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Forums / Supporting family and friends with a mental health condition (carers) / Is depression the reason he is pushing me away

Topic: Is depression the reason he is pushing me away

7 posts, 0 answered
  1. dancingheart
    dancingheart avatar
    3 posts
    16 December 2017


    Dating a guy for several months. He was open and explained trust issues and confided his ex bullied him and since separation has prevented him from seeing his children. During this early discussion I told him I know it won't be easy, but I care about him and I'm here.

    Since the beginning I can see its undeniably heartbreaking for him, previously we talked about it and we told each other we care and had a great relationship. Following a very recent court date recently (which resulted in him not seeing his kids for another reasonable amount of time) I've noticed changes in him and I've been deeply concerned.

    Ranging from lack of interest in things he enjoys, intimacy, withdrawing from friends/family/me, irritable, change of appetite, insomnia and difficulty getting out of bed. He told me on a number of occasions he is not himself, doesn't care/feel anything anymore, doesn't know the answers and is numb.

    Unfortunately I didn't recognise all of these signs at once, and I thought I had done something wrong and blamed myself. I felt hurt and uncertain After I spoke to a friend and (without diagnosis) she helped me to see what i deep down knew, he isn't just sad, he maybe affected by depression during this hard time.

    He opened up last night and I'm glad he trusted me to do so, it was very brave of him. He told me he doesn't know the answers, who he is and if he doesn't want to be around him why should anyone else. He said work, the situation, friends, family me is just "pressure" and he can't even look after himself.

    He said he i shutting off from me and the the world. But he loves spending time with me and everything about me. I told him his important to me and I'm not going anywhere, to which he responds I don't want to hurt anyone, or put you through my shit its not fair on you. When I would say if you need space he would respond but i care about you and you have been really supportive i just don't know if i can give you what you want... even though i told him all i want is to be here for you now. This went backwards and forwards and it felt to me like he was conflicted?

    I am willing to stay learn how do be with someone going through this. I've done a lot of reading but its good to hear from other people supporting someone they care about going through depression. Is this pushing away behaviour normal? is it a reflection of his depression or is he really trying to tell me he needs space? ... what have you done in this situation?


  2. Bethie
    blueVoices member
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Bethie avatar
    326 posts
    16 December 2017 in reply to dancingheart

    Hi and welcome

    First if it' great your standing by him through this . 2nd if you can get him to go see his GP and tell them how he' feeling.

    There is a lot of help out there.

    I know in my case my partner tried pushing me away because he loves me so much he wanted someone he thought was better than him for me.

    After 17 years was not going to happen. I talked to his GP because I also hold power of attorney over him due to a accident and got him medication which has made a world of difference.

    Please keep posting both on good and bad days. There's a thread you may find interesting about who cares for the carers I think that's the name.


    1 person found this helpful
  3. Croix
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    Croix avatar
    11086 posts
    16 December 2017 in reply to dancingheart

    Dear Dancingheart~

    You sound a very sensible and caring person. You are also in a puzzling and worrying situation. Your saying that at first you were worried you were the cause or had done something wrong struck a chord with me.

    I've been the one that has been depressed. At the start of my illness my wife thought exactly as you did, and only came to realize that was not the case as matters were explained to her by my doctor and my psychiatrist.

    All the things your BF has done and talked about are very similar to me when depression has really taken hold, so I can say from my own experience yes it is normal to feel hemmed in and want space - though that is not the full story. While I felt I was a burden and that my family would be better off without me I was of course wrong.

    My wife had a most difficult juggling act, to make sure I knew she was there for me -a constant in my life - whilst at the same time not crowding me when that made things worse and at other times being close. A just about impossible task. She has my undying admiration for her care, sensitivity and skill.

    Like her I'm sure you may make mistakes or miscalculations, it really does not matter, care is what counts.

    The most important two things are firstly you encourage him in the best way you can to seek medical help. If he is unresponsive to you, then see if there is some one else (friend, family, workmate) who can persuade him.

    I kept getting worse until I have professional help, and that is neither that quick nor very short term.

    The second thing is your own welfare. To keep optimistic, to have a sense of perspective, not to be ground down is very important. So what support do you have? Parents, siblings, friends? It makes a world of difference to be able to talk frankly to someone who cares. My wife had her mum. It would have been very different for my wife without her.

    If you'd like more information on depression have a look at The Facts menu above. Also as Bethie suggest read posts right here in the Forum about others who have had difficult carer's roles too.

    As I mentioned this is not a quick thing, and we would be very happy for you to keep on coming back and talking more


    2 people found this helpful
  4. dancingheart
    dancingheart avatar
    3 posts
    16 December 2017 in reply to Bethie
    Hi Bethie,

    Thank you for sharing your experience and providing guidance.

    He has admitted he needs help, and I have tried to kindly encourage this.
    Getting to a GP to get a referral or just talk, and even use online tools or over the phone.

    Thinking I'm struggling as I want to be there, but everyone is different, and having depression is different.
    I understand he needs space, so I may check in less often but with the same amount of love if he is feeling overwhelmed.

    I'll be sure to check in :)
  5. dancingheart
    dancingheart avatar
    3 posts
    16 December 2017 in reply to Croix
    Hi Croix,

    Thank you for your kind and supportive words and for sharing your experience with me.

    I feel it is a juggling act at the moment and I keep dropping the balls, but this relationship is new to me and so is depression. In my heart I feel he does love me but I can see how having depression and other pressures can make everything overwhelming and perhaps feel like you are protecting who you love so they don't have to go through what you are.

    I'm thinking to give him space and perhaps message less often, but with the same amount of love and reassurance. I don't want to push seeing him but perhaps I'll suggest a walk on a nice day or a movie where we can just enjoy each other without feeling the need to talk.

    He has been ignoring me and has said everything including me is too much and I just hope I haven't pushed him away... because I am here and that isn't my intention. He always says he appreciates everything, so I think i should stay I just need to learn the boundaries and get him some professional help. I have contemplated reaching out to a family member (although i've never met them) if he continues to be unresponsive to me.

    I have a great friendship circle who have supported me through this, and I have also sought some counselling advice, but it really helps me more knowing that I'm not alone - even if thats from other carers or people like yourself on the other end.

    Thanks again,
  6. Croix
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    Croix avatar
    11086 posts
    16 December 2017 in reply to dancingheart

    Dear Dancingheart~

    Thanks for telling me, I appreciate it.

    Look, I think you are on the right path. I've very please you have support and counseling, it will make an enormous difference - being on your own in this situation is horrible. Too many people try by themselves for all sorts of reasons.

    The same applies to your BF, trying to get though on his own can at worst be impossible - as it was for me - and at best will make his like -and those around him - needlessly hard.

    I'd think talking to that family member might be a very good idea, at least until you know what their attitude is going to be.

    Depression most often does respond well to treatment. As as far as your actions are concerned, like my wife, it is OK to make mistakes and learn


  7. randomx
    randomx avatar
    3358 posts
    16 December 2017 in reply to Croix

    Hi DH.

    Your a great lady sticking by him and wanting to try , really.

    l can't really offer any help but l can talk about what he's going through and maybe that helps , not sure.

    l dunno what happened in his marriage or if his ex completely flipped or ran off with someone or what , but he's dealing with all that and it's a massive massive thing and he's so lucky to have you.

    But then there's his kids , that's on a whole nother plain again. We split 5 yrs ago and to this day if l don't see my daughter after 3 or 4 day, l'm as depressed as hell. Sometimes when things are good l'm as low as it get and then l realize l haven't seen her and from there it just gets worse and worse until l do. We usually see each other these days 2 or 3 times a wk as she hardly stays anymore, l'm in a different town and her new bf and best friends are in her town so it's a bid ask asking a 16yr old to come and stay with dad these days when the bf and friends are over there.

    but l can tell you , keeping a mans kids from him , there's not much worse of this planet l could think of.. Is there anything can be done , is all the mad ex or what,

    But then in having you , as lucky as he is , that alone also brings on whole new pressures and the guilt alone is almost unbearable because he knows he's not himslef and that it's not fair on you and that he needs to somehow keep himself out of this rut or you won't be able to stand him . Andd that you shouldn't have to suffer with him , an 50 other things.

    So that's a lot of what he'll be feeling and dealing with. But you might know it all anyway , just thought l'd try to explain it a little.

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