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Topic: Helping a partner with depression

6 posts, 0 answered
  1. Blueberries and Cream
    Blueberries and Cream avatar
    2 posts
    27 October 2021

    Hello lovely people,

    I am here to ask what strategies you have used in the past to convince a partner with depression to seek professional help?

    It has gone beyond anything I can say or do now and I feel incredibly helpless. They are absolutely adamant they will not go to therapy or see a GP due to the implications it may have with work if work ever finds out. However I am so past the point of caring about what work will think! Getting well and feeling better should be of priority. So at the moment I am struggling to get through to them that they need to consider their well-being first.

    I get daily messages asking for help while they are at work, telling me it’s too hard and they feel so down. I know that I am the only person they talk to about their mental health and have asked in the past to contact friends or family as well but this is just not an option in their mind.

    It’s just so overwhelming! And I feel as though it’s all on me to get the answers they need and do the work for them! Most suggestions I make are just ignored and we end up arguing about it. Some days I just can’t even be bothered to help, but I pull myself together and do but it really is getting beyond my help now! I am completely ready and willing to be supportive, but I cannot be in a place to ‘help and fix’ anymore.

    I’d really love some alternative ideas besides getting a GP diagnosis and then heading to a pysch or therapy - I just know it won’t go down well!!

    Anyway, thank you in advance.
    Enjoy your day

  2. Adalaide
    Champion Alumni
    • Community champion volunteers who are not currently active on the forums.
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    Adalaide avatar
    23 posts
    27 October 2021 in reply to Blueberries and Cream


    First, I want to acknowledge how incredible it is that you are putting so much effort into trying to help your partner get professional help. Although it is difficult and all this pressure shouldn’t be put on you, what you are doing for your loved one is so amazing.

    Convincing someone to get help can be difficult. Have you spoken to them about how everything that happens in both a GP and psychologist’s office are confidential? There is almost no way for anyone to find out unless they tell someone themselves. Another way to convince them could be to go with them to a couples counselling session until they are more comfortable seeking help.

    Taking on the responsibility of being your partner’s only outlet is very difficult and it is important that you also take some time to let out your own concerns and frustrations.

    I hope this helps and that you find a way to help yourself and your partner!

    1 person found this helpful
  3. Sophie_M
    Community Moderator
    • Works for beyondblue moderating these forums
    Sophie_M avatar
    6652 posts
    27 October 2021 in reply to Blueberries and Cream
    Hi Blueberries and Cream,
    We totally agree with Adalaide that it sounds like you are doing an amazing job in supporting your partner. How you are feeling is equally important as how your partner is feeling right now. Supporters fatigue is a real and difficult thing to manage so we hope you can also prioritise how this is impacting you. It can be hard sometimes when all we want to do is help, but you’ve a great thing in reaching out for help here today. We also want to thank you for sharing your experience, you never know when someone else will read your story and feel less alone in what they are going through. Thank you for making this a more welcoming and open community.
    It might be helpful to read some of the articles we have on supporting others with a mental illness here. You might find these two particulalry useful: 

    When someone you care about won’t seek support
    Looking after yourself while supporting someone

    You, and all people supporting others with a mental illness, are welcome to call us to talk through how it makes you feel. We are here for you 24/7 on 1300 22 4636. Out team are here to listen in a non-judgmental way and to provide helpful advice on how to look after yourself. 

    Thank you for joining us on the forums and for being a part of this community. Please feel free to let us know how you are getting on, and have a look around at other conversations here that you might connect with. 

    Kind regards, 
    Sophie M
    1 person found this helpful
  4. Strugglestreetsally
    Strugglestreetsally avatar
    6 posts
    31 October 2021 in reply to Blueberries and Cream

    Hi blueberries and cream,

    I'd also like to point out that it sounds like you are a wonderful partner and your partner is very lucky to have you by his side.

    I went through something similar with my bf, when he was feeling suicidal. I managed to convince him that he is worth the help, and that what he is feeling is normal, and mental health issues are treatable, and that absolutely no job is worth dying for. I told my partner to quit his job because it is not worth him being so miserable about it. No job is worth their life.

    I feel very similar to you in that some days I cant be bothered. But I offered to make the GP appointment for him, and attend with him, which I did. This has lead to him seeking counselling with a psychologist and a psychiatrist. Its still feeling like a never ending road but at least I can see hes trying?

    just wanted to let you know you arent alone in what your experiencing. Carers fatigue and being sick of having to fix a grown man/woman's problems for them is truly exhausting.

    I hope your partner ends up seeking help.

    1 person found this helpful
  5. Blueberries and Cream
    Blueberries and Cream avatar
    2 posts
    13 November 2021 in reply to Strugglestreetsally

    Thank you so much for responding, it really means a lot to hear your story too and realise I'm not alone in this either.

    It sometimes is difficult to keep strong. But it is for the people we love!

    I hope you are doing okay too

  6. geoff
    Life Member
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    geoff avatar
    16251 posts
    14 November 2021 in reply to Blueberries and Cream

    Hello Blueberries and Cream, I understand the situation you and others are facing and it happens so often when a spouse or a partner refuses to get the help they need.

    To add to all these replies, I just wonder whether asking/telling them that they should see a psychologist may be too overpowering for them to consider, and this is only a suggestion as I'm not a doctor, but as soon as this is said implies to them that they are not mentally feeling well and this could immediately indicate that they are the cause to this happening, whereas it doesn't imply this at all.

    Perhaps if you tell them that they need to have a talk with a mediator, someone who isn't qualified as a counsellor, who can then discuss problems as in a discussion, to them it might seem to be a friend to talk to, and once this happens a few times, then they might have the strength to eventually talk to a psych.

    Just an idea to consider if you look at 'mediators for adults with depression Aus'.


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