My boyfriend uses depression as an excuse
Almost all of us experience depression at some point. Maybe work sucks; maybe you're watching all your friends get married while your own dating life is a nightmare; maybe you're so stressed at school that nothing feels right. No matter the cause, the end result was that you felt hopeless. But eventually, you dealt with it in whatever way made sense to you — you went to therapy, you started medication, you headed back home to your parents for love and good food. You figured out how to heal yourself. But loving someone who is depressed is a very different story.SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: Is Depression Destroying Your Relationship? Ten Commonly Overlooked Symptoms of Depression
SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: Bipolar and Ghosting: Why We Do It - HealthyPlaceContent:
- Stop using your mental diagnosis as an excuse
- I Dated A Depressed Person — And Nearly Lost Myself In The Process
- 4 Ways to Find Out If Your Partner Is Using Their Depression as an Excuse for Controlling Behavior
- Mental illness doesn’t excuse treating people badly
- Depression in Relationships: When to Say Goodbye
- How to Know If Someone Is Faking Depression
- Online forums
- ‘I broke up with my boyfriend when he had depression’
- Is Your Partner Depressed or Just Not That Into You?
Stop using your mental diagnosis as an excuse
Almost all of us experience depression at some point. Maybe work sucks; maybe you're watching all your friends get married while your own dating life is a nightmare; maybe you're so stressed at school that nothing feels right. No matter the cause, the end result was that you felt hopeless.
But eventually, you dealt with it in whatever way made sense to you — you went to therapy, you started medication, you headed back home to your parents for love and good food. You figured out how to heal yourself. But loving someone who is depressed is a very different story. I've been in two serious relationships with people who struggled with depression and found that, though there are lots of ways you can support a depressed partner , only they can decide when it's time to seek help.
Depression is something to take very seriously — nearly seven percent of adult Americans struggle with depression , a disease that can take a toll of every area of your life, from your health to your finances. But the life of the depressed person's partner is also often on that casualty list. When you're depressed, it is often hard to be a good partner. And when you're the partner of a depressed person, it can be tough to figure out what to do at all.
All you can do is be patient, supportive and wait for them to get help — or get fed up and break up. Those are the two main choices, and neither are pleasant. Is it possible to love a depressed person? Yes, of course — but sometimes, despite your best intentions, you can lose yourself in the process. When I was with my depressed partners, I loved them — but I also felt stressed and scared. This isn't everyone who's dated a depressed person's story — but this is mine.
When dating my depressed ex, I was forever heading to museums alone, standing awkwardly in the back of concerts by myself, or missing movies and parties because he didn't want to go and I didn't always want to go alone. I got used to making up excuses about where he was whenever I was alone at a party. In the rare case that he did come, I'd arrive late and leave early.
I could never tell my friends the whole truth because if I did, they would be angry at him for not getting help, and annoyed with me for staying in a relationship that made me unhappy. When my grandma died, I was a complete wreck. My partner was there for me the day she died, holding me in the hospital while I cried. He was at the wake and at the funeral.
But a few days later, when I was extremely upset after cleaning out my grandma's house and sorting through her possessions, he couldn't support me. He was staring at the ceiling instead, lost in his depression. I became angry. Can't you hold me as I cry, instead of curling up into a ball? I convinced myself plenty of times that things were getting better, that my partner's depression was improving, after a magical day or week when they seemed different.
But each time, it was only temporary. It hurt even more whenever they crashed again, and somehow, I was never prepared. I found that this cycle would continue indefinitely unless my partner sought help. Depression doesn't just go away on its own. It's hard to always be there for your depressed partner. After coping with their 49th straight day of moping, I found that I was often ready to explode.
But it can be hard to be patient and kind indefinitely to a partner who doesn't want to get help or change. It was my job to convince him to go to work when he didn't want to; to assure him he was good-looking; to make sure he ate healthy meals. Neglecting myself to focus on him left me bubbling with resentment. My doctor asked me what I was using for protection. It felt embarrassing. Coping with a depressed partner with a non-existent sex drive made me feel like I was not in a relationship, or like something was wrong with me.
Having struggled with endometriosis for years, I thought it might've actually been me. But it wasn't. Years ago, while I was in the midst of a relationship with a depressed person, I was shocked to realize that it was time for my performance review at work. How had a year at work passed? I had spent so much time focused on my struggling relationship that career development, family, exercise, everything, had been pushed aside.
I couldn't have a normal life. Because my partner was too depressed to leave the house or care about anything, I found myself handling every aspect of maintaining our home, from the grocery shopping, to the cleaning, to the cooking. There was little "me" time.
When I was spending all my time around someone who was deeply depressed, it was hard to avoid acting somewhat depressed, too. I found myself avoiding friends, because I didn't want to tell the truth about my boyfriend. I skipped out on good-for-you things, like exercise and family, that would have made me feel better.
After a while, I wasn't sure what to say to friends anymore. I was embarrassed about what my life had become. Even while living in the middle of New York City, I found myself hiding at home, hiding at work, becoming more like the partner I loved. Weddings, children, birthday parties, vacations — how could those happy things exist? When I tried to think beyond the relationship, I could not. The more I isolated myself, the more dependent I became on the relationship for everything — not just love.
I became too paralyzed to think of anything else. Unless I was worrying about their next downfall, or still hurt about something they did last time they were sad. Any time I said the wrong thing, it felt like everything would fall apart.
The stress would sit in my stomach like a bomb, and when things exploded, I thought, "Here it is. After dating a depressed partner for a while, I had a hard time even remembering what a normal relationship was like. I felt my partners' sadness. I felt sadness at what our relationship had become, sadness at what our lives has become.
I didn't know how to get out. Depression became my whole life. And somehow, I was still asking myself, "How did I become depressed? I realize that yes, I just complained through this whole piece, and I'm not the one with depression. My partners have suffered from something very serious, something that requires medical help, something that was mostly out of their control. No one actually wants to be depressed.
But no one wants to date someone who is depressed, either. You love your partner in spite of their depression, fueled by the hope that someday they'll get help, someday things will be better. Someday, things will be the way they used to be. When you're dating a depressed person, you may find yourself at a juncture where you're facing down the two choices: to stick it out, or to leave. If you decide to stay, try to remember why you fell in love with them in the first place.
No matter what, give them as much love as you can. But you can't ever stop loving yourself in the process. Try to remember what you love, who you are, and stayed focused on moving forward as much as possible in your own life. But as hard as you may try, know that it's almost impossible to move someone else's life forward, too.
Only they can do that. Images: Giphy My Social Life Was Limited.
I Dated A Depressed Person — And Nearly Lost Myself In The Process
We know those who suffer from depression and other mental illnesses are subject to terrible systematic and interpersonal injustices. We know that the people who set the rules are still holding a bunch of outdated values and ideas despite there being evidence to the contrary. We know there are great barriers to getting help that are not just inside our heads. The average person would see someone struggling against unjust odds and try to help out in any way they can. The problems start when we conflate the golden rule with a total lack of boundaries.
This is a space to ask questions, share experiences and support each other. Find a relevant thread or start your own! Forum membership is open to anyone residing in Australia. Hi everyone who has posted after I did.
4 Ways to Find Out If Your Partner Is Using Their Depression as an Excuse for Controlling Behavior
Your partner would shake their head disapprovingly after you dyed your hair. Your partner was belittling you in front of friends and family — even strangers! They told you it was just gentle teasing, and for a while you agreed and chalked it up to you being overly sensitive. You decide to tell your partner that their teasing hurts your feelings. You get alarmed. Maybe you should have known better than to bring it up, anyway. Their depression already exacerbates their self-loathing, and it was only a little teasing.
Mental illness doesn’t excuse treating people badly
Sometimes they say things that are really mean and hurtful and can upset people. But repeating hurtful choices is just that — a choice. A nasty pattern of behaviour is not something that should be allowed simply because someone has a mental illness. A person will say something offensive, and others will come to their defence by mentioning their mental illness, as though that gives people a free pass to hurt others. Or someone will use mental illness to excuse their own behaviour, accepting hurtful choices as just part of their illness or using their illness to justify their poor treatment of others.
Stop justifying your negative actions with the guise of a mental diagnosis. Just stop. We just like to be dramatic and make it out to be this extreme.
Depression in Relationships: When to Say Goodbye
Loved ones often remark that depression has changed the person they love. They don't know if the apapathy they experience is a symptom of the depression or if their partner has fallen out of love with them. This leads to questions like "If he or she gets treatment for depression, will he or she fall back in love with me? There are so many factors involved with relationships that it is impossible to offer any black and white answers to such questions.
It's Mental Health Awareness Week and we're looking at people's experiences of mental health issues - their own and those of their loved ones. Here, our writer describes her boyfriend's struggle with depression - and the toll it took on her. I met Liam the way many modern romances start. We were friends of friends who started chatting online. He offered to help me with my art magazine and it went from there.
How to Know If Someone Is Faking Depression
Before you can post or reply in these forums, please join our online community. I'm 23 years old and I've been depressed for two years now, and on meds since the beginning. So, I was troubling myself with some thoughts lately It's basically whether I'm using my depression as an excuse to be lazy and avoid responsibility and being a grown up This thought really scares me because I'd hate to be this kind of person. But the truth is that I've always been kinda lazy and didn't really like chores or study too hard.
Depression is a serious and common mental health condition, but in some cases, people may fake or exaggerate symptoms to obtain rewards or to avoid undesirable outcomes. Known as malingering, this phenomenon may involve fabricating symptoms of depression or another mental health condition in order to avoid work, military service, or jury duty or to obtain something such as prescription medications. Malingering is not considered a psychiatric condition. It does share some similarities with what is known as factitious disorder.
‘I broke up with my boyfriend when he had depression’
Is Your Partner Depressed or Just Not That Into You?