dealing with a partner with depression

Bullfanch Bullfanch
Hi all,

I'm fairly new here (well, newly active in the community - not new to EF in the slightest!) and was hoping someone else could give me some insight on my current situation. Everyone's different, but perhaps someone else has gone through something similar and will have some advise.

I've been with my guy for over a year and a half. For at least the past year we have struggled with anxiety and depression. He has been on two anti-depressants (which he quit taking each time because he didn't like the idea of having to take medication to be "normal") and is currently not taking anything. While the anxiety (the bad, bad, can't leave the house or function anxiety) has been overcome, more or less, the depression hasn't.

I'm reaching the point where it is hard to be a supportive, loving partner because I feel that I'm not receiving the support or love I need. I'm feeling pretty neglected and like everything revolves around him and his mood.

I don't want to end our relationship. I care deeply for him, love him to pieces, want him to be happy and feel good, and can't really imagine going through this part of my life without him. It also scares me to think of what he'd have to go through without me. We are pretty much each other's everything (he's still finishing up school, but doesn't have many friends and is not close to his family at all).

Has anyone else been in a similar situation? I feel a little bit stuck, because I want to be happy and I want him to be happy, but it feels like there's no middle ground and no way to find that happiness. What did you do, how did you deal with your partner, how did you treat yourself? I'm a very strong individual, but I'm also a people-pleaser. I will bend over backwards to make you happy/feel good at my own expense, but I know when enough is enough and I don't have a problem saying so or leaving. (Or so I think.)
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Ansley Ansley
The answer, as Martin Sheen put it when asked about his son, is to love even more than you already are.

If this guy meant the world to you before his depression struck, he should mean the world to you still.

Work on one issue at a time. (Love is patient, Love is Kind...) First and foremost, a thorough examination by a qualified professional should be had with him being completely honest about his symptoms, the roots and the feelings behind them. This will determine the proper regimen of meds, which could be very different from the ones he was initially given. He needs to take them every single day with the understanding that cognitive behavior therapy coupled with the medications will help rewire some of those misfires he might be experiencing and he may eventually get to step down the dosage or quit medicating altogether.

When you've given it all you got and it still isn't coming together, then walk away. Provided of course that you aren't being abused, if you are you need to leave immediately to protect yourself (though mental and emotional abuse is common in these situations, it's usually not intended to be abusive).
Eden C. Eden C.
I struggle with major depressive disorder, and it has definitely affected my relationships. I think the apathy aspect of the disorder was most difficult for her to understand.

Be sure to educate yourself on the disorder as much as possible. It has given my girlfriend and my family a lot of clarity.
K101 K101
Wow, you sound a lot like me. I'm a people pleaser unfortunately and I end up causing myself so much grief. I also struggle with anxiety. I was put on Donnatal for it and pain from another issue about 9 months ago. I've not had but one panic attack since! the only panic attack I've had was during the tornadoes we had. Other than that, while I was working very hard to get myself in a better place, the donnatal toned down my crazy anxiety and now I can take it or not really. I mean the only reason I take it now is for the stomach issues.The anxiet seems to be gone for the most part, but I STILL have to work on it so it doesn't come back. Alot of meditating is what has been helpful. Also, one of the major reasons I've learned to change my thinking and anxiety is from listening to Joyce meyer and Creflo Dollar preach. I'm actually listening to Joyce right now! They talk a lot about how to change anxiety and learn to think differently. It's truly saved my mind!
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