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Partner with depression

L

LG94

Member
Joined
Apr 6, 2021
Messages
6
Location
Uk
Hello, my name is Lewis, I’m 26 and I’m really struggling at the moment. I need some advise.

I’ve had a few serious relationships in my life but none have suffered with depression like my current girlfriend. All this is so new to me and I want to help her. Hopefully branching out and hearing from others can help me support and care for her. All I want is the best for her, she’s my everything and I’d do anything for her.

I’ve lived with my girlfriend for nearly 3 years. She’s been suffering with depression since before we met. She’s came off her antidepressants about a year and a half ago as she didn’t like them and just cut them out.

Recently we’ve had a heart to heart and both acknowledge that she is struggling. we both agree that she’s pushing me away. She says that it is because I’m here all the time that I receive the worst of it. Some days she’ll hardly talk to me. We haven’t been intimate for a long time. When we spend time together it feels forced like she doesn’t want me there.

She keeps telling me that it’s not anything I’m doing. She says she loves me and wants to be with me. She can’t seem to work out what is causing this at the moment.

She wants space and suggested one of us go to our parents for two weeks. I’m really trying so hard to support her and I want her to be happy. I don’t know if it right or not but I suggested that I’d go so she has comfortable surrounding, her own bed and space to herself. I’m going back to my dads house tonight for 2 weeks to see how thing go.

I just need some advise, It’s all new and a bit much for me so I can’t even begin to comprehend what she must be going through. I want to be there to hold her tight, keep her in my arms and protect her but she wants space at the moment. I guess I’m just looking for the reassurance that everything will be okay. I know I’m new to this but I’m trying to stay positive but my head is scrambled.

All help is welcome and thank you for taking the time to read this.

Lewis
 
C

CabbageMama

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 7, 2021
Messages
391
Location
UK
Lewis, you sound a really lovely Man. What about it feels new if you have been together 3 years? You said your Girlfriend stopped taking meds 18 months ago, so what has changed more recently, do you think? Is your Girlfriend willing to seek help for how she is feeling now? Perhaps try a different medication. It must be hard for you leaving to respect her wishes and give her some space - is your Dad a long way away?
 
Bizzarebitrary

Bizzarebitrary

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 17, 2018
Messages
731
Location
California, US
Hi and welcome.

Supporting a family member, spouse or partner with depression is a very difficult undertaking. I'm foregrounding this because so many loved ones blame themselves when the don't perceive positive outcomes in spite of the sincerity of their efforts.
In support of anyone living with a mental illness, love alone is not enough.

As you asked for advice, I urge you to take care of yourself. You cannot pour from an empty cup. One form of caring for yourself is to find and attend support groups for friends and families of loved ones with mental health conditions. These groups exist to give caretakers support, to discuss your struggles, resentments, frustrations and what worked, what didn't. Depression doesn't just affect an individual it impacts the systems the individual is a part of-- families, friends, partners, communities and larger systems as well.

I feel empathy for your girlfriend and I hope that she will explore ways to help herself, whether that is by trying a different medication, psychotherapy, self-help, support groups or some combination.

The hardest way to fight depression is to try to tackle it alone.
 
F

fragrant_violet

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 29, 2021
Messages
208
Location
Tirana
Hi Lewis I second what CabbageMama said. You are a fine fellow.

First, you must realize that you done nothing wrong. Your story is familiar to all of us. And to me, because I tried to push my lovely wife away when I was severely depressed. Her behavior is absolutely typical of a depressed person. She feels she is a burden on you and wants to give you a break.

In my opinion she needs to go on medication again. There are over 30 antidepressants to choose from. When a person who comes off AD has another depressive episode, it is a sure sign she needs to be on the stuff again.

My suggestion is to go to the doctor with her. Have a few notes written down of anything you may feel is relevant in case you or her forget on the spur of the moment.

To give you an insight into what anxiety and depression are all about, please download these four free audio talks by Dr. Claire Weekes. They are about 20 minutes in length. Listen together if possible.

Relax

I recently submitted a paper on mental health for a literary competition. I could send you a copy by private mail if you wish. Its short and to the point
 
L

LG94

Member
Joined
Apr 6, 2021
Messages
6
Location
Uk
Lewis, you sound a really lovely Man. What about it feels new if you have been together 3 years? You said your Girlfriend stopped taking meds 18 months ago, so what has changed more recently, do you think? Is your Girlfriend willing to seek help for how she is feeling now? Perhaps try a different medication. It must be hard for you leaving to respect her wishes and give her some space - is your Dad a long way away?

Thank you so much for replying!

Before now everything has seemed manageable. Like we were a team working together. Now she wants to go alone and find the solution herself. She’s had times where she’s been down but it’s only lasted a few days. Now it’s been about 3weeks.

I know she isn’t enjoying her work, she works at a well known solicitors and she got a promotion and the added stress and little pay rise for what she does really gets to her. I’ve suggesting her leaving even if that means having to live off just my wage for the time being. I know this is a contributing factor to her depression but she worried about leaving. I’m sure there’s other things contributing as well as this.

In regard to medication she’s was so proud of herself when she came of them. Like a weight was lifted. So I worry about suggesting to her going back on them. She’s tried talking to doctors before but she normally feels worse afterwards. She also looked into therapy but the only options she was offered was group therapy and she hates the idea of that. (And with covid now it’s online). She seems to have lost all faith in doctors.

This feels like the hardest thing I’ve ever done. She wants to have time to herself even down to not calling or message. I just don’t want her to feel like I’m abandoning her in her time of need. My dad lives about an 45 minutes away. So I can rush back if she needs me.
 
L

LG94

Member
Joined
Apr 6, 2021
Messages
6
Location
Uk
Hi and welcome.

Supporting a family member, spouse or partner with depression is a very difficult undertaking. I'm foregrounding this because so many loved ones blame themselves when the don't perceive positive outcomes in spite of the sincerity of their efforts.
In support of anyone living with a mental illness, love alone is not enough.

As you asked for advice, I urge you to take care of yourself. You cannot pour from an empty cup. One form of caring for yourself is to find and attend support groups for friends and families of loved ones with mental health conditions. These groups exist to give caretakers support, to discuss your struggles, resentments, frustrations and what worked, what didn't. Depression doesn't just affect an individual it impacts the systems the individual is a part of-- families, friends, partners, communities and larger systems as well.

I feel empathy for your girlfriend and I hope that she will explore ways to help herself, whether that is by trying a different medication, psychotherapy, self-help, support groups or some combination.

The hardest way to fight depression is to try to tackle it alone.
Thank you so much for the reply!

As a partner for someone with depression where do I look for a support group? Already I feel posting in the forum is helping me to understand but to hear in person other people’s experience will help even more

In regard to medication she’s was so proud of herself when she came of them. Like a weight was lifted. So I worry about suggesting to her going back on them. She’s tried talking to doctors before but she normally feels worse afterwards. She also looked into therapy but the only options she was offered was group therapy and she hates the idea of that. (And with covid now it’s online). She seems to have lost all faith in doctors.


thank you again for the reply
 
M

Mistral

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 28, 2011
Messages
501
Hi and welcome.

Supporting a family member, spouse or partner with depression is a very difficult undertaking. I'm foregrounding this because so many loved ones blame themselves when the don't perceive positive outcomes in spite of the sincerity of their efforts.
In support of anyone living with a mental illness, love alone is not enough.

As you asked for advice, I urge you to take care of yourself. You cannot pour from an empty cup. One form of caring for yourself is to find and attend support groups for friends and families of loved ones with mental health conditions. These groups exist to give caretakers support, to discuss your struggles, resentments, frustrations and what worked, what didn't. Depression doesn't just affect an individual it impacts the systems the individual is a part of-- families, friends, partners, communities and larger systems as well.

I feel empathy for your girlfriend and I hope that she will explore ways to help herself, whether that is by trying a different medication, psychotherapy, self-help, support groups or some combination.

The hardest way to fight depression is to try to tackle it alone.
This is good advice. You have to be be in a good place to help somebody through depression or any mental health problem. Get as much support for yourself as you can. You will effectively have to become a carer to a large degree and that might seem a bit unfair in that you will have to give a lot more than you receive. I have seen it from both sides as both a carer for someone with a mental illness and as a one-time sufferer of depression myself.
 
L

LG94

Member
Joined
Apr 6, 2021
Messages
6
Location
Uk
Hi Lewis I second what CabbageMama said. You are a fine fellow.

First, you must realize that you done nothing wrong. Your story is familiar to all of us. And to me, because I tried to push my lovely wife away when I was severely depressed. Her behavior is absolutely typical of a depressed person. She feels she is a burden on you and wants to give you a break.

In my opinion she needs to go on medication again. There are over 30 antidepressants to choose from. When a person who comes off AD has another depressive episode, it is a sure sign she needs to be on the stuff again.

My suggestion is to go to the doctor with her. Have a few notes written down of anything you may feel is relevant in case you or her forget on the spur of the moment.

To give you an insight into what anxiety and depression are all about, please download these four free audio talks by Dr. Claire Weekes. They are about 20 minutes in length. Listen together if possible.

Relax

I recently submitted a paper on mental health for a literary competition. I could send you a copy by private mail if you wish. Its short and to the point
Thank you for your advice and being able to relate!

I hope everything is going well with you now and that everything between you and your lovely wife are okay.

She keeps saying she is a burden and I keep trying to reassure her that she isn’t and that I just want her to happy. I just can’t seem to get through to her.

she’s was so proud of herself when she came of them. Like a weight was lifted. So I worry about suggesting to her going back on them. She’s tried talking to doctors before but she normally feels worse afterwards. How do I suggest to her about going back on them?

I will definitely listen to them and would love to read you paper. Any insight and way of expanding my knowledge. I think part of my struggle is not understanding because I’ve never been in the situation she’s in a the moment. Although I don’t know how to share email on here without making it public.

Thank you so much again.
 
C

CabbageMama

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 7, 2021
Messages
391
Location
UK
It’s good that you aren’t so far that coming home would be difficult if she wanted you to. Ok, off the top of my head, she wants the space, but it sounds like she is pushing you away as she feels bad about how she is for you. I would suggest you do what she has asked, but agree how you will stay in touch before you go. Reassure her that you want to work through it all with her, love her loads, appreciate she needs a little time, but you are only down the road if she needs a cuddle or some physical support.

When are you likely to be going? Have you got time to get out and buy a few little bits - a bath bomb, favourite chocolate bar, sweets, nice bottle of wine, some bits like that. Home based, you could leave a T-shirt you have worn that she could have in bed with her. Just wondered if you could hide bits with some little love/encouragement notes so that she knows you are thinking about her while you are away if she starts to feel wobbly. If you are good at hiding then they could be staggered, you just let her know where they are when you want to or think she needs a boost. Maybe some she will just happen upon. Away from home, you could order her favourite takeaway to be delivered one evening - tell her in the morning that she will be able to relax later on as it is arriving at whatever time. Send a couple of cards in the post? Flowers mid way?
 
F

fragrant_violet

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 29, 2021
Messages
208
Location
Tirana
Thanks for your thanks Lewis! 😀

Yep my wife is fine. She has had a harder life than she deserves being a carer for me on so many occasions.

Actually I don't have a copy saved of my paper but I can get hold if it in a couple of days. I don't need your private email, I'll send on the private message function here.

I came off medication for a whole year. Then I crashed again. Nobody wants to be on medication and I felt great when I stopped. I was able to convince myself that I was 'cured'. There are folk who literally only have one depressive episode in their life but I suspect they are a minority.

Their are long term side effects with all psychiatric medications which vary from person to person. But I think nearly all of us will agree that the side effects are nothing compared to the debilitating pain of depression.

If you download the four audios, depression is dealt with in the fourth one but its worth starting with the first for continuity. One audio deals with agoraphobia which is essentially a panic disorder. The relationship between anxiety and depression and their causes are so close that they are sometimes inseparable.

An important point that Dr. Claire makes is that very often, there is no cause. We can point to external factors such as workplace stress, but knowing the cause and dealing with the problem will not necessarily make you better.

It's going to be a long two weeks for the both of you but obviously you can keep in regular contact and let her know you are there whenever she needs you.

You will get all the help and support you need on this forum. So keep posting and letting us all know how you are both going
 
L

LG94

Member
Joined
Apr 6, 2021
Messages
6
Location
Uk
It’s good that you aren’t so far that coming home would be difficult if she wanted you to. Ok, off the top of my head, she wants the space, but it sounds like she is pushing you away as she feels bad about how she is for you. I would suggest you do what she has asked, but agree how you will stay in touch before you go. Reassure her that you want to work through it all with her, love her loads, appreciate she needs a little time, but you are only down the road if she needs a cuddle or some physical support.

When are you likely to be going? Have you got time to get out and buy a few little bits - a bath bomb, favourite chocolate bar, sweets, nice bottle of wine, some bits like that. Home based, you could leave a T-shirt you have worn that she could have in bed with her. Just wondered if you could hide bits with some little love/encouragement notes so that she knows you are thinking about her while you are away if she starts to feel wobbly. If you are good at hiding then they could be staggered, you just let her know where they are when you want to or think she needs a boost. Maybe some she will just happen upon. Away from home, you could order her favourite takeaway to be delivered one evening - tell her in the morning that she will be able to relax later on as it is arriving at whatever time. Send a couple of cards in the post? Flowers mid way?
I was contemplating writing her a letter before I go. Just letting her know how much I care and that I’m here for her if she needs me.

thanks for the great ideas. I was going to pack a few thing once I got home from work. I’ll see what I can sort in the mean time. Thank you again
 
L

LG94

Member
Joined
Apr 6, 2021
Messages
6
Location
Uk
Thanks for your thanks Lewis! 😀

Yep my wife is fine. She has had a harder life than she deserves being a carer for me on so many occasions.

Actually I don't have a copy saved of my paper but I can get hold if it in a couple of days. I don't need your private email, I'll send on the private message function here.

I came off medication for a whole year. Then I crashed again. Nobody wants to be on medication and I felt great when I stopped. I was able to convince myself that I was 'cured'. There are folk who literally only have one depressive episode in their life but I suspect they are a minority.

Their are long term side effects with all psychiatric medications which vary from person to person. But I think nearly all of us will agree that the side effects are nothing compared to the debilitating pain of depression.

If you download the four audios, depression is dealt with in the fourth one but its worth starting with the first for continuity. One audio deals with agoraphobia which is essentially a panic disorder. The relationship between anxiety and depression and their causes are so close that they are sometimes inseparable.

An important point that Dr. Claire makes is that very often, there is no cause. We can point to external factors such as workplace stress, but knowing the cause and dealing with the problem will not necessarily make you better.

It's going to be a long two weeks for the both of you but obviously you can keep in regular contact and let her know you are there whenever she needs you.

You will get all the help and support you need on this forum. So keep posting and letting us all know how you are both going
Bless her that’s a true testament of a strong woman.

Thats really impressive that you came off them for that long. From what I’ve been reading is that it’s not easy. I think I’ll have to try and suggest maybe she goes back on her medication or a different variant if after this 2 week period she’s still struggling and see how she feels about that. I just want whatever is best for her.

I was so nervous this morning about posting on here and already I think that hearing other people’s perspective has helped.
 
M

Mistral

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 28, 2011
Messages
501
No it is not easy to come off medication. I used to be on a very high dose of anti-depressants. When I came off these anti-depressants over a decade ago I was fortunate as was self-employed so I had no employer looking over my shoulder thinking that I needed to go on medication in order to do my work properly. I had also understanding relatives and friends who never once mentioned my medication even though they knew that I has on anti-depressants.
 
Bizzarebitrary

Bizzarebitrary

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 17, 2018
Messages
731
Location
California, US
As a partner for someone with depression where do I look for a support group?
I can't give very detailed information, that would depend entirely on geography. Perhaps begin with an internet search of friends and family of persons with depression also support groups for families and caregivers and go from there. You might also reach out to Mind.org and ask for help finding peer to peer support for family members who care for people with mental illnesses.

Your girlfriend's decision to discontinue medication is entirely hers to make regardless of my feelings about the usefulness of antidepressants.
Her dismissal of meds and therapy and doctors is concerning. Fighting depression alone without any supports gives the illness an unfair advantage and this is the hardest and least successful way to fight mental illness.

Hoping that depression will simply go away on its own or that things will somehow get better is an avoidance strategy--one that I and so many of us have done. "Learning The Painful Way", I call it. It sounds tragically unnecessary but that avoidance behavior has a purpose: Nobody with a mental illness can be helped if they don't want help.


Post script, for others who might be reading this thread: psychiatric medicine is not a crutch or something weird or unnatural.
If your brain doesn't produce sufficient neurotransmitters, store-bought is fine. 😘🤗
- Biz
 
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