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Need advice on partner going through depressive phase

K

Kobe

Member
Joined
Oct 12, 2020
Messages
9
Location
Melbourne, Australia
Hi All,

My partner has Bipolar 1 and we have been together for about two years and she has been very stable over this period. A couple of weeks ago, due to an increase in work and financial stress, and also Covid-19 lockdowns, she started having suicidal thoughts and even acted out on it. I had a feeling something was wrong when she didn't answer my calls, so I drove to her place and took her to the hospital and she has since recovered and is now staying at her sisters place.

Since then she has been acting very strangely, it's as if we don't even know each other anymore. When I text her or call her, she doesn't respond, until one day I told her I was worried sick about her and she finally decided to talk to me. I asked her whether I've done something wrong? She says "no, nothing at all", she just doesn't want to talk. This came as a huge shock to me because we talked every day for two years straight.

Is this normal for someone going through a depressive phase? If so, how long does it typically last for, and is there anything I can do to help improve her condition? She did say I have been very supportive of her and I'm trying my hardest to do anything I can, but she's become so distant and passive I don't know what to do anymore.

Please help me, any advice would be greatly appreciated thank you.
 
Fairy Lucretia

Fairy Lucretia

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 9, 2011
Messages
36,728
Location
Magical fairy wonderland xxxx
hiya x i have just ben through a depressive phase with my fiancee
the best advise i can give is let him know you are there for him but give him space x make sure he knows he can talk to you but don't push him
i want to thank you for being there for your partner ,i actually find the depressive phase harder to handle than the manic
please look after yourself too ,lean on the forum x Lu x
 
HLon99

HLon99

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 15, 2020
Messages
282
Location
London, UK
Hi All,

My partner has Bipolar 1 and we have been together for about two years and she has been very stable over this period. A couple of weeks ago, due to an increase in work and financial stress, and also Covid-19 lockdowns, she started having suicidal thoughts and even acted out on it. I had a feeling something was wrong when she didn't answer my calls, so I drove to her place and took her to the hospital and she has since recovered and is now staying at her sisters place.

Since then she has been acting very strangely, it's as if we don't even know each other anymore. When I text her or call her, she doesn't respond, until one day I told her I was worried sick about her and she finally decided to talk to me. I asked her whether I've done something wrong? She says "no, nothing at all", she just doesn't want to talk. This came as a huge shock to me because we talked every day for two years straight.

Is this normal for someone going through a depressive phase? If so, how long does it typically last for, and is there anything I can do to help improve her condition? She did say I have been very supportive of her and I'm trying my hardest to do anything I can, but she's become so distant and passive I don't know what to do anymore.

Please help me, any advice would be greatly appreciated thank you.
Dear Kobe,

Its common for people who are going through a depressive phase to shut out the outside world and even those closest to them. Perhaps its the confusion of what is going on in her mind or maybe simply she doesn't want you to see her in that state. I know this by myself as for many months I kept my illness secret from my family. Talk to her sister, get a sense of how she is doing. Be prepared to give her a little bit of space as she works through her issue, but when you do see her show her that you really care about her and accept her just the way that she is and will be there for her no matter what.

all the best,
-H
 
K

Kobe

Member
Joined
Oct 12, 2020
Messages
9
Location
Melbourne, Australia
I saw her just last weekend and things were great. We were very affectionate towards each other and I told her I would be there for her no matter what happens and not to stress about anything. She really appreciated it and thanked me and hugged me etc.

But just yesterday when I asked her if I can see her again next weekend she kinda just deflected and changed topics. Am I smothering her a bit too much maybe? It's strange because prior to this episode it was her who couldn't stop smothering me lol

Anyway I guess I'll try to give her some space but I just want her back to being herself again. I hope this episode doesn't go on for too long.
 
T

Tragically_

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 31, 2020
Messages
231
Location
Israel
I don't know much about pbd but depression in a partner is hard.

You will show support. When you want to talk let me know. Maybe a hug caressing qhietlyywhile lying down in bed. Maybe bring her food over. Or make. Food for her there.

The idea is communicate a bit less. Be on point as she doesn't seem her Communicative self. Be there when she allows. Silence is fine. You are there and that says a lot as well. Maybe write her a letter and give her by hand. Not text.

Depression needs some treatment. Be it talking to someone medicine or both. There are holistic alternative she may also like

The key words soft/easy/quiet/patient/caring/loving

But might mean less talking
Once you're over the barrier of suicide, to come back and stabilize is too difficult
Update us
 
Wishbone

Wishbone

Active member
Joined
Apr 20, 2019
Messages
27
Location
England
But just yesterday when I asked her if I can see her again next weekend she kinda just deflected and changed topics. Am I smothering her a bit too much maybe? It's strange because prior to this episode it was her who couldn't stop smothering me lol

Anyway I guess I'll try to give her some space but I just want her back to being herself again. I hope this episode doesn't go on for too long.
I've quoted these parts as I feel they are important. First of all, space and smothering. When depressed you are like a wounded or dying animal that skulks off to die alone to protect the others. Your world changes but it's only because of what is going on in your mind because of the episode. In her eyes you haven't changed and all the rest haven't changed, just the way she perceives it all. This will change but it needs time. Some people may be different and want more support, but from my own experience and what I've heard from others, most want the space and the time to figure it all out: that doesn't mean no contact, just less 'bothering'. The problem is, the space can be both a help and a hindrance. You feel like you need space, but at the same time you need to get back on the horse; it just has to be when you feel you can. Knowing that people are there for you is nice, she'll want that for sure. I agree with a prior comment about speaking to her sister to get an idea, just don't make it seem like you've been gossiping or conspiring behind her back - she will not like that.
Secondly, the change in who is smothering whom. This could have been her normal self previously, or it could have been an episode, or the beginnings of an episode. It's not unusual to have the swing from one extreme to another so keep that in mind and maybe talk to her about that once the dust has settled.
Finally, "back to being herself". It's a pain to hear because you will feel like you know the real her, and she will think that too, but truth is, this changeable person is her real self. It's what we all come with. Sometimes these things happen often, sometimes they are years apart, but if you're in it for her then you're in it knowing that she comes with these things. Episiodes can last days, weeks, or months. 'Turbulance' - and by that I mean the fallout, the seeking help, getting the right help, putting the pieces back together again, etc - can even last years. It'll be hard work for you both but if you stick together you can make it happen. All the best.
 
K

Kobe

Member
Joined
Oct 12, 2020
Messages
9
Location
Melbourne, Australia
Thanks guys for your advice and thanks Wishbone for not sugarcoating things. I guess this is something that I can't expect will magically return to 'normal' any time soon - or at all - and is something that I definitely need getting used to.

We spoke every day this week until today she messaged me and said she was busy with some things she had to do in regards to the doctor and her meds and said we should skip our chat today. I said sure fine, I'll talk to you tomorrow. But for some reason I don't think she'll be calling me tomorrow either.

Every day we spoke she kept saying how she has no interest in anything, including things she previously loved, such as her favorite TV shows, going through her social media feeds, eating her favorite foods etc. and she's worried about going back to work in a few weeks when she has no desire to do anything.

I'm still deeply concerned for her, but I guess there is nothing I can do other than tell her I'm here for her if she needs me and give her some space.
 
OCDguy

OCDguy

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 13, 2016
Messages
1,589
Hi All,

My partner has Bipolar 1 and we have been together for about two years and she has been very stable over this period. A couple of weeks ago, due to an increase in work and financial stress, and also Covid-19 lockdowns, she started having suicidal thoughts and even acted out on it.
I can only speak for myself if I was in this situation... If it were me I would let her know I love her and I need her fully back in my life, but only when she is ready and feels the same way too, but in the mean time agree to be honest with each other. I would also show concern on her work situation. Was it the cause of all this, and now it seems she is turning her thoughts back to her work situation before there is a stress free path forward...
 
K

Kobe

Member
Joined
Oct 12, 2020
Messages
9
Location
Melbourne, Australia
Yes the work situation is a huge worry for her. She did manage to request a month off from work to recover from this, but we're at the halfway point now and it doesn't seem like she has recovered much. I think it might even get to the point where she has to quit her job altogether until she fully recovers, but that will cause a myriad of other problems. And of course, we don't know how long this episode can last for. Weeks, months...years???
 
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