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How to deal with getting pushed away by someone with depression

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My goal for starting this post is to get some understanding of the current situation I am in as well as to hear from others how depression affects or affected your relationship.

I’ll start by calling him “Brad”.

Brad and I met a little over a year ago under some not so well circumstances. He had been struggling with bad depression to the point where he thought suicide was the only answer. Thankfully, he failed at that attempt. We immediately hit it off, he was super easy to talk to, we had tons in common and in my opinion, made each other happier.

Fast forward a few weeks from meeting; we had managed to somewhat get out of the friend zone but of course, with everything he was going through I knew a relationship wasn’t the best idea at the time. Anyways we hung out did “relationship” type things. Within the next few months, things were amazing, we talked about our future and things were looking up, aside from the month where he completely distanced himself from me (stopped answering texts and calls, etc.). After that we got back on track until randomly one afternoon, we were talking about going to the beach this summer and making plans to do things together. Brad then switched gears by asking me if I’d be jealous of another girl and things like that. I, of course, threw in sarcasm by saying something along the lines of “of course not, why would I?” His response was “oh you wouldn’t be? what if I decided to start dating someone?” Of course, that completely threw me off guard because why would you be talking about us and our future than an hour later bring up some other girl. After that was thrown on me, I decided I needed an explanation. The explanation I got was I just want to be honest with you, then radio silence.  For someone who talked a big game about “I’m keeping you around for a long time” he sure threw me away quick. I, of course, sent him some colorful text messages because I was upset and hurt and the last message I sent to him, he didn’t open for almost 2 months. We’ve remained friends on Facebook and I’ve noticed he’s not been very active since we stopped talking. He also doesn’t go to work anymore.

I at this point have just come to terms with the fact that I got played but there’s also a part of me that feels there’s another reason to his drastic turnaround. I know no one knows what’s going on in his head but any insight on this matter will be greatly appreciated. I don’t want to keep worrying about someone who could care less about me. I know that probably sounds awful but if it's his depression acting up again, I wholeheartedly will stand by him and be there, but I also don’t want to question what I did wrong to make this ‘relationship’ go so bad. Again, any advice, words of wisdom or insight on this situation are greatly appreciated.

I also would love to hear any similar stories to mine and how you dealt with it and what the outcomes were.

Edited by sbron90

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Depression has definitely come between some of my relationships. I broke up with my first girlfriend because my depressive thoughts kept telling me it was a bad idea and I was afraid to be hurt. Luckily I think I made the right decision, but that can’t be said for everyone. I’ve also known of a few depressed men who find it difficult to stay committed to one girl.

Either way, I’m very sorry that this happened to you and I hope something good can come from this loss.

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Hi Sbron90,

     I'm sorry you are in this difficult and frustrating situation.  I've never been good at relationships so I am certainly one of the last people on earth to offer advice.  People are so complex and the conscious and unconscious motivations behind a person's actions often totally mystify me. 

     Depression can wreck havoc on relationships in my experience.  It can be a real roller coaster ride sometimes or sometimes a nightmare. There are also great rewards in such relationships.  

     I hope you will get a lot of responses to your post. 

      Welcome to our Forums ! ! !   - epictetus

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Hi Sbron90, sorry to hear that you are going through such a rough time. Depression can be so hard on relationships and there are no easy answers.

I shared my current relationship struggle in a post yesterday. While there are not many similarities to your situation, I can identify with your comment about wondering if you're loved one is behaving badly or if they are in the depths of depression. I don't think there is any way to know for sure, but things tend to become more clear as time passes.


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Hi @sbron90. That's a difficult and hurtful situation, it sucks to be treated this way no matter the underlying cause. 

Depression affects hundreds of millions of people and three times that many if loved ones and friends are counted. Your mental health matters as much as his and I hope we can give you perspective and support.

Depression has affected my relationships. I pushed away a girlfriend when I didn't understand what was going on inside me and she eventually ended our 12 year relationship. It was really hard for me to see through my illness and hard for her to see me through my symptoms. Experience is often a cruel teach but boy do we learn.

On 2/11/2019 at 6:48 PM, sbron90 said:

Brad then switched gears by asking me if I’d be jealous of another girl and things like that.

Did that just come out of nowhere?

On 2/11/2019 at 6:48 PM, sbron90 said:

The explanation I got was I just want to be honest with you, then radio silence.

Well, I suppose honesty and transparency don't have to go together. I hate being made to read between the lines about a serious subject. I can emphasize how it's hard for him to raise the topic but he could have been more forthright: "I'm having a hard time telling you something important. I think I have feelings for someone else but I'm also scared of hurting or losing you. I'm confused, I don't know what I want, maybe we should skip going to the beach and see whether we can discuss this?"

In that example, he isn't setting a time bomb and then backing away from it slowly.

Then again, when depression has it's grip on me I think to myself, This is yet another thing I screwed up. I ought to be alone.

It's praiseworthy that you want to support him, to try to work it out. Many of us who live with depression know only abandonment. Still, you can't fix him, he's got to reach for and want help. Ideally, perhaps, he would gave joined this site. But since you did, whatever decision you make, we will do our best to support you. Even if you do not have a mental illness your mental health matters.

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