coping with a depressed partner

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tilly20
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 8/21/2008 12:45 PM (GMT -7)   
i have been with my partner for eight years we have twin boys together and are due to get married next year with all booked. unfortunatly he has become increasingly depressed , not eating or sleeping does not want to do or go anywhere with the family and has started drinking heavily and being verably abussive towards me. i love him so much and have shouted cried talked listened begged pushed and threatened to leave but i seem to be getting no where. he says he doesnt need help and that only the weak get help but after a spell of drinking he cries non stop for two days pleading for help. he went to counciling once when he came out he thought he was cured and wouldnt go back. this has become so frustrating, its taking everything ive got just to deal with his mood swings. i have told him what its doing to me and our boys and that i am at risk of becoming depressed to. he has no friends as they say they have had enough of his ways and his family are starting to go like that but his mum is very good but it is me who is there when times get really bad and as much as i love him and know he hates being like this i dont think i can take it much more. with our wedding coming up i dont know whether to cancel it or keep planning in the hope he will get better. he tells me he loves me and wants to get married and that it would make him so happy but then the next day he hates me and wants to leave. i really am at my wits end and dont know where to turn some please help me.

getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 40573
   Posted 8/21/2008 1:07 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Tilly,

Welcome to Healing Well. This topic seems to be coming up a lot lately. You are not the only one with this situation, so I think you will get a lot of replies.

With your upcoming wedding on it's way, for now I would take it one day at a time. Though I know that you can't do that for too long. But for right now, I think it would be wise.

I think also it would be good if you start counseling, if you aren't already going. This can play heavy on your mind and I think it would be good for you to have that support system right now.

It is hard with a depressed partner, but all you can do is be there for him and recommend seeing a doctor or as you did, a therapist. We all know that you don't get cured in one visit. It can take a long time with extensive therapy.

I hope that you can get some relief from this stressor. It is not uncommon for this problem to occur. Like I say, there has been a lot of discussion about this on the forum, so you will most likely get a lot of replies.

Keep posting, we are here for you. You are welcome to post on the introduction thread, I will make sure that it is bumped up for you if you feel the desire to do so.

Have a wonderful day,
hugs, Karen
  Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia
 
fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression,allergies


Robyn-Michelle
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 26
   Posted 8/21/2008 5:30 PM (GMT -7)   
Do not stop believing in him.
My boyfriend had to deal with me like that. I truly meant when i said nice things to him... and I THOUGHT i meant the nasty things I said at the time, but I didn't. He doesn't mean the things that he says, this is the sickness talking. I said and did some awful things too.

My boyfriends constant encouragement and support almost guilted me into going to a doctor. He didn't complain, he just smiled and took care of me. However the turning point in my depression was when he left me...... I immedietly got my life on track to win him back. This is the only thing that worked, and the only thing that would have worked. It's hard for your fiance to think about anything but himself and pessimism. Just the way it is. Do not take things personally.

Let him know that you are there for him when he is ready, but until then you should probobly take your children and stay at a relatives. I'm sure you both may need some alone time together. Try this.

You cannot submit yourself to this if you cannot handle it. Be there for him if you must, but protect yourself as well. YOU and your children come first. Happy parents = happy children. Threatening to leave didn't work for me....I thought I wouldn't care, however when he DID leave I was forced to make the choice to get better or get worse.

Try making a home call for a doctor when he is raging, don't tell him. I wish someone would have done that for me. I was aware I needed to see a doctor, but somehow couldn't do it.

Protect yourself and your children. But ALWAYS be there when he needs you, when he gets angry or abusive or drunk. Walk away and tell him you want no part in this.

Sometimes it takes hitting rock bottom before you can look up. Thats what it took for me. It was the hardest time of my life but it was the best reality check i ever had.

Don't blame your husband for being sick, encourage him to get well. If not, your first priority is your children. This is my opinion and I hope it helps. Its a hard road but me and my boyfriend live together and have never been happier or more in love.

Posting on this website may help him as well, I understood I wasn't alone when i came here. Encourage him to post.

XoXo
The sun can't shine every day :)


Robyn-Michelle
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 26
   Posted 8/21/2008 5:32 PM (GMT -7)   
Whatever you do--- do NOT encourage alcohol abuse or let your children be around it. It is a crutch for him to lean on to feel better. He will most likely need help with this as well. Remember: He DOES want to feel better, he just doesn't know how yet, alcohol or drugs can cause HUGE dependancy when mixed with depression.
The sun can't shine every day :)


rzg
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 18
   Posted 8/21/2008 10:26 PM (GMT -7)   
"Remember: He DOES want to feel better, he just doesn't know how yet, alcohol or drugs can cause HUGE dependancy when mixed with depression."

I can second that. While I may not be at the extreme he is I know that I self-medicated for a long time. Asking for help is something I always wanted to do but never had the courage to do so until faced with the reality from my wife that our marriage could be over. I wish I could have gotten help before it came to this but at least I am facing it head on now.

Be strong for you and for him and for your kids. I wish the best for you all.

tilly20
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 8/25/2008 9:17 AM (GMT -7)   
thanks everyone for your replies its nice to know there are people out there that care and can take the time to listen. i have friends but they have heard it all before and are bored.
well he went to they doctor the other day and has rejoined his counciling again he also stared taking anti depressants and i caught him looking up depression on the internet and to me he never showed this interest. to me its like an alcoholic admitting he has a drink problem so its a step in the right direction.

getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 40573
   Posted 8/25/2008 10:54 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Tilly,
 
This is such good news, by going on the internet and looking up depression he will start to see the difference.  And have you ever noticed that a lot of times we don't even realize that we aren't feeling well until we start to feel better?  I am so very happy for you.  You have been supportive and handled this so well, it must help you to feel good to see that he is taking the first steps to getting better.  Keep up the good work.
 
I am glad that he started medication also.  Hopefully it wont be long until that starts working for him.  Then he will start improving even more.  Soon he will be back to the person that he was before.  Again, I am so happy for the two of you.
 
Best wishes for continued improvement in your situation.
 
Hugs, Karen
  Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia
 
fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression,allergies


stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 8/26/2008 8:08 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi Tilly,

This is great news and I am really happy for all of you.  Please be sure to take care of you too.  Together you will overcome the depression.

Gentle Hugs
Kitt



 

Kitt, Moderator: Anxiety/Panic & Depression
& GERD  Forums
*~*
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

Post Edited (stkitt) : 9/10/2008 9:35:18 AM (GMT-6)


FeelingGood
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 8/29/2008 1:43 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Tilly,

To give you a perspective from the other side, it's like being haunted by your own mind. I went through a similar experience with my last girlfriend -- one day wanting to be with her and everything being wonderful and a week later, trying to break up with her and push her away. Imagine that you're on a roller-coaster and feel totally out of control of yourself. Some days, you look at the person next to you and want to dedicate your life to their happiness. Other days, you feel trapped, incapable and hopeless -- what do I have to offer this person? Why do I feel like this? Is this ever going to get better?

It is important that he sees that the drinking numbs the pain yet like a credit card, it demands payment with emotional interest. When you're in the situation, it's terrible, it really is.

One thing that has really helped me is learning to not self-identify with it. To never say, "I am depressed" but to say, "There is depression present". His friends are tired of his actions however I would guess that they would love to have back an un-haunted version of him. And that is what he has to learn -- that he is not these mood-swings and he is not the torturous emotions that throw him around. He is still very alive and aware of the great things he has in his life -- yourself and children -- he just loses the ability to reach them sometimes.

As a partner, I know its tough. My last girlfriend left me in the midst of it because she just couldn't deal with it anymore. It says a lot about your capacity for love and strength as a person that you have made it this far with him. If you can be committed to helping him through -- so long as he continues to help himself -- you will have given him the greatest gift a partner can give. Relationships are often measured by the hard times because the easy times are, well, easy.

That's not to say give up your life and emotionally nurse him. I would say quite the contrary. I was with a previous girlfriend for two years and despite massively difficult situations, I never became depressed. When I would start getting low, she would plan heaps of things of friends and family and get us out of the house. She was savvy that girl because most of what she planned involved being far away from alcohol -- hikes, camping trips, canoeing, museum days, movie nights. I would get sad and throw myself around and she would just say, 'you can either sit here and feel like this or come out with me'. She was always supportive to a tee but made sure that she never drowned with me. For note, we parted ways due to different graduate school programs half a world apart.

I guess what I am saying is that it's not your responsibility to make him feel better directly. He has to make those steps for himself. What you can do (in my opinion and I am not a professional) is 1) take care of yourself and 2) be the bridge between him and the outside world. You can't make him change but you can encourage him to join you in the wonderful life that you both have and he just has to work a little bit on seeing.

I would suggest the book 'Feeling Good' by Dr. David Burns for you and him. For you, it may help you understand depression and anxiety and for him, if he follows the directions, it can provide substantial relief from the haunting in as little as a month. Also, for you, there are communication tips in there of how not to add fuel to the fire and cut off the negative conversations.

getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 40573
   Posted 8/29/2008 7:03 AM (GMT -7)   
I have that book, it is wonderful. I read it back in the 80's and finally found it again. It is like a bible to me. Keeps my head above water. Wonderful input FeelingGood.

Bless you,

Best wishes for a wonderful and fullfilling day,

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


stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 8/29/2008 3:14 PM (GMT -7)   

Hello Tilly,

You may want to check our Resources list to the right of this post.  You can find lots of good info and it has all been compiled by our Administrator.

Let us know how you are doing.

Hugs
Kitt


 

Kitt, Moderator: Anxiety/Panic & Depression
& GERD  Forums
*~*
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


Vickster
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 9/8/2008 6:09 PM (GMT -7)   

Tilly I would just like to say I have gone through a very similar situation with my boyfriend.  However, he turned to drugs as well as the alcohol to cope with the depression.   It took him a couple months before he turned to help, but in the midst of getting up was still using.  His last episode, 3 months ago was sooo bad I had to call 911. Not only was he physically hurting himself, he also took it out on me.  It took having him charged for him to hit rock bottom.

Now he is fully committed to his therapy and completely off the drugs and alcohol and coping with everything with a clear head.  He apologized for everything he has put me through and tells me his he wants to have me back in his life.  He now has goals, puts himself first instead of others etc.

Here is my dilemma, can someone really change????  My friends are telling me not to trust him that it is a form a manipulation.  My therapist says to do what feels right. My heart tells me that things are on the right track, but feedback with others who've had a similar experience would be great. 

 


getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 40573
   Posted 9/8/2008 7:42 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Vickster,

Welcome to HealingWell. I am happy that you have found us.

I have to say that if your boyfriend is clean and sober, he could have possibly changed. I believe that you should follow your heart on this one. If it is a form of manipulation, you will soon know it and then you can end the relationship if you feel that you need to. It is so hard for me to give you advice being I don't know him, but I have been in a situation where the person was abusive while drinking. When he quit, he never touched me and we had a 23 year relationship until he died of cancer. So yes, people can change when they are not using substances or alcohol. But it does take a lot of work building your trust back up. And knowing in your heart the right thing to do. Also it will take a lot of work on his part. He has to change his whole lifestyle and that is a job to do. I wish you all the best, keep posting and let us know how things are going.

Hugs, Karen
  Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia
 
fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression,allergies


Vickster
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 9/9/2008 3:46 AM (GMT -7)   

Thanks Karen for the kind words and sharing your experience.  I am very glad to hear from someone else who has had a similar experience.  It is not always listening to your heart, but your gut as well.  Always need to go with the first instinct.

 


getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 40573
   Posted 9/9/2008 7:03 AM (GMT -7)   
Vickster,

I agree, go with your gut instinct. I think in most cases that is the right thing to do. It is so hard in a situation like this, because it is so hard to be objective. One day at a time is about all that we can do. So you might have to go at a snails pace, but you will get there.

Best wishes for a wonderful day.

Hugs, Karen
  Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia
 
fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression,allergies


stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 9/10/2008 8:49 AM (GMT -7)   

Vickster

Hello and welcome to Healing Well, we do have a thread for new members to post a bit about themselves so if you would like to post in there.

Now, I believe you have to go with what your instinct is telling you.

There are some things you can do to decide if you are in the wrong relationship and if you need to get out.

Is your partner abusive? If your partner has abused you in the past, he probably will do so again in the future.

Has your partner cheated on you? For some people this is unforgivable. If your partner has cheated on you you need to decide if you will be able to forgive him or not.

Are you happy in the relationship? Sit back for a moment and think to yourself 'Am I happy in my relationship?' If you are happy, then great! If you're not happy then you need to ask another question. Ask yourself 'Can I foresee myself ever being happy in this relationship?'

Just food for thought.  I support your decisions and I do hope he has changed. I believe that people can change.

Again welcome and gentle hugs

Kitt


 


 

Kitt, Moderator: Anxiety/Panic & Depression
& GERD  Forums
*~*
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


SpiritualStuffing
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 9/10/2008 4:09 PM (GMT -7)   
tilly20 said...
i have been with my partner for eight years we have twin boys together and are due to get married next year with all booked. unfortunatly he has become increasingly depressed , not eating or sleeping does not want to do or go anywhere with the family and has started drinking heavily and being verably abussive towards me. i love him so much and have shouted cried talked listened begged pushed and threatened to leave but i seem to be getting no where. he says he doesnt need help and that only the weak get help but after a spell of drinking he cries non stop for two days pleading for help. he went to counciling once when he came out he thought he was cured and wouldnt go back. this has become so frustrating, its taking everything ive got just to deal with his mood swings. i have told him what its doing to me and our boys and that i am at risk of becoming depressed to. he has no friends as they say they have had enough of his ways and his family are starting to go like that but his mum is very good but it is me who is there when times get really bad and as much as i love him and know he hates being like this i dont think i can take it much more. with our wedding coming up i dont know whether to cancel it or keep planning in the hope he will get better. he tells me he loves me and wants to get married and that it would make him so happy but then the next day he hates me and wants to leave. i really am at my wits end and dont know where to turn some please help me.
 

:-)  

Wecome Tilly!!

I agree with everyone.

From what I’ve seen, this is very common.

Trying to reach folks who are discouraged and despondent is frustrating and bewildering.

 

With someone who is apathetic and unmotivated, it’s hard to find grounds for inspiration and engagement.

I have experienced that with family members and friends, as well as with my wife.

 

Then, I read a really great book by Peter Breggin called, “The Heart of Being Helpful.”

In that book, Dr. Breggin describes approaches that appeal to the person we are trying to reach, on grounds that are interesting to them.

As irrational or out-of-touch those grounds may seem to us, sometimes it is our only starting point.

 

We engage them on their dim and narrow grounds, nurturing their interests (however irrational) and cultivating their inspiration, and then very slowly drawing them into a wider realm of brighter strategies and encouraging alternatives.

It helps to have brighter strategies and encouraging alternatives ready and on hand when he is ready to consider them.

Therefore, part of Dr. Breggin’s counsel is develop our own repertoire as well.

 

You partner is very fortunate to have your support and efforts on his side.

Pray for help and guidance.
 
:-)  

Vickster
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 9/10/2008 5:24 PM (GMT -7)   

Thanks Kitt.

I must say I was extremely happy when he was happy, not feeling depressed.  I shut him out of my life for a few months after his last episode (instigated by the drugs/alcohol he was taking), now that the door has opened again things seem better then when we first got together.  He is seeing a therapist, established goals for himself, understands the effects of drugs/alcohol to the body (will not even take Tylenol for a headache), learning to deal with stress and taking care of himself first before anyone else.

He verbally abusive towards me when he was on the drugs/alcohol but never sober.  He was physically abusive to himself and had to call 911 that day of his last episode.  I feared he was going to die on me.  I had him charged with assault because of the verbal abuse I put up with.

Now that he has been clean & sober for 4 months, therapist regularly (in person once a week and phone discussions when needed) I enjoy talking to him.  Just the sound of hearing his voice always puts a smile on my face.  I enjoy spending our time with him, we have so much in common and are in tune with eachother...we finish each others sentences etc.).  We have been together for less than one year.  Everything seems fine right now, but I am concerned that he might relapse and turn back to the drugs/alcohol to cope again.  It scars me to see another episode like the last.

 

 


SpiritualStuffing
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 9/10/2008 5:58 PM (GMT -7)   
Vickster said...

Tilly I would just like to say I have gone through a very similar situation with my boyfriend.  However, he turned to drugs as well as the alcohol to cope with the depression.   It took him a couple months before he turned to help, but in the midst of getting up was still using.  His last episode, 3 months ago was sooo bad I had to call 911. Not only was he physically hurting himself, he also took it out on me.  It took having him charged for him to hit rock bottom.

Now he is fully committed to his therapy and completely off the drugs and alcohol and coping with everything with a clear head.  He apologized for everything he has put me through and tells me his he wants to have me back in his life.  He now has goals, puts himself first instead of others etc.

Here is my dilemma, can someone really change????  My friends are telling me not to trust him that it is a form a manipulation.  My therapist says to do what feels right. My heart tells me that things are on the right track, but feedback with others who've had a similar experience would be great. 

 

 

Hi vickster!

 

Welcome!

 

I’m no expert, but I think the best way to tell if he is serious about staying off alcohol and drugs is the evaluate how much he really wants to be alcohol and drug free.

Some ways to tell are, ‘how enthusiastic is he about his therapy?’ Is he practicing his therapists advice?

If he goes to a 12 step program, is he trying to actually work the steps, or is he just talking about them?

I believe he deserves the benefit of the doubt in terms of trust as long as you believe he is making a sincere effort.

 

Therapy and programs only work as well as the person.

 

There is an old light-bulb joke that really makes the point:

 

How many programs does it take to change a light-bulb?

Only one, but the light bulb has to really want to change.

 


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