Dating someone with depression

JG24FanUK JG24FanUK
Hi everyone,

So I started dating someone who I found out has suffered from depression. They are currently going through a really bad episode of it for the past 4-5 months. We have been dating 2 months and things are progressing well. I love the person and we get along very well. It's just that there are times where I'd see them and they'd be a complete mess. Drunk and upset because things are bothering them. One night it was so bad that their friends called me to come over to help them with the person and had to call for an ambulance to take them to the hospital for a mental health evaluation. They tend to get upset more and more lately and while the drinking has ceased. The depression is still there. I've only considered leaving the relationship the night of the ER because the person was refusing to get help for it. They do see a therapist and are medicated.

I just feel like I am treading rough waters here. One on hand the relationship is progressing, but on the hand the depression is taken a hit on the person and myself. I feel like the person's actions get too much that I'll have to end the relationship, but on the same token what if the relationship gets too serious and my feelings are compromised because of my emotions for the person and also how they are acting.

I in the past have suffered from depression as well and have successfully *lets hope for now* have conquered it and am doing quite well for myself, so I do understand a bit of what they are dealing with and going through in their mind. I just am looking for thoughts on this. So what do you all think?
07/28/2013
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Carrot Carrot
I, too, am dating someone with depression. It gets hard after being with them so long and, honestly, it really starts to beat you down if you aren't completely sturdy in your own emotions.
I think you need to weigh your needs and theirs. If their life and actions are taking too much of a toll on yours then it's probably best to leave them. However, if you think you are in love with them and believe that you two will be able to last, then just keep trying. Dealing with a person who is depressed is a very time-consuming task, but it pays off when they break out of their bad sessions.
Do you love him when he isn't doing badly? Just take some time to weigh your feelings for the actual person (and not the depression-filled shell) and the potential risks of dating them and their problems.
If you come to the conclusion that you do need to end it, don't feel bad about it. They have lived without you up until this point and while, yes, you need to be cautious letting them off, they will be fine without you especially since it seems you are early into this relationship.
07/29/2013
js250 js250
When you love someone with depression you will forego getting many of your own needs met by them, you will invest more time and emotion into fixing them than you will get from the relationship and will also find yourself being more invest4ed into the person than they are into you.

Depressed people are very self-involved and not intentionally. They tend to focus on their energies or lack of, emotional needs and the bottom half of the glass. You need to be strong enough to deal with this, put yourself to the side and also be assertive in being there for them--not many can do this without draining their own resources. You also need to ask yourself how much drama and external issues you can honestly deal with.

When a depressed person starts to depend on another to 'rescue' them or be their rock...that person has a commitment to them for a long time. One that supercedes their own needs in life. Make sure you can make that type of commitment to another person before they depend on you. If the bond and love you feel for them is up to the task and you do not question your strength or ability to deal with their issues and weaknesses--then you will be rewarded with a longterm relationship based on need and trust. BUT the need and trust from them can only be given back when they are feeling strong themselves. This may happen frequently or not very often depending on their depression cycles. A lot of times, having your own counseling will help you make it through the bad times.

Good luck, I know what you are going through--my relationship with my hubby has been rocky with depression, insecurities and other issues for 17 years and it has not always been easy. Have a good, solid support system for yourself and you can make it through the bad times. You are the only person that knows if you are up to the challenge or not...hugs and best wishes for your future!!!
07/29/2013
JG24FanUK JG24FanUK
Both thank you very much for the advice. Within the past week I have really started to weigh my relationship and weigh out the benefits and pitfalls to being in this relationship. Right now I love the person and have been able to handle every obstacle that has been thrown my way. However, as recently as last night I wonder how much more I can take. I am very understanding and sympathetic to them for the most part to relax and calm their nerves, but I don't want them to get comfortable and walk all over me and always me to enable their actions. I do at times get stern and give them a straightforward opinion that is not on the "friendly" side of comfort, but I never raise my voice in those situation. I just feel important things needs to be made clear at times.
07/30/2013
js250 js250
Quote:
Originally posted by JG24FanUK
Both thank you very much for the advice. Within the past week I have really started to weigh my relationship and weigh out the benefits and pitfalls to being in this relationship. Right now I love the person and have been able to handle every ... More
One thing to think about...this will be your life if you choose this option. I understand how difficult it can be to work through this and how frustrating to always have to weigh your options, but the right relationship can make it worthwhile. The wrong one...hell.

I wish both of you guys the best and hope it can work out for the both of you! I admire your strength and honesty.
07/30/2013
Ansley Ansley
I agree and disagree with some things said here. Having grown up with the majority of my family members in a constant state of depression, I can say that it's extremely taxing and there is a point in time where you need to cut your losses. Loving someone doesn't mean suffering. Loving someone means that you love yourself enough to take care of you first so you can take care of them and vice versa. This is a controversial statement but there are a lot of people who are misdiagnosed as being depressed or clinically depressed when it's a matter of situational depression and they just need a little bit of positive in their lives to make it to the next step. A lot of this has to do with will power to deal with the issues and depression makes that difficult. Such it turns into a catch .22 and becomes cyclical.

No matter what, you do not owe anyone the best years of your life if all it's going to do is make you miserable. That doesn't mean you have to walk away completely but distancing yourself is not out of the question, either.
07/31/2013
matry matry
Sorry you're having a hard time with this. Having been on both sides of this (as the depressed person, and as the partner) I know it's hard. Sometimes it gets better, but in some cases it doesn't unfortunately.

My first serious relationship was with someone who was depressed, and he didn't care too much about taking care of himself. He didn't commit to seeing his psychiatrist and only took his meds occasionally. While our relationship wasn't terrible, it could be really hard for me to see him upset, unmotivated, and insecure. And he started dragging me down with him. The worst part, and the reason why I eventually ended the relationship, was that he became jealous when I spent time with other friends and guilted (controlled) me into not spending time with them so I could instead spend it with him, making him feel less lonely and more important. Bottom line was that I had supported him for long enough, and without him putting in any effort to get better it wasn't worth it, especially at the expense of having meaningful relationships with other people. I was afraid for a while to break up with him because I wasn't sure how he would react. He actually did end up cutting and began drinking once our relationship was over, which obviously made me feel horrible. But, I still stand by my decision 100% because when it comes down to it he was responsible for his own choices and it was ultimately not my duty to stay with him and be miserable just to prevent him from harming himself. FWIW, he's happily married now.

On the flip side of that, I also suffer from depression and anxiety, which can be difficult for people close to me. I've been with my current boyfriend for a year and a half now, and although we're both very happy in the relationship it hasn't been (and isn't always) easy. When we first got together he was so great at helping me get through hard times, it was like he just knew what I needed to feel better. But after a while, when things weren't getting much better, the patience started wearing off and frustration set in on his part. He was disappointed that my meds and therapy weren't helping as much as we'd like. I've recently been making a lot of progress however, and things are going more smoothly for the two of us. It is important for us to communicate effectively with each other and make sure that both of our needs are being met (and are considered equally important!). I am so grateful that he understands that even though I could be 'difficult' to be with, I try my hardest to work past the depression and other issues.

Basically what I'm trying to say is that if the depressed person has zero interest in taking care of themselves and getting better, there's only so much you can do and then it's understandable to get out of the relationship. You aren't responsible for anyone but yourself. It usually isn't worth it to stay with someone who doesn't want to get better. But if the depressed person is actively trying to make changes in their life, it can be rewarding to stick with them and support them until they can get to a better place, mentally and emotionally.
08/01/2013
JG24FanUK JG24FanUK
Quote:
Originally posted by matry
Sorry you're having a hard time with this. Having been on both sides of this (as the depressed person, and as the partner) I know it's hard. Sometimes it gets better, but in some cases it doesn't unfortunately.

My first serious ... More
Thank you very much for your response. Hearing from both sides of it really puts a lot into perspective. My girlfriend goes weekly to her therapists and takes her medication. Actually earlier this week she had revealed to me she stopped taking it for about a week and I told her how I felt about that and she realized her decision was not a good choice and started taking them again.

She is trying very hard to feel better and I admire that in her. The meds she is on just are not helping at the moment, so I was giving her suggestions and questions to ask her therapists to see what they can do about the medications.

It is stressful at times, especially the past two weeks or so. I've started to get a bit worn down, but I'm still in good spirits about it. I do love the girl and feel I'll stay with her. I go by the saying "If you can't deal with me at my worst, you don't deserve me at my best." Well she says this is one of her worst episodes and I know it will eventually pass, so being patient I will eventually see her at her best and that will always make it worth it.
08/01/2013
Bill220 Bill220
I'm married to a woman with depression and I am on medication for it as well. Nobody can tell you whether or not to end the relationship but I can lend my experience.

We've been married for 12 years and there have been many ups and downs. Some to do with depression/bipolar disorder (I have the bipolar) and some to do with alcohol and drugs, which seem to go hand in hand with mental illness. I love my wife dearly as she does me but I put her through hell. Hospitals, DUI's, jail etc. She hasn't gone as low as me, just lost jobs, heavy drinking and total isolating herself. I've been sober, on medication and stable for 2 years now and my wife is also on medication and stable.

If it were me, I would impress up on the person that they have to be stable for a period of time before the relationship can progress further. You don't want to become a hostage.
08/02/2013
mr115393 mr115393
As someone suffering from depression, I honestly don't think I would want a person to have to take on that burden when I get to be too unstable to really handle. If I get much worse and I have a full relapse into the way I used to be - which I worry is coming - I would not expect my girlfriend to stick around.

On the other hand, my sister's dating this guy for a year now and she loves him and he lives with us and he's incredibly depressed and she would argue that sometimes the person you love is worth the sacrifice and emotional strain. And, in her case, he really does seem worth fighting for. He's pretty amazing to her, despite having a lot of baggage that he brings to the table.

It all comes down to whether or not there is enough that you are getting from this relationship, to justify everything you have to give to someone who is emotionally unwell.
09/26/2013
Sincerely Yours, N Sincerely Yours, N
Quote:
Originally posted by Ansley
I agree and disagree with some things said here. Having grown up with the majority of my family members in a constant state of depression, I can say that it's extremely taxing and there is a point in time where you need to cut your losses. Loving ... More
I agree. It's one thing if the depression comes with time - don't divorce a spouse just because they're depressed - but if you're just dating them, and if it starts early on, there is a point at which personal suffering is more important than attraction.

Also, I entirely agree with what you said about depression. I was diagnosed as clinically depressed about a year and a half ago, after being in a major depressive episode for three months. My then-boyfriend and I broke up two months later, and when I woke up in the morning I was fine. Apparently, he had somehow been dragging me down (he wasn't depressed or anything), and my so-called major depression was in fact situational.

Sometimes, it's worth it to walk away and be happy.
09/26/2013
Pete's Princess Pete's Princess
I have been on both sides. Just like any other medical issue that comes up in a relationship you have to be sure that you love the person enough to want to carry all the baggage that comes along with them and their issue.

I agree with the other comments that the person has to be willing and actively trying to get better. I was in one relationship with a depressed person who would do nothing to help himself and it dragged me down. The relationship became co-dependent and unhealthy.

My current husband and I both suffer from depression. We both do things to work our way out. We have found the balance of being supportive without enabling. Sometimes you have to be honest and say, it is fine to go to the "pity party" but you have been there long enough and it is time to come home. Another thing that was very helpful was to learn the signs of when the depression is starting and find interventions to stop it from spiraling downward.

Things like sunlight, staying active, finding a spiritual support system, vitamins, etc, can help.

I had to go through several meds before finding the right one. Sometimes a combination of meds is needed. Just because one med doesn't work, that doesn't mean that there aren't others that will. In my trying to find the right med, I was put on one that made my depression 10 times worse. It generally takes 2-4 weeks on a med before you find out if it will work for you.

Meds alone will not help long term, your partner needs to find a good counselor. Finding the root of the depression is a key. Most of the time it is not just an imbalance that can be fixed by pills alone.
09/26/2013
imperialyellowdragon imperialyellowdragon
Quote:
Originally posted by JG24FanUK
Hi everyone,

So I started dating someone who I found out has suffered from depression. They are currently going through a really bad episode of it for the past 4-5 months. We have been dating 2 months and things are progressing well. I love ... More
well first I am sorry to hear your feelings. here is a perfect example of why I tell people to go slow. you cant help them. they have to help them self. the best thing for you is to break up and just be friends. it also sounds like that he is not ready to be in a relationship. when in a relationship both people must be responsible for themselves and each other. going out and getting drunk screams I am not ready. sometimes the best way to help someone is not to help them. I am not saying he is nota nice person. I am saying he needs real help. I wish you the best
11/16/2013
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