BF suffers from depression/anxiety and my head is a mess

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This topic contains 2 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  anita 11 months, 1 week ago.

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    We’ve been together on-again/off-again for over 3 years. The first time he broke up with me was a few months after his demeanour changed. We started out great – instant connection, always laughing, he was thoughtful and kind and funny and generous, I felt safe with him. I felt loved like I’d never felt before.

    Then some switch flipped in him – inexplicably, he became cold and disconnected and distant. I thought he was cheating. I learned to walk on eggshells around him, never knowing what could set him off. But I loved him so much, I could handle this. Then, one day, after a spending a lovely afternoon together, he ended it with me. Without a real reason. I was completely blind-sided.

    Turns out he missed me too much, we started up again. I did some research (this isn’t normal!), and I figured he was depressed. He was, after all, so far away from his home and friends, working too much at a job he didn’t find fulfilling anymore. We talked about this possibility. After more time together, he ended it again. And again, we got back together. Rinse and repeat. He said he knows he’s been a shitty boyfriend, but he felt so unhappy in life, he didn’t feel anything anymore, not for anything, not even me. He didn’t know why he was so sad, so he needed to give himself a tangible reason WHY, so he ended it. Again.

    This yo-yo took a toll on my health. He told me I am his best friend, that he was going to marry me someday. But then he would say he knows he’s a shitty boyfriend, and that I deserve better. But I love him, and I believe the “him” I first met is still there, just under a cloud of depression. So we stayed together. But yet, I ended up in the ER with a condition which dr’s say mimicked a heart attack. My heart was breaking.

    He ended up moving this past summer to take a job in his home town, he’s closer to his family and friends. I was so happy he was leaving, I couldn’t do this roller coaster anymore. I figured once he got back home, he would get better. I’ve been out to visit, and things always are amazing. I’ve seen him at his worst, and now that he’s going to a psychologist and psychiatrist, and he’s on meds, I know not to take things personally.

    And when I leave to take a plane home, he would hold me and kiss me and tell me sweet things, asking me when I was moving out there so he can marry me. He told me I’m the glue that keeps him together. But I don’t know if it’s these meds he’s on that are causing him to lash out at me again – he can be so irritable, he doesn’t want to talk about his day, he’ll make his quick phone call to me and then play video games with his friends all night. He asked what he needs to do to get me to move out there, I told him to SHOW me he loves me, not just TELL me. He really hasn’t yet. When will these meds work and fix him already? Will they ever really fix him? Am I wasting my time? It’s been 3 years, and the thought of not being with him kills me. I would hate to leave him, to give up on us, watch him from afar get better and end up with some other girl, when all I needed to do was just hang in there a little longer. I feel so lost and hurt. I know I deserve better, but I don’t even want anyone else. How pathetic am I?!



    Hi liz,

    You could be on the best medication in the world, and then suddenly it doesn’t work any more (or not as much). Even if he did find some other girl, she, too, would have to manage him, manage the meds, be alert for subtle changes in his behavior, etc.

    Tell him that you would be open to marriage, but he has to do all the work in managing his mental health. That you will still visit, and when you see a solid (two plus years with no changes) baseline of stable mood and behavior you can start truly looking toward the future.





    Dear liz:

    You asked: “When will these  meds work and fix  him already? Will they ever really fix him?

    My answer: no. Is there any psychiatrist out there who claims anti-depressants fix a person? If there is  such, I doubt his/ her competence  and integrity.

    Your boyfriend’s depression, irritability, anxiety, these are due to thousands of neuropathways in his brain and  no drug can change those, not even a single pathway. It takes a lot of work through a  whole lot of time, often with the help of a quality psychotherapist to change these pathways.

    You wrote: “I love him, and I believe the ‘him’ I  first  met is still there, just under a cloud  of depression”-

    that is  a correct observation, I believe: the  loving and lovable person under any person’s unloving behavior is still there. We  all start loving.

    There is no magic to uncover that loving  part of him and have that part  be there on a reliable, dependable, consistent manner. Time alone will not make  that happen, neither will psychiatric drugs. His moving  to his hometown, to be  with his family and  past friends, was a move not congruent with healing. It  is within the context of  his family relationships that his loving part went  into hiding.

    I hope you post again with your thoughts and feelings.


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