depressed boyfriend

casey

casey

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#1
hello, i am just looking for some advise as am a little lost as what to do.

my boyfriend has suffered from depression since his early 20s, he is now 30. we have been together for 18 months and he was very upfront about his depression when we met and has a on occassion felt down throughout the relationship but these did not last more than a day or 2.

towards the end of 2007 he started to feel down, we talked about it and he opened up to me about some of the feelings he has been having, after that he seemed to be geting better. In March this year he started a new job, which has a very demanding training period and since he started his depression has gone from bad to worse. we had a great relationship and love each other so much. he was one of the most thoughtful, fun and caring guys i had ever met. but he has lost all that. he is unresponsive, shows no effection and no interest in anyone or anything.

at the end of April he ended the relationship. he would not speak to me, he gave me a letter saying i was his best friend and was so special but he can not be close to anyone and cannot be in a relationship. i know he is unwell but am finding it extremely difficult. he has cut me, his friends and his family off.

i have spoken to him once since he ended the relationship and he told me that he does not like the way he is and does not want anyone to have feelings for him. i doesn't believe he can ever have a relationship. at the moment all the engery he has he has put into his training and he feels selfish but it is all he can do. he finds not being in a relationship makes it easier. i tried to be positive in what i said to him and told him that i will always be here for him and that i will not give up on him.

i am trying so hard to understand and am so worried about him. i love him so much, he was the man i was hoping to spend the rest of my life with, and he had the same dreams as me. i know that the depression is making him the way he is and i cannot fix it, i feel so helpless as really do not know what to do? i have backed off and trying to give him space but my heart is breaking.

my friends and family have been fantastic and are trying to support me but they do not understand and find it hard to say the right things. i want the man i feel in love with back.

sorry for the long post, thank you for reading and any advice is appreciated.
 
KP1

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#2
It can be very hard to express what you are feeling with severe depression yout boyfriend sounds very brave in saying what he has. Has he had help for his mental health before?It really sounds like he needs it now and needs to see his GP.You sound very supportive maybe you can persaud him to see his GP .
Hope all goes well for you.
 
casey

casey

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#3
thank you. he seeked help in his early 20s, what i understand his mum got him to see his GP and was on medication for a few years. but is unwilling to seek help now. i have tried (without pushing it too much) to get him to see his GP and/or seek therapy, but he won't. he thinks that if he goes on medication his new career will be over before it has even started (he needs to declare any changes in his medical records).

i have suggested seeing a therapist privately but again he said no, i even offered to make the appointment for him. he knows he is unwell and admits that he needs help but will not doing anything about getting. he says he has dealt with this on his own for 10 years so will continue to do so.

he told me that he has also opened up to his mum but i don't think he will let her help either.
 
blackdog

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#4
Hi Casey, sounds to me that you're doing everything you can. I've suffered from depression for over 13 years, the one phrase you used that really struch a chord with me was " I want the man I fell in love with back". Now and again, when things have been really bad my wife has said that to me. But we are still in love and she is a very special person. But it's not easy being with someone who suffers from depression and unless you've been there it is impossible to understand. Take care of yourself too, I hope things work out OK. :hug:
 
casey

casey

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#5
thank you. i know i'll never understand what it is like to be depressed, i am trying just to do the right thing but i don't know what that is. i have backed off but feel guilty because i am not there for him but i also don't want to smother him and i am scared if i back off too much he will think i have stopped caring. i am finding the no contact thing very difficult and i have to stop myself texting or calling him. i have spoken to him everyday for the last 18 months and then nothing. i have written him several letters that i won't send. i also need to accept that this actually may be the end of the relationship which is something i don't want to think about. sorry, i am just very hurt and confused.
 
blackdog

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#6
You are in a very, very difficult situation. You can't force him to seek help, he has to do that himself, all you can do is be there for him. If he is very depressed he is probably not in the right frame of mind to make decisions and probably needs you more than ever but is too ill to see it or he is trying to protect you. I don't know what his occupation is but if it helps I hold quite a responsible position in the clinical side of the NHS, I make no secret of my illness and I know of many colleagues who suffer similar problems, my forum name, blackdog, comes from Winston Churchill, thats what he called his depressive episodes. Good luck Casey, and if we are of some help keep talking to us. :hug:
 
casey

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#7
hi, he is training to become a police officer, he had been trying for years to get in and was grilled during the interview process about his past depression and he is terrified of not being allowed to complete his training. i will continue to be there for him and let him know i care but will give him the space he needs. i just feel so helpless.

thank you so much for your advise, it is a great comfort talking to people of understand.
 
D

Dollit

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#8
Just because he's suffering from depression doesn't mean to say that he won't be able to finish his training. He needs to talk to occupational health. I can't go into too much detail on the public forum but I know that depression isn't a barrier in a police career. PM me if you want a more personal chat and I can tell you something that could reassure your boyfriend.

The police training is quite stressful but he may settle back down once he's in his probationary. He will probably read a text if you send one, something simple like 'hope things are going okay" - pretty non committal but shows that you care.
 
casey

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#9
thank you all for your reposnses they have been really helpful. letting him know i am here for him and that i care seems to be the best way forward at the moment. only time will tell what the future hold for us, i'll just keep my fingers crossed that we achieve our dreams together. x
 
blackdog

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#10
Best wishes, Casey, take care, both of you.:tea::hug:
 
casey

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#11
having a really bad day, the weekend is the worse as this when i'd spend time with my partner and am feeling really lonely. i sent a text just to ask how he was (which he said i could do) but he has not replied so am feeling worse. when i saw him last week i thought it was a good sign and was slightly more positive about things but that has all gone. i set myself up for a fall. i am trying so hard to look after myself and get on with things but i miss him so much and my heart aches. i feel like i am being punished, although at the same time i know i am not and that none of this is his fault. guess feeling incredibly sorry for myself.
 
j_lol

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#12
Hi Casey,
Reading your story it is very similar to what my boyfriend and I went through at the end of last year. I had a break down after suffering with depression for many years. We eventually split up mainly because I loved him so much and didn't want him to be reduced to being my carer. I didn't want him to just be in the relationship to look after me because I loved him and wanted him to be happy.

I felt that if I let it go on he would end up as depressed as I was because looking after someone with depression is such hard work. I ended it, as your boyfriend has with you, to protect him from what I was going through. He eventually made me realise though that he was happier with me than without me despite everything and wanted to devote himself to helping me get better. We are now back together, although we decided not to live together anymore and are happier than ever.

Perhaps you guys need to make some changes but if you can show him that you are going through some bad stuff because he wont let you help him then maybe he will realise that he is not protecting you by having no contact but causing you pain. It won't be easy but perhaps there is some hope?

Keep us updated
xxxx
 
casey

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#13
hi j-lol, thank you for your reply. i have being trying so hard to be strong and keep it together for him when in reality not being with him is making me fall apart. i am scared if i let him know how bad things are for me because of him it will make him worse. it has been a month since he ended it and rather than moving on i'm going backwards and fidning it more and more difficult. one thing he has repeatedly told me is that he doesn't want to keep hurting me. i also need the opportunity to talk to him but he won't let me. did you cut all contact with your boyfriend? if so how did he get his message across? i am just so confused as what to do for the best. x
 
j_lol

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#14
Hi Casey,

I guess you are right, it could go one of two ways as you say and he may end up backing off even more. without knowing him as a person it's hard to comment on that.

In my situation we both felt that time apart was the solution but after a while he had been contacting me often despite saying we should have no contact. We just couldn't be apart and although things were bad it was better than the pain of not being together.

If he is refusing contact then there is little I can advise, I understand his motives and it is a testiment to his love for you that he has the strength to try and protect you as he is. I think you would be justified to send the odd 'how are you' text, he has to expect that as he knows you are not going to just forget about him.

I think time will be the key to this, trust in the fact that if its meant to be then it will all work out and he will start letting you in again. you sound very strong and I am in awe of anyone who has the capacity to love and care for a person with depression or mental health difficulties of any kind. You are special and he knows that, that is why he is doing this.

Sorry I can't help more

xx
 
casey

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#15
thank you, i really do believe we are meant to be together but all the hope and waiting is taking it's toll on me. he eventually replied to my text on sunday just saying he was ok, feeling a bit down but ok. i am so angry at the situation but cannot get angry at him. time is the key but i am getting impatient, if i keep fighting am i going to burn myself out? but i believe it is worth fighting for. he has cut me off and it feels like he is punishing me, which i know he is not but i can't understand why. sorry need to rant and i can't really talk to anyone as they do not understand and think i should try and get over it. all i want is to be able to talk to him and he talk back. how do you walk away from someone that you love?
 
j_lol

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#16
Perhaps now he knows you are concerned about him it's time to take a step back, throw your energy into other things and just give him some space. He knows that you care and will be there if he needs you. It doesn't mean you dont care or dont want to help him but you can't make him let you in, he has to realise it for himself. You can't let yourself lose sight of your own life and end up in downward spiral yourself.

Sooner or later he will realise what he has thrown away. and I'm sure he will be in contact. At the moment it will be very difficult for him to think rationally about the whole situation. He is a lucky man to have someone like you looking out for him and he will come to see that. Maybe even a text along those lines would be in order, just let him know you are there if he needs you but you are going to leave that choice up to him?

I just don't want you to end up making yourself ill with worry, it's so easy to do.

xxx
 
casey

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#17
thanks again j lol. i am trying to give him space and i will do as i know he needs it but it is so frustating. i need to start focusing on myself although i know that the hurt, worry, hope etc will not go away. he is aware that i am here for him and i love him, the rest is up to him. fingers crossed i am still thinking this way come the weekend as that is when it all hits home... again. thank you x
 
casey

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#18
i know this may not be an easy question to answer, as everyone is different, but on average how long does a depressive episode last? especially if someone does not seek help?

i completely understand that it is not my partner but the illness, but the way he is treating me at the moment is really cruel. i was the person he loved and was closest too. him cutting all contact with me is causing me so much pain. i know this may sound selfish and i am trying need to understand the reasons.

can anyone explain, or help me understand why (in some cases) the person closest to them is the person they push and cause so much hurt to. my world has fallen apart and i am still protecting him. i know this is because i love him and everyone is so reassuring but that he still loves me too, but does he? i can't see the light at the end of tunnel only more heart ache.
 
D

Dollit

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#19
A depressive episode can last days, weeks, months or years. There is no time frame and each episode is different.

When I cut my family out after my diagnosis I did it because I couldn't cope with the stuff that goes with relationships of any kind. I had nothing to give and I retreated in order to protect my mind and look after myself. When you have a mental health problem you always have to come first. Ask any of the people here with mh problems who are also carers how hard it is to look after themselves because they have to also look after themselves.

You have to understand that you ex isn't trying to hurt you he's trying to protect himself.
 
casey

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#20
i understand that he needs to be selfish and looking after himself is all he can concentrate on, but it is the cruelty of his actions i am finding really difficult. i know he is not trying to hurt me but he is protecting himself, but when you are depressed do you lose all compasion too, and feel that being cruel (no matter the reason) is acceptable. sorry i am just wanting so much to help and support him, i have done nothing but be there for him and everything i am doing now and the hurt i am suffering is for him. sorry again, feeling extremely hurt and hard done by and it is not getting better (like everyone promised it would).
 

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