Can depression/anxiety make me doubt my (perfect) relationship?

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Hi everyone.  I'm posting this because I have been going crazy the past couple of days.  I am 20 and have been in a relationship with my boyfriend for 4 years.  I can't tell you how wonderful he is.  He is kind, smart, funny, and comes from an amazing family that I love so much.  Our love has always been stable and strong; he is my rock and my very best friend in life.  We have the same goals and values, and I know that I want to have a family and future with him.  We don't have giant arguments - we are really good at communicating and working out any problems we might have had.  I've never once questioned us.

Until about a few days ago, when I literally woke up and felt nothing.  This is the scariest feeling in the world.  I went from absolutely ADORING him, to feeling nothing.  It has given me such bad anxiety the past few days to where I can't eat or sleep really.  I pace around my house obsessively, thinking about every little thing about us.  I feel pangs of guilt anytime that he does anything sweet because he loves me SO much and I feel like suddenly, I can't reciprocate that.  I've struggled with the question, "Am I still in love with him?" and it has broken my heart to even ask myself that.  I feel so guilty, like I am keeping a secret from him and he's living in this blissful ignorance.  I don't want to leave him, and I don't ever think about what it would be like to be with anyone else.  It makes me anxious to be around him because I'm constantly overanalyzing everything to see if I feel the same way, and to not be around him because I just keep overthinking.

Some background: Starting just after Christmas this year, I have really struggled with health anxiety stemming from problems that did not really exist.  I thought I had a brain tumor and spent every moment trying to convince myself I didn't.  I took two trips to the ER during that period, where they told me that I had a pinched nerve and on the other trip, an anxiety induced migraine.  Things have calmed down since I have been to a doctor and she told me I don't have a tumor.  Then recently, I had a sensitive tooth and I couldn't help but think it was infected and I HAD to go to the dentist that day - or else the infection would reach my blood and I would die.  I know this sounds nuts, but I'm just trying to give you a picture of my life.  

I'm a college student, and lately I don't have the motivation to do my work.  I used to be outgoing and ambitious, but now I feel like doing the bare minimum to graduate.  I am so anxious that I won't actually get into law school and will embarrass myself because of that.  I kind of feel like I'm always waiting for the next thing to come along and that I'm just sort of... existing.

Do you think this could be me projecting my feelings on to my boyfriend?  How could it be that one day I literally just don't feel the same way?  I'm constanly battling between "you're projecting your anxiety on to him" and "you think you have anxiety/depression, but you actually just don't love him" and it is driving me CRAZY.  I don't want to feel this way anymore.  Help please!

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  • Posted

    Sweetheart, I definitely think your mood could affect the way you feel about your boyfriend.  How do you feel about other things you love?  Depression takes all of your emotion away.  Don't beat yourself up.  I think you need to reach out and get help.  Take care, {{{hugs and payers}}}

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    • Posted

      Some days I find joy in things like talking to my mom or perusing the internet.  Some days nothing really makes me happy.  Some days things are okay and then thinking about my relationship will bring the anxiety back. I used to love doing my makeup but I feel like I can't be bothered anymore and I don't find enjoyment in it.  I can't tell if I'm unhappy in life and just pinpointing it on him, or if it's him, which I really hope to god it's not.  It's really been so upsetting lately.  Thank you for responding!

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  • Posted

    Hey Carli!

    I can't believe I'm even replying on one of these sites but I just wanted to let you know that the same exact thing happened to me about 5 days ago.

    If you don't mind me asking, what did you end up doing? How are you feeling?

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    • Posted

      Hi there! I am still in a funk, unfortunately. I am seeing a therapist but have only been a few times so far and I am considering asking my doctor about medication to see if it will help
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  • Posted

    Hi Carli,

    I'm not sure if you'll still be replying on this post as it was a couple of months ago but I was just wondering how your situation is now?

    I'm suffering exactly the same as you and have been since January this year. My relationship has been my happy place and comfort zone for 3 years, but after I lost my job at the beginning of the year I didn't even want to be near my boyfriend. Like you said it felt exactly like I woke up one day and everything had changed between me and him, yet my boyfriend hasn't felt any change between us!

    From what I've read on different forums it seems like I'm suffering with Anhedonia, which stems from depression. Some people have said that they go on feeling like that for years so I was just hoping you might have some good news about your situation. Let me know!

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    • Posted

      Unfortunately, no.  I've started Lexapro to help with my anxiety/depression.  I have good and bad days when it comes to my boyfriend, and lately I've been really stressed out which has made more bad than good.  I'm hoping the end of the school year will bring a change to this though!

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  • Posted

    Hi Carli,

    I just stumbled upon this and I'd love to hear how you are doing now. I am going through the exact same thoughts/feelings. I have been with my boyfriend for a year and a half and all the sudden one day like a little over a  month ago I have been doubting the relationship and feeling constantly anxious and around him.

    I hope to hear back from you, looking for any suggestions and advice!

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    • Posted

      Hi Chase, I posted on this a year ago going through the same thing, in September I had to get my doctor to put me on Sertraline because I was tiring myself out so much with this issue, constantly inside my head trying to work out what was wrong with me/my relationship. And there was absolutely nothing wrong with it!

      You’ve probably read other replies saying “We broke up in the end”, but after being on the anti depressant for 6/7 month, I came off it myself and everything was back to normal for me. I think what generally happened to me was that I went into a depression where I didn’t feel much at all (you become accustomed to it after a while, so you feel as though you’ll be like this forever), and therefore didn’t feel anything for my boyfriend.

      In November last year he broke up with me (it was the worst time for me, which basically concluded in my head that I hadn’t wanted to break up with him all along and I had realised it too late), because he noticed the change and he couldn’t bare to see it in me. We were broken up for about 3 weeks and now we’re back together heading to our 4th year, going travelling next month and buying a house together later this year. 

      You have 2 options in this situation:

      1. STOP GETTING STUCK INSIDE YOUR HEAD. If you start thinking that you don’t love your partner, don’t pay any attention to the thought, just let it run through your mind like any other thought, otherwise you’ll get stuck in a horrible pattern of overthinking the same situation. This will help you, I promise. This is what anti-depressants do, they calm your mind and take away your overthinking so maybe you could try them for a few months, just DON’T stay on them forever.

      2. You could take a break from your partner. Having serious space will make you realise if you miss them or not, in your situation, if you’re suffering the same as we were, then I’m sure you’ll realise you don’t want to lose your partner & that you’re just emotionally numb at the moment.

      Try not to feel too guilty about your thoughts either, it’s not your fault! Hope you take my advice and things get better for you! smile

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    • Posted

      Hello Beth! I have been going through the exact same thing!  My post is somewhere on here.   I saw the advice you have Chase.  How do you stop the thought from getting stuck in your head?  When I wake up in the morning, the feeling is the worst.  There are times when Im doing something else and then BAM.  My mind comes right back to this feeling and then I start worrying all over again.   I just started Lexapro a week ago so I don't think Im feeling anything from it just yet.  I tried to stay away from taking meds for so long, but I caved because I just want to feel normal again.  But then when I go off medication, do all the feelings just start coming back?  Sorry to ramble! Im glad you started to feel better and I hope I will too!

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    • Posted

      Hey Jaylene,

      The advice I can give you is simple but at the same time, with the mind frame you’re in right now, it’ll be the hardest thing to do. You can’t entertain the thought, it will come in to your head no matter how hard you try to ignore it! Whenever it pops up, don’t panic about it and JUST think to yourself “okay”, do not try to convince yourself you don’t want to be with him, don’t try to convince yourself you do want to be with him - you can’t recognise it, but you’re in a terrible, toxic pattern of behaviour, and nothing has caused it but your ocd tendencies. People who really want to break up with their partners don’t feel sick at the type of thoughts that you’re having.

      I COMPLETELY understand where you are coming from when you say you feel your worst in the morning! I was exactly the same. I’m not really sure why but it’s probably because you felt stress free in your sleep, and then this problem in your head is the first thing you think of when you wake up.

      Please, please don’t dedicate too much of your energy to these thoughts. They mean absolutely nothing. Just concentrate on being happy with your boyfriend. I quit university because I convinced myself that I needed all of my time to concentrate on this problem in my head. Now all of those thoughts are completely gone, I haven’t had one since November last year. When I came off Setraline it took about a couple of months for me to feel completely normal again, even now I have moments of 0 emotion but it’s very easy for me to feel positive on my own. 

      I know it’s easier said than done but busy yourself with other things, even when the thoughts pop up just let them run through your head without panicking. I promise it will help! Just post on here again if you’re having doubts, I hope everything gets better for you smile

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    • Posted

      hey Beth

      I've recently started going through the same experience and it's horrible! the negative thoughts towards my partner ruins everything and it causes me to spend a large proportion of my day feeling down, worrying and freaking out that it's actually her. I find it very strange i've started getting a little better and i find there are small periods where i can be happy and normal with her like i was then an hour later i go straight back down into a slump. What do you reccomend the most and what mindset should i have? Should i try meet her and see if i feel guilty or not or try see her a bit less? I haven't started any anti-depressants or anything yet as i was hoping i could conquer this on my own but it doesn't seem i can. However, when she goes a bit funny or ignores me or gets upset i do really care and it affects me, which tells me its not her and just my mindset and brain. 

      any feedback would be much appreciated as i'm really struggling here and its affecting my life a considerable amount. 

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    • Posted

      Hey Jack,

      Pay attention to the feelings you say you have when your girlfriend gets upset/stops talking, these feelings speak for themselves, they’re instinct which shows how you really feel. Don’t humour these thoughts by testing them, e.g. meeting up with her and testing how you feel, it will just fuel the horrible turmoil that you’re brain is in.

      Honestly the only advice I can give you is to not panic when you have these thoughts, any panic will set off your need to stop the thoughts and so you’re constantly questioning yourself. You don’t feel awful because you’re not in love anymore, you feel awful because you’re using all of your energy up on overthinking. 

      Stay busy and even when you aren’t busy don’t let these thoughts panic you, they’re nothing. As annoying as it is, the anti depressants really did take all of my thoughts away for a while, I was in Sertraline and the majority of the time I swear my head was empty of anything negative, and I didn’t obsess. But the good thing is that I took myself off of them and everything just continued to get better, I didn’t go back to thinking those thoughts.

      It makes me so sad how many people clearly suffer with this, I hope you pull through from it, take some time for yourself. Do not feel guilty about having time to yourself instead of constantly thinking about your girlfriend and this situation. Those times alone will help you and get you back to normal. Let me know when things get better for you! Beth

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    • Posted

      yeah it's the worst! when i see my gf and it happens do you think i should just try act normal and please her or talk to her about it? she's very supportive and makes me feel guilty im putting her through this. So was the sertraline the important missing step to recovery or does it just get better with time? Most of the day it causes me to have a negative force in my head that's incredibly hard to get away. However, there are rare times where i feel normal and really happy with my gf which makes this all go away. until the next day where im hit with another low and it feels like i've made no progress and maybe gotten worse as i've gone downhill since that brief happy spell. 

      Thank you, Beth, i really appreciate this and I'm sure everyone else does that has stumbled upon this page. Giving people relief that it's gonna end no matter how real it feels. 

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    • Posted

      Hey Jack,

      I totally know how that feels.   There are times when I feel better and there is a total sigh of relief.  Then out of nowhere it comes back! It doesn't come back as hardcore, but it is still there.  I honestly don't get it.  Ive even had dreams of me hanging out and being interested in other people then worrying about what is going to happen with my bf.  I have no idea why! Ugh, it sucks! When this happened originally (my original post is up there somewhere), it was like a light switch went off and it was the most awful feeling ever! I have bene on Lexapro for about 3 weeks and maybe thats why I feel better.  I never had the negative/breakup feelings about my bf ever before that. Sure, you always have small arguments and gripe about what you don't like about that other person.  But I never had thoughts like this before.  Beth's recommendations helped a lot! This forum is great because it lets us know we aren't alone! Hopefully you feel better soon!

       

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    • Posted

      hey Jaylene, 

      Honestly i feel like we're going through the exact same thing mine just developed a little later than yours. I met my girlfriend at university and everything was amazing. We finished for the summer and it was kinda hard due to the distance but it was working well and there were never any negtive thoughts. She came down to visit me twice for a few days, and i went down to see her and the first day was amazing.. like it was normal i was happy to see and be with her then the second or third night i went to sleep, and like you said it was like a light switch went off while i was asleep and as bad as it is there were periods throughout the day i didnt want to be there or with her and got all these negative thoughts. Was the worst! the negative force is in my head for the majority of the day and i try my best to follow advice given here but it doesnt ever truely stop or go away and i tire myself out and eventually give in. I guess this has been going on for a bout 3 weeks now it did get better at first then came back when my dog was about to be put down. It's a lot worse this time and ruins everything in my life really.. 

      I haven't started any medication yet as was hoping i could defeat this on my own but it just seems to take up all my energy. From what i've read this only really starts to get better with the aid of anti-depressants so i've just arranged to see my doctor. Honestly, right now i cant wait to start and be able to feel better and even if it's still there but manageable. 

      She's planning to come down on the 11th for 4 days and i'm so worried this is gonna ruin it. However, it is really encouraging it does get better. Wish you the best on the road to full recovery. 

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    • Posted

      Hey Beth!

      I started feeling better about 3 weeks ago.  I would still get these odd thoughts in the back of my mind, but I tried what you said and didn't waste a lot of time on them.  I felt better towards my boyfriend and it got better.  But then last weekend we went to a wedding and all those feelings came back.  After the wedding was the worst.  That Sunday I was ok then my bf and I took and nap and had sex (sorry if that TMI) and i had tears in my eyes.  I didnt know why all of the sudden! I really wasn't in the mood, but we hadn't been together in a while so I did it.  Since then, its been up and down again.  Why all of the sudden am I feeling s****y? I had a huge crying fit today and its been like almost every thing my bf does or says that I don't do, agree with (just because it just isn't my thing!) I get sad and weepy.  We have been together for 6 years and I know that every relationship flatlines eventually and the fireworks stop.  I don't need fireworks but I still feel upset and bored (I guess, I DONT KNOW!?)  I love him, but what the hell is wrong with me????  If I can't make it work after 6 years, AM I DESTINED TO BE ALONE FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE? Ugh, why is this feeling back again? I still haven't found a job and start school next month (something I was more excited about now I just feel eh). I have been on Lexapro for about a month now.  Do you think thats it? I looked into talking to someone but its not as easy as you would think!  Four Therapists either didn't take my insurance, don't do clinical, don't call back, are booked, etc etc.  ITs awful. I really want to be about to talk to someone and try to sort this out (You have helped me so much! Seriously thank you!!) but again its harder than I thought.  My Mom and sister have been a big help as well.   Im sorry to bombard you with all this! I responded to Jack42034 when I felt better and now Im back feeling like s**t again! Do you have any more insight? I hope Im not being too much of a pain.  THANK YOU!!

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    • Posted

      Hey Jaylene,

      I’m currently in work but I’ll message you back tomorrow with some advice, don’t let it get you down! You’ve proven that you can get to a better place all by yourself, it’s SO easy to fall back into that pattern of thinking, but just keep on doing what I suggested. Even reading everyone’s comments sometimes triggers my thoughts again, but my brain’s trained to realise that they’re nonsense. Once you get out of this phase your in you’ll look back and see how much of a black hole your head was. 

      Message again if you need!

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    • Posted

      Also reading always helped me, get stuck in a book if you have any spare time, if you’re interested enough it’ll keep your mind occupied! Oh and I did NOT want to have sex either during my whole episode, it was the most energy depriving thing I could even think of doing, but in the moment it feels as though you’ve lost that attraction/connection, you haven’t it’s just all the negativity you have in your head.
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    • Posted

      Hey Beth,

      Thank you so much for responding! I just don't know why I can't shake this! Even when I feel better, it still in the back of my head a little.  There are times when I feel weird and disconnected with him, and there are/were other times when I felt happy and close to him.  I am constantly battling with myself and it sucks.  I cry all the time and I hate it (but sometimes I feel better after I cry).  I notice that I feel the worst when he leaves to go to work. I am supposed to start school in Sept and am still unemployed and getting frustrated because I don't have a job yet.  I know I have to go back to work, but I just want to curl up on my couch with my bf and feel better.  I find myself clinging to him because Im so scared of losing him, his family, friends and everything we have built over the past 6 years (Im actually tearing up as Im writing this).  I literally have fights with myself in my head about my current life with him and what would happen if we broke up (where would I live, I would lose all his friends and family, what would they think of me, what can't I be happy with anyone and live with them like ALL NORMAL PEOPLE, am I destined to be alone and unhappy forever, etc etc).  I  am a little bored, but no relationship is fireworks all the time.  But I actually don't want a crazy lifestyle.  I like being able to relax with him and do things that we both enjoy separately.  I know you always hear "relationships take work".  Is this what they mean?? Ive looked into that too.  I am happy (or semi happy) when Im with my family but uneasy in other places.  I am still looking for a psychiatrist, but not many have reviews and I really want a good one.  I was reading up on a condition called Ahendonia or when you don't find pleasure in anything.  Everyone keeps saying its because I'm not working or in school and I have nothing to focus on.  I really hope it is because I can't picture being without Mike and I miss so much who I was before all this bullshti started,  I can't tell you enough how appreciative I am that you keep in contact with me.  I wish I knew your address to send you  Dunkin Donuts Gift Card or something lol. 

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