Help, male depression and no feelings

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Hi, for those of you who don't know my fiance of 9 years has been diagnosed with depression and on citalopram. He has some good bits in the day when he really tries but others very bad and anxious all the time especially in the morning.

He said today he wants to look at me and feel happy, to hug me and feel something and kiss me and get the tingle like before. I understand this as I want this back too and we have had snippets of this recently but only when he let's me in. He pushes me away so for him to get these feelings back he need to let me in and accept that in time they will come back but he has to try aswell as I do.

My question is for those who have been through this how did you get that spark back? How long did it take and what tips and advice would you recommend? Or those that have personally experienced these lack of feelings how did you help yourself? Did the depression cloud your judgement and not allow you to be happy and if so how did you combat the negative thoughts and try focus on the good thoughts? Please help I don't want to loose the man I love more than anything to this horrendous illness. Tia xx

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  • Posted

    The medication can take 2 weeks to start to work, and then 4-6 weeks to feel anything like normal. Don’t pressure him to “try” to feel different; it will come in time. 

    Just be there for him in a positive way and encourage him to get out and about.

    It is hard to be in a relationship with someone depressed. 

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    • Posted

      Thanks, he has been on them around 6-7 weeks now started on 20mg now for the past 2 and 1/2 week on 40mg. I try not to pressure him and this is a new learning curve for me and I know I have to be supportive as best I can I read up on it and get as much advice as I can for him. He doesn't seem to want to let me in and constantly pushes me away but the tiny times he does allow himself to feel he is happy and then feelings for the relationship are back but then he doesn't remember this and thinks negative again. Is there any thing else I can do to help him combat the negative thoughts? X

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    • Posted

      This is a hard post for me.  Pain is addicting.  Why?  Because it's self-imposed and becomes part of your identity.  It's hard to give it up, even when you think you can.  There's always the little voice when you slow down (going to sleep or waking up) where it says things like, "Sure, you can be happy.  But it's easier to just not be.  You're in the habit.  Besides, do you really think tomorrow will be a good day?"  That voice gets louder and louder the longer you hear it.

      I don't know what you can do to fix this.  My wife has certainly tried.  I can say that without her, I would have ceased a long time ago.  I struggle to put on the happy face every day.  My father used to say that if you smile enough, eventually you'll believe it.  I think it worked for him. If you truly love him, you will most likely have to reconcile yourself to dealing with this for some time.  Maybe forever.  The only thing I can advise is patience.  He now specializes in daily damaging himself.  Counseling may help.

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  • Posted

    There isn't a lot you can do to counteract the negative thoughts- that is part of the depression. If they have increased his dose, he may start to improve over the next few weeks. Is he having any counselling? that might help him.

    Otherwise, just being around without  pushing him, distracting him from his thoughts with activities/music if he wishes.

    He is lucky to have such a supportive partner. Look after yourself too- do things for yourself/with friends as well, otherwise you will go mad!

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    • Posted

      Thankyou for your reply. It means alot to hear from others as sometimes I feel I'm dealing with it on my own. I don't want to put too much of my feelings on him as he struggles with his own so not pressing him is something I need to try continue to stick to.

      No not had any counselling he says he doesn't want to talk to a stranger or thinks it won't help him. If live him to go but it is his choice not mine maybe if he continues to feel unhappy with his depression he will see therapy might be good but until then I won't push him to do so. X

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  • Posted

    Hi Sasha. Im currently going through something similar to you, but on the opposite end of things. I have not seen a doctor yet but i am depressed and recently it has affected my relationship with my boyfriend, much like your fiancés depression has affected your relationship. My depression tried to convince me that i don’t love my boyfriend, and i believed that on some days, but after convincing myself that it was ridiculous and that it was just the depression talking, i began to try and take hold my my thoughts and try not to let my depression ruin my relationship. Although i know that i love him, i still feel unexcited to see him most times and just feel blah about us which is upsetting because i wish it would go back to normal. Im sure this is how your fiancé is feeling as well. Personally, it helps when my boyfriend gives me space, not physical space but mental space. I have found that if he constantly asks how im feeling or what im thinking, i get irritated because half the time i don’t even understand my own depression, so how could i possibly explain it to him? I have found that by him just being there for me and not treating me like a victim of my illness helps, just treating me like normal. Obviously i am different than your fiancé, but i think that If you try not to pressure him to talk about what’s going on in his mind and just simply be there for him, it will help. Hope this helps! And good luck smile 

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    • Posted

      That's very helpful thankyou! It's nice to hear from spouses that are the ones suffering and getting them to explain things from your side. Do you question the relationship too and how did you convince yourself to try overcome the thoughts that everything is bad in the relationship? And when did you accept it was the depression making you feel the way you feel and not him? Sorry for all the questions I'm just trying to get more of an understanding to help him the best I can. X

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    • Posted

      No worries! Questions are good! My story is a little complicated. I’ll try to sum it up for you or if you want you could go into my page and look at what i posted last Friday for more detail. Basically I’ve been with my boyfriend for two years and everything is great between us, then out of nowhere about two months ago now, i had a sinking feeling in my stomach wondering if i even love him anymore. I decided that it was ridiculous to even think that because everything was fine and nothing had happened to make me feel this way. But still, my mind kept convincing myself that i didn’t love him/i was just convincing myself to love him/im just afraid to be alone.  Although these thoughts basically took over my head and just cause me to overthink our whole relationship, I noticed that these thoughts begin around the time that I started to become particularly stressed out in school. I have also struggled with self-esteem issues and had been particularly upset about my body image around the time that these thoughts begin as well.  after reading up on depression and the symptoms of it, I began to except more and more that it was likely that I was depressed. Along with these thoughts about my boyfriend and doubting our relationship, I also began to withdraw from friends and school work and could feel myself wanting little to do with anything which is a major sign of depression . Im currently still struggling with this and plan to see a doctor if i do not  start to feel better within the next couple weeks.  As far as my relationship goes, I basically noticed that when I am in a clear and nondepressed state my feelings for my boyfriend are the same as they always have been, and it is only when I am having a bad or depressed day that I feel as if our relationship is not the same anymore, this has led me to believe that it definitely is my depression that is clouding my love for him.  To make myself feel better, I remind myself that my  Negative thoughts  about our relationship are only thoughts.  It was actually only last week that I excepted that all of these things I’ve been feeling are due to my depression. I am definitely still struggling and I do have good and bad days but I think acceptance is the biggest part of healing. Just reassure your fiancé that Everything negative that he is feeling is just the depression talking and that thoughts that come from depression are very very convincing. The mind is extremely powerful and can convince you of anything you are willing to believe. For example, if you are depressed and your mind is trying to convince you that you don’t love your boyfriend anymore, those thoughts may feel so real that you believe them. That is why I convince my everything negative that he is feeling is just the depression talking and that thoughts that come from depression are very very convincing. The mind is extremely powerful and can convince you of anything you are willing to believe. For example, if you are depressed and your mind is trying to convince you that you don’t love your boyfriend anymore, those thoughts may feel so real that you believe them. That is why I keep reminding myself they are only thoughts. I hope this helps and please feel free to ask more questions if I’ve missed anything! 

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    • Posted

      Ah thankyou hun, it's so reassuring to hear from someone with them thoughts and to hear that things do get better he just has to try to combat these thoughts before it does. It's just hard to see the man you love so deeply become a stranger who can't be bothered trying because he feels he shouldn't have to try in the relationship. I can say though when he does try we do have the snippets of happiness and love its just limited as he then pushes me away. It's like his mind won't let him feel happy with me if this makes sense? I'm very happy you have managed to help yourself and your thoughts you should be very proud of yourself as I know it must be very hard to do.

      He is medicated with citalopram but when his dose upped he seemed to get worse but that's normal from what I've heard.

      Have you spoken to anyone about your feelings or did you research depression all on your own to understand it better? X

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    • Posted

      Im so glad i could help a little! I fully understand what you mean when you say that the love and happiness coming from him is limited and comes in snippets.  This also happens to me, but i try to hide it from my boyfriend and act as normal as possible because i don’t want to worry him. And to answer your question on if i have gotten help from anyone or if I’ve researched and helped myself.. the answer is both! I’ve spoken to both my mother and my boyfriend about my feelings and both are very supporting, which i am thankful for because i know that some people don’t have a strong support system. Talking to my mom about my depression helps a lot and my boyfriend continues to assure me that everything will be ok, but he only asks me about my depression if i bring it up first. He knows that if i need to talk i will come to him which I appreciate. I have also helped myself a great deal by researching depression and learning about it and reassuring myself that this is just something im going through and that it’ll get better. Even though i try to be optimistic, i have many days where i feel hopeless, but im working on it! My next step is to see a doctor, i think talking to someone may help me. Everyone has their own way of handling things though! Im not familiar with depression meds because i haven’t yet been prescribed any, but from what I’ve heard, symptoms get worse before they get better when starting medication. It sounds like you really care about your man and just keep reminding yourself that he does love you, but unfortunately his depression is clouding his feelings and making it harder to access those feelings of love and happiness. Be there when he needs you but try not to overwhelm him with questions and concerns as much as you may want to. Hang in there, this will get better! 
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