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Forums / Supporting family and friends with a mental health condition (carers) / Moving in together with someone with depression

Topic: Moving in together with someone with depression

8 posts, 0 answered
  1. Zebra Safari
    Zebra Safari avatar
    4 posts
    1 January 2018

    I have been with my boyfriend for two years. I know he has had severe depression 5 years ago and is still on ADs. For the two years he has been managing well with some downs which have been manageable. He withdraws for a couple of days but still keeps in touch. After that he has appeared fine. I know he works hard to keep positive and he is good at that after years of therapy. We do not live together yet. This year he felt like his medication did not help any longer, so a different AD was prescribed. Most of the time we have had a fantastic relationship and we are in love. We have made plans of moving in together with our children from our previous marriages. We have been looking for houses and were excited about the plans, him in particular. Just before we were meant to go and view properties he suddenly fell into a black hole of depression. This has lasted for much longer than before, seems more intense, he has been irritable and angry, he is not able to keep in touch and I am very worried. For a while I thought he broke up with me and it was devastating. He feels like a different person and he said he does not have warm feelings towards me at the moment, although he wants to stay together. I dare not even ask about the house and moving in together, but I am very stressed as my lease is finishing and I need to move out. I am also very stressed whether moving my children to a house where someone suffers from depression is a good idea. Even if I was able to cope, the children will suddenly live in an environment where someone can potentially be very moody and have these unpredictable episodes that affect the feel in the home.

    I am naturally very concerned about my boyfriend, I love him very much but I am really scared at the same time. Will he be back as his usual self and whether these bouts are going to be more frequent and serious. I know nobody can tell, but I am wondering if there are others who have moved in with a partner suffering from depression, and have had children moving with them. How are the children going to be affected? How do you survive the fact that your partner may 'disappear' unpredicably?

    1 person found this helpful
  2. demonblaster
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    demonblaster avatar
    7660 posts
    1 January 2018 in reply to Zebra Safari

    Hi Zebra welcome

    If you're lease wasn't running out soon I'd be thinking maybe wait and see how he goes through this but it's a tricky one isn't it.

    Depression does make us see things in a negative light, it's hard to see things for what they are.

    Do you think these new meds are not working for him or that maybe they'll take longer to take effect.

    I think you're right to have concerns atm anyway as his behavior has changed. Hopefully he'll pull through like he has in the past.

    You certainly sound committed to him which would be very comforting for him but hard for you thinking he may have split and that he's being angry isn't helping.

    Good that he still wants to be with you, does he talk about how he's feeling with you

    Look after yourself Zebra too :)

    Best

    1 person found this helpful
  3. Croix
    Community Champion
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    Croix avatar
    10547 posts
    1 January 2018 in reply to Zebra Safari

    Zebra Safari~
    I’m sorry that things are not good at the moment and can well understand the difficulties you face. As Demonblaster saw it is your lease running out that make the whole thing more urgent.

    First off as someone who had had bouts of depression I can say that it does mute feelings to the extent where I did not know if I I loved someone or in even I was capable of love. So the fact your BF wants to remain together is a big plus.

    For someone who had been on a particular medication for a long time to change it for another is not always straightforward. This new one may not be as effective in times of stress.

    Add to that the prospect of moving in with someone and combining two families in a strange house sounds to me to be highly stressful (on both of you). As a result his current state may be at least in part a reaction to both things.

    May I ask what would happen if you were to renew your lease or sign another on your own and then take your time about things?

    I would think the problem of how your children are going to react to him will become less the longer he is associated with you, particularly if you try to involve him in your family activates and try to take part in his. As for if he will disappear from time to time, I’m not sure you should accept that as the best that can happen. There are many here who have had depression long term and live happy stable lives due at least in part to correct medication.

    Do you have anyone in your own life such as a parent or friend to discuss these matters with? It can be a big help.

    Please come here as often as you like. You are welcome

    Croix

    3 people found this helpful
  4. Zebra Safari
    Zebra Safari avatar
    4 posts
    1 January 2018 in reply to demonblaster

    Thank you so much for your reply. I am feeling quite anxious about the situation.

    We have both been a bit scared about the move, as you said, we know it is not going to be straight forward, especially two of the kids becoming teenagers. It has been him who has been encouraging the move and when I have got cold feet, making me see the positive side of it and think optimistically. I think I will need to find a house and sign a lease for my kids and I only, but at the same time I feel awful about doing so as he has been so keen to move in together and we have both talked and dreamt about it a lot. And now I am not able to ask his opinion on this. It is killing me! I am afraid that my choice will hurt him. It is possible that the thought of moving in and the reality of it has something to do with his situation now. But I cannot talk to him to find out.

    Unfortunately I don't have any family here to help, but I can try to talk to friends. I am really feeling awful as normally we communicate many times a day when apart and generally cuddle and hug each other a lot. Now there is nothing and it feels so strange! I am really struggling with giving him space while worrying how he is doing and wanting to make sure he knows I love him and am here for him. After reading some of the other chains here, I now also worry that maybe any contact from me is stressful. He sent me a message saying that each text takes energy from him. It is so difficult for me to understand how he is feeling right now and what the best thing to do would be. I wish I could talk to him, but obviously that will have to wait until he is better. Each day of waiting and hoping feels like torture though.

    1 person found this helpful
  5. Zebra Safari
    Zebra Safari avatar
    4 posts
    1 January 2018 in reply to Croix

    Thank you very much for your reply. It was very helpful to hear how feelings can be muted or 'non existent', that is exactly how it felt: he seems to have no emotion, except some irritability and slight anger, towards me. I now think the stress of moving in together plays a big part, combined with the new medication. It hasn't seemed to work that well. He has been taking it for a few months now. Should I text him not to worry about the moving in? Like I wrote above, I am worried that it will hurt him futher as he has been so keen on the move. Saying that, when we spoke when his bout had started, he was very scared about the move and the kids reaction in particular. My daughter has been quite unaccepting of him.

    I now realise the best solution is just to find another place for myself and then re-plan the move again for 6-12 months time when we can talk and if he still wants to do it.

    Oops, I just realised I answered to your family and friends question above already!

    1 person found this helpful
  6. Croix
    Community Champion
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    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    Croix avatar
    10547 posts
    1 January 2018 in reply to Zebra Safari

    Dear Zebra Safari~

    One of the things about any partnership that is gong to work is that both parties have to understand and want the best for the other. Your BF's current illness was unforeseen and you have to take action that takes account of this new problem.

    I would imagine when he is better he should be able to accept that you still loved him but had responsibilities to your children, they can't live in limbo. On top of that you had to consider if the current situation itself was contributing to his illness. So setting things up so you had accommodation for a while is simply a pause to get things in order - his medications for one thing.

    There is one thing I can say, my partner took over a lot of the burden of everyday life, of household matters, decision making and so on. This opened my eyes to her great capabilities and resilience. our subsequent time together benefited from my realization that I could lean on her, and in better times she could lean on me.

    You are making sensible decisions and are someone that can both support and be relied upon too.

    Yes each text might take energy and focus, but speaking for myself even when in a bad place the knowledge there was someone there for me made a big difference. If you balance that against the energy of contact I think it is no question. My partner had to learn what worked, when not to pressure or make suggestions, and how at other times exactly the same thing worked well. Not easy for her at all. I'll always be grateful to her.

    It does seem a terrible open-ended long time, I don't know anything that would make it any easier, perhaps talking to a friend regularly might be the way to go.

    Croix

    2 people found this helpful
  7. Zebra Safari
    Zebra Safari avatar
    4 posts
    1 January 2018 in reply to demonblaster
    In response to your last question: usually we talk about our feelings and thoughts a lot. When this started he wrote to me that this is not personal (as for me to not take what comes personally) and it is like his worst period of depression again. I now realise that we haven't talked about this period in his life in that much detail because it was a while ago. From what I understand, it was absolutely awful and he couldn't do anything at all. That is why I am so worried and feeling helpless at the same time. He is good at seeking help, I hope he is getting some already. I have also offered to take him to a doctor or accompany him as well, to be able to understand more. He said no to both, but he may have contacted someone on his own.
    1 person found this helpful
  8. demonblaster
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    demonblaster avatar
    7660 posts
    2 January 2018 in reply to Zebra Safari
    Very hard to know what to do Zeb, I think that sounds like a good plan to get the house with the kids for now.
    You're not saying no but you need the kids settled & yourself for that matter.

    Unfortunately this is what deep depression does, it makes us withdraw, makes it very difficult to communicate
    Although he usually gets help which is good this is hell on you not knowing, being in limbo, I don't think it's unreasonable to want to know where he's at & letting him know as you are that you're there for him & love him.

    Maybe when he pulls through this you could talk more of going to the Doc with him, great idea for more understanding.

    You said you wish you could talk to him, of course you would this would be so hard, what about going to see him, maybe a good hug & seeing you might help him open up a bit as opposed to ph or text.

    I do feel for you
    You're a great supportive loving partner

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