Depressed ex-boyfriend

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So I was in a relationship with a guy for about a year and a half and we got along really well. Never really had significant arguments or anything and just really enjoyed talking to each other and being around one another. When we were both in the same area while attending school he would come over and stay the night most days because he had a pretty unfortunate housing situation. We were very close and even when he graduated and moved a few states away, we still talked every day and managed to see each other a few times a month.

The only thing is that I always think he has struggled with depression. He's had instances where he's gotten extremely down, has mentioned being suicidal after the fact, and he just withdraws and doesn't want to talk to anyone. Not much seems to help when he's like this and it can last for a few hours or a few days.

Anyway, he is an army officer who will be leaving for training in Georgia and moving farther away in a few weeks. We hadn't really talked much about what would happen at this point, and were just enjoying spending time together and talking as usual. Then he had a really bad day a couple weeks ago that just kind of triggered things. He's been worried about money and stuff and then he had a frustrating day working for his uncle where he didn't really get paid and he was sick and that just seemed to be the beginning of his downward spiral. He was fine on my birthday (August 6th) and the day after we made plans to see each other a couple more times before he left. But the day after that, which was the day with his uncle, he just kept going back and forth between being totally normal and then just not really being himself or wanting to talk and was just down. He had mentioned being extra tired and not himself. He had mentioned kinda starting to distance himself a bit because he had been thinking about us a lot since he was starting to constantly think about leaving and what that entails. He seemed depressed and anxious then, so I gave him time and space and the next day he texted in the morning and was his normal self. Then Thursday he wanted to know if i was pursuing anyone else, which was out of the norm for him since he's not really a jealous person. He apologized for asking and said it was just part of the mood he has been in lately but seemed appreciative that I wasn't and was cheerful the rest of the day. And then on Friday he was back to having a rough day and I was a little short with him, and he texted me shortly after saying he had been thinking and he didn't think it was fair to me if we were still in a relationship. That he cared for me an enormous amount but he needed a break to sort his head out. He didn't think it was fair of him to be checked out like he had been and he had been going back and forth with things for a while and that he just didn't think a relationship should be when he's up for it. So I told him to take his time and he took a few days to himself to clear his head and make a decision. Then yesterday he just said he didn't want a relationship anymore. That his head isn't in the right place at the moment and he hadn't slept much in the past week and he has a million things going through his head and he can't keep up anymore. He's super anxious about leaving and just can't deal it seems. He just said that he feels like he's better off not having a significant other right now and that he wasn't in the relationship for the right reasons anymore. That it wasn't anything i did wrong or anything about me, but his mindset isn't one for a committed relationship. And then he just said he didn't feel the same about me or us as he did a year ago and he's lost interest and his leaving hasn't helped. That he cares about me and wants to be friends for now and for us to see other people if something comes up but he isn't ruling out possibility of us being together in the future. Mentally he just needs time. It was just a lot really fast. This all happened in a matter of two weeks, and it was (and kind of still seems to be) a lot of back and forth and being unsure and like he was trying to convince both me and himself. 

His behavior just concerns me and I worry about possibility of him being bipolar. Which worries me even more is that he's about to enter a really stressful period of time in his life and isn't seeking help. He said he's been talking to some other army friends about leaving and his anxiety, so that's good at least, but still. I guess my post is multi-faceted. How can I help him? And do you think the relationship breakup is driven by his current mental health? Is that something that is common? I guess I don't want to assume that it's due to his mental health when it really could just be him not loving me anymore, it just was very sudden and I'm curious. 

Anyway, thank you all for your input!

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  • Posted

    I'm so sorry you and he are going through this. Depression makes you feel flat, worthless, hopeless. It also is a very lonely place. Keep being his friend and being there for him.

    Don't worry about bipolar. As close as you were to him you would have noticed extreme mood changes. Not just going from depressed one day then not the next. If it is depression he really needs to see someone. He can start off seeing his primary care Dr since it can take a while to get in to a psychiatrist. His Dr can direct him in the right direction.

    I hope everything turns out for him. You are a really good friend and it sounds like you two have a beautiful relationship.

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  • Posted

    Hello Dino

    It sounds like He is concerned about going on this Training Course and the future call to duty. If that is the case He may need you to be firm and kind and try and talk about His expectations now and after training.

    You could ask Him to see His Medical Doctor and discuss His concerns. It may be He feels very uncertain at this time and if He gets called for action He will be parted away from you for His first term. It is not if He still loves you or not it is all to do with Him worrying you will not wait. You mentioned He had asked you regarding if you were keen on someone else.

    He will be going through a bad time I went through the same in the RAF, I bottled out before I started training because of something similar 


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  • Posted

    Hi Dino - sorry to read of your dilemma. Love can be a hard place to be. His indecision about your relationship can be a symptom of depression. It might be a challenge for him to have two parts to his life - the army that makes demands he must obey, and the life with you that exists in another place. It occurred to me that things may get more difficult in an army setting, and that mental health in that dynamic is a very sensitive area - especially with the macho, big-boys-don't-cry mindset. It may be weighing on him heavily. The problem with mental health issues is the negative aspect, the idea that someone with such issues is dangerous, a powder keg likely to explode. Men are raised with the indoctrination that have to just get through it, get over it, man-up, grow a spine etc, all barriers to a sufferer seeking help, which some see as a weakness. (It's not - it's the responsible and mature thing to do.) It's concerning that he is entering a situation that may exacerbate his illness. Ultimately it will be up to him - or perhaps his superior officer - whether he gets help or not. Meanwhile, all you can do is be there for him, keep the lines of communication open, offer your support whatever his decision. I was thinking that his suggestion that you each part and seek other partners might have been a way of him setting you free in case you felt you couldn't deal with his situation anymore. It would be difficult for both of you to have to say goodbye. Maybe see what happens when he next gets leave if nothing of note has occurred in the interim. Wish there was something more profound to help you, but really it's up to the individual and time. 

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  • Posted

    Hi did things turn out for you?
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