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PTBrennan

Partner has depression, I'm feeling lost and confused.

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First time poster and I apologize if this isn't the right forum I'm just lost and looking for help.

Like the title says my partner has depression and lately our relationship has been suffering as a result. I've been reading up on depression and trying to be as understanding and supportive as possible but I'm starting to feel alone and isolated by my partner.

Everything was fine for the first few months, actually better than fine things were almost perfect but something happened to her living arrangements and this caused her to go into a full blown depression spiral.

Now I hardly hear from her during the day, she's very cold and distant from me and everything I do seems to annoy her.

I'm extremely supportive, buy her little presents to make her feel loved, help pay her bills when she's short on money, bring over dinner so she doesn't have to cook and give her space but despite all of this she just keeps pushing me further away and our communication isn't there at all.

I know depression can cause you to push people away but she's still posting on Facebook to other people and pretty much treating other people like she normally would, it's just me she seems to not have time for or any energy to try. It really hurts that she puts energy and effort into these friends who she hardly sees on Facebook but can't bother to put any energy or time into me.

I'm just really at a loss and don't know if this is really depression symptoms or what is going on. I was wondering if anybody on here has any sort of insight or experience because she says she still loves me but told me this is how it is right now and if I don't want to stick around she'd understand.

Thank you for taking the time to read this and for any advice or insights you can offer I really appreciate it because I'm truly lost and don't know what to do. I love this woman very much and don't want to give up on the relationship but I'm starting to feel like I don't have any choice if she can't put forth any effort with me like she does with everyone else.

Am I wrong for feeling this way, am I being selfish, what can or should I do to be more understanding and supportive? Any comments or insights will be appreciated greatly.

Edited by PTBrennan

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I'm not an expert, but maybe she is relapsing? i mean does she take meds or see a therapist? maybe the depression is coming back? 

did something happen besides the move a change in her life ?? usually i am angry and isolate when i am really down, and give negative and angry responses to my friends/family (that is normal for many folks with depression)

maybe she needs more time to adjust to living arrangements? Also sometimes at first it's all good and stuff, but after a while you see each other on a daily basis and maybe she does not feel the same as before? (i dont want to scare you but I think those are things to consider too)

I guess the best would be to ask therapist if she sees one or doctor, and see if you can go together in a session or something? or maybe you can ask an expert on your own if she does not want that? or a family member? is she close with her family?

And no I don't think you are being selfish, you are concerned. I don't get that feeling that you are being selfish.. some people wouldn't even have bothered to post or ask so the fact that you posted and are wondering whats going on shows you care for her..

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Thank you for responding I really appreciate it.

She's going to see her doctor tomorrow actually and is trying to get help for her depression. She never told me why she stopped taking her medication before but it seems like without a "trigger" her depression doesn't bother her.

As for her not feeling the same that's something I am concerned about and what I'm trying to figure out. She says she still loves me and feels the same and that it's her depression that's causing her to push me away and be distant.

But like I said she still seems pretty active on Facebook and has energy and time to spend on other people just not me it seems like.

I guess that's what I'm really trying to figure out. I don't doubt her having a serious depression episodes but what I'm trying to understand is if her behavior is what you'd expect from a depressed person or if it's something else entirely.

Is it normal to treat those closest to you like they don't exist and push them away while acting totally normal around other people and even putting more energy and effort into those interactions than those close to you?

For example just last night we went out to dinner at a local bar. Two cops got up from their table and went running outside. I brought it to her attention and asked what do you think happened. She replied with I don't know and I mind my own business when it comes to police pretty much letting me know she doesn't care and doesn't want to talk about it. But just a few seconds later an older gentlemen right next to us commented to us that the Police Officers had just gotten there food and it's a shame that they couldn't eat but the bar will hold it for them. She turned to him and laughed about it and told him good looking out. So when I tried to talk to her about the incident I was shut down and received the cold shoulder but this random stranger talks about it and she's all ears, doesn't shut him down and acts very nice and sweet to him.

I don't get the obvious difference in reactions and treatment between me and this random older man and she doesn't seem to notice it either when I asked her about it. Plus of course I get you're not helping my depression and making it worse whenever I try to talk to her about it.

Edited by PTBrennan

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Glad you found us @PTBrennan.  I'll add a bit to what @ladysmurf had to say, with the caveats I'm not a professional and I'm only speculating based on my own experience.

Inasmuch as she's in a relationship with you, a certain amount of emotional vulnerability is comes with the territory and that can be scary.  If anything, I can assure you that it doesn't sound like it's anything you've done or not done.

In addition to the change in living situation - an adjustment for anyone - she may be experiencing some guilt that she's unable to cope.  She may feel responsible for the extra effort you're making.  She may feel she doesn't deserve it.  You may not be able to convince her otherwise.  I'm glad to hear she's seeing her doctor.  That's a positive move.

As far as social media and similar "safe" interactions you described, that may be all she's capable of at the moment since they don't potentially involve any vulnerability.

Regrettably, if things don't improve, you indeed may have to make a choice on whether the problems in this relationship are worth it.  I'd suggest being mindful of the effect this is having on YOU.  For example, what nice thing have you done for YOURSELF lately?

 

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Thank you Mark for responding with your insight as well I really appreciate it.

She's told me she feels like a loser and irresponsible person since she isn't able to meet her financial obligations so there is definitely that going on. And I honestly didn't think of the Facebook posts as "safe" interactions so thank you for sharing that possibility. This is the first time I've been with somebody who has depression and I'm just not used to all of this.

Honestly haven't done anything for me in the past few months, it's just been about her so I'm thinking I need to distance myself a little and start thinking about myself.

Edited by PTBrennan

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For showing patience, willingness to learn and to adjust for her condition you deserve credit and gratitude. I appreciate what you're doing and respect the efforts you're making. I'm also aware this means a lot less coming from some rando on the internet when you really want that recognition from her. 

Yes, depression's effect on relationships is felt the most by those who are closest to the one suffering. The helplessness and frustration you're feeling, she's feeling it too. Very often depression doesn't respond to acts of kindness and generosity which in turn adds to the tension of both sufferer and caring individual(s). It's the reason why getting some relief from symptoms needs to come first. 

Fortunately, depression does respond to medication and psychotherapy and it sounds like she's on track to getting both. You may be able to participate if couples counseling becomes a viable option. 

Caregiving is emotionally exhausting work. I agree with the others that doing something nice for yourself on a regular basis will help sustain you. Also, consider talking to a counselor yourself, it may relieve you of the tough feelings you're carrying around. 

Please update us with how you're both doing, I hope we can continue to be helpful.

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As a female I'm going to tell you what I think is going on.  Yes, she's prob going through things, depression, financial woes, etc. but often when another person, male or female, tries too hard it can be taken as weakness.  I know this from times I've wanted a relationship more than the other person and from times when I was the one who wanted it less and didn't respect the person for sort of groveling or trying too hard.  You simply must have your dignity.  I don't like the way she talked to you at the restaurant, saying to mind your own business.  There is never a good reason to say that disrespectfully and there wasn't anything wrong with you being curious in that situation.  Give her space.  I think that if she felt you would be able to go on without her if it came down to it she might actually think you more worthy of her consideration.  Ultimately, as much as you want to help and support her, she must be the one to help herself more than any other.  Who would want to be in a relationship where you have to carry the other?  Everyone must pull their own weight.  I hope you find strength and peace no matter the outcome here.

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