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First Girlfriend I've Had With Depression


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After 5 years of being single met and started a relationship with a girl about 3 months ago. I really think she's great in every way and we have a lot of similar interests and I think our personalities match really well. The only issue is that she suffers from pretty bad depression which come and go in seemingly short waves.

Shortly after we started seeing each other reguarly is when she told me she struggles with depression. Having a mom and brother that have it pretty bad I knew what I could expect and was okay with it because I really really like this girl. It was then about a month and a half into the relationship when she was the first to say she loved me. I felt the same but wasn't quite ready to say it and I told her such which she understood. About two weeks after that I said it, and I mean it when I say it. I didn't think I could love someone so quickly but I do.

Over these past 3 months she's had several waves of depression but about a month ago started taking meds which seemed to have been helping. There was a couple times where it seemed one thing in her life didn't go well that day and it set her off but it was usually ok by the end of the day. However ever since Monday morning she's been having a real hard time, and I'm not sure whats happened other than switching to a new medication on Friday. At first she ignored me the whole day and then finally told me she needed to be alone and needed space, so I gave it to her. About an hour after that she called but didn't talk long and soon said goodnight. The next day (today) she talked a little on the phone during the day but I didn't hear from her for a while until about 9:30 tonight where again it was just for about 20 minutes and then she said she was tired and wanted to go to bed.

I want to help her but she isn't letting me and I'm not sure what to do. I care about her deeply and want her to be better, but my question is can she get better? Her psychiatrist said that she has a chemical imbalance plus situational depression (she recently graduated college and is really upset about not having a full time job right away). She also has really strict parents and despite being 22 they still treat her like she's 12 with curfews and having to check in all the time when she's out. Which I can't imagine is helping the way she feels any. She told me sometimes that she doesn't see the point of living if she's going to feel like this forever. Is there anything I can do to help her, how can I handle this situation? I feel like ive been thrown into a gun fight and all I have are sticks and I have no idea where to begin.

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Kyle, it sounds like she is really struggling with the depression. You care for her a lot so its affecting you. The main thing is to be caring and loving which it sounds like you are. She is in the middle of an illness and is trying to get better. She is on a new med also, which takes time to be effective and sometimes it takes a different one to try if it doesnt help. All you can do, is to encourage her to keep talking to her doctor about how she feels and continue showing her that you care. In the meantime, take care of your needs.

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How does depression due to a chemical imbalance work? Does it come out of no where one day or does something have to trigger it like having a bad day or can a specific thing trigger an 'episode'? I guess I could ask her these questions but at the moment she doesn't seem to feel like talking much.

Really i'm just trying to understand how it works. I've had depression myself and like I said my mom and brother have it pretty bad. But the three of us was and is all entirely situational. From what I know if you have a chemical imbalance its almost like you're upset but for no specific reason.

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Well, both. It can just be there without a reason or something happens to cause it to erupt when it was at bay. Generally, you need meds with a chemical imbalance. It may have been something that caused the tendency to get depressed for it to come active or you just have an imbalance- period. Confusing, I know. Situational should go away when the situation changes, but not always. Sorry I am not much help explaining it as it is confusing to me too.

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I guess its obvious there's no real way to prevent it without meds and even that can only do so much. Since the day after I made this thread she's been back to her old self again i'm just wondering how long till the next time it comes up again. Does chemical imbalance ever go away as you get older or is it something you have for life? She's mentioned not wanting to live her whole life with this problem, at the moment she's fine but i'm worried years down the road whether we're together or not that she won't be able to take it anymore.

On top of the chemical imbalance I think I also mentioned she has situational depression. Her whole life she was a straight A student used to always knowing what to do because in school you have a daily schedule you follow that tells you what to do and where to be and when. Now that she's recently graduated she's realized that the real world doesn't really care about grades and there isnt' a set plan she's feeling lost and doesn't really know what she wants to do. She's even had to move back with her parents and now she feels worthless and inadequate. On top of that her parents treat her like she's 12 even though she's 22, and recently gave her a 9 pm curfew on weekends and weekdays. Even though they're trying to help I feel like its just making it worse by not treating her like an adult. I want to help but i'm not sure how I can do it?

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I remember when I was depressed which I believe started after a tragic event, then too many big life changes occurring on top of it all all at once. I think if it was just the situation and a calm background life, it would have passed. I was put on medication and it was a life-saver.

But from my perspective, nothing anyone said really made a difference because my thinking was too distorted and I believed my thinking. The best thing for me was just having someone that seemed to care and listen. If things got bad, to make a phone call for me, drive me to the doctor, etc. Little things were hard to do. That helped tremendously. With the right medication and time, I got better.

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Would it be better then if I were to remind supportive and listen or should I also try to push her to make life changes?

For example yesterday I was at her house after work, and while I didn't push her, when I asked if she wanted to go make a professional email address she said no "I don't want to be an adult". It would have taken no more than 5 minutes but she didn't want to do it. Not knowing how far I should push it I dropped pretty quick.

She didn't get upset about it and everything was normal, but I of all things to take a step forward making an email address is just about the easiest.

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Kyle, first off, bless you for seeking help. You seem like a very kind and genuine person.

My advice would be: Listen and remain supportive, as others have said. You've asked, "Should I do X or Y?" If you're doing something out of love, compassion, because you care for her, you're likely doing the right thing. My rule is: If I'm doing this out of love, it's likely the right thing. If I'm doing this because I'm mad at them, likely need to go for a few miles of running and come back to it.

I think what could also help is also not seeking an answer necessarily about why she is depressed. She might not know. I know for at least me, that leads me to isolate -- when I don't know why I'm depressed, I sometimes won't talk about it because I know someone wants a reason so they can then help me and feel validated in helping me.

It sounds like you're doing a lot of the right things -- educating yourself, talking to others and loving her. Bless you.

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