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!