not up to me, all I can do is respect it. She left me with some hopeful words but at the end of the day the girl I love is gone. Who knows, if me and her are meant to be then somehow we’ll end up together. Only time will tell. Anyways just wanted to let anyone who cared know what happened. I’m sad about it, very sad but it seemed she had her mind made up already so I didn’t even argue it at the risk of hurting myself more than what I was already feeling. Time heals all wounds, remember that people.

Reply
Anne

Thanks for sharing, I’ve just experienced the same thing…my partner leaving the relationship because he’s withdrawn and unable to connect. Feels like he is a completely different person. I don’t feel I’ve had much choice in it at all so am left feeling sad, mad and frustrated.

Reply
Lonely Boyf

Sorry to hear this Chris – it wasn’t meant to be but now you can get some closure…

Reply
Erin

I am going through this right now with my husbsnd. We have 3 kids, and had been together for 13 years. Two of our kids have special needs, so it’s not easy. His issue is with me. On my birthday, he told me that the flirting of a younger coworker was making his rethink his life choices, and he may be going through a midlife crisis . A few days before, he was thinking suicide because he felt his life was falling apart. I lost my job recently, and choose to do freelance from home so I could better support him, but I also work in the national guard, and have enough saved until I get established. I got upset about his crush, and blew up at him. I had to get his parents involved, and he has been staying with them ever since. They got him medically seen, which got him officially diagnosed with massive depression disorder. It is crazy how fast it happened. A month ago, we were good. I noticed he was withdrawing, but things were manageable. We’ve gone through so much together. Two years ago, we went through counseling and fixed another issue. Now it seems there is no going back. I’m full of anxiety, worried I’m going to lose everything we built together. It kills he how easy he tells the kids he lives them, but he can’t for me. I still text and tell him I love and support him, but I don’t know if it helps or hurts. It hurts to hear his voice. I need his support more than ever, and he’s distant and maybe even resentful of me.

Reply
irene mousley

Why do depressed people take it out on the world.. as if the world owes them something? why is it that whatever you do its not good enough..
Am I expected to give up my life to help every single day?

Reply
irene mousley

I’m talking about my daughter. Who has had 2 children and also taken on her nice for the kart 10 years. She is very depressed. Wants a boob job. But can’t afford it as this is getting her very down. She constantly says all the people she has helped and noone has helped her. I try and help as much as I can.. but I work and have problems at home.. nothing I do us good enough.. it’s like I’ve never helped her..I don’t no what to do.. I have an 18 year old who lives at home and frequently smashes the house.. he has mental health issues.. I have another one in prison.. so my work is cut out.. I can’t be there all the time.. to help my depressed daughter.. I try n help where I can.. maybe not enough.. but what I do do..it doesn’t seem good enough.. she seems to hate being a mother..

Reply
Ally

This is something I really needed right now. My absolutely wonderful, funny, beautiful, intelligent and incredible boyfriend has been dealing with depression for many years now. I am very fortunate that we have more good days than bad. For me, the hardest part is when I can feel him starting to take a step back from our relationship and it tends to upset me because I mistake it for him losing interest in me. Thank you for this, Karen – every word rang true to me. I promise I will keep fighting and standing beside my man, he is worth every moment and I love him endlessly.

Reply
Chris G

I can say that was the hardest part for me also, not knowing whether or not my significant other was just losing interest in me or it was the depression. Hopefully your bf over comes his depression and you two are happy together.

Reply
Carla

Hey,
I also wanted to give an update on my situation. I had the chance to skype with my Ex just over two weeks ago and that coversation was awful. He was in a really bad state, but he told me that he felt bad seeing me. He did not want anything to remind him of me because it only hurt him and made him feel guilty. He said he had pushed away his love because it made him feel bad. I really tried to understand what was going on, but he just kept saying that it was too late to save anything. The conversation ended when his computer battery died. He texted a day later and he also unblocked me on whatsapp, but only to say that we had to move on. After that there was no more contact. And then he did not leave a message for my birthday either. I see that he is online all the time on whatsapp and I know that he is surrounded by friends and family. He really doesn’t want or need me anymore for some reason. I have just lost the person I fell in love with. It happened so quickly that I really do not know how to deal with it. There is really no point in holding on, because all I am holding on to is the fact that he can hurt me over and over again. I am so hurt, I am sure it is just as painful as a depression. It’s hard for me to get through every day like this. But I would never hurt the one I love. So, this illness, however it may work, it certainly is not an excuse for hurting people this badly. I think I just have to accept that he is mentally ill and that he will never be the same again. I don’t know how to forget him, but I need to, because otherwise I will just destroy myself and waste my whole life crying and hurting. It’s not supposed to be this way.
Good luck to all of you out there.

Reply
Miona

Hey Carla, I’m sorry to hear that and I’m sorry you’re hurting, you don’t deserve it. I agree that depression isnt e valid reason to hurt someone who cares on purpose. Tbh I can relate to some things you said. I’m with a guy right now that is depressed. The moment he was down his words hurted me. He didn’t call me names, but when he said things like ”I want to die” or ”Secretly i want that, it’s one of my deepest desires, but my brain says, wait, not yet.” These were his words. Tbh I’m scared to build a future with a person who says stuff like that. What if 5-10 y we have children and we go through something. Would he be strong enough to hang on? I don’t want to end up alone. Is that selfish? Am I being selfish to think that? But then again, these are my feelings, are they less important than his? I’m confused. I’ve also had these thoughts about leaving him. Like that feeling deep inside that tells me to just leave him.

Reply
Euan

Thank you for this article. My wife has battled Depression for the last five years or so. It is something she has always attempted to fight by herself. Recently she told me she had thought about a life without me, this was after a number of weeks where he Depression appeared to deepen. We are working through this at the moment and after a couple of weeks, she has told me the way she is feeling is not down to me. She does not know what is causing her to feel withdrawn and has talked about not wanting to hurt me or others by discussing it. I identify with almost all of the above article, including making mistakes in attempting to reframe the positive. The last few weeks have been the most difficult of my life, but I know this is nothing in comparison to how my wife feels. She has agreed to speak to someone and this is a huge step for her. I’m committed to helping her and fighting against the Depression and not fighting my wife. I look forward to updating this in the future, hopefully with a positive outcome for both of us. Thank you again for the article, it will be a daily reminder for me.

Reply
Debbie

For me the article has explained depression and how to support a loved one through it perfectly.
I have lived with my own depression for 26 years, I’m 56 now and, I long for the day I feel released from it, released from the cell I built around myself. Only I have the key, yet I have no idea where I have hidden this key, I hope that makes some sort of sense.
When I’m depressed I can’t find my way out and this is when a helping hand is so vital. When I become anxious it’s because I’m frantically trying to find the key to lock myself back in the cell, when I become panicked it’s because all hope of finding the key has gone and I feel exposed to danger/harm. I have no idea if this is the same for others who are depressed, it’s how I explain it to myself to get through tough times.
I don’t like being depressed, but something deep rooted is stopping me from being anything other than depressed.
I am an average intelligent woman and I know what’s happening and why, but for the life of me I can’t stop it or change it.
I take my meds but sadly one of the side affects is suicide, I was shocked and horrified when I found that out, as I had attempted to take my life several times. How can an anti-depressant make you want to end your life when there supposed to help you feel better?
Life experiences caused my depression or rather triggered it, as I do believe we all can so easily spiral down into depression, it doesn’t discriminate.
I don’t have any friends, either I’ve pushed them away or they have walked away, both is extremely painful to all concerned, by not having any friends I don’t cause another person pain, but it keeps me trapped within depression.
Thanks for reading

Reply
Kim

Thanks for this information. I’ve been in the same situation with my boyfriend since the end of June. He has good day and functions at work but has no motivation to do anything other than what he has to at work. Very emotional for me and frustrating to say the least. Just trying to keep in contact and check on him occasionally. Hoping he returns to his old self when this passes.

Reply
Priscilla

Hello Kim I can relate,
My boyfriend broke up with me on july18, he also can function at work and with others but when he was around me, his and mine he would act differently. He will have his ups and downs from being happy for half the day and agitated aggravated frustrated etc. with me. I felt so alone in the relationship because his love just seem to go away from one minute to another. Anyways I believe that is called a functional depressed person, someone who can just go to work and be responsible out in the world and depressed at home . We are still not together it’s been a month and two weeks that we have broken it off, usually he comes around after the third month of coming off of his depression. He has been going through this from what I know for years and each year seems to be worse as I look back at things. He is not getting any help he doesn’t take any medication and from what I have read they don’t get any better if not getting any help but they do get worse. I also hope he returns to his old self when this passes and then maybe he can get the proper help for himself.

Reply
Leila

Hi there. Thank you so much for the article and the opportunity to talk to someone about my pain. I fell in love with a man who’ s apparently suffering from depression. I didn’t know about it back then when I met him. He was my first and only true love (for I believe the miracle and blessing of true love can be only once in a lifetime). We both were married when we met and both went through the immense pain and guilt of breaking up with previous partners to finally be together ’cause otherwise our lives would have had no sense. And that’s when things started to go wrong. My beloved one gradually started turning into a different person. He started growing more distant and irritable. I could never understand what might trigger it. He could seem positive and cheerful, but the next second he could suddenly turn away and stop talking. When I asked him what was wrong he wouldn’t answer. When I was trying to hug him or kiss him, he would stand stiff like a rock or push me away. And that could last for days or weeks till after my another attempt to talk to him or hug him he would suddenly hug me back and thank for not leaving him and being so patient. He had had his “moods” before, but I had never thought it was a real problem until I started living with him. The worst thing is his unstable mood and toxic behaviour. He can be loving and tender one day and then turn into a different person saying that I’ve never understood him, that I think badly of him and when I try to contradict, he starts saying very mean things to me. It’s just breaking my heart to see that any neutral or positive things I do or say get negative interpretation, and proving the opposite makes things even worse, leads to fights. And I still can’t handle it. He told me that he was probably suffering from depression or bipolar disorder at one of his rare moments of “adequacy”. I started looking for any helpful information about these disorders. I would be very grateful for any advice or word of support from anybody who’s been in the same situation. I feel desperate. Sorry for my hectic writing. I’ve just another bad conversation with my partner..

Reply
Leila

Thank you for this article. Some time ago the man I love admitted he was suffering from a chronic depression. I am not sure whether he was diagnosed by a specialist or it is self-diagnosis. I wish I could be a better partner for him and do everything I could to make him feel more comfortable. The problem is he is very inconsistent and self-contradictory in everything he says. I am totally confused about what to do. One day he says that I should never come up to him when he is in a bad mood and I should give him privacy. Another day he says that what he really wants me to do is hug him in such situations “ just ignore what I said and hug me”. When I tell him that I’m confused he gets annoyed and says that I never listen to him (when all I do in fact is listen) and don’t understand him. One day he says he is grateful for everything I do for him and in a couple of hours he might say that I am an awful partner and he doesn’t trust me. He is one of the most intelligent people I’ve ever met and I always trusted his opinion and judgment. I respect everything he says and it’s very hard not to take things personally or to ignore things or to understand what he really needs. What should I do?

Reply
M

This is a tough situation. I have battled depression most of my life and I can say that his contradictory behavior sounds like there is more than depression going on. Depression is no excuse to lash out at people, nor is any other condition or disorder. It sounds like he has you spinning and second guessing yourself and that is not good. It doesn’t make you a bad person if you can’t handle his mood swings, nor are you required to hang in there and take it.

I dont know if this really answers anything for you, just my thoughts on what you said.

Reply
M

Thank you for this article.

I am watching my fiancé slowly fade away into the darkness. I have had my own battle with severe anxiety and depression and I understand what is happening. Still it is so difficult to take. She used to be so affectionate, loving and engaged. Now I watch her face go blank as she stares off into space, her mind wandering, ruminating and racing with negative thoughts. I know that she cannot be present in the moment, she cannot love me because her brain does not have the capacity to do so while it is so filled with darkness, worry, and self loathing.

I am watching the woman that I love disappear into the shadows and I know that I can’t help her, help us, all I can do is watch. Having faced my own demons, I know that she has to fight this fight on her own. Nothing I can do or say will change that. I find myself wondering if the woman I love is gone, if she was ever real in the first place, and I no longer feel the decision to marry her with certainty and that breaks my heart.

Reply
H

Thank you so much for this..

I’ve been driving myself crazy second guessing what could have possibly gone wrong in my relationship, but I can see now I’m not the only one going through this.

Last week completely out of the blue, my boyfriend ended our relationship saying he hadn’t dealt with a particularly bad break up he had last year.
I had no idea he was still feeling like this, and he didn’t give me any signs anything was wrong.

He mentioned he’d had depression last year, and I’m now convinced that’s what is happening now. I know you shouldn’t google, but I wasn’t aware of the signs, and when I did a lot of them related.
He loves his job so absorbs himself into that, and I’m sure he’s probably fine around his friends, but since this happened, he has not spoken to me, other than a text message in which he said he was sorry for being “distant”.

I’d almost convinced myself he must really hate me, as he won’t speak/text, let alone explain, but this article and all the comments are so relatable, maybe he just can’t bring himself to do speak, rather than doesn’t want to?!

Let’s hope in time he can find the words, as this really hurts.

Reply

Leave a Reply

We’d love to hear what you’re thinking ...

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Stay Connected



Contact Me

karen@heysigmund.com














Hey Warrior - A book about anxiety in children.













Pin It on Pinterest

Share This