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You Asked: I Need Support for my Depression

Dear Sugar--

I have spent my entire life battling bouts of depression. About a month ago a series of events have led me into a serious funk that is affecting me physically and emotionally. I'm suffering from insomnia and feel completely disconnected from everyone I know and love, especially my boyfriend who I've been with for almost 3 years.

I don't know what to do about our relationship. I feel awkward and distant around him now. I have almost no sexual urges, and I'm starting to avoid him. Unfortunately this is how I feel with everyone around me (minus the whole sexuality bit), so I can't figure out if I've simply fallen out of love, or if this is my depression taking hold of what I've held most dear. I haven't communicated my current situation with him because previous discussions have left me disappointed when he wasn't there for me the way he said he would be. I know I can't depend on him for a successful recovery, but he's promised support and then avoided the subject completely.

I know I need to talk to him... but now I'm wondering if I should suggest a break while I try and regain control of my life. I don't know if I have the emotional energy to be the girlfriend he deserves to have. I'm 21 and he's turning 24 in a few days. I don't want to hold him back when we're both so young. We've been very serious up to this point - so I'm not sure if I should give him the opportunity to support me during this time or chance losing him completely by asking him for space. I just feel like he deserves better.

--Depressed and Unsupported Debra

To see DEARSUGAR's answer

Dear Depressed and Unsupported Debra--

It makes me sad when you say that your boyfriend "deserves better." It sounds like you're being way too hard on yourself, which may be part of the reason you are depressed. Having depression isn't some personality flaw - it's a condition that you have no control of, and it's not something that just goes away on its own. From what you've told me, I can only think that your iffy feelings about your boyfriend are a symptom of your condition, rather than how you actually feel.

I'm not sure if you are seeing a therapist or not, but talking through your problems with an unbiased person will really help you. A therapist can help ask the right questions and make insightful comments that will get you thinking about how you can start feeling better about yourself. I agree that it's not your boyfriend's "job" to help you recover, but he should be there to offer you support when you need it (especially when he says he will). Your depression has an effect on him too, so he shouldn't have to be supporting you all on his own. He might not know how to give you what you need, so it may be helpful for him to see a therapist too, possibly with you.

3 years is a long time to be with someone, so I'm sure your connection is a strong one. Communication is the key for keeping your relationship alive. I would definitely have a talk with him about how you're feeling. Have him be honest about his feelings and you can communicate your concerns and needs too. Maybe you both can come up with ways that will help you heal, so you can get back to loving him the way you want.

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tinniee tinniee 4 years
I Need Support for my Depression
tinniee tinniee 4 years
heyyi .... dont think much .... dont do nything weird .. or anything which wil hurt you.. life is smal. .. nd there is no place for depression hatred..... its just counted with the happy moments not with the sad ones... be strong ... and problems comes in everyones life .. even they are in my life..sometimes i feel like i should kill myself. but its not the solution . you ned not to go through this alone... stay happie :-)
amybdk amybdk 8 years
I am in agreement about seeking therapy. Be sure to mention your insomnia to a therapist or physician as well. They will probably prescribe sleeping pills. Some R&R would probably help you feel a bit better.Good luck to you!
amybdk amybdk 8 years
I am in agreement about seeking therapy. Be sure to mention your insomnia to a therapist or physician as well. They will probably prescribe sleeping pills. Some R&R would probably help you feel a bit better. Good luck to you!
sweetrae80 sweetrae80 8 years
Gun honey is correct - CBT is definitely a great way to start. You really should find a psychotherapist that you feel comfortable with. You don't have to go to the first person that you find. Different therapists have different styles and methods and you need to work with someone that you feel has a style that is good for you. Medication isn't for everyone but sometimes for some people it can really help. It's very common for people to realize that they have depression and other mental/psychological issues around this age. Depression is especially common in women. I am 23 and have been in therapy for about 9 months now for anxiety and depression. Many people in my family have depression and just because I didn't have the "typical" traits I thought that I was not depressed. Meanwhile, my anxiety was ruining my life and my relationship (2+ years) with my wonderful live in bf. I'm still an anxious person but I now know methods to use to keep my behaviors from negatively affecting my life, my relationships and my health. I opened up to my bf about the issues I was experiencing, now he can help calm me down and we can talk about how I'm feeling. It really helps, I swear. We are both benefiting from this honesty and openness. Sometimes we just are the way we are. Some of are more anxious or susceptible to depression - these things may be part of our personalities and genetic buildup, so don't get down on yourself. Also, traumatic life events can really kind of "jumpstart" feelings of depression and isolation. I didn't realize that I was anxious/depressed until a year after a close friend of mine was murdered. But you do not need to go through this alone. I think it shows that you are strong and committed to working through this just by the fact that you posted this entry and allowed us to work with you. Stay strong, and get the help you need and deserve. Sometimes changes happen slowly but I promise it will be for the better. :)
sweetrae80 sweetrae80 8 years
Gun honey is correct - CBT is definitely a great way to start. You really should find a psychotherapist that you feel comfortable with. You don't have to go to the first person that you find. Different therapists have different styles and methods and you need to work with someone that you feel has a style that is good for you. Medication isn't for everyone but sometimes for some people it can really help. It's very common for people to realize that they have depression and other mental/psychological issues around this age. Depression is especially common in women. I am 23 and have been in therapy for about 9 months now for anxiety and depression. Many people in my family have depression and just because I didn't have the "typical" traits I thought that I was not depressed. Meanwhile, my anxiety was ruining my life and my relationship (2+ years) with my wonderful live in bf. I'm still an anxious person but I now know methods to use to keep my behaviors from negatively affecting my life, my relationships and my health. I opened up to my bf about the issues I was experiencing, now he can help calm me down and we can talk about how I'm feeling. It really helps, I swear. We are both benefiting from this honesty and openness. Sometimes we just are the way we are. Some of are more anxious or susceptible to depression - these things may be part of our personalities and genetic buildup, so don't get down on yourself. Also, traumatic life events can really kind of "jumpstart" feelings of depression and isolation. I didn't realize that I was anxious/depressed until a year after a close friend of mine was murdered.But you do not need to go through this alone. I think it shows that you are strong and committed to working through this just by the fact that you posted this entry and allowed us to work with you. Stay strong, and get the help you need and deserve. Sometimes changes happen slowly but I promise it will be for the better. :)
gun-honey gun-honey 8 years
As someone who just recovered from a recent bout of depression, I must join the chorus and ask you to seek a therapist. A good one will do wonders - I only wish I had seen one earlier. Ask for cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT); that's what I'm undergoing at the moment and I think it's considered the most successful non-pharmaceutical method for depression and anxiety at the moment.
natalya natalya 8 years
Dear Debra, I was going through a very similar situation, on and off depression, in a funk with a lack of interest in sex. I thought a break would be best to let me figure out my situation and get help. The break was not well received. I realized that if he couldnt realized how much I needed to help myself then he wasnt helping any. However, when I finally got away from my boyfriend, I realized I was much better off. I could work on ME, and not HIM. I realized that you need to be able to make yourself happy before you can make anyone else happy (especially a significant other). When I was by myself, I realized how unhappy I had been and how far I had to go until I was better. I got help for my insomnia, and I also had got help from a therapist. I suggest getting help from professionals. I also welcomed friends back into my life that I had put on the back burner due to my relationship. I started working out again, and took up some hobbies that I really enjoy. I started living my life again, and enjoying it! It has been a long road and it is one you need to work on every day. If your boyfriend is meant to be in your life, he will understand and come back to you - and you will fall in love with him all over again. If he isn't then take it for the best and someday you will find the man you really are meant to spend the rest of your life with. But until then, work on making yourself happy and things will begin to mend.Good luck.
natalya natalya 8 years
Dear Debra, I was going through a very similar situation, on and off depression, in a funk with a lack of interest in sex. I thought a break would be best to let me figure out my situation and get help. The break was not well received. I realized that if he couldnt realized how much I needed to help myself then he wasnt helping any. However, when I finally got away from my boyfriend, I realized I was much better off. I could work on ME, and not HIM. I realized that you need to be able to make yourself happy before you can make anyone else happy (especially a significant other). When I was by myself, I realized how unhappy I had been and how far I had to go until I was better. I got help for my insomnia, and I also had got help from a therapist. I suggest getting help from professionals. I also welcomed friends back into my life that I had put on the back burner due to my relationship. I started working out again, and took up some hobbies that I really enjoy. I started living my life again, and enjoying it! It has been a long road and it is one you need to work on every day. If your boyfriend is meant to be in your life, he will understand and come back to you - and you will fall in love with him all over again. If he isn't then take it for the best and someday you will find the man you really are meant to spend the rest of your life with. But until then, work on making yourself happy and things will begin to mend. Good luck.
maryjosie maryjosie 8 years
I understand what you are going through as I'm currently in the same boat. Definitely see a professional. She will be helpful you get through the depression by weighing in on your issues without strings attached.It also takes time.
maryjosie maryjosie 8 years
I understand what you are going through as I'm currently in the same boat. Definitely see a professional. She will be helpful you get through the depression by weighing in on your issues without strings attached. It also takes time.
akhan246 akhan246 8 years
you have a friend in me, add me if you need to talk because we're in the same situation. I actually just was formally diagnosed last week but I've known it forever and I live with my boyfriend of 3 years. Sometimes, he just doesn't understand..... but would I in the same situation if I never experienced depression before? We had a long talk and i told him exactly the kind of support I needed. I was prescribed antidepressants but I decided against taking them due to side-effects. I am taking natural supplements like cold fish oils and vitamin b (and I do work at a pharmacy and dispense so I'm not an herbalist or naturalist or earth hippie, but know first hand the effects anti-depressants have which i don't want to deal with, especially without exhausting other choices first).I'm scheduled for counselling, I havent gone yet but would you give it a try? Just having someone to talk to does WONDERS! We could even chat on MSN, just to have someone who understands :-)But this is something we have to live with, so just try your best, there is no wrong or right in getting over this, you have to try a lot of things and see what works. What works for me is a supportive boyfriend and my kitty :P
akhan246 akhan246 8 years
you have a friend in me, add me if you need to talk because we're in the same situation. I actually just was formally diagnosed last week but I've known it forever and I live with my boyfriend of 3 years. Sometimes, he just doesn't understand..... but would I in the same situation if I never experienced depression before? We had a long talk and i told him exactly the kind of support I needed. I was prescribed antidepressants but I decided against taking them due to side-effects. I am taking natural supplements like cold fish oils and vitamin b (and I do work at a pharmacy and dispense so I'm not an herbalist or naturalist or earth hippie, but know first hand the effects anti-depressants have which i don't want to deal with, especially without exhausting other choices first). I'm scheduled for counselling, I havent gone yet but would you give it a try? Just having someone to talk to does WONDERS! We could even chat on MSN, just to have someone who understands :-) But this is something we have to live with, so just try your best, there is no wrong or right in getting over this, you have to try a lot of things and see what works. What works for me is a supportive boyfriend and my kitty :P
Ikandy Ikandy 8 years
Dear, I was so touched when u said "It makes me sad when you say that your boyfriend "deserves better." cause I felt sad for her when she said that because I feel that about myself sometimes too. LikeATiger29...I think u helped me with some issues too. That was really insightful! Im going through depression, its something Ive been fighting since my mother passed away, over 10 years ago. But, lately Ive been wondering if how I feel is a reflection on my relationship...Gosh, I sure hope not :(
Ikandy Ikandy 8 years
Dear, I was so touched when u said "It makes me sad when you say that your boyfriend "deserves better." cause I felt sad for her when she said that because I feel that about myself sometimes too. LikeATiger29...I think u helped me with some issues too. That was really insightful!Im going through depression, its something Ive been fighting since my mother passed away, over 10 years ago. But, lately Ive been wondering if how I feel is a reflection on my relationship...Gosh, I sure hope not :(
LikeATiger29 LikeATiger29 8 years
I think the best thing you could do at this point is talk to a therapist. Everyone is always so hesitant to seek professional help because of the stigma surrounding it...like if you go to see a therapist, you're "crazy." But I've been seeing a therapist for 5 years, and I'm very open about it because it's helped make me feel sooooo much better than I used to. It could be that you just need someone to talk to, or that you need medication to balance you out. A lot of people spit on the whole medication bit too, but truly I know that I'm glad I'm on it. If you have a chemical imbalance in your brain, it can cause you to feel depressed, and no amount of talking to anyone is going to fix it--you NEED medication sometimes. As far as your boyfriend goes, two things come to mind. First, I know that sometimes when I am depressed, I pretty much want NOTHING to do with my boyfriend. Like, I literally just have NO DESIRE to have ANY contact with him at all. It doesn't reflect on our relationship at all, or on him, it's just a matter of me closing myself off when I feel that way. So don't necessarily question your relationship just because you feel this way.The second thing that comes to mind, is that I wonder when your depression started. Sometimes, when I haven't been with the right guy, I start feeling really depressed and I want nothing to do with my boyfriend, but it's actually because I know he's not the right one for me and that it's time to let go. I know this complicates things, because first I'm saying it has nothing to do with him, and then I'm saying it could be entirely to do with him, but that's why I'm asking you to question the timing. Did the depression coincide perfectly with your feelings regarding your boyfriend, or were you depressed LONG before you even began questioning your relationship? Either way, don't make any decisions regarding your relationship until you talk to someone about it, because when you're emotional, that's when you make the worst choices.
LikeATiger29 LikeATiger29 8 years
I think the best thing you could do at this point is talk to a therapist. Everyone is always so hesitant to seek professional help because of the stigma surrounding it...like if you go to see a therapist, you're "crazy." But I've been seeing a therapist for 5 years, and I'm very open about it because it's helped make me feel sooooo much better than I used to. It could be that you just need someone to talk to, or that you need medication to balance you out. A lot of people spit on the whole medication bit too, but truly I know that I'm glad I'm on it. If you have a chemical imbalance in your brain, it can cause you to feel depressed, and no amount of talking to anyone is going to fix it--you NEED medication sometimes. As far as your boyfriend goes, two things come to mind. First, I know that sometimes when I am depressed, I pretty much want NOTHING to do with my boyfriend. Like, I literally just have NO DESIRE to have ANY contact with him at all. It doesn't reflect on our relationship at all, or on him, it's just a matter of me closing myself off when I feel that way. So don't necessarily question your relationship just because you feel this way. The second thing that comes to mind, is that I wonder when your depression started. Sometimes, when I haven't been with the right guy, I start feeling really depressed and I want nothing to do with my boyfriend, but it's actually because I know he's not the right one for me and that it's time to let go. I know this complicates things, because first I'm saying it has nothing to do with him, and then I'm saying it could be entirely to do with him, but that's why I'm asking you to question the timing. Did the depression coincide perfectly with your feelings regarding your boyfriend, or were you depressed LONG before you even began questioning your relationship? Either way, don't make any decisions regarding your relationship until you talk to someone about it, because when you're emotional, that's when you make the worst choices.
princess_eab princess_eab 8 years
I meant to say as well-- don't make any huge life changes such as breaking up with him before getting treatment. When you start feeling better and more in control, take stock of your life-- but only when you feel ready. For now, do get help and realize that your boyfriend is only that, not a professional, and can only do so much. I have the greatest boyfriend in the world and when I'm in a deep pit of depression, I think about leaving him too because of the feelings of guilt and loneliness. Don't do it while you're feeling like this!
princess_eab princess_eab 8 years
You sound exactly like me-- I can completely sympathize. I've been with my boyfriend for 3 years and have suffered from severe depression. I sunk into a major episode last year and have isolated and alienated myself from classmates, family and friends. At times, I've been suicidal. You need to get help NOW. This is something only you can do! You sound just like me, blaming yourself for not being good enough, and for not even having energy to put anything into your relationship. The depression is really clouding your view of things, as it does mine. PLEASE get help, make an appointment right away with a therapist and a psychiatrist. You need to be under care before you are completely alone and hopeless. Things will get better, I promise.
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 8 years
I don't think Dear meant to say this: "It doesn't sound like your being way too hard on yourself..."I think she meant to say that it sounds like you ARE being too hard on yourself... Not to put words in her mouth but the rest of the post sort of takes the latter view.Anyway...People who are depressed tend to completely close down and shut out everyone they love. That only worsens the situation. Give your boyfriend a chance to support you and be honest with him about what is going on.That said, he definitely shouldn't be the only person to support you, as you know. Going to a therapist would be a huge help, especially if you are dealing with the aftermath of some specific events.Good luck.
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 8 years
I don't think Dear meant to say this: "It doesn't sound like your being way too hard on yourself..." I think she meant to say that it sounds like you ARE being too hard on yourself... Not to put words in her mouth but the rest of the post sort of takes the latter view. Anyway... People who are depressed tend to completely close down and shut out everyone they love. That only worsens the situation. Give your boyfriend a chance to support you and be honest with him about what is going on. That said, he definitely shouldn't be the only person to support you, as you know. Going to a therapist would be a huge help, especially if you are dealing with the aftermath of some specific events. Good luck.
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