Helping a partner with depression?

Posted , 6 users are following.

Hi everyone, I'm wondering if anyone can help me with how to help my (ex) boyfriend cope with depression?

We had been together for a few months, before all of a sudden his mood fell and he was extremely stresed at work. As well as this, his grandmother had passed away and was having social problems - friends turning against him etc. It caused his mood to be extremely low and he changed from being really upbeat to depressed and short tempered. All of a sudden he didn't want to speak to anyone, including me, and consequently began pushing me away. He broke up with me just over a month ago after telling me that his low mood and stress has made him lose feelings for me, and he doesn't feel able to love anybody or be in a serious relationship as a result of it. His GP has indicated depression but failed to act upon it! 

A month later and he's been going back to a previous ex and once stayed over at her house. For example, last night he lied about where he was going and ended up sleeping over at his ex's house whom he hasn't spoken to in a year and had previously blocked her number and vowed to never speak to her again. I asked why he went back to her and he said it wasn't serious, they only kissed and that it meant nothing. He doesn't know why he called her and went to see her. This is extremely out of character for him - he used to hate the girl! And strangely, he doesn't like me seeing other men. 

I want to help him, but I'm constantly being pushed away, and he largely takes out a lot of his stress and concerns on me. He doesn't want to get help despite me encouraging him to speak to someone about how he's feeling! Today he has told me not to speak to him ever again and that I should move on, but just a couple days ago he was telling me how much I mean to him and that misses me when I'm not around! He is now ignoring any messages I send him and is angry both at himself and me.

Please can anyone help me make sense of this and give me any advice on how to act? Thank you!

 

1 like, 11 replies

Report / Delete

11 Replies

  • Posted

    This is someone who you've only dated for a few months. Apparently he wants to date someone else (his ex), so why are you stressing yourself out over him? Forget about him and focus on yourself. You sound like a very caring person. Find somebody who will appreciate you for your kindness.

    Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Thank you for replying! I received a text from him an hour ago where he told me it was a 'mistake' and that he won't be contacting her in the future as he isn't interested, so if he is telling the truth then he isn't dating someone else. However it's clear that he's unsure on his feelings right now so I've told him I'd like some space. He used to be really appreciative of my kindness but since this depression has triggered he doesn't really see what I do for him. I guess I want to stand by him but I feel like I'll be hurt in the process?

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      If you really want to be with him, it should be on the condition that he seek help for his depression. Otherwise it will be pure craziness trying to deal with someone with depression and their ups and downs. If it gets too crazy, be strong enough to walk away. I hope it works out for you, because you really sound like a very nice person.
      Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    He is suffering Reactive depression, understandably. He is doing things out of character because his emotions are here there and everywhere. If you feel you want to stand by him then you must do that
    Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Thank you. Him visiting his ex was entirely out of character as they haven't had any contact in a year and she treated him really badly, and he's also started using alcohol as a way of dealing with his stress at the moment. I care about him and want to make sure he's okay, but it's also difficult for me - before his depression, he was totally in love with me, so I'm also afraid that those feelings will never come back and I'll be continue to be hurt in the process of helping him through this. 

      Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    Ill or not, hes not your partner anymore and isnt acting like he wants to be. The onus is on him to get help, noone can do it for him. So for all your good intentions,make a clean break and life your life, let him take some responsibility for his own, it'll be better for everyone in the long run

    Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    Hi Chloe - sorry to read of your dilemma. There's an old saying I'm sure you've heard before, "You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink." It is up to him to seek help - he has to take the initiative. While his depression is making him isolate himself, often it is tough love that will make him change. You are right to take time away from him, and any future interaction should have boundaries i.e. that you will not tolerate negative or blaming attitudes or words from him to you. You have your own life to move foward with. And you are entitled to see any men you wish to - he does not own you. Ignoring your messages is another way he tries to control you. Tell him this is not acceptable - be clear and concise about: you are not ignoring his need, your are ignoring his abuse.

    You mention he is using alcohol to self medicate. A bad move for anyone with a problem, but worse if it is to ease a complex condition like depression. It can lead to life-changing words/actions that might affect more than just himself. Unfortunately, in that position, it may be the law that forces him to deal with his problems medically with his freedoms restricted.

    Look after yourself. Your health is important. Best of luck to you.

    Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Hi Wayne, thank you for your reply. He was sending me texts today apologising for his actions and calling himself all sorts of names (I did wonder whether this was a guilt trip or him genuinely being pessimistic) and I eventually caved and replied - something I regret! He went from being super apologetic, to telling me to leave his life and never contact him again?! It really is heartbreaking that a man who was once completely in love with me would treat me this way! I guess my question now, is whether his previous feelings for me can come back if he gets help?

      Thank you so much for your advice and kind words, I'll definitely ween myself off of him and become less available, while perhaps assuring him that I'm still here if he really needs me? I'll remind him once more that it would benefit him to speak to a professional about this, but I understand that I can't force him. Thanks again!

      Report / Delete Reply

Join this discussion or start a new one?

New discussion Reply

Report or request deletion

Thanks for your help!

We want the forums to be a useful resource for our users but it is important to remember that the forums are not moderated or reviewed by doctors and so you should not rely on opinions or advice given by other users in respect of any healthcare matters. Always speak to your doctor before acting and in cases of emergency seek appropriate medical assistance immediately. Use of the forums is subject to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and steps will be taken to remove posts identified as being in breach of those terms.

newnav-down newnav-up