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Forums / Supporting family and friends with a mental health condition (carers) / Struggling to support my depressed partner

Topic: Struggling to support my depressed partner

8 posts, 0 answered
  1. Strugglestreetsally
    Strugglestreetsally avatar
    6 posts
    31 October 2021

    Hi there all,

    I guess I am here for a bit of a vent and any possible advice.

    Ive been with my boyfriend/fiancè about 2 and a half years. We got engaged about 3 months ago, and I'm 5 months pregnant.

    He struggles with severe depression and anxiety, which has affected his ability to get and keep jobs due to just having anxiety attacks and not being able to show up on his first day, resulting in him barely working the last 2 years. He has previously sought help with a counsellor but she wasn't the right person and hes waiting to get into a psychiatrist to try some medication.

    I guess I just am feeling completely at a loss lately. He seems to be making progress.. make 3 steps forward then he loses it and falls back into depression mode and loses all his progress. This has all had a huge impact on our intimacy many times. Im a hugely sensitive person and I try to do everything I can to help. He moved away from his home to be with me 2.5 hours away and misses his family and friends alot.. but I have no idea how to help him. Over the past 2 years I have told him to move back home as he never seems happy here but now we have a baby on the way and I feel completely depleted.

    I read another thread here about a girl who loves her bf but didnt sign up for this.. I feel the same. I love him with all my heart but this is not the life I want.. to deal with a depressed anxious person, to carry the load 100% of the time, financially and emotionally.

    I don't want to be a single mum, I just want him to get better. I know its a slow road but im struggling with all the set backs. Does it get better? I'm feeling like I have no more options and I'm out of ideas as he seems set that hes "f'd in the head".

    Please help me..

  2. Strugglestreetsally
    Strugglestreetsally avatar
    6 posts
    1 November 2021

    Sorry I didnt know how to edit, so thought I'd reply, I guess I just need advice on how to stop myself getting frustrated at him and just blowing up, and then giving up.

    I know its not his fault the way he is feeling but it feels like he self sabotages and it frustrates me so much.

  3. Isabella_
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    Isabella_ avatar
    162 posts
    1 November 2021 in reply to Strugglestreetsally

    Hey there,

    I appreciate that you shared your story with us.

    Your frustration is completely valid. You have your own needs and health, which can feel put to the side when you're in the shoes of being a carer for a loved one with mental health issues.

    There's no doubt that you love him and want him to get better, and I can understand the frustration you feel as it seems that he's self sabotaging. I can see that your partner makes steps to be better but falls back down. I'm curious about whether he's receiving any mental health support for his depression and anxiety, or if he has in the past?

    I can see that you're carrying a lot of the weight of this relationship, all the while being 5 months pregnant. I want you to know that your health and wellbeing is just as important, and that it's incredibly hard to bear a lot of responsibility and care for someone when you feel that your needs aren't being met. You can't be expected to know how to treat/manage his mental health.

    You mentioned that you've had blow ups and just given up, are the both of you having fights? Would you be comfortable sharing what these fights look like/how they start?

    Have both of you had a conversation about the things you can do to be supportive of him, and the things he can do to be supportive of you?

    I hope to hear from you.

    1 person found this helpful
  4. Miz
    Champion Alumni
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    Miz avatar
    56 posts
    1 November 2021 in reply to Strugglestreetsally

    Hi Strugglestreetsally,

    I'm sorry to hear you've been going through this! It sounds like a big burden to bear...especially when you are pregnant. First, it's important to know that your stress is valid and you shouldn't feel guilty for these feelings of frustration and struggle. it's a huge burden to bear and it is okay to step away.

    In terms of practical suggestions, it might be good to reach out to his family and friends and see if they can assist you with some of the caretaking. I know travel is hard but even a facetime call with close friends might help to alleviate some of the low mood and loneliness. Additionally, I would hold on until he is able to see a psychiatrist and take some medication - both these things can dramatically help with mental illness and might spark a serious turnaround in his mood and behaviours. Finally, have you tried talking to him at all? Obviously you will be sensitive but expressing to him how you feel especially with the baby now coming might actually help him to take some action or be more motivated to seek help!

    Here for you if you want to chat more. I'm so proud of you for shouldering the load so far. Keep going if you can!

    1 person found this helpful
  5. Petal22
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
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    Petal22 avatar
    2019 posts
    1 November 2021 in reply to Strugglestreetsally

    Hi Strugglestreetsally,

    Im sorry yourself and your partner are going through this.

    Your partner isn’t a F…. Head anxiety and depression are very hard to deal with… and they are very real….when your partner says these things about himself please ask him to look for the more positive things about himself .

    I understand your frustration but I also understand what you partner is going through in some way, I also suffered with severe anxiety OCD it felt like I was living in an internal hell..I have now recovered thanks to the professional help I received. Your partner can recover aswell he just needs to find the correct treatment for him. My recovery was 3 steps forward and 2 steps back but in the end I got there….. I was lucky to have a loving encouraging family to help get me through in the tough times.

    Im sorry your partners phycologist wasn’t a good fit he needs to keep trying new ones to find one that feels right for him…. A psychologist can give many helpful strategies for coping with anxiety…… please encourage him to see a new psychologist..

    Anxiety can be managed…. My gp put me on a antidepressant to help me manage my anxiety… it’s not a quick fix though they can take up to 6 weeks to work fully.

    I believe medication and therapy go hand in hand…. So please also encourage the therapy.

    Life on the other side of these conditions can be amazing and people really do recover! Just hang in there with him and give him as much encouragement and support to keep seeing professionals.

    Encourage your partner to keep phone contact with his family just talking to those close to us helps.

    My advice is try to keep calm and be understanding…. We truly don’t really know how someone else is feeling … we can just be there for them in an understanding way ❤️ I can see how much you love him so keep showing him your LOVE..

    Congratulations on your pregnancy aswell 😊

    Yourself or your partner are Wellcome to call our friendly Beyondblue councillors 1300 22 4636 if you want more support

    im always here to chat

    1 person found this helpful
  6. Strugglestreetsally
    Strugglestreetsally avatar
    6 posts
    3 November 2021 in reply to Isabella_

    Hi Isabella_,

    Thank you for acknowledging all of that.

    Our fights arent really big fights, just frustratedly quiet and not speaking.
    I will get upset, walk away and cry and he just pretty much ignores me until i calm down and then force him to talk to me by sitting infront of him for however long it takes until he comes around.

  7. Strugglestreetsally
    Strugglestreetsally avatar
    6 posts
    3 November 2021 in reply to Miz

    Hi Miz,

    I have definitely thought of reaching out to his family but wasnt sure if this was the right step, I wasnt sure if he would not like me sharing this with his family, as he is generally the one supporting them.

    He spoke to a psychiatrist yesterday who said he has put him on a medication. But he was meant to begin a job this morning but anxiety got the best of him and wasnt able to get himself there even with all my encouragement and trying to help.
    Its just getting tough and im feeling stressed like he may never work again unless its in his home town.

    Thank you for your reply x

  8. Strugglestreetsally
    Strugglestreetsally avatar
    6 posts
    3 November 2021 in reply to Petal22

    Hi Petal22,

    Thank you for your reply. I am so glad to hear that there is light at the end of the tunnel as i'm feeling completely hopeless at the moment for him to recover.

    Thank you for sharing your story and providing a bit of hope for our shitty situation.

    I will keep encouraging him to seek counselling, although its difficult to get him there. I will try not to give up on him.

    Thanks again

    1 person found this helpful

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