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Ryan LCSW, Mental Health
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 872
Experience:  Individual and Family Therapist
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My boyfriend has a history of mental health issues which

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My boyfriend has a long history of mental health issues which have yet to be resolved with proper treatment, or a plan that works for him. He had a bad episode two days ago, and told me to leave him alone to "sort it out". He was hysterical, saying, "you don't want to be with a crazy person". We are deeply in love with each other. In the past when he got like this, he never wanted me to leave his side. I am terrified to leave him alone for fear that he will not care for himself. He told me to do nothing and not tell anyone. What do I do?
Thanks for your question. My name is ***** ***** I'd like to help you out.

I'm terribly sorry to hear about what you're going through with your boyfriend and I'm sure it is very frightening. If you are concerned that he is going to harm himself or commit suicide I would certainly do your best to ensure that he is at safe or around people who will take care of him. He may want to be alone right now and may be upset with you if you notify someone, but if it will help him and put your mind at ease, it may be the best thing to do for both of you in the long run. He is putting you in a very unfair position by disappearing and leaving you worried, and I can understand not wanting to betray his trust. However, it is important to act especially if you get the impresson that he has suicidal intent, and you can even call the police and they will send someone to check on him and they would take him in for an evaluation if is necessary.

Otherwise if you get the impression that he is just upset and needs some time to himself, then that is generally the best thing to give someone when they are feeling this way. I can certainly understand your concern, but if he generally functions pretty well and is just going through a rough time right now, sometimes the best thing to do is to just give him a little bit of time and then try to reconnect with him once he has had some room to think. I definitely wish you the best in all of this, and if there's anything else I can do to help just let me know.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I am worried because I need to know that he is safe and seeking help, whether its with me or with a family member. He lives alone, and I am the only person he has in the area. I don't know how to ensure he is cared for properly. I am even concerned that if I ask him he will push me away, or even lie and tell me he is getting treatment.

To emphasis the severity of the situation, he was planning on proposing to me last week on our trip to San Diego, but he told me not to come at the last minute. He says hes not sure what to do, and knows he loves me and my son and wants us to all be together, but feels emotionally incapable and scared and doesn't want to burden us.

He has sought treatment in the past, but refused to take his medication. While in the moment of hysteria of telling me this, he says he doesnt want to live in fear of hurting us, and us coming home 5 years from now to him hanging from the ceiling. I kept assuring him that I am here for him and we'll get through this together. He said, "you promise? good bad or ugly? because this is ugly and it can get worse" He said we'll be okay, and we promised not to give up on each other. I am convinced that he truly believes this when I am there with him, which is why he has always wanted me there when he is going through this. What scares me most is that he forgets that or convinces himself otherwise the moment he is alone. That he "gets dark and you don't know what I'm capable of", to use his own words. Do I believe what he tells me? I don't want to break his trust and make things worse, but I also need to know that he is getting help. It is possible that he will convince himself that he's fine, not get help and move on, but he truly isnt ok. He told me to give him a week, and agreed to let me check on him if he doesn't reach out to me. But I have this unshakeable feeling that I shoudn't just stand by and do nothing. I am concerned about our relationship of course (which we both have said there are no words to describe, we understand each other at the soul level, and have always been able to get through anything) but most of all I am concerned for his well being. Do I wait? Do I call his mom? Do I just go over to his house? I am paralyzed with fear right now.

I certainly understand your concern and although I know you are trying to respect his space, if you are truly worried that he is a danger to himself then you should act on your instincts and get in contact with him in some way. It would be different if you got the impression that he just needed some time to think about your relationship, or was going through a tough time. Depression is very complex and you are probably correct that he truly believes that he truly means that he will not give upon you when you're together, but that when he is alone he may not be able to help feeling otherwise. In some ways it seems like he is hard to trust even though his intentions are good. This is why it is so important that he eventually gets proper help for himself so that he has a better handle on his own emotions, intentions, and the promises that he makes.

At this point though, it sounds like you at least need some reassurance that he is safe and taking care of himself. If he confirms that he is, then there may not be much that you can do aside from giving him the benefit of the doubt until he is ready to talk. However, right now it seems completely appropriate to at least call and ask for some confirmation that he is ok. If you don't get any answer, then you can start to take more severe steps, and let him know that you are considering calling his mom or just coming over to the house. At least that way he receives a message with the action that you are about to take, and he can stop it himself by getting in contact with you and letting you know that everything is ok. Hang in there and good luck with everything.

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