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Wednesday, February 11, 2009 adee, Community Member, asks

Q: When is enough enough when dating a depressed person?

I want to preface this by saying that I am diagnosed with severe anxiety and post-traumatic stress, and have been through years-long deep depressions myself. Through faith, determination, and now finally (recently) medical help, I am in a much brighter spot and resolving a lot of old issues while managing my own demons/baggage and condition.

 

Now on to the story/question:

 

I have been dating a depressed person for about 14 months. Prior to us officially dating we were best friends and coworkers for over a year. I knew exactly what I was getting myself into as far as his depression, but being that I have been there myself and made it to the other side, I thought having my support and understanding would pave the way for his recovery.

Unfortunately, he has never shown any signs or made any efforts to get better, despite my making appointments for him with free community mental health services and offering almost unconditional patience and empathy, always being the one to keep the relationship together and bite my tongue when my own anger and doubts creep in. As of the new year, he is unemployed. He is also living with his mother despite being way too old to be doing so, and I feel this situation only enables him.

Recently I have basically hit my wits end, my limits, and I feel like giving up. Being around someone so hopeless who makes zero efforts to get or accept help is driving ME crazy. I have laid everything out on the line tryin to help him and accept him, trying to set him up with jobs and medical attention, but he just acts irritated with me and grows more and more distant.

I love the person he is underneath all the depression, and I think he has unlimited potnetial to be amazing and have an amazing life. But as of right now he is a deadbeat and a loser, and I resent him more and respect him less every day.

So when is enough enough?

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Answers (7)
psychoward1, Community Member
2/11/09 2:45pm

When is enough enough? When you are writing to boards asking when is enough enough....

 

 

Sounds like you need to draw a line in the dirt and see what happens. Relationships are commitments and if he isnt commited to you then its time to move on. Its like the relationship is an automobile, if he's not going to take care of it, then he doesnt want it. Sit down and make some agreements and if he doesnt hold to them then move on. But make it absolutely clear that these are the results if he doesnt come thru for you.

 

Talk to him and let him know that his behavior is bothering you and exactly how you feel. What you desire out of this relationship.

 

Depressed people can become co-dependant on each others depression.

 

 

Pat

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sandy, Community Member
2/11/09 2:43pm

You know how depression is and it sounds like you are willing to be there for him if he would get help.  As you know it doesn't get better unless you are willing to get help.  You tried everything you could do and he hasn't accepted any of it so I would not feel guilty at this point in ending the relationship.  You can not make him better while he does nothing.  When I was going thru it I had friends helping and making suggestions to me and I took everyone of their suggestions.  I figured if they were going to be there for me and I did nothing that they offered to help me how could I expect them to continue to be there if I wasn't willing to help myself. 

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ultra44, Community Member
3/14/09 6:00pm

Hello,

 

I guess I am somewhat in a similar situation. I am currently living with my ex boyfriend. We are still currently on good terms, we also work together and broke up about 2 months ago. We dated for 2.5 years before the break-up.

 

He is terribly depressed and has been most of the past 3 years. I myself have also battled with depression and have been extensively treated and have been free of meds for almost 4 years. I feel great and have a very positive outlook on my future.

 

I dont know what to do with Him either. He has no interest in anything and has recently been put on meds but is not talking to a Psychologist for cognitive stuff. To me, He is not being proactive about getting better and its also driving me nuts. So I can empathize here.

 

I love him still. I decided to break up with him because it was really hurting me with his complete self absorbtion. I am exhausted. He cant seem to clean up after himself or make any effort to uphold his end of the bargain.

 

Im too am having a hard time telling myself that enough is enough. And I've been trying to evaluate how to behave here. Its been hard to tell him to move out etc. I just keep trying to help him and I dont know why. Im just so frustrated.

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nylongraffiti, Community Member
6/ 9/09 3:23am

I have been in a 8 month relationship with a man who has suffered from depression for most of his life. He is currently on meds and seeing a psychiatrist once a month. It has been getting worse and so has his drinking. About 6 out of 7 nights a week he ends up drunk and forgetting what happened the night before. Im worried about him and worried he will get defensive if I bring up my concerns. I dont know if I am doing the right thing by trying to help him or if I am wasting my time. Im really lost and confused. I love him and the person that he is when he is happy and sober. Alot of stressful situations have come up in the past couple of months and I think it is a huge factor on his depression and drinking. He told me we should take a little break from each other because of the stress he is under which I agreed to only I feel I need to discuss a deeper issue which I am really nervous and afraid to do.

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Rea, Community Member
1/21/10 10:19am

I have been with my partner for over 3 years now, and he has had many low periods throughout our relationship, which effects us both as he has had to be off work for long periods while he gets better, he is on medication yet his depression is cyclic and nothing we try and change stops it from happening.

 

You need to know that things will never change, your partner will always encounter lows that us as partners cannot make better in an instant, it is extremely draining and can take its toll if you let it.

 

You need to decide whether you love him enough to be there for him and support him every time, never stop caring. I have been in situations where I feel he is self absorbed and doesnt care about us, I have realised he cannot help how he feels.

 

If you have stopped caring ....... its time to move on

 

your dreams of the future may well be unrealistic when you're dating someone with depression, I felt I could change things and everything would be ok, I was wrong and naive, but I still love him, and when he is well he is very well, and when he is down he is very down.

 

Good luck

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joenathan84, Community Member
2/25/10 11:51pm

 

I have been dating my depressed gf on and off for 4 years now and i would like to say that reading all this really helped me understand things better. I have always been understanding and loving but it really does take a lot to love her. Iv always been a good friend to people and try my best to make people happy. And the more i poured of myself into her to make her feel happy the emptier i feel. I have broken up with her before b/c it seemed she never wanted to get help no matter how much i offered to help her find it/pay for it. 

I recently broke up with her again and i feel horrible for it b/c i do love her but im torn b/n living my life and being a good boyfriend. I dont like feeling like im abandoning her or giving up on her but my life is super busy and stressful as it is. I know it would be a test of my strength and love for her but i really am having trouble deciding on what to do. But i suppose thats all stuff i will have to think on....Once again reading your posts has helped me understand things a whole lot better and reinforced some things i already knew.

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Mom of Manic, Community Member
4/12/12 10:34am

You can't help someone who doesn't want to be helped...you are just spinning your wheels. All too often people lose themselves in depression. You can't save him from this until he is ready to deal with the issues causing the depression. As long as he continues to avoid them, he will deal with depression.

 

Sometimes the only way for you to go on and be healthy is to understand you cannot be in a relationship that will bring you down. Struggling with depression is, unfortunately, a life long process. Even if he was to get help, he will have his moments when life gets him down. It is the nature of the beast. Still, these days are long off if he is scared to leave his comfort zone and deal with the uncomfortable issues that have caused the depression to begin with.

 

I wish you much luck and happiness in your future. Life is about finding those moments that take your breath away...I wish you many! 

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By adee, Community Member— Last Modified: 04/12/12, First Published: 02/11/09