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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5809
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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My boyfriend and I have been dating for 3 years now, and

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My boyfriend and I have been dating for 3 years now, and about 6 months ago our relationship turned into a long distance relationship. We went to college together, and since I graduated, I moved back to California (and the school was in Philadelphia). We have never really had any fights, or problems, and we both have planned our lives together for the rest of our years. The last few weeks though have been extra hard. My boyfriend has been diagnosed as being clinically depressed years ago, and before he met me he was on antidepressants. Since meeting me he stopped, which was fine because I was always there to listen to him and talk him through all his problems. Unfortunately, since now I live back home, he hasn't had the same support and I am almost positive he has gone back into a serious depression (both because I have been depressed myself before, but also because I am a psych graduate and know the basic signs of depression). The past few weeks he has been ignoring half of my texts, or just not talking to me for long stretches of time, which is very unlike him. He keeps pushing me away, and I cant help but feel that it is because he is depressed. I mentioned that I thought he was depressed again (and I did it in the nicest manner as I could) and he just said that I didn't know what I was talking about and that he didn't think he was depressed. I really love this man, and it hurts me a lot because I am both in California and confused as to what is going on, but also because he is pushing me away and I have done nothing wrong to deserve this. I treat him as best as I can being 3000 miles away. I fear that he will want to break up with me, and throw away our lives together just because he is depressed and not making clear judgment calls. What do I do? How do I talk to him about depression, or make him see that if I come to see him (which I want to do but he always says no because he thinks itd be awkward and a waste of time) it wont be awkward or anything. We were best friends way before we ever dated, so even if he can't see me as a girlfriend, why would it be awkward? We were great friends! I'm just so frustrated and hurt by all of this. To me it is so sudden, and I just want to fix whatever problem there is so we can both move on and be happy and live the lives we planned together. =(
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 6 years ago.

Hi, I'd like to help you with your question.

From what you said, it sounds like you may want to go out to see your boyfriend anyway. It is hard to determine whether or not he is depressed again, or there is a problem in the relationship.

The fact that he keeps pushing you away can mean many things. One, he is hurt by you leaving and is rejecting you in response, two, he is really depressed and doesn't want to let you in because of that, and three, he doesn't feel he want to stay in the relationship. I know, that is not something anyone wants to hear. But considering it as a possibility is smart because you don't want to be thrown if that is what is actually happening.

The only way you are going to know for sure is to see him in person. You could always just wait and see what he does, but based on his behavior so far it's not likely that he will keep in contact.

Are there any mutual friends you can call who live near your boyfriend? Maybe they could check on him and give you an idea of what is going on before you go out there. Any bit of information is going to help you prepare before you see him.

If you go out to see him, let him know you care about him and want to help, even if it is just as a friend. Be gentle and non confrontational. Give him space if you feel he needs it. Enlist help from friends to try and get him help, if needed. If he still wants the relationship, it will work out.

I hope this helped you,


Customer: replied 6 years ago.
About the friend thing, no unfortunately I dont. All of my friends out there that I've asked about the situation just say that they dont want to get involved and then just ignore my texts. I am hoping to see my boyfriend soon, even if he does think it's a bad idea, because I agree with you that I have to see him in person and talk about this face to face. If he is depressed though, how do I get him to see that? I feel like he is just because of the things he has been saying lately about everything in his life. He definitely is seeing everything through negative "glasses". Is there anything I can do to make him get out of his rutt or make him happy again?
Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 6 years ago.

You can only let him know what you see and tell him you are concerned. Let him know what you have told me and see how he responds. As you may know, you can only force treatment on him if he is suicidal or homicidal with a plan so you won't be able to get him help unless he is willing. But you can try talking with him the best you can.

Other than that, there is no certain thing you can say or do to make him see what he is doing. He needs to gain the insight on his own. But you can be there for him as much as he will allow. That is being a good friend to him and that will mean a lot.


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