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Old 10-06-2006, 05:08 PM   #1
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: NY
Posts: 2
luvrrs HB User
When the one you love is severely depressed...please help!

I need to hear from men in particular who suffer from depression/anxiety and who withdraw and disappear from their loved ones. I need to try to understand where you go? And why? And how you feel? And do you really love someone but can't get close to them because of the depression? I know this is long, but please, please help!

I'm a 39 y.o. woman who is involved with a man who suffers from depression. I've known him many years, but we started dating 10 mos. ago. Over the years we've known each other, he would spend time w/ me and then just disappear...sometimes for weeks. It seemed like very strange behavior. I got so fed up most of the time, I just wrote him off, even though we had a strong connection whenever we were together. I spoke to some professionals who seemed to conclude that he had some anxiety disorder. We've always had a very strong connection. I know he loves me very much. I know he wants a relationship in his life. About 10 mos. ago, he told me he wanted to start from scratch and start dating. I told him the disappearing and withdrawing would have to stop. Over the 10 mos. I can tell he has pushed himself as far as he can and he has improved dramatically as far as being considerate of me and not just disappearing. But it's like he rations out his time. I know he lives a completely solitary life. No other meaningful relationships of any kind. Just me, and that's only when he can handle it. He takes no medication, although he seems to self-medicate sometimes w/ alcohol. When he's drinking he's very real...very loving, talks about our future, I know that's what he REALLY wants, but then it's like these demons come in and just suck him away from me. He doesn't disappear for as long as he used to, but he still does. Just recently we went on our first trip together. I knew it would be a huge test because he had no where to go and disappear. He ended up confessing to me on the trip that he feels despair and just doesn't really care if he lives or dies. He said he "just can't get close with another human being". That this was all he could do. Then he says we're not breaking up, we'll work through it. I said he needed to get some help or I couldn't continue w/ him. He said he would try. We just got back from this trip and he's been very scarce. I haven't seen much of him. I know he's terrified, he's clearly depressed and he's scared to get help. I told him I'd walk him through it. That we could go to my therapist to just gather some information about possible sources of help for him. That we could take it slowly. That's where we are now. It's just so painful when he disappears. I know it doesn't have anything to do with me, but it feels so bad. I love him. We have a very strong connection. He told me if he could ever love anyone it would be me. I know he wants a relationship, but heís debilitated by his depression and anxiety. Am I wasting my time? Please help!

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Old 10-07-2006, 01:25 PM   #2
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Wales, UK
Posts: 465
Therag HB User
Re: When the one you love is severely depressed...please help!

The answer is that when we feel depressed we feel so bad about ourselves we want to hide and we dont want people to see us in that state. I particularily feel that people see me the same way as I feel about myself. I have been attracted to girls but I just cant make myself believe that they would like me, which is why I am now 25 and never had a girlfriend. I just feel like I am a waste of space to everyone. I suppose another reason why I am reluctant to find a girlfriend is that I feel that it would be unfair for a girl to be with someone like me. A moody person who hates himself.

Old 10-07-2006, 02:51 PM   #3
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: NY
Posts: 2
luvrrs HB User
Re: When the one you love is severely depressed...please help!

Thanks Therag. Your insight really helped. After I went back and read my post, I thought maybe I gave the wrong impression, that this is really a "doormat" thing and that he just doesn't really like me and I'm not getting it. Believe me, I'm way past that stage in life. I wouldn't have stayed in this relationship if this guy wasn't something special. Problem is, I believe he feels much the way you described. And it's excrutiating for a loved one to understand, much less accept. But I am grateful for your input. Do you have any thoughts on what might be a good course of therapy for him? Meds? He's basically a "clean slate." In other words, he's never tried to get any help. He says he wants to, but I know he has no clue what to do. I'd be interested in your thoughts. And again, thanks.

Old 10-08-2006, 07:43 AM   #4
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Wales, UK
Posts: 465
Therag HB User
Re: When the one you love is severely depressed...please help!

It's not your fault at all or anyone else who lives with a depressed person, it's easy to get the impression that they are to blame.

I dont really know anything about meds I'm afraid because I have never been to the dr about my problem, but I did have counselling when I was 15 because I had anorexia and that cured that problem atleast, but it hasn't changed the deep rooted feelings of depression, and my low self esteem. I did start going to counselling two years ago, but I only attended two sessions because I felt it was actually making me feel worse about myself, I guess that the counsellor giving me home truths about myself hurt me more. Of course it probably depends a lot on the counsellor.

I think he should try making an appointment to see a dr because I feel that's what I should do aswell, and I've wasted years of my life fighting this loosing battle.

Good luck and I hope things turn out good for you. I'm sorry I cant be anymore help.

Old 10-08-2006, 03:48 PM   #5
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: ontario
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trg247 HB Usertrg247 HB Usertrg247 HB User
Re: When the one you love is severely depressed...please help!

I think there is a two fold answer to this question. The first area was how you grew up in my case we were not allowed to show emotions so when something an event happens we do not know what to do but retreat. The other half to this is society's perception on men such as we are suppose to be tough and strong and something like depression is not suppose to happen to me I would be willing to bet that men commit suicide more often then women due to the stigma of getting help. Oh I have severe major depression disorder and have a good idea what your bf is going through

Major Depressive Disorder With Psychotic Features
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Borderline Personality Disorder
Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Current Meds

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