Dealing with depression and relationships....

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Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 4031
   Posted 5/21/2007 12:32 PM (GMT -6)   
I have seen many posts here about people having difficulty dealing with personal relationships due to depression.  There has also been new members that have posted about the other side of the coin, dealing with someone who has depression.  I thought perhaps it would be a good idea to try to start a thread where some of us can post about this topic.  Just to throw out ideas and stuff.  Strenghtin1...Keep posting your ideas and advice are always welcome here.  Faithful you too.
I know that in my life depression has touched and affected my personal relationships, destroyed my reasoning and has caused me to inflict hurt onto others.  I am a very good isolator so when my depression hits I push people away, I just want to be on my own. 
It is scary for me now because I have came out of a nasty divorce 3 years ago and havent really dated anyone since.  However, I have started to see someone isnt serious but, it is someone whom I used to seriously date when I was 18, he was my first "real love" so there are some feelings there for me.  I would like to think I have the skills now to control my depression, and behavior with it but I am still unsure.  I take medication and stick to it but those thoughts are always there.  I guess it will always be an issue for me...I just dont want to screw this up.
It's weird, I dont normally post things about myself...

Co~Mod: Depression
Moderator: Heart & Cardiovascular Disease

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 1366
   Posted 5/21/2007 12:55 PM (GMT -6)   
My depression definitely takes a toll on my relationships, whether with friends (hence the fact that I now have none) or with my boyfriend. He frequently gets frustrated because of my irrational fears and crying over the tiniest things. He's very loving and supportive, but I know one can only take so much... I mean, if I can hardly stand being around myself, I can't expect anyone else to want to be, right?

Even though sometimes he makes things worse by not being able to understand and I get frustrated with him in return, I honestly don't know what I would do without him.
Female, 21, Ulcerative colitis (pancolitis) since 1999; GERD; gastritis; osteopenia from long term prednisone use

Currently taking 7.5mg of prednisone (down from 40! Almost done...)
Waiting to start back on Azathioprine...

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 4031
   Posted 5/22/2007 11:17 AM (GMT -6)   

Yeah I can understand the fustration.  My ex husband was totally fustrating!!  Most of the time it seemed he wasnt interested in anything I was going through, he didnt want me taking antidepressants even though without them I was in a really bad way.  When he did spend time to listen and try to understand it always seemed that somehow it got twisted in his brain and later used against me somehow.

Basically, I just stopped talking to him about things I was going through or feeling.  We were together for almost 12 years, 5 of them married.  BIG mistake, I know nono ....Guess it was a lession I needed to learn.  It is so hard being with someone who is not supportive of you when you have depression..but even worst when they arent supportive when you have a medical illness thrown on top of all that.  I changed and he couldnt handle the fact that life wasnt all rosie and perfect.


Co~Mod: Depression
Moderator: Heart & Cardiovascular Disease

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 23
   Posted 5/22/2007 1:34 PM (GMT -6)   

I know what you guys are talking about. Before depression I was one to open up to anyone about any issues I was happening. Now however, when I get my anxiety and depressed, I do not want to let anyone know. Its weird like that. Its taken a strain on my relationship with my boyfriend on my side. He is really supportive, but I haven't been the same girfriend I used to be, which gets me even more upset. Wish depression didnt do that...


New Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 5/22/2007 8:56 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Els,
It sounds like you've come a really long way. It's obvious you're not the same person you use to be. You know a lot more now and just as important, you have a good idea what to look for so you can head it off at the pass.
I hope you give yourself enough credit for the person you've become.

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 213
   Posted 5/23/2007 3:03 AM (GMT -6)   

Wow Elisha

You could have been writing that on my behalf - the only difference being my divorce wasn't nasty luckily - after 25 years I am grateful for that, but everything else............. whoa lol

I have started dating, then freaked out and stopped, then started and stopped.  I thinkkkkk I am ready now, but will take things really slowly.  You have an advantage with it being someone you used to date.

Very best wishes to you - hope it all goes nicely.



They say life is a bowl of cherries........... we just have to learn how to spit out the pips!

New Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 5/24/2007 4:54 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Hardspacecore,
The message you wrote, could be me?.....I spend over ten years on my own, as I too drove away my last partner through my crying and behaviour.He  wasnt caring and didnt want to understand.
I now have another loving partner whom i fear I will also drive away, because of my behaviour and the crying over the most stupid things.
I feel like the harder I try to beat it, the worst I get...and I often think ...why me???

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 649
   Posted 5/24/2007 6:52 PM (GMT -6)   
Truthfully, I think when people leave us, it's not because they don't care, it's that they're so frustrated they can't fix us so they give up. Particularly men. They're raised to be strong and solution-driven, so it's that much more difficult for them when they really can't help.

Both me and my husband suffer from depression. I was the first to finally get medical help for it a few years ago. How I WISH I had done it years before. about that time, hubby got laid off from his job of 20 years, and finally admitted that he woke up every morning wondering which gun he was going to use to blow his brains out. He refused to see the doctor. He was stuck in that "pull yourself up by the boostraps" and "you shouldn't need a pill to make you feel better" mentality. After seeing what a few months on lexapro did for me, he finally saw the doc. Two years of lexapro took the edge off, but not enough. For some reason, he was afraid to tell the doc it wasn't really working. It took testimonials from friends who take zoloft for him to make the change, and what a difference! I've got my husband back.

Throughout our battles with depression, I've had some serious health issues that finally necessitated my leaving the workforce. I look back on it all and marvel that our marriage held together. Ultimately, we've been able to support each other when we needed it in our own separate crises. What more can a person ask? I don't know if a partner without depression himself could have stood it.
Living in the Republic of Texas minus a gallbladder, a couple of cervical discs, appendix, uterus, and 18" of colon; but living with my wonderful husband, 2 dogs, 1 cockatiel, and 2 gold fish. 

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 870
   Posted 5/26/2007 1:08 PM (GMT -6)   
:-)  Elisha~
(((((HUGS))))))for the fact that you are a wonderful person!!!!!
Yes, as Elisha says there are so many faces to depression and how it effects relationships.  My posts on this forum have been I guess you can say "you could write a book" material.  Depression is a horrible enemy that can destroy not only you as a person but it can also destroy a person that you consider the strongest person in the world.  It takes no prisoners and leaves victims everywhere.  The reason I say that is yes it destroyed one of the most important people in my life and I live with that every day.  The other side to that is not only did it destroy him, it destroyed the people that he loved and held dear, his family.  I say this because his family became part of me as well.  I experienced a love from a family that wasnt mine that was unimaginable.  I know that you always hear the stories about inlaws and how awful that realm of relationships are but I want to share a different perspecive on this if i may.
How depression effects your extended family.  I feel that this is a powerful topic that is never really looked.  I encourage you to consider what I have to say if you are going through situations where you are trying to tame the monster depression and have the courage to get better.  That is great but what you may encounter is that people may not share the same positive outlook as you do.  Now this is important, so really, really listen.  The reason that you are not going to be easily accepted back into the hearts of those that loved you is because of the pain depression did, NOT YOU!!!! 
 I have experienced this and want you to know that I am able to understand why people that love the person that I hurt, are indeed having a hard time in understanding my passion to get better.  There are going to be people in this world that will offer the one you love the stability that you were not able to give.  This is a painful realization but it is true.  It always seems that these people find our loved ones and make an impression of stability to not only them but their families.  Although it is devastating to us, it is a positive to the family that has watched our depression tear apart everything "they" as family knew.  They actually find comfort in the fact that now their loved one has gotten rid of that "depressed" person and found this wonderful, healthy, usually attractive person and they will no longer worry about depression in their world.
Now, let me must understand first that this family does not hate you or is glad that you are no longer part of them....that is further from the truth!!!!Let me ask you this,,,,,If you were given a magic wand and you could stand in front of them and explain that now with the wave of this wand, you would be the same person they first met, the only thing is that now there would be no depression and you could guarantee that depression would not be the reason that they were "glad" to see you go, would they not at least consider accepting you because of that fact alone? 
The answer to this question can depend on alot of different things.  The one thing I want to impress on you is that "YOU" are not the reason the family is having a hard time accepting you back into their lives if that is the issue.  It is the fact that they are scared of seeing the pain again that was ultimately caused by "you" via the depression.  My suggestion is this, understand how the family feels after all, arent you afraid of the depression?  Imagine watching it destroy your child.  That is exactly what people see when their grown child is involved with someone with depression.  Sad but true.
I know I have rambled but I am indeed passionate about this.  How many people up until this post considered this a reason that their inlaws are unaccepting of their attempt to be part of their family again?
I am not sure if anyone else can add substance to this, I am hoping that maybe strengthn1 may be able to add some guidance.   I can do it from the understanding of a depressed person wanting to be a part of a family's life that meant so much to her.  Maybe others can comment on the stance from being part of a family that is on the other side of the coin.
Overwhelmed?  I know but does it strike home?

"Faith is knowing you're in control
when your life is falling apart,
Faith is in that quiet assurance
I feel deep within my heart".

Post Edited (faithfully4you) : 5/26/2007 12:15:22 PM (GMT-6)

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 22
   Posted 6/13/2007 4:52 PM (GMT -6)   



I'm sorry I have not responded earlier to you comments regarding the feedback from some that does NOT have depression but has lived with a loved one that does.  Faithfully4you commented on how the family of the "Healthy" (and I use that word loosly!) partner tries to cope w/ their son's mate who has depression.  For me I knew very little about depression when I first met my Girlfriend who had depression.  It was a journey that I thought I was prepared for but realized very quickly that I was not prepared for.  I never thought anything could knock me down b/c I had never been knocked down.  Never in my career, my focus on anything I ever tried to achieve.  Nothing.  Then one day I came across this Monster called depression.  I was not prepared at all.  I had the love of my life that showed me a side of me that I thought I had lost w/ all my past bad relationships, etc.  I felt like I could overcome anything w/ her in my life so why would this thing called depression be any different since I would do anything to keep anything, including this thing called depression from hurting her.  Over three years later I sit here beat, battered, mentally exhausted, half full of life, upset at the world, fake, numb and confused as to what the **** has happened to me.  During all this my family was experiencing this play act out in front of them which saw their son go from the top of the world w/ someone he finally found comfort in to someone they no longer understand.  They do not understand why I continue to hold on when my world was ripped apart.  Truly I don't even know.  For them to see this women thru my eyes is way to much for them to handle.  Understand though, they do not blame my Exgirfriend, they know it's the depression that caused this change in their son but they also know it was attached to my Ex.  With her gone they felt safe again in knowing that I may be OK.  Locking the liquor cabinet does not eliminate the desire to drink.  Her being out of site did not mean out of mind.  Everyone is impacted by this disease.  My parents did and do not hate my Ex but rather they hated what her illness did to me.  They saw me hurt and they in turn hurt.  DOn't blame yourself for them not understanding, it's the illness they need to better understand.  I don't blame my Ex for many of the things that tore us apart.  I blamed the depression.  Keep in mind though.  Don't fall in the trap of blaming everything on the depression b/c this can and will create more problems for you.  I say this not out of disrespect but you need to always try to separate the two.  Fight your depression hard every time it rears it's ugly head but take ownership of those things that you can change or your actions that you can control that are NOT related to depression.  I want to post a poem that I wrote to my Ex when I was at the peak of being upset at what this depression was doing to me and my family.  I will try to post it today.  Thank you again for allowing me to help explain the "other side of depression"  As always I truly believe that those w/ depression are Heros for what you have to fight every day.  My God bless everyone of you and hears your prayers.

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