T O P I C R E V I E W
Member # 28956
posted 12-07-2006 09:10 PM
I really, really don't know what to do.
My boyfriend has clinical depression, and right now he's in the middle of a very severe bout with it. I kind of saw it coming -- he was sleeping a lot despite being an insomniac -- but the red flag was when he tried to break up with me a few days ago. I asked for his reasons, and the more I dug the more it boiled down to him saying that he's a horrible human being and I'm too nice to him. I managed to talk him off that cliff and we're still together, but I'm not handling things well. He's in such a dark place right now. I tell him I love him, and he says that I shouldn't. I say that I'm concerned and he interprets it to mean that he makes me miserable. He's so hot and cold. First he tries to break up with me. A day or two later I ask if he wants me to leave him alone and he doesn't even want to get off the phone. First he's pushing me away and then he's holding on for dear life. He's brushed aside my "I'm here for you" comments with replies like "Well, that's because I'm manipulative". He thinks he's a hindrance when he's not. I don't know what to do. I spent three hours talking him out of a self-destructive break up. Now, I know that he only started the conversation because of his depression -- it's happened before -- but this yo-yo of emotions has me wondering if he even wants me around half the time. Yet he's adamant that he loves me, that I make him happy, that he doesn't want me to go away... I'm not going to leave him. His depression is chemical and completely out of his control. Therapy and drugs haven't helped. I don't know how to support him, though. I mean, what do you do when just voicing your concerns makes a depressed person feel more guilty? God. I'm sorry for all this ranting. I didn't mean for this to be so long. I guess, in summary: Help! Please. I can't take seeing him this miserable.
Member # 8067
posted 12-08-2006 06:17 AM
Okay - first of all, just a few quick questions.
This is the boyfriend who's also been diagnosed with schizophrenia, right? You say "therapy and drugs haven't helped". Is he seeing a psychiatrist nonetheless? It can take quite a lot of trial and error to find the right meds, especially when someone has complex or multiple conditions (like schizophrenia and depression).
Member # 28956
posted 12-08-2006 02:12 PM
He just moved into college, so he's looking around for a therapist closer to campus at the moment. He's tried just about every medication in the book, all with horrible side effects. If one fixed the depression, it induced severe hallucinations instead. If one helped with his paranoia, it also made him sleep 18 hours a day. Medications for his insomnia all stopped working after day five. He's a neurological mess. This is part of the reason why he's so quick to get down on himself when he's depressed. He knows he worries the people who care about him and it only makes him feel worse. :-/
Member # 8067
posted 12-08-2006 03:09 PM
He just moved into college, so he's looking around for a therapist closer to campus at the moment. If he hasn't got someone to check in with in the meantime, though, that's likely to make things a lot tougher. He's tried just about every medication in the book, all with horrible side effects. A good psych should be willing to try a bunch of different meds and tinker with dosages to keep trying to find something that works for him. There are a few people who seem to get bad side effects from almost any meds, but there are a lot of medication options out there - I'd doubt that he's tried all of them yet. And honestly, trying to manage schizophrenia and related issues without any meds is very tough indeed. I'm kind of focusing on the neurological stuff here because when that's so serious, it often means that verbal and emotional support just can't get through - which seems to be what you're dealing with. It doesn't in any way mean he's a "lost cause", but stuff like this is not something that you can fix on your own (as I'm sure you know). From what you've said, it sounds like you're doing great with giving verbal and emotional support; it's just that there's a limit on how much of that he can take in or understand in a severely depressed state: his brain is going to twist anything you say. Someone recently wrote a really helpful post on LiveJournal on how to support someone who's depressed, which I think you might find helpful: http://annafdd.livejournal.com/288141.html As well as trying to ensure he makes connections with professional support, I'd advise making sure that your support network is in good shape. This is obviously stressful and demanding for you, so taking care of yourself is important so that you don't burn out.
Member # 28956
posted 12-08-2006 08:27 PM
Thanks. The link really helped, and I appreciate your reminder at the end. I tend to focus so much on others when they have problems that I completely forget about myself. Of course, it usually takes someone else to call my attention to it when I fall back into the habit. Silly me.