re: struggling to support a depressed loved one...

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lilee1
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 7/24/2008 4:15 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello everyone,
 
My boyfriend's struggle with depression is taking its toll on me. He attended a private session with a therapist who suggested he attend a depression awareness class. We attended this class together over the past month, but he has yet to reschedule any more one-on-one therapy because he thought the last doctor he saw was incompetent. The class offered some good advice but is meant only as a supplement. How can I encourage him to seek more help? 
 
Sometimes his mood is normal and we joke together just like we used too. Other times he gets irritable and negative. When he snaps at me, I just get so hurt and frustrated. I don't really know what to say either when he complains about about how horrible everything is. I just talked to him on the phone, and he told me he can't take the stress of his work anymore and is going to quit. Financially, he cannot afford to leave without having another job lined up. I tried to convince him to hold off and try to find something new first, but he just asked me, "What's the point? How can I possibly find a new job when I'm like this?" I am so tired of being dragged down emotionally and don't know if I'll be able to handle a financial burden too. I just feel so incredibly overwhelmed. I would appreciate any advice at all. Thanks everyone.
 
     

Robyn-Michelle
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 26
   Posted 7/24/2008 4:34 PM (GMT -7)   
I was once that person in someones life.

However he threatened to leave me (and did for a while), This made me get my life in order.
All I wanted was to be comforted, I was hard to get along with, and I hated basically everything possible and always had some comment to make. I could not keep a job, and was a huge financial burden.

The only thing that worked for me was realizing that he would leave and that it IS possible to be independant.
The main factor for me was medication. I started taking anti depressants and am feeling so much better.

You can't force someone to change, all the love and support you are giving should not go unnoticed. When i realized the way I had treated my boyfriend it was awful. It's like having a haze in front of your eyes that you can't see through.

when he left me, I literally lost my mind and threw everything he owned outside. I was savage. However this was a part of me hitting rock bottom and realizing my mistakes. After getting on medication though I still had to get my body back in shape (exercising, eating right, vitamins) This is a HUGE part of getting over depression as I was doing literally nothing for months. I had no energy and had to work hard to get my body back.

Your baby has to WANT to change.
The advice of one of his close friends would also help him listen more. Maybe ask someone close to him to talk to it about it? (I always thought my boyfriends opinion was null and void for some reason, outside opinions really helped me realize.)

Hope this helps in some way!
The sun can't shine every day :)


stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 7/24/2008 8:21 PM (GMT -7)   
 
Welcome to HealingWell.  You've come to the right place to find people that have a good idea of what you're going through.

Depression is a horrible illness and if he isn't getting better on medication, chances are he will only get worse and then at some point end up in the hospital or in some in patient care where they will put him on meds until they find a combo that works.
 
As for you personally, he is acting the way that depressed people act.  We turn against the people we love because it is so emotionally overwhelming to deal with any other person.  You can't begin to understand how much pain he is in.  It's like being buried alive.  You can't get out, you are in a total panic, and yet you are expected to act as if nothing is wrong.  

I would encourage him to go back to his physician and get help.  I know this is really rough on you and you may at some point need to choose if you can stay in this relationship but for now if you could hang on a bit, he can receive help throgh therapy, and medication.

Keep posting and know we are here for you.

Gentle Hugs to you

Kitt



 

Kitt, Moderator: Anxiety, Panic & Depression 
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Not a mental health professional of any kind
It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.~Mahatma Gandhi~
Clickable Link: Anxiety-Panic Resources


lilee1
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 7/25/2008 9:17 AM (GMT -7)   
Robyn-Michelle and Kitt,

Thanks for giving me some hope. I guess one of the reasons I feel so overwhelmed is because I feel like I'm one of the only major sources of support for him. Even he agrees---his few close friends don't live in the area and his family has limited contact with him due to differences in religious beliefs. Last night he seemed fine again, but after being at work for a few hours this morning, he had something of a panic attack and left work abruptly. This is all so erratic and frightening for me to see, but he also asked me to go with him to schedule an appointment with a therapist when he gets home. So, I'm hopeful, but I can't say that any of this is easy. I really appreciate all your encouragement. It makes me feel hopeful again.

getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 40567
   Posted 7/25/2008 11:55 AM (GMT -7)   
Being that he is wanting to go to a therapist is good. So you are heading in the right direction. Just be patient, these things don't move really fast. It is a process that has to go slowly.

You are such a good person to be there for him. Your kindness and compassion will help pull him through. I am sure about this.

Best wishes,
Karen...
  Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia
 
fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression,allergies


stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 7/28/2008 10:41 AM (GMT -7)   

This is great news that he has asked you to go with.  It will help you understand the disorder so much better.  Just keep an open mind and you will need others to help support him as you cannot be the only one.  It will drain you and you need to take care of you.

Good Luck and my prayers go out for you.

Kitt


 

Kitt, Moderator: Anxiety, Panic & Depression 
*~*
http://www.healingwell.com/donate *~*
Not a mental health professional of any kind
It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.~Mahatma Gandhi~
Clickable Link: Anxiety-Panic Resources


lilee1
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 7/29/2008 10:54 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks, everyone, for all your support. I'll try to take care of me too. My boyfriend went in to see the doctor and has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. They've put him on lithium and wellbutrin. He's taken the week off from work and just started his meds. Of course I'm not expecting any instant results, but I try to stay hopeful. Things are stressful because I'm worried about us moving in together in the next few weeks. Horrible timing, I know... confused I'll be starting grad school in the next month and am frightened that either things won't get better or that they'll get much worse. Needless to say, I've had a lot of doubts. I worry that with the added stress of school I won't be able to deal. I think about him quiting his job and leaving me scrounging to pay rent with my student loans. And then...feeling incredibly selfish for thinking all these horrible, unsupportive thoughts. Yikes. On a positive note, I know he's been through a lot in life and has already made an effort in seeking treatment. I just have to have patience and do my best to help him through this. Thank you all for lending your ears---er, eyes---I mean. :-) I haven't spoken to any friends or family about this yet. I'm so glad I've found this forum and feel relieved to find people who understand.       

djdaz_1985
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 2408
   Posted 7/30/2008 3:21 AM (GMT -7)   

Hiya,

My sister has also been diagnosed with Bi-Polar disorder and started Lithium yesterday! What a coincidence! Lithium is a well tested drug and although its old, it has a good track record. I hope things improve for both of you.

Darren


Everyone has a guardian angel. They help pick you up when you fall, comfort you through your times of need and help you appreciate the times when things are going well.
 
"A gold medal is a wonderful thing. But if your not enough without it, you will never be enough with it." - Irvine Blitzer (John Candy) in Cool Runnings
 
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Co-Moderator - Depression Forum
 
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Aurora60
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1249
   Posted 7/30/2008 10:13 AM (GMT -7)   

Lilee, I know you are  trying to be supportive and help your boyfriend through this difficult time. I think it is good you got him to a therapist and on meds.  I want to give you some advice that you are probably not going to like but it is true.  Are you planning marriage to him?  You say you are going back to school and have student loans and you may have to support him financially.  Are you going to take out more student loans for this?  If you have student loans you can never stop paying them and if you don't pay your monthly payments the loan may get an increased interest rate.  If you don't pay you will be in default.  If you have private student loans they can charge you 15 - 16% interest rate.  If you ever declare bankruptcy you may not do so on a student loan.  It is something you have to pay always. I don't think it is a good idea for you to move in with your boyfriend at this time.  You need to take care of yourself and get yourself through school.  If things don't work out with him are you going to put yourself in debt for the rest of your life?  I know this sounds very harsh but times are very tough right now with the economy and if you are not going to marry this man and spend the rest of your life with him you have to be a little selfish right now.  Maybe it is time for him to contact his family and see if they can give him some emotional support.  If they understand his diagnosis maybe they will be more willing to help him through this difficult time.  If you get into debt it will affect your credit score and if that happens you may not even be able to rent an apartment.  I hope you will consider what I have told you and think all of this through very carefully.  Sorry to be so hard on you - I don't want you to be put in a bad position.  It might be time for you to contact your family and get their advice. They may be able to help you think this through more carefully.  I'm sure your family will want what is best for you.  I know you may not agree with me but I don't want to see you suffer.  Take good care and post on what you are doing.

Aurora


lilee1
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 8/5/2008 10:54 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Aurora,
 
Thanks for your advice. It feels really nice to have someone looking out for you. I am so grateful. My boyfriend has been on his medication for just over a week now. I'm not sure if it works that quickly, but he seems to be a bit better. Maybe his week off from work is the major cause. Anyhow, I brought up my worries about moving in with him (both financial and emotional). He assured me that he wouldn't leave his job without finding another one first, and so far he's doing everything he can regarding treatment. I hope I'm not being naive, but I decided to go ahead with the move-in. If things get very bad, I will step back, but for now I have a lot of hope and want a future with him. Nevertheless, I'll be very careful to take some of your advice and try not to sacrifice myself too much in the process either.

ShynSassy
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 3036
   Posted 8/6/2008 4:48 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Lilee

I just wanted to chime in here and tell you that most meds will take 4-6 weeks to take full effect.

So, hopefully after that time he will feel alot better.
I know that he hates feeling this way,it is not something that we want to wake up too each morning.
And it is not fair to you that he snaps at you ect ect...but, he can't show his feelings to anyone else,and therefore he trusts you to being able to show them.

Hang in there, better days are to come!
Shy


Mod- Depression

Chronic Depression, Panic Attacks,Anxiety Attacks,Anorexia

Please remember,I am not a professional..I am just a person who is also fighting depression.


I know I'm in my own little world, but it's ok. They know me here.

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