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Elliott, LPCC, NCC
Elliott, LPCC, NCC, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 7662
Experience:  35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
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my girlfriend is in depression she is very much keeping to

Customer Question

my girlfriend is in depression she is very much keeping to herself, I find it very difficult to cope with being pushed away. will most relationships recover from this. we don't live in the same house. I feel guilty for not being able to do more to help, and get frustrated with the way I am treated but I keep quiet about the things that are bothering me because I don't want to upset her in this fragile state. am I doing anything right? in this state does she have the mental capacity to realize she is being rude and inconsiderate to me.

Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Elliott, LPCC, NCC replied 1 year ago.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Seeking expert counseling is a sign of strength. A personal relationship with a caring professional is proven clinically effective.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Dear friend,

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

I believe that I can help.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

It seems that you are in the position of being the prisoner of your girlfriend's moods. They can explain her irritability but they should not be a license for mistreating you, particularly when your fondest desire is to help her.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

You have nothing to feel guilty about and have no obligation to be mistreated because she is depressed.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

You might get a better response from her if you were to politely remove yourself from her company when she mistreats you. You don't have to make an issue of it. If she asks you why you are leaving then you can simply tell her the truth in a kindly way: that her actions are hurting your feelings or bringing you down and you will talk to her later, hoping she is in a better mood.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

You did not mention whether or not she is in treatment, either with medication, or with psychotherapy.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

If she is not, then she needs to be.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

This is affecting you in a negative way and bringing you down as well. In this state you certainly cannot help her.

Customer:

she has been on meds since the age of 14 the last meds were used for 15 years I believe they tried altering them but was reassessed by a psychiatrist may 1. they set out new meds and is still not dosed up to where she should be at, she is tired all the time. removing myself from her presence will be difficult as most of the time she wont even let me be around. she says space is her best medicine and I respect that prior to this depression we were talking about getting a house together me adopting her oldest son and marriage. this isn't even conversation now, her latest thing is I love you but not sure im in love with you, from my readings I understand when in his state she will feel nothing and words are not from her but the depressed her talking. is thst correct

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

I understand what you are asking. You are hearing a depressed person who has lost her enthusiasm, who is tired, who feels hopeless, who wants to be alone a great deal, and at this point does not have the ability to feel love your anyone, including you, her very faithful and supportive companion.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

If her meds are going to eventually kick in, then you can look forward to a change for the better.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Psychiatrists often experiment with a variety antidepressants and sometimes adjunctive medications.

Customer:

will this change? will we be alright? right now want to sen her a message but I am afraid it will upset her. what do you think?

Customer:

the message reads

Customer:

good night, I would appreciate you answering my messages when you read them, its not asking much, I give you the due respect in everything. I don't think I am out of line asking for the same...

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

You are NOT out of line in expecting to be treated as you treat her. However, therapeutically this may not be the best message because you are leaving yourself open to a negative response.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Instead, you might say

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Have a good night. You don't need to respond. I am just thinking of you and know that I am in your thoughts as well. Love, (your name)

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

You cannot expect a normal response from a very depressed person.

Customer:

ah I see where your coming from, but I was referring to a message I sent her earlier today that she read and didn't respond to asking if she would like to take the boys out for icecream

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

She may be more likely to respond to the second letter because it places no demands on her.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

OK. I understand. Unfortunately she did not allow her boys the pleasure of ice cream and your company.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

She seems to have treatment resistant depression which may need alternative treatment such as ECT which is often effective for 3 months at a time, or so. She can also try Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation which is less invasive and a bit more successful.

Customer:

the meds have always leveled her out but she isn't at the full dose yet, she described it as a step up process, it takes time and I tell you it is very frustrating, she isn't working due to this. is there anything more I can do or is it up to the individual (her). if I am having difficulty with this what kindof counselling would I pursue, and would a suggestion of couples therapy be good at this point

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

You are doing all that you can do. I do not think that she would want to accept couples therapy at this point. I think instead that she may better benefit from Cognitive Behavior Therapy to help her work on he depression and learn how her behavior is affecting her life and the lives of those she cares for.

Customer:

she is in coucelling I forgot to mention

Customer:

what kind of coucelling would I pursue to help me deal with it?

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

For yourself? The same kind of counselling: Cognitive Behaviour Therapy. You can also use a wonderful self-help workbook that will give you a great deal of insight.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

I would like to recommend it to you.

Customer:

what is it?

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Give me a moment please.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

I have two books by Anne Sheffield, an expert in the field.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Here is a classic:

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :


and this one, my favourite:

Customer:

thankyou I wil look into these :)

Customer:

is there anything else I should know? or advice you think I need?

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Try to stay the course. It seems that if she can get past this then you can build a life together. She is most fortunate to have your friendship, patience, and love, as are her children.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

I understand that your patience can have a limit. Hopefully you will make great progress, but you can, in future, have an exit plan in case this doesn't work.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

I shall keep you both in my prayers for success. Let the books help you.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Warm regardsd,

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Warm regards,

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Elliott, MAE, LPCC, NCC, CCMHC

Customer:

thank you Elliot, I am a patient man and everything was perfect before she fell into depression we have been friends best of for over 20 years all the rest of her men werer asses, we should work, if she can accept she is worh it, self worth is everything and she is my princess, all we have in this life is time, sometimes I get down about it, but you have helped me to see new light thank you so much

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Thank you so much for those very kind words. You are a very warm, patient, and loving man, and those are the best requirements anyone can have. I see a positive outcome to this, with your caring and God's lovel.

Customer:

thank you Elliot and good night from Canada :)

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

And good night from Kentucky (my mother was from Ottawa).

Customer:

I am from Hamilton area

Customer:

cheers

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

:)

Elliott, LPCC, NCC, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 7662
Experience: 35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
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  • I can go as far as to say it could have resulted in saving my sons life and our entire family now knows what bipolar is and how to assist and understand my most wonderful son, brother and friend to all who loves him dearly. Thank you very much Corrie Moll Pretoria, South Africa
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  • I can go as far as to say it could have resulted in saving my sons life and our entire family now knows what bipolar is and how to assist and understand my most wonderful son, brother and friend to all who loves him dearly. Thank you very much Corrie Moll Pretoria, South Africa
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