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My Boyfriend battling severe depression

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My Boyfriend battling severe depression

Postby Jellybean997 » Mon Jan 06, 2020 2:06 pm

My boyfriend and I have been together for almost 6 years now, I was aware of his depression very early on and we have been battling it together. I have had my own issues with depression and mainly anxiety. To give a little bit of back story: My boyfriend was diagnosed with clinical depression at around 8 years of age and has seen different therapists over the years. At his lowest point, just over a year ago his workplace stress and depression had gotten so bad that he lost so much weight and had been hospitalized a few times, eventually having to leave his job to heal and gain weight back. (We don’t have much support from either of our families and we both accept that.) His depression is severe enough that even when the smallest inconvenience arises he will burst out in extreme anger, have a panic attack or sometimes episodes of vasovagal syncope.
Fast forward a few months of healing, trying different antidepressants, anxiety medications, and therapists all which seemed to discourage him a little more because none of them had any noticeably positive effects regardless of how badly he wanted them to help.
Once he gained some weight back he got a new job and was more positive for a little bit but the ‘honeymoon phase’ of his job ended and he is back to his looping thoughts that he will be stuck in this job forever and will have to work until the day he dies. Every single morning is a struggle trying to encourage him to get through the work day, I remind him how good he feels with he gets his paycheck and that he’s working toward a better job and life. I’ve even told him if he wants to change careers that I fully support him and that it’s not a setback, just a change but he sees life as time sensitive and everyday he’s not working towards a higher level job, he’s just falling behind.
He is back to a very dark place again and it’s almost daily now that he gets upset and repeats over and over -out loud- how much he wants to die, he wishes I would let him die, he begs God to find a way to kill him so he doesn’t have to do it himself. I try my best to be strong and supportive but it’s hard not to get upset at the thought of losing your life partner especially when you know one day they could act on it.
We’ve had the conversational about an in-patient facility where they can give him full attention and work through everything over the course of a few days but I understand that it might seem shameful or daunting and he says he would rather die that do that a single day in his life. He is currently taking a break from seeking treatment and therapy due to the negative history of none of them improving his mindset or mood and the medical debt he is still getting through.
I struggling finding the right things to say to him when he is struggling, he’s even told me I used to help him fight his depression but that I don’t anymore. It seems like anytime I encourage him or make a suggestion he just gets agitated. I want to support him and help him and I try not to take anything he says personally when he is depressed but it’s HARD. I’ve even made appointments for him and driven with him to them.
I have pretty bad anxiety, I’m sure it’s gotten worse over the years of family and life stress, always being in this supportive role for someone else. I am typically uncomfortable in any public place or anytime we are socializing with someone that I’m not already VERY familiar with. I’ve had to overcome a lot of this on my own due to his mental health issues (some things as small as working up the courage to make a phone call to make an appointment for him, which I could never do beforehand). Along with my anxiety I’m fairly introverted and time to recharge at home away from social interaction is crucial for me, if not emotions and mental struggles will just build and lead to a mental breakdown or ‘anxiety attacks’. This has become another hurdle because with his depression time outside of the house or socializing with friends is a perfect distraction for him and I understand that but he wants/expects me to go with his every single time because I’m the only person who he trusts enough and can help him if he has an episode or passes out. I’ve explained to him that I need time to recharge and it’s okay if he goes without me but he gets angry at the suggestion of it. He is very patient and caring if I get to the point of a breakdown but doesn’t quite understand that I need to do certain things to help prevent them from happening regardless of how I try to explain it.
overall I need help, I haven’t given up on him in 6 years and I have no intention of giving up on him now, even when he is doubting my love and support. Everything I’ve read just says keep trying but I don’t know how to keep trying without repeating the same things I’ve already said or things we’ve tried to do. I’ve suggested a healthy diet and going on hikes or walks outside, meditation, different types of therapy, but all those things are minuscule compared to this monster of depression, and some of them he isn’t willing to try. I know we haven’t exhausted all of our resources, but I’m exhausted and desperate and need to know what is left to do that may help him. I’m not willing to lose my best friend.
so....
1. What are things I can say to him when he is at a low that won’t make the situation worse or make him agitated? Specifically when he is repeating how much he wants to die.
2. How can I encourage him to seek different therapy/psychiatry without pressure or bringing on the stress of his medical debt or the doubt of previously unhelpful dr’s and counselors?
3. He is always more willing to try home remedies, are there any things he can try to do at home other than going on walks or meditation?
4. Is there a better way for me to explain that I need my self care time to recharge away from social situations so in-turn I can better support him and be more present?

Any and All suggestions are appreciated, thank you in advance!!
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Re: My Boyfriend battling severe depression

Postby DaturaInnoxia » Sat Jan 18, 2020 6:27 am

There can be very fine lines between
- supporting someone
- caregiving
- enabling

It may be helpful for you to seek support for yourself and guidance on how to place more responsibility back onto him.

There's also a term called "caregiver burnout" or "caregiver fatigue" that you may want to look up --- and on how to live with a chronically ill significant other.

Unfortunately, there are no magic wands and there are no instant results.

Progress and recovery, for most mental illnesses it seems, comes from a synergy of many small changes and actions rather than one easy-to-follow, one-size-fits-all, concrete path.

More likely, coming out of his depression will be non-linear and gradual. Perhaps, so much so, that you two don't even notice until he's "better"
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