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Saturday, December 26, 2009 Z111, Community Member, asks

Q: Do people with depression push other people away and shut them out?

for the past few months i have been seeing a guy on and off who is a chronic weed smoker. We go through stages of being in contact then we argue and dont speak for weeks. Then we start talking again and everything is great, he tells me hes really into me. But for some reason his head is messed up (weed im guessing) so he cant get into a relationship as he doesnt want to explain himself. He is constantly down on himself saying how he doesnt like himself and hates his job etc etc. Hes so pessimistic too, and has mentioned to me before that he wont go to the doctors as he says whatever pills they hand out nowadays have prozac in them.  It feels like he pushes me away. I know he likes me cause ive seen the signs, ive even seen photos he has of me on his computer lol. He wont let me get to know him. I really like him but when he acts this way he makes me feel that he is no longer interested and just dont have the guts to tell me he dont like me

Either that or he is ashamed to say he has depression.


Any info would be a help. Thanks


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Answers (1)
John Folk-Williams, Health Guide
12/26/09 6:12pm

Pushing people away, shutting them out, is one of the most common effects of depression. Sometimes, when depressed, I've felt completely unable to face anyone - or I'm so wrapped up in the pain, trashing myself, despairing more and more - that I'm pushing everyone away without even realizing it. There are times when people have reached out to me from love and concern, and I haven't even been able hear what they're saying. I blank everything out.


Add to that a weed habit, and things can be worse because getting high just covers up what's going on. It becomes easy to deny there's a problem and never get any help. those ups and downs you describe in the relationship can also be typical of depression. It's hard to know who you're dealing with.


I hope he can some counseling to sort out what he's feeling and going through.


It's hard to deal with this - and please come back here whenever you feel the need.



loves me not, Community Member
1/20/10 10:43am

Hi John:


I have a boyfriend who suffers from severe depression associated with post traumatic stress disorder.   He is a disabled veteran.   Things were going great for us, so I thought and then the other night it took a turn for the worse.   My kids have had a hard time accepting him and this has been bothering him for weeks.   He was supposed to come over my house on Saturday evening to watch a movie.    I had school on Saturday morning and after class we spoke and the original plan was that I was going to go to his house.   He called me shortly afterwards and wanted to go to Niagara Falls.  I told him I wasn't up to this and it was agreed upon that we would watch a movie instead.   He then asked if he could come to my house to watch the movie and I agreed.   This was about 4ish.   I told him that I needed to clean the house before he came over because the house was a mess.   He said okay; call me when you are done.   I text him about 5ish to stay I was going for a quick run and then we would get together.   He lives about 45 minutes away from me.    When I got back from my run I text him to say come over ..; and got no response.  I didn't think anything of it at first and took a quick shower.   Minutes turned into hours and he wasn't responding to any of my texts or phone calls.    It was 3 hrs.. and still no word from him and I was beginning to get worried about him.   I called his daughter (16) and son (18) to ask if they had heard from him and they hadn't.   I had no idea what to think he wasn't responding or answering his phone or texts to anyone.    Finally, I get a call to my house a bit after 10pm; and it's my boyfriend telling me that he decided he didn't want to come over cause he didn't "WANT THE DRAMA OF MY KIDS BEING RUDE TO HIM" and then he tells me I over-reacted and had his kids very upset.   He then tells me he is not sure if he can get past this and that he needs time to think.    This has been going on now for almost 4 days with little or no contact.   He has told me that he loves me and that I'm the best thing that has ever happened to him; yet this morning I get a call from him saying he can't get past this.   He told me it upset his kids too much and that they thought he was dead.   He's now saying he wants to end things.   He feels this will happen again and he would rather be alone..  Then he tells me he doesn't like being "chased"... I wasn't chasing him; I was truly concerned that something happened to him.  I feel he is over-reacting but I also know it's the illness that is pushing me away not him.    He told me he is ending this with a heavy heart.., that alone tells me that he does care and still love me..  What should I do?   Any thoughts or suggestions will be appreciated.....

John Folk-Williams, Health Guide
1/20/10 9:28pm

I'm sorry you're going through this now - I know how hurtful this kind of pulling back is. It does happen a lot to severely depressed people. His expression of love for you shows, I think, how full of conflict and pain he must be. Both depression and PTSD can break down your self-esteem completely - and that might be part of his sensitivity about whatever your kids might be saying or doing. But that's not the main problem, of course. It's hard to do much to help when he's in the midst of this, except to assure him of your feelings for him. I can't tell if he's getting any treatment now, but it's important that he find some help - and that's something you could mention also. In a real sense, he's not himself, and it's the worst time to try to make major decisions. Getting help could help him put things in perspective - but it's completely up to him. The sad fact is that you can't do a whole lot if he can't reach out for some help.


I hope this turns around for you. Feel free to come back to talk more about this, if that would help you.



Z111, Community Member
1/25/10 4:22pm

thanks for replying to my question ..... the bloke in question deleted me from his life altogether a couple days after you replied. I was very rude in an email i wrote him telling him i'd had enough and that he needed to grow up. I felt terrible the following day and sent him another email appologising for what i'd said. It was after xmas that i noticed he had deleted me completely. I messaged him, and he told me he had nothing to say and for me never to contact him again. I was so hurt. I still think about him now and wonder how he is. I want to contact him but i can't. Im beginning to suffer from anxiety again (i had it during summer). And i think what has happened has triggered it. Im constantly wondering if he is with another girl, and i get butterflies and knots in my stomach. It feels like a nervous feeling. It makes me feel sick. I wish i could just get him out of my head but i cant.

This feeling is horrible, but i cannot get to how i was before.

Rachel Nicole, Community Member
3/30/10 1:17pm

Hi im Rachel Nicole and im doing a report on Depression. i was wondering if you could tell me what its like to have depression and be in high school. there are many people in my high school who have depression and people always call them a freak because they harm themselves or just push people away. but i was wondering if you could tell me why other people hate people with depression? i mean it sure seems like they hate them. can you answer my question? if not thank you for trying.

yours, Rachel Nicole

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By Z111, Community Member— Last Modified: 11/24/12, First Published: 12/26/09