Does it get better???? Need serious advice....

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Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 23
   Posted 8/28/2007 8:43 PM (GMT -6)   
Involved with clinically depressed man. He is under treatment. Yet, I he has had a suicide attempt one year ago. It was a very serious attempt.  I care deeply for this man. He was in-patient then outpatient treatment. I notice he drinks liqour and smokes. I do not drink, nor smoke and have never experienced depression. I have an eleven year old son, and I just don't know what to do. I have a MS in Psychology and have been an outpatient therapist so I know the textbook stuff with depression. BF did not reveal any of this until a couple of months after dating. What can I do to hold this relationship together?? Ultimatum-quit drinking and smoking then go to counseling with me. Any advice???? I really need it.
I am sorry but I have edited your post here due to just the mention of it being graphic.  Any discussion regarding suicide is against forum rule #1.  Thank you.  Elisha
1. No discussion of any illegal activity or threats of violence. (ie. illicit drug use, including medical marijuana use, threats of suicide or self-injury, or threatened or intended physical harm).  Discussions of suicide or self-harm that are deemed negative and therefore potentially injurious to others are also not permitted.

Post Edited By Moderator (els) : 8/30/2007 6:45:30 PM (GMT-6)

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 424
   Posted 8/28/2007 11:56 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Ann,

Wow, that's a heart breaking situation. The first thing that comes to mind is that this could be a long journey ahead for your boyfriend, and hence, for you, if you stick in there. I'm thinking you'll want to count the cost, and see if you feel you have it in yourself to go the distance and if you love him and believe in this relationship enough to do so.

My hubby drank when we were first married. Not all day, but he was an alcoholic. One night he was drunk and he told me the next day that that night he felt the chasm that was between us because of it. He saw what his drinking was doing to me and to us and he quit cold turkey. I don't know if that helps, but that's my experience. He was able to quit because of love. Everyone finds their own path out of addictions and I don't know what it will look like for your bf, but somehow I think my husband found that our love could fill him up more than the alcohol. But I don't think it's always that clear cut.

Does your bf know what is behind the depression and the drinking? Getting to the root sounds pretty necessary as something must be running real deep for him to be engaging in self destructive behaviors. In any case, I think at some point you will need to lay down an ultimatum for your own well being - I don't know if when you say he drinks, he has an addiction, but if so, Dr. Phil I think it was said when someone has an addiction, you're not just dating them, but their addiction, and that's one too many in the relationship. I don't know where your bf is at on his journey to know if now is the right time for an ultimatum? But he needs to know his behavior is hurting you. And especially, if it is affecting your son negatively, then you need to take measures to protect your kid. He needs a positive role model etc.

As for his struggle with depression, I hope he'll keep reaching out for answers. Sometimes depression is just a symptoms of something else - other disorders can be mixed in, repressed trauma - you probably know about all that being you have your MS in Psych.

On a practical note, I think asking him to go to counseling with you would be a good start. As long as he's willing to do the work, there is hope, and if there is hope, you have a reason to keep on trucking and see where things go...

Oh, you asked if it gets better... hmm... my husband was depressed, diagnosed with borderline personality disorder and is also dissociative. Whew, eh! At the five year point I was exhausted and at the six year point I wanted out of the marriage, and then suddenly he hit an upswing, and now after seven years together, he is a different man. He got on meds, but he also began to have his eyes opened about his behaviors and to begin to really grasp things that he wasn't getting before. That I see as the grace of God in his life (and, consequently, mine). So it can get better, but like I started by saying, it can also mean a long, hard journey, and not without cost, commitment from both persons and lots of love.

all the best, manyembers

Post Edited (manyembers) : 8/28/2007 11:04:50 PM (GMT-6)

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 23
   Posted 8/29/2007 6:14 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks Mary. There maybe light at the end of the tunnel. I will weigh all the options and consider heavily what you have given me to think about. God bless. Ann

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 424
   Posted 8/29/2007 8:15 PM (GMT -6)   
God bless you too Ann. I really wish you all the best, mb

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 4031
   Posted 8/30/2007 8:01 PM (GMT -6)   

Hi Ann, Welcome to the Depression forum of Healing Well. 

I worked in mental health for many years in addition to having depression and anxiety/panic disorder myself.  It can be easily hidden from those you chose not to show it to.  I do have to admit though that I find it a bit surprising that with you having a Master's and practicing outpatient therapy that you would wonder if an ultimatum would work here.

I believe that all that would do is push him further away.  As I am sure you know...when someone has depression drinking only makes the depression worse but, in the person they don't feel this.  The drinking (they usually think) numbs the pain they are feeling even though it is doing so much more harm.  I think you need to sit down with him and have a serious discussion regarding this.  Has he been treated for depression in the past?  Is he willing to be treated now?  Would he be willing to see a psychiatrist?  As these are the type of doctors that he should be seen by.  Does he realize that his drinking is out of control and it bothers you?

These are all questions/factors that you will need to take into consideration and you will have to talk to him like his GF not a therapist.  Also, I am not so sure I would bring up the smoking issue right now.  Yeah, it is terrible for him to be doing and I know for someone who doesn't smoke it is just disgusting but for right now getting his head straight and stopping drinking is going to take all of his effort.  You don't want to come at him like your trying to change everything about know?

Please do post again and let us know how things go

Co~Mod: Depression
Moderator: Heart & Cardiovascular Disease

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