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DrFee
DrFee, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 437
Experience:  I help people overcome anxiety and enjoy life again.
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my boyfriend is depressed and has admitted it.

Resolved Question:

my boyfriend is depressed and has admitted it. has gone to a counseling session and talks openly about it but keeps me as far away as possible what do i do? do i give up? give him space?
i guess its also important to know that i currently live with my mom who is also very depressed and i have been dealing with her for over 10 years. she doesnt want help and has completely shut down to the point she will not talk to me. we are in the process of having our break up because i am moving and she is accusing me of abandoning her. i guess i feel like even though it is the disease talking, i cant help but feel guilty. i feel like im loosing two very close people in my life and i feel helpless. im afraid of the same thing happening to me.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  DrFee replied 2 years ago.

DrFee :

Hello! Please remember that my response is for information only, we are not establishing a therapeutic relationship.

DrFee :

It is very difficult to have one depressed person that's close, but two is a lot to deal with.

DrFee :

Your mother blaming you for "abandoning" her is some additional issue going on with her --that's not really characteristic of depression in and of itself.

DrFee :

With your boyfriend, if he is not responding to you, unfortuneately you don't have a lot of options. You can continue to be supportive --maybe sending him a text or vm or email every few days, but 3 weeks is a long time to go without contact if both want to maintain a relationship.

DrFee :

At least your boyfriend is in therapy, but it's hard to say if he will become responsive to you quickly.

DrFee :

It's normal for you to be feeling helpless, by the way.

DrFee :

It doesn't mean that you are going to get as depressed as they are.

Customer:

i just dont want to feel like im pushing him

DrFee :

I understand that. Have you asked him what it is that he would like from you?

DrFee :

Like space, or contact/encouragement?

Customer:

i have and he doesnt know himself

Customer:

i guess encouragement, he has aske dfor that but he feels like he is taking advantage of me

DrFee :

How do you feel? Do you feel like he is taking advantage of you?

Customer:

actually no. i feel like every day that goes by i lose more of him. even though he talks on the phone about it like screaming for help but then goes into his hole and doesnt come out for a few days

Customer:

i dont think that he is being fair and he does admit that but is speechless

Customer:

my mom is another story. she is shut down i am the enemy and there is nothing i can no longer do there. i have been there for support but she says im too strong willed for her

DrFee :

Maybe it feels a bit like "pushing" to you because of his withdrawal and lack of response --but maybe that's what he needs. I think that it might be really important to keep the differences between him and your Mom in mind --just because she says you are too strong willed doesn't mean that your boyfriend feels that way.

DrFee :

And again, you being the "enemy," seems like a different issue to me than is explained by depression.

Customer:

i find myself apologizing every time i express any type of negative feeling toward the situation like frustrated or angry because i dont want to hurt his feellings but i feel i need to keep it real is this wrong?

DrFee :

No, I think you need to be real and honest --and you can express your feelings in a way that is not critical of him, I think. It might still hurt his feelings, but that needs to be OK --your feelings need to be OK.

Customer:

interesting what you said about my mom....she blames me for a lot...i am a police officer and i have weapons in the home and she has expressed wishes of ending her life and so i have been living in fear that one day i forget to secure the weapons and she ends it with my guns...however she doesnt want to get help and says she is just depressed.

Customer:

with him is different..he talks to me openly about it and expresses the need to want help but doesnt have any energy for it. he doesnt want to be around me or anyone else. he has moments of clarity but then falls right back in.

DrFee :

That sounds like it's been an anxious way of living --it sounds like it's good that you are moving for several reasons, including that. If you ever did forget and she used one of your weapons, that would be very traumatizing for you.

DrFee :

With regards XXXXX XXXXX boyfriend, I think that it would be Ok to push a little bit to be around you --part of therapy is generally to try to get the depressed person "moving" even in the smallest ways.

DrFee :

One thing we often do is schedule one small pleasureable thing per day --it may be as small as having a cup of coffee --with you.

DrFee :

Or watching a movie and not talking at all.

DrFee :

Him isolating is not going to help him get any better

Customer:

well thank you for your help. you have cleared a lot especially with my mom. i feel there are deeper issues far beyond my means. with him well i think i can get him moving a bit and i will try. i am living in anxiety and i am starting to feel exhausted and drained

DrFee :

I bet you are --you do have to think about and decide what you can handle and what your limits are. I agree about your Mom --when someone refuses help, it really ties our hands. And, the more drained you are --the less you can be of help to your boyfriend. So you'll need to focus on how to recover/rest and self care.

DrFee :

Your occupation does not help in that regard --so you have to work harder at it than the average person.

Customer:

i sometimes wonder how i actually keep it together. i went through a divorce, bankruptcy, foreclosure and a near fatal car accident all within the past 3 years now this....

DrFee :

Oh wow --that's a lot of stress for 3 years --it really is important for you to figure out how to take care of yourself in the middle of everything.

DrFee :

And --if you really are up for this boyfriend and the challenges that he brings.

Customer:

i guess that is my biggest question right now....thanks for your help

DrFee :

You are welcome. Take good care. Sounds like you have a lot of thinking to do.

Customer:

yes i do

DrFee :

Good night. If you wish to speak to me specifically again, just put my name in the subject line of your question. Thanks for the positive feedback.

DrFee, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 437
Experience: I help people overcome anxiety and enjoy life again.
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