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Forums / Supporting family and friends with a mental health condition (carers) / Partner with depression + untreated ADHD told me he thinks about suicide all the time. I need to talk

Topic: Partner with depression + untreated ADHD told me he thinks about suicide all the time. I need to talk

5 posts, 0 answered
  1. Violet12
    Violet12 avatar
    25 posts
    31 August 2021


    I'm here looking for support and maybe some advice from people who have gone through/are going through similar experiences with a partner.

    My partner of 8 years has lived with anxiety and depression the whole time I've known him. Recently he's realised through online assessments and talking with a GP and psychologist that he very likely has ADHD. He feels this is at the root of all of his issues in life. He has been chronically unemployed, and has not managed to keep employment for longer than a month and a half. It 100% seems that ADHD is at the root of this, and possibly is the reason underneath his depression. The issue is that in order to get medication, he needs a diagnosis from a psychiatrist, and this costs minimum $500. I'm a student and he's unemployed, so I don't know how will we get the money for this anytime soon. He is also worried that he won't be able to take the medication as he has a history of anxiety, and he's heard the meds can make anxiety worse. He has expressed that if he is told he doesn't have ADHD, he's going to end his life, and that if he can't take the medication, he's going to end his life. When I asked more questions about this, he said that he has too much empathy to go through with it as he doesn't want to me and his family to suffer. He then said he doesn't want to worry me, but that he thinks about suicide all of the time. He says it's too hard to live like this, and that if he finds out there's no help with the medication, he doesn't know how he will go on.

    I listened and let him talk. In the past I've really panicked and shut down when he's expressed these sorts of things because they scared and overwhelmed me. I'm trying to have firmer boundaries so that worrying about him doesn't become my 24/7 state and doesn't consume my own mental health. But also trying to be supportive and just be here, without trying to tell him what to do or trying to solve everything when I can't. I reminded him he has lived with this without help for so long, and that it could be so much better with help. I told him there's help no matter what and it can get better no matter what. He is not so hopeful. I've reached out to some psychiatrists to see if they'll accept payment plans for assessment, and have found a bulk-billing psychologist who I'll call when I can sneak away at some point today, or email. He is on a large dose of antidepressants already that I think are keeping him from truly being bed-bound.

    I guess I just wanted to talk.

  2. Sophie_M
    Community Moderator
    • Works for beyondblue moderating these forums
    Sophie_M avatar
    6824 posts
    31 August 2021 in reply to Violet12
    Hi Violet12, 

    We are sorry to hear about what you and your partner are going through at the moment. It sounds like an incredibily difficult situation with the ADHD diagnosis, depression and suicidal ideation. We are really glad that you have come to the forums to seek support from others who have faced similiar experiences. It took a lot of courage to write this post and we want to thank you for reaching out. You never know who will see this post, resonate with what you have said and feel less alone.

    We admire how you are trying to set boundaries, sit with your partner and not immediately try to solve the problem - it sounds like you are doing many of the best things for them. We want to remind you that your mental health is just as important and that we all need to look after ourselves first. 

    If you ever feel that you want to talk to someone, you can call us on 1300 22 4636 or our friends at Lifeline on 13 11 14. The kind people that answer the phones will support you to process these feelings and help you to support your own wellbeing. We are here for you 24/7, you don't have to do this alone. 

    These two articles might be helpful as well if you prefer to read instead of chat with someone
    1. 10 ways to be there for someone
    2.  What to do if someone you know is suicidal

    Thank you again for being a apart of this community, we admire the bravery it took to share this story and the strength it takes it support a loved one with their mental health. We hope that you can admire this in yourself as well. Please feel free to update us on how you are going, if you feel comfortable. 

    Kind regards, 
    Sophie M
  3. white knight
    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.
    white knight avatar
    9779 posts
    31 August 2021 in reply to Violet12

    Hi Violet, welcome

    Ok, real truth here and that is- it does take some determination and vision to get through the process of a/ proper diagnosis b/ correct medication after perhaps trying up to a handful of others c/ correct dosage while balancing other medications d/ non medication or professional assistance eg life changes.

    So, the anxiety first- I had anxiety in my teens but it wasnt until 27yo during a workplace drama that it peaked and I sought help. Along with the meds I did develop my own rituals that I learned from my therapist etc. Some of them 34 years later I still do like Muscle tensioning exercises and deep breathing. Yes it took 22 years before my anxiety stopped. I rarely get it now at 65yo. That shows that on some occasions depending on the person and the level of intensity, as to how long it can take.

    ADHD. I'm sad that he is suicidal. I made an attempt once and will never again, such was the sad place that I arrived at in 1996. Wife and I separated, two little kids, shift work, narcissism present in the house etc. I'm the first to admit that where my determination came into the picture and positivity I learned way back in 1983. I was diagnosed in 2003 with ADHD and for 6 years took 12 different types of meds to find one suitable. In 2009, rediagnosed with bipolar- so I didnt have ADHD anyhow!!. On the right meds I thrived and am here today because of it. The moral of the story- correct medication, second opinion and perseverance.

    I suppose that wasnt what you wanted to here because it all paint a picture of the long road ahead and that means a lot of things from you-

    • Patience. Yes, you are on the right track by listening
    • Positivity "Yes darling, we will be ok. We will get there, life will be much better soon ...and so on
    • 1,2,5,10 year plans. These are often financial ones (yes I know you are struggling there). But goals too. Sit down and write them out. Stick them on the fridge and cross them off as you achieve them.
    • Review your lifestyle. You may not want to change it but things like his career, workplace, city swapped for country living, hobbies, sports eg following a footy team and attend matches, removing toxic friends from your life, find new friends.

    I notice Sophie has listed "What to do if you know someone is suicidal" so embrace that.

    Here is a thread that might help on this topic of positive life changes


    1 person found this helpful
  4. Violet12
    Violet12 avatar
    25 posts
    31 August 2021 in reply to Sophie_M
    Thank you Sophie. It's been hard, but it's less hard when I talk about it, and I'm learning that. It's not an unusual situation to be in to be supporting somebody that's depressed or suicidal, unfortunately, and in a strange way that empowers me more to normalise my experience just within my own perception. And I think talking about it is part of that normalising, and the normalising helps me to breathe in the moment, especially the hard moments, and just remember the key things - like listen, be there, breathe. It's good to have so many online and telephone support systems and communities to share the experience with.
  5. Violet12
    Violet12 avatar
    25 posts
    31 August 2021 in reply to white knight

    Thanks for your response Tony, I appreciate how much you opened up about your experiences, and your perspective on what recovery can look like, especially that it is an ongoing journey.

    I do need to remember that there may be changes that one day make a permanent improvement in him, and I do hope that can happen for him. I do think I needed the reminder, or reinforcement, that my role is a support one. So, I can't actually make those diagnosis changes, medication changes, etc, I can't speed up time, or control his emotions, or his reactions, or his motivation to do things. All of that is not within my power, & that's kind of what I'm really trying to learn right now. When I think that I can be a superhero and that I need to become Carer with a capital C and take that on as a living-breathing persona, I just get burned right out, and he ends up feeling alone because I'm not really listening if I'm just "fixing".

    Anyway, I probably went off on a tangent there. To respond to your point about big life changes, I am totally open, and I think he knows that. We have recently moved from the city to a suburban-rural town. Re workplace or career, he doesn't have either and has been chronically unemployed for years, so, yeah, that's a really difficult one. But I recognise your sentiment that maybe big shifts will help. If he ever comes to me with one I'll consider it 100%.

    1 person found this helpful

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