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I'm in need of advice supporting my severely depressed partner

L

lauraelizabee

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Joined
Mar 23, 2018
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2
Hi all,
This is my first post, I've just signed up to this site as I'm desperately in need of some help and advice. It will be a long post, but I'd really appreciate any help.

My fiance has been struggling with his mental health since he was around 16 (he's 25 now). He was originally misdiagnosed as bi-polar, and over the past year he has been going to monthly meetings to assess his medication and situation. He is severe, he fights with suicidal thoughts daily.

A bit about us: He is a business owner, I work at the business too after realising he could not cope managing it alone, and I gave up my job as we didn't see any other options as we do not want the business to fail, but it needed someone consistently to manage and run the place, which he can't do when he's having really bad days.

We have been together 3 years, no kids. In the beginning of the relationship, I was supportive and understanding to the best of my abilities. I can never understand what he goes through every day but I try to lessen the pressures of every day life by taking on more myself.

Which brings us to where we are now. I can feel myself losing patience, I'm not as supportive as I used to be. I feel like I'm taking on so much in our work and home life that I've lost the understanding and calm person I used to be. I've always been a very positive person, but I find very little to be positive about now.
I know he leans on me for support, but I'm struggling to support myself and him right now, and I've become a very bitter person about our circumstances that I'm struggling to hide.

I'm just looking for advice, from anyone that is in a similar position, or that has been.
I couldn't bare to be without him, so I really need to learn how to deal better with our situation. I feel like I'm trying to keep him from drowning but I can't keep my own head above the water. I have looked into couples counselling but we can't afford anything like that right now.

I've told him how I'm feeling but we can't seem to figure out a way to help.
 
Last edited:
T

Twokiwisandabanana

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811
You can only do so much for someone else
Make sure you take care of yourself FIRST
Xxxxxx
 
B

BrokenToy

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:welcome: to the forum Laura.

Is there perhaps a religious minister or someone similar you could talk to for couples counselling for free? There needs to be someone independant that you can both talk to so your partner can listen to how this is affecting you too.
Maybe you could make a Doctors appointment, ask your partner to come along with you for support then bring the subject up (his suicidal thoughts and the added pressure on you while you pick-up the slack) while you are both there together? Make it clear that you are now struggling also and can't go on like this much longer. I wish you both the best of luck moving forward.
 
Kerome

Kerome

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If you can find the time to just be with your partner and listen to him if he feels the need to talk, that already goes a long way. Quiet time together listening to each other has a lot of value. Thich Nhat Hanh (a Buddhist monk who I like) calls this ‘a practice of deep listening’... sometimes the right thing to do is just to offer compassionate listening, and not to talk.
 
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BrokenToy

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Anytime I was feeling suicidal I never wanted to talk to anyone close to me. I was afraid to dump my problems and worries on them. If I'd told my family some of the things I was going through I'd have felt even more guilt for dragging them into my cesspit. The number 1 most important thing, like Twokiwisandabanana says, is that you look after your own health while going through this Laura.
 
L

lauraelizabee

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Mar 23, 2018
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This is how he feels too, we do talk openly and honestly a lot of the time about how he's doing. I wouldnt want to make him think that he can't talk to me if he needs to, just because I'm feeling overwhelmed.
I don't want him to feel more guilt because of me. But I almost feel like my problems are less than his, so I keep quiet and it's resulted in me feeling how I do. In the past when I bring up issues I'm having it's sent him into a very bad place for days. So I don't open up as much as I should.
He's at a very good hospital for mental health right now, so we are thankful for that, but they've never invited me to sessions. I'll be looking into some kind of affordable couples councilling through my GP
 
H

HL094

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Mar 26, 2018
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Vancouver
As someone who has had a similar experience, except I was (and still am sometimes) the depressed one, sometimes all I wanted was company and contact. You won't necessarily be able to solve his problems or suddenly make him come out of his mental health issues, but you can ease his experience with patience and empathy. My girlfriend took it upon herself to try to solve my problems all at once, and in turn got overwhelmed and frustrated at me, which just made things worse. So just be patient and caring, those things are more impactful than you might think, see, or feel :).
 
Cazcat

Cazcat

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A bit about us: He is a business owner, I work at the business too after realising he could not cope managing it alone, and I gave up my job as we didn't see any other options as we do not want the business to fail, but it needed someone consistently to manage and run the place, which he can't do when he's having really bad days.

We have been together 3 years, no kids. In the beginning of the relationship, I was supportive and understanding to the best of my abilities. I can never understand what he goes through every day but I try to lessen the pressures of every day life by taking on more myself.

Which brings us to where we are now. I can feel myself losing patience, I'm not as supportive as I used to be. I feel like I'm taking on so much in our work and home life that I've lost the understanding and calm person I used to be. I've always been a very positive person, but I find very little to be positive about now.
I know he leans on me for support, but I'm struggling to support myself and him right now, and I've become a very bitter person about our circumstances that I'm struggling to hide.

I'm just looking for advice, from anyone that is in a similar position, or that has been.
I couldn't bare to be without him, so I really need to learn how to deal better with our situation. I feel like I'm trying to keep him from drowning but I can't keep my own head above the water. I have looked into couples counselling but we can't afford anything like that right now.

I've told him how I'm feeling but we can't seem to figure out a way to help.
Hi, I support my husband who suffers with episodes of psychosis and depression including being suicidal at times. In the past I gradually took on more and more of a carer role without even realising. When he was at his most poorly we ended up separating for a few months and stepping away from the situation allowed me to see that I couldn't continue the way things were because I had been ignoring my own needs for too long. I realised that if our relationship was going to survive the balance needed to change. That time of living apart also allowed me to realise that he could survive without the level of support I had been giving (Maybe not well but he survived) Thus was also the point that mental health professionals got involved and also helped me to see that in order to support my husband well I needed to look after myself better. I don't always get the balance Right, but I have come to realise that when you support other people the most important thing that you can do for them is to put your own health and needs first, because when you go under you can't support anyone else (I speak from experience). I have also found that since I have been looking after myself better and am happier my husband is happier too as he doesn't feel so guilty about the impact his mental health has on me.

This is how he feels too, we do talk openly and honestly a lot of the time about how he's doing. I wouldnt want to make him think that he can't talk to me if he needs to, just because I'm feeling overwhelmed.
I don't want him to feel more guilt because of me. But I almost feel like my problems are less than his, so I keep quiet and it's resulted in me feeling how I do. In the past when I bring up issues I'm having it's sent him into a very bad place for days. So I don't open up as much as I should.
My own mental health deteriorated a couple of years ago and I was very unwell. We had a complete role reversal where my husband had to support me. He found this incredibly hard and needed a lot of support from his mental health team. Thankfully they also helped me to realise the importance of me learning to communicate how I was feeling to him and how to ask for support, as like you I was scared of adding to his stress and making him more unwell. I learned that he was able support me too and the result has been a much more equal relationship where the support goes both way. I also think that he feels more valued knowing that he is supporting me too.

He's at a very good hospital for mental health right now, so we are thankful for that, but they've never invited me to sessions. I'll be looking into some kind of affordable couples councilling through my GP
I'm sorry that your partner is poorly enough to be in hospital, but glad that he is getting the support he needs. I would imagine that as he is very unwell it may not be appropriate for you to be attending his sessions. I have done a lot of joint session with my husband and his mental health team, but only when he has been more stable, not at a time when he is acutely unwell. We have also had family therapy arranged through my husband's mental health team which we both found very helpful, but again he needs to be well enough for this and it needs to come at the right point in his recovery. My suggestion right now when he is so poorly is to ask your GP for counselling in your own right as an individual and to spend some time working through things yourself until your partner is ready to join you in this. Take some time out to focus on you and what you need in order to sustain the support you give your partner.
 
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