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Thursday, November 13, 2008 PB&J, Community Member, asks

Q: I think my fiance has depression, what do I do?

back story.  My fiance and I have been engaged since July, and had been dating for 2 years before that.  We started dating in college, both graduated at the same time, moved away to another state and moved in together.  We've been living together now for about a year and a half.  Both work and have good jobs.  She is 25 and I'm 24. I have no prior history dealing with depression (or what I think could be depression) and need help.

 

She is the type of person who stresses about everything, especially her job.  Not just typical stress, but completely over-the-top.  I'm very laid back, so it's a nice mix.  I know that she was on anti-depressants in high school, but stopped taking them after about 6 months.  I have no idea what she was on.  Since we graduated from college, we both work pretty long hours and we don't have a lot of friends, since we're in a new city.  We try to get out as much as possible, playing in recreation softball leagues and such. 

 

So lately, she's been very cold, not talkative.  She doesn't eat as much as she used to, although she still does eat.  She doesn't sleep much.  She's short with me about a lot of things, even when I'm trying to do nice things for her.  I've been doing some research and she has all the signs of depression.  Feelings of hopelessness, self-loathing, weight-drop, loss of energy, etc. 

 

She also has told me that she isn't sure about getting married.  "What if we don't make it?  What if we get married and I'm miserable?".  She says she has a lot on her mind.  We've fought more in the past 6 months than usual, and she said she doesn't feel the same way about me anymore.  She says that she feels like we are just really good friends and not engaged.

 

She had to go out of town for work the past 3 days and I said, well maybe this can be sometime that we can have apart and you can have time alone to think about things.  She agreed and we've had little contact (1-2 texts a day) so that she can get the most out of it.  She is coming back into town tonight.

 

Before she left, we were talking and she told me all of the above.  She asked me what she should do, and I told her that she needs to talk to her mom.  Her mom is the most rational person that I know.  Well, she told me one thing her mom said was that she needs to see a professional about it, for sure.  I agreed and told her that whatever she needed, I was there for her.  She said she was going to make an appointment when she got back into town.

 

I'm just wondering a couple things, what is the best way for me to support her in these times?  I was also wondering if anyone had any insight into where she is coming from.  Is the "friends-not-fiances" talk possibly depression or does she just not love me anymore?  I feel like she is kind of giving up on me and on us, but I don't want to be unsupportive, because now is when she needs me the most.  Can anyone help me?

 

I just need to know what to do when she gets home.  I love my fiance with all my heart and I would do anything for her.  I just want her to be back to her old self again.  And I want to be there for her.  What do I do?

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Answers (4)
psychoward1, Community Member
11/14/08 4:53am

Talking is a great way to get in touch with feelings. There are many counselors out there that will listen to your fiance. I would recommend seeing a counselor before seeing a psychiatrist or doctor.

 

Good luck!

 

Pat

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Missy80, Community Member
11/13/08 3:11pm

Hi PB&J

 

I have definitely heard of many stories like yours and have been in a similar situation myself. Your fiance sounds very much like me in the sense that I too have over-the-top reactions to stress and often question my situation. I recently broke off a three-year relationship because I didn't feel that my needs were being met, but I went through a terrible time while I was making that decision and am still dealing with depression as a result. I have been on prescribed anti-depressants since high school as well (ten years ago, where does the time go??)

 

At any rate, your question is very valid and hard to answer. Have her feelings legitimately changed or is this change the result of depression? For myself, I know that, when I am suffering from depression, I have an extremely difficult time seeing situations clearly and rationally, and feel a general sense of foreboding about everything. Depression affects your enjoyment of everything and everyone in your life.

 

I agree that your fiance should definitely speak to someone. She may be suffering stress due to relocating and/or nervousness about your wedding. Everyone questions their decisions from time to time, but for people like myself, this questioning can lead to over-analysis and often-paralyzing depression as a result. I am currently learning about cognitive behavourial therapy (that is, learning to view situations differently and control my reactions). Perhaps a course in this or even a book would help her, if she's open to it. But yes, she should absolutely seek out the advice of a counselor to help her sort out her feelings.

 

I know it's hard to be supportive and caring during these times, but I think you are doing a great job by even taking the time to research this and reach out for help.

 

Good luck!

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JFought, Community Member
9/14/09 5:43pm

    Just so you know brother, I'm going through the exact same thing you are right now and its hard.  Naturally I'm a positive person and see the best of a situation because i have always had the support of my family. I've never been "depressed" despite in the last six month I've endured the trials of Job.  However, this was a serious blow to me because I've been through crappy relationships and finally felt as though I was past it. 

       The truth is I've always wanted the same thing for her; I want to see her happy....even if its not with me.  I'm a good man, faithful and hard working.  I'm also ambitious and she knows that she is the center of my world. I want her to know i want to spend the rest of my life with her.  But now the ball is in her curt.  I need to know that she can love me.  Its good we work through these issues now before we get married, but honestly, I deserve someone who loves me as much as i love them.  And though I will be by her side every step of the way. At the end she needs to be fair to both of us and really dig deep.

      We may not all be happy 100% of the time, but if a relationship is ever going to work;  Both partners have to be able to express their feelings to one another and let them be there for each other.  If not, the one going through the problem will be left to deal with it alone, and the other will feel shut out and helpless.  Good luck my friend.

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michelle, Community Member
11/13/09 12:47pm

well my advice wether you want to lissen or not is up to you. but i would stay with her. i tell you this cuz i know how she feels i myslef is going through it this time. she probly feels unloved and shes probly scard shes going to loose u or shes going to get hurt in someway... try to comfert her. you will hate yourself forever if you let her go then find out that you cant live with out her. trust me i lost the love of my life cuz of it dont give up things will get better.

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By PB&J, Community Member— Last Modified: 06/03/12, First Published: 11/13/08