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Dating someone with depression

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I recently started seeing a man, he revealed that he suffers from depression. Before he revealed that to me, he would tell me that he was feeling down. I tried my best to cheer him up (without knowing what he was suffering from), but it never worked. Then, when he revealed he suffers from depression, everything clicked for me.

So, my question is: What is in my future for dating him? He has good days and bad days. There seems to be more bad days then there are good. He started a new medication almost a month ago... but since I just started seeing him, I don't even know what to expect from this new medication? Is he just going to be like a zombie walking around without emotions? Is he going to continue this good and bad day routine? Is the medication actually going to make him feel happy? What can I expect from dating someone with depression?
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First Helper Facelessface
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replied April 11th, 2009
If you really like the guy, then give it a chance to see what happens... but he really needs to get out to stuff to make him happy!!!! because i have been told if you are not happy, then everyone around you will not be happy til you are happy!!!! there is nothing you can really do to make him happy, because there is something he is not telling you and he does not want to let it go!!! if he could tell or talk to someone i think it would make a big different s in him!! but give it a minute for the medication to work and if it don't then you need to make a choice if you want that for the rest of your life!!!
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replied April 18th, 2009
Depressed Boyfriend
i have been with my boyfriend for almost 2 years now and i can honestly say i love him as much as i would if he had no depression. every person has good days and bad days. sometimes it's hard, they start pushing away when there is a problem and you need them there but you have to remember this isnt something they control. and for the last year we have been dating with 2 thousand miles between us which is even harder. but give this guy a chance. someone shouldnt be written off because they were born with an illness. medication helps so much because it balances them out and you see the REAL them! keep hope and stay positive i'm sure you will be ok Smile
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replied April 21st, 2009
Supporter
i m like your boyfriend
i've been in battle with depression for 18 years. i recently started seeing a therapist and ive taken prozac. the prozac made me feel like a zombie at first (dont feel happy or sad) then my body got used to the drug and i started feeling depressed again. it takes your sex drive away. i got off the prozac because i felt like it was a waist, but therapy is great...talking to someone about your problems. Depression is like herpes you keep it for a life time and it comes and goes. my question to you is can you deal with it? you know how he is when he's depressed are you able to handle it. if not get out the relationship, just be friends. it seems mean, but you have to be strong enough to deal with it or it will bring you down and thats not good.
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replied October 3rd, 2012
This was quite helpful - my boyfriend suffers with depression, slightly throughout the year here and there but this is the third summer that he has gone off for 2/3 months. I haven't seen him in 9 weeks or spoken to him despite my texts, calls and e mails. He has completely shut me out. I do sort of understand but I feel bewildered most of the time because I know he loves me and we were making plans for us right up until the day he disappeared. He has worries, quite big ones and they all come together and it's me he forgets - do you forget?? could he just have forgotten me and our relationship?

any advice would be welcome
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replied August 27th, 2009
Here is a suggestion: Find an opportunity and try moving into his place temporarily, so he doesn't feel lonely at anytime. This will help him mainly to get over his past experiences/whatever was bothering him, as well as help you in seeing improvements in him with your presence. Hope this helps! Smile

Source: One of my friend's relationship improved this way.
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replied January 10th, 2010
I have a similar problem. I fell in love with a lady who suffers from depression. We met during a vacation when I was going through a very rough time myself (divorce) and it just seemed like she understood me like no other person could. We live far apart and to top things off I have decided to spend an entire winter away from home in Mexico, in part to deal with recent developments. My girlfriend and I are keeping in touch via email, but sometimes she does not respond for weeks. I know that this is typical for someone with depression. This lady has a ten yer old boy who is living with her and she has not been able to work due to her condition. I am seriously thinking about getting a place in her city, have her move in with me and probably marry her some day. At the same time I am concerned about how her condition might affect our life together. What should I do to prepare for it? At the moment I am not the most stable myself, having no job or home to come back to. Everything will be a new challenge, but I do want this lady to be part of my life as long as she feels the same way. I can not stop thinking about her, but also know that I have not seen her at her worst. Any suggestions on how to maximize the chances for a good permanent relationship? Her son is a very vulnerable child who does not need turmoil in his life right now. He expressed the thought of his mother and myself living together as a couple and sometimes calls me dad. Any advice from somebody who has been in a similar situation would be much appreciated.
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replied October 5th, 2010
I've been with my boyfriend for a year and we just found out he has depression. He started taking his medication last week. and I can't wait to see if it helps him. Every day seems like a challenge because somedays he is so hard to talk to and acts like he doesn't care about anything. He is almost a constant bad mood. It's hard on me too, it all effects me in some way. It's hard because he seems like a completely different person then I fell in love with. Some days he goes off on me for no reason, and if I cry it's almost like he doesn't care and gets some what annoyed with it. I try and be the best girlfriend to him but I feel like it is not good enough because I can't make him happy. He doesn't seem to care how I feel about anything, and if something is wrong with me. He used to be like my best friend but I can barely talk to him about anything because he doesn't tell me whats going on or how he feels anymore. I am lucky to get an I love you out of him once in awhile. I just need help on what to do.
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replied April 5th, 2012
Dear livetoridexo,

I am in the exact same position as you. My boyfriend and I live together and he also suffers from an intense depression. Some days all he can talk about is how he wishes he wasn't in this world and all I can think is that it is because of me. I am smart enough to realize that it has nothing to do with me though and is a medical disease and you should realize it too because blaming yourself for someone else's unhappiness is unfair to you. I hope your situation improves.
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replied January 5th, 2011
Depression
i had a bad experience with an ex boyfriend who knew that he had depression but refused to take medication for it. Relationships like this can become abusive emotionally. You should never accept someone who treats you like you are second best. I know, I feel so much more like myself again now that I am free of his hatred and venom towards me. I told him he needed to stop taking it out on me, and then gave him three chances. At the third strike, I ended it. And i honestly feel liberated. Sometimes love really isn't enough. I don't think I was strong enough to handle that level of depression, but good luck to you if you think you are.
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replied August 24th, 2011
Dating someone with depression
Ive been with my partner for 4years. I could count the amount of times on one hand he's said I love you. Sometimes life is perfect and i wouldnt change anything. and other times we can fight for a week at a time, especially if he decides to stop taking his anti-depressants. he could start picking a fight without knowing it and then blames me for starting it. Sometimes he is not "well" enough to get up and actually fill his prescription. its hard, i feel like weve almost broken up a tonne of times, but then he feels good again and were back to normal. so exhausting. I love him with all my heart, and dont think i could live without him, just dont seem to know how to make it work.
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replied September 16th, 2011
I have been with my boyfriend for eight years now, and he is living with depression. He is my high school sweetheart and it was not this bad when we were younger. But I've watched his depression hold him back from making progress in his life. He thinks all of the wrong cards have been handed to him, and so the depression gets worse. What he can't see is that he is not doing anything to get help, and that is his problem. He is too proud for therapy, and does not like how drugs make him feel. Every day I feel like I am second to his negativity. But I feel like I am in it too far and love him too much to walk away. When things are good, they're amazing. But the good days are starting to seem less and less relevant. After years of giving him everything I have to no avail, I am starting to just want what is best for me, with or without him. It's a suffocating way to live.

I appreciate the comment from the young man earlier who is dealing with depression, who said make sure you're strong enough. I agree that everyone deserves love regardless of an illness. But make sure you know what you are getting into--depression is dark, scary, manipulative and loves company.
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replied September 17th, 2011
As someone who suffers from depression, the most important thing is support. I know I can be a lot to handle, as I'm sure others suffering from depression can be, and I know in my case, the ups and downs are difficult for my boyfriend, but he has been a great support system for me. Naturally, as most couples do, we feed off of each other, and he is always radiating positive energy that truly helps me have more good days than bad. We have been together for a year in a long distance relationship. The time we spend apart is hands down the hardest. In your case, I agree with the posts above that being present and trying to stay positive around your significant other is the best you can do. I personally have not tried medication, so I commend your boyfriend for taking that step. Depression is hard for the sufferer to deal with, but it can be even harder on their partner, as they do not understand the thoughts or moods swings that come with it. Try to be understanding and supportive, it is the best thing you can do for him as my boyfriend has been doing for me. It does take a strong person to do these things, especially if you feel like your effort is going unnoticed. Try to make him feel comfortable opening up to you about how he feels during his mood swings. I suggest talking to him on a "up" day, so he isn't already in a mood that could potentially escalate. Gently ask him to help you understand so you can help him better and support him. He would appreciate the thoughtfulness and concern, especially if you are nurturing and make him feel safe. You also need to recognize that bad days are NOT your fault. He will experience mood swings and feel pretty low some days, but it is nothing you are doing/not doing, and if you put the pressure on yourself to try and keep him happy 24/7 you are going to drive yourself crazy. I hope this helps, and I hope he is responding to the medication well <3
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replied November 6th, 2011
Dating Someone with Depression
I have the same issue as you do. I've been seeing someone with depression for 6 months now. Sometimes-well, most of the time-I feel as if its me who has to be the man in the relationship, and I have to be the one who is strong and never cries. He doesn't understand that its not always me who starts fights or is in the bad mood. I try to be supportive and I love him, but like someone's said before, sometimes love just isn't enough. I'm only 16 so maybe I'm just too young to really have any insight on things like this or to be dealing with this...but I have had the best times with him and have benefited so much more than i thought i would. I just can't find the will to break it off or do much but try to be uplifting for him. Even though we're both strongly devoted Christians, life (and dating someone with depression) is still a very hard road that I'm not sure I can walk alone-or with someone with depression. So maybe you aren't looking for this answer, but I truly, truly believe turning to God will be so much help. He will never give you more than you can handle-without his help, that is. You don't always have to be the strong one, even when neither of you can handle it God is there with open arms to guide you and support you through every time in your life-good and bad. I say open your heart to him and God and you will not be sorry, even if you two don't work out, if you really search for God and things don't turn out with you two how you expected, then you'll know it wasn't meant to be, but you will both find something to hold onto-and that's a relationship with God. I wasn't expecting this answer to come out so long or to end with suggesting you find God, but when it comes down to it you will find a relationship with this man and life in in general so much easier if you open up and search for God-believe me he's not hard to find. I really hope things turn out for the best for you both.
with love, Sara
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replied November 17th, 2011
Sara,
I recently started seeing a guy and today he told me that he's dealing with depression, and your post encouraged me like nothing else. Thank you so much for the timely reminder to put all our trust in God. He and I are lovers of God, as well. You are so mature for sixteen and God is speaking through you. Thank you, Sara. I'll pray for you and your boyfriend. Love and hope, Julie
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replied April 24th, 2012
Just read the above posts and found a bit of comfort.. My boyfriend suffers with depression and we are at a point, again, where he has gone into himself and if I don't try to contact him or get him out, we won't speak for weeks. I have been seeing him for nearly 2 years and I love him with all my heart, but I keep getting to this place, every few months, that I don't want to be the one who is there for him, I want him to be there for me. I am fed up with him not telling me he loves me, I am fed up with him retreating and abandoning me. Ultimately I want to be with him, because we do have more good times than bad, but I know that when things are like this, I feel so alone and I hate it.
It is nice to identify with you guys

Thanks
Bella
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replied April 25th, 2012
Speaking as someone who suffers from Clinical Depression as well as BPD, I can say that entering into a relationship with someone affected by it is a gamble. I consider myself to have a lot of tools that allow me to break down critically and question the validity of when I'm really deeply depressed, sometimes that only helps me from being extreme or helps me be functional versus outright positive.

I suggest guarding against being their therapist in place of professional help or another source, another friend, a family member, etc. As their partner/lover, depending on their level of depression, I know that I have placed all my burden on them because they encouraged me to talk about it, not realizing what they were getting. Those of you on the other side of that know what I mean. All my hopes, all my will to persist and carry on is placed on them, creating an expectation of constant cohabitation and perceived "need". Like a moth to a flame, it doesn't matter how damaging it ends up being to both of you individually and together. As someone who thinks they have nothing to export and contribute, you think the answer is that they need more of what keeps them going. In reality, there needs to be boundaries because you do love or care about them and think they are potentially "worth the squeeze".

Also, I'd say that, as a male, there is a part of me that understands harsh accountability. That may be true for some of the men that are being dealt with here. Strictly speaking, and as objectively as I can think of, there are times to talk and remind them what you like about them, see what they like about themselves and maybe what they like about themselves and you in the context of the relationship. If you talk about what they don't like, ask them why they don't like it, etc. And then there are times to, in a calm, RESOLUTE/UNWAIVERING/STRONG, tone, say that you love and care about them and that they need to question if how they're feeling is valid, it's something they have to do, by themselves for a time, for themselves and for both of you. I always think it's about the feeling but when I question it and break it down for XYZ situation that I'm experiencing or just in general, the feeling itself holds no water. There is no logic to it. There's no reason I can't choose to smile and be as happy as I can despite myself. Don't be afraid to hold your men accountable as best you can, challenge and cheer them and let them know when they're done with this round, that you're waiting for them.

Women, in their attempt to help, might focus on the feeling of being down but I can say that the feeling is a symptom, not the cause. If they won't seek help professionally to find out the cause, then it's dangerous to try and do that yourself unless you both understand what it means to have him open up fully about it. Causes are mostly psychological, I take no medicine but have extensively practiced self-cognitive therapy techniques, despite clearly having some kind of chemical interaction as well as psychological. But even if the problem began chemically, it compounds times a million over time through traumas, real or perceived, and terrible self talk. So that's why I say it's dangerous to insert yourself in that list of things that he's subconsciously afraid or suffering from.

But you can do those other things without compromising your position as their partner/lover and not invite them to place the burden of the actual depression on you.

Lastly, it doesn't go away. It does get easier, provided they understand and accept that they have a choice in the matter. If nothing else gets across with dealing with men, maybe everyone, who deals with short and long bouts of depression, it's that they need to be based in reality as much as possible. Objective reality, not feeling vaidation or invalidation. The reason is the feelings they experienced aren't logically based in reality in the first place. Their sadness is valid to them, no matter what their life actually looks like. I know some of this sounds overly dumbed down, and I don't mean to blanket statement all guys but we're similar enough that I think I struck it universally, haha.
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replied October 1st, 2012
Thanks everyone, there are some great advise here, I don’t suffer with depression but I am kind of dating a lady who does. I would appreciate any advice as it’s probably the hardest thing I’ve had to deal with and I want to make sure I’m doing the right thing, for her not for me. I’ll cope with whatever happens but my priority will always be her.

Here’s the story, it’s a bit of a long one so I appreciate your time.

We met online 15 months ago, although in different countries we got on so well from the start & both wanted to take it further, we would Skype everyday for a few hours and everything was great for a few months. We decided we should meet, I booked flights from the UK to Denmark where she lived. We were both counting the days down and were so excited. The day finally came and she had told me that morning she couldn’t wait to meet me. I called her to say I was leaving for the airport, I didn’t get a reply so I tried Skype but found I had been blocked on there, so I checked facebook and was no longer a friend. I was in shock, I used facebook messenger to see if I could speak to her. She did reply a few hours later, telling me that she just was feeling like everything has got on top of her, that she only wanted me to come for one day not the 3 days we had planned. I took this really badly and said that I didn’t understand what had happened and said I would only come for the 3 days and not just one day. By that time I had missed the flight anyway. She said she was sorry but I never heard from her again!

I tried every few months to make contact but I never got a reply, I still kept trying as all I could remember was how happy she told me I made her and her me. In August this year I sent another message, remarkably I got a reply, I was shocked again because I never thought I would ever hear from her again. She told me that she was really sorry but was suffering with severe depression and had been a year earlier but didn’t know it. That she had checked herself into a clinic a few months ago because she was worried about herself and what she might to, and that she had already tried to take her life last year. She finished by saying she really wanted to work things out with us.

I was so sad, the thought of her being that unhappy was awful. My best friend hung himself 12 months earlier and I was still coming to terms with that.

I didn't know what to do for the best, but I said I’m here for you if you need me so keep in contact. 7 weeks passed and I hadn’t heard hardly anything from her apart from her adding me back on facebook, she would leave comments on my photos but wouldn’t answer my messages or talk to me. I still didn’t understand what was happening. If I messaged her she would say “Can we talk another time” or “I don’t have time to talk”

I eventually thought I’ve had enough of this and sent her a long email telling her how much I cared for her but understood that if I make her sad or have more down days then I’ll take the hit and let her go. It was so so hard sending that email and it took me 4 days to press the send button! Within a minute I had a replay, she wanted to talk and sort things out with us. We talked for 2 hours, then another 2 the following day, she told me how happy I make her and that she had forgotten how good I was to talk with. Then I heard nothing for another 10 days.

My head was spinning and I worried I had caused her to be more sad. I decided to say we should meet, she immediately got in contact and agreed. We finally met for the first time last weekend. We had such a wonderful time and she was smiling the whole time, saying she hadn’t smiled so much since we were in contact a year ago. She said I meant the world to her and she was so please I cared for her like I do. We just did romantic walks, talked and shared cuddles. I wasn’t going to take it any further than that, I didn’t want to risk anything, we were having such a good time I didn’t want any more anyway. Everything was great anyway.

When I returned to the UK I messaged her to say I was home, she thanked me for a wonderful weekend, I asked if she wanted to see me again and she said yes, while I was typing she sent me a message saying that she couldn’t see me until after Christmas because she had studding to do and exams due by Christmas. I was completely blown away and went numb, I had no idea what to say. Eventually I replied and said is that really all you want? For us to meet every 3 months? I wanted more and that I didn’t think I could wait 3 months she said id have to and explained that she can only focus on one thing and that has to be her exams at the moment. I asked if it was going to be different after the exams and that we could see more of each other then? She said it would be different. I took it personally and she kept saying not too, I didn’t get what she was saying.

I’ve never been with someone who was depressed and I’m probably not very good at dealing with it, I’m hoping to learn that it’s not personal and that she may disappear for days or weeks without contact, it’s going to be tough but I care a lot for her and have decided to wait the 3 months then see what happens. I have no idea what to expect or if she will want to meet after the 3 months. It’s very hard to get a grip of but I do understand a bit more about it now.

Reading these threads have really helped me understand that it’s not personal and that I shouldn’t worry if she has bad days, I should just be here if she needs me and let her know that. The thought of pressuring her and driving here away or making her unhappy is also tough. I guess time will tell if it’s meant to be or not. As long as I can get a better understanding of the ups and downs of depression I think we will stand a much better chance.

Thanks again for reading and any advice would be welcomed either way, even if its a criticism, ill take any advice right now!
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replied May 14th, 2013
Hi

I have been suffering from major depression for almost 14 years. My daughter was diagnosed with a rare medical condition that was inherited genetically from me. That was the start of a downward spiral. My daughter passed away 2 1/2 years ago and I found her dead in bed. 9 months later, my wife of 18 years left me. I am now alone. I have a female friend who I visit frequently and she is great to talk to and understands what I am going through. The problem is she has no interest in a romantic relationship. I'm blaming it on her fear of my depression. How can I convince her that my form of depression is never violent nor do I isolate myself when I hit a low. All I need is a shoulder to cry on once in awhile. I so miss being loved. I am lonely with nobody to talk to and she is a great listener and is very understanding and never judgemental. I feel we are a perfect match, but she refuses to enter into a relationship. How can I convince her that she is my anchor?
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replied September 1st, 2013
help please
I have been dating an old friend from highschool for about six months now and he suffers from depression. Recently he told me he has begun talking to another girl and i completely lost it. I've been here for him unconditionally trying to help him. He said he could see how un happy he was making me and he wanted to feel a spark to see if he could feel something. I dont know what i'm suppose to do. I'm glad I'm not alone in this and that theres other people out there who understand what its like dating someone who is depressed.
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