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Forums / Supporting family and friends with a mental health condition (carers) / Deflated and lost- Supporting my partner with Borderline personality, depression, anxiety

Topic: Deflated and lost- Supporting my partner with Borderline personality, depression, anxiety

3 posts, 0 answered
  1. Lacklustre
    Lacklustre avatar
    2 posts
    6 December 2017
    Hi everyone,


    I have been struggling for the past several months to a year as being a carer/support/codependent(?) To my partner who suffers from fairly severe depression and anxiety. This year my partner was diagnosed w PTSD and Borderline Personality disorder. The symptoms almost perfectly match.


    Since we've begun dating ive gone through numerous cycles of open hearted compassion wanting to throw my all into sticking by ny partner and then disappointment/disillusionment when right after i think theyve made progress, they relapse/progress comes to a screeching halt. Through these cycles, ive done a lot of research online and learnt a great deal about my partners condition. Although i know that their behaviours are due to their mental illness, not a choice, it is a difficult pill to swallow.


    Most recently, drug addiction has been a sore point in our relationship. I am financially providing for us, and being helpless caught between not relieving my partner of the struggles in their head through pot and being the enabler that continues to pay for it is very difficult (i always give in).


    Furthermore, my partner's promiscuity (a symptom of BPD) is throwing my mind around like a washing machine. they have had many many sexual partners prior to our relationship and recently told me of desires to sleep with some friends that they know. Thankfully our relationship has thus far been completely loyal, but we have had open discussions where my partner admits to having these tendencies. I am by nature a skeptical person, so this has been eating me up inside. My partner has promised not to sleep w a close friend, but i know they text often and catch up face to face regularly.


    As much as i absolutely love this person and want to fight for our relationship, i have been finding myself feeling very very down about our current state of affairs. I can't socialise w friends nearly as much as i used to or go out with my partner (we spend most weekends indoors due to depression, anxiety, breakdowns). I know this might sound super selfish but i feel 95% of my time outside of my job is dedicated to "being there" for my partner, unable to do anything.


    I appreciate the complexities of healing from mental illnesses and the pace of progress is often 1step forward, 2 steps back. I just wanted to get some other people's perspective on establishing limits/how to keep yourself sane. Im extremely deflated, lost and feel alone in my role as the carer.
  2. JessF
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    JessF avatar
    1548 posts
    13 December 2017 in reply to Lacklustre
    Hello Lacklustre, I don't know if you are still here but I saw your post had not had a reply and didn't want you to feel like you had been ignored.

    There is a very good post at the top of this forum called "Supporting a depressed partner, my tips from 18 years of experience", hopefully you may have been there to read it already.

    I think it is good you have recognised that boundaries need to be set, and that you also are using the word 'codependent'. You are recognising that you have a role to play in this as well. Symptoms come and go, but that doesn't mean bad or hurtful behaviour should be tolerated.

    In all relationships, there will be times where one of us is in 'carer' mode for the other. What sounds like is happening in your relationship is that you have both settled into roles that are more like parent and child than equal partners. You support and provide, and they take. There is no incentive to stick to boundaries (like sleeping with others, staying away from drugs) because they know you will still be there no matter what happens. In the case of the pot, you are enabling it to continue.

    I think it might help to start with making a list of what your non negotiables are. And alongside those, write out what the consequences will be so you can be crystal clear. For example, "I will have at least one night a week where I see a friend or friends without my partner".

    Caring is an essential part of any relationship. Carer is a different thing entirely, and it sounds like you have let it define who you are, not just in this relationship but in your life generally. Perhaps it is time to shift the balance back to being an equal partner in this relationship, and not the person who is solely responsible for its upkeep.
  3. Bethie
    blueVoices member
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Bethie avatar
    326 posts
    14 December 2017 in reply to Lacklustre

    Hi Lackluster

    I know in many countries pot is used medically to treat PTSD but right or wrong in most places in Australia it' still illegal. There are alternatives like anti anxiety/anti depressant meds. I know these are working for my partner who has PTSD now and he would self medicate/ use pot in very small doses for close to 20 years.

    It's hard being a carer and can feel like you have to do everything and not upset the person being cared for.

    I suffer severe anxiety/ depression myself but have learnt to reach out now. My therapist has started calling me once a week just to check in and see how I'm handling things. Maybe this type of thing could work a bit for you as well. I know here in Queensland a centerlink social worker organised it for me and I'd assume other states would have similar things. It' free so don't stress over the money.

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