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He's crying out, how do I help
August 16, 2000
3:30 pm
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Ren
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I'm in a 9+ year relationship and my boyfriend is so depressed lately, he dosent feel like he contributes enough money to the house, he has an unsupportive family with very different views from his. He tells me I dont support him when he needs me too and feels I always tell him how to feel. I'm not the depressing type. I don't let things get to me and if someting bothers me then I fix it. I dont understand his depression. He lets things eat at him and make him crazy inside. He begs me to help him and I try to listen to him, and I always end up saying the samething. I always end up saying "but you have to do this or that". And he says don't tell me what I have to do! I dont know how to make things better. Im trying to help him and he looks at it like I'm trying to tell him how to feel. He feels as though I dont care. I love him more than anything and he is so wonderful to me. He always makes me feel good he is thoughtful and considerate and I dont feel like I measure up anymore. I have given him cards and told him how much I care but when it comes down to him going into a deep depression I seem to make things worse!!!
I think he suffers from cronic depression but he will not concider counseling. He says he just needs me to support him.. I dont want to loose this relationship but Im feeling like he derserves better.

August 16, 2000
5:05 pm
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beverly
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wow, ren!
sounds like you both could use some counseling. if he refuses to go, then go by yourself. find a QUALIFIED counselor who is supportive.
counseling may help you realize that you can not fix your boyfriend's depression. no one can except for him. i'll say it again, NO ONE can except for him. and that does not mean that you failed him or yourself in some way. i know that at the time this may not make sense, but his depression may not have anything to do with you. when i was going through a similar situation, and when my s.o.'s depression was helping to bring me down as well, someone said this to me and i didn't understand. but it really is his decision to change. to make the choice to get help. (it's more than okay to ask for help.) and once the choice is made, then action must be taken. it's not any easy choice to make. and the choice may need to be made again moment to moment. it won't be easy. but it WILL be worth it.
this life is so very precious. it's the only one we get. please don't live it in depression.
(one book that helped me realize the root of some of my anxieties and fears and depression is "the feeling good handbook. it was a start, anyway.)
best of luck to you.

August 16, 2000
6:03 pm
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Ren
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Thank you for your advise you are so right. I'm to happy go lucky to live with sadness. I feel like this emotional rollercoaster is really making me sick. =) We have grown up together really I have been with him since I was 16. I dont want to hurt him
Thanks Again

August 18, 2000
8:54 am
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hazza
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Hey ren,
if you love him, the that is one thing, but he needs to understand that your love does not equal you being able to make him feel better.

he feels lousy and cannot heal himself and in his mind love means taking that pain away, so if you don't take his pain away - to him, it means you don't care enough.

you have to explain to him, that it is not that you WONT stop that pain for him but that it is you CANT stop his pain.

as others here have rightly said, only he can do that.

I have been there, but it brought me into deep depression too!

I told my SO,
that I can't stop his pain, but I will help and support him when HE decides he want to change it, but unless he understood that basic truth, there was no future for us.

when someone relys on another to fill their void, it becoms like a bottomless pit, however much love and support that person throws in for the other, it is never enough, until the person no matter how big hearted gets tired and down themselves and resentments start.

you need t tell your SO, that it is HIS resposibilty to try to get treatment, he is in effect dumping all this on you by thinking that you hold the key to his recovery - well you don't and he needs to understand that, for his own sake.

you must stop trying to be his cure-all. try to encourage him to have his own views and ideas , let him biuld a little confidence in himself as being able to be the master of his opwn life.

it is hard if you don't understnad depression - I do, and even I find it very difficult to understand someone elses, but you just can't see the way out when you feel that way, give hima helping hand and all the support you feel you can. BUT the two of you need to discuss and be absolutely clear that you are volunteering to do this - you are in no way his cure or part of his depression - he must own his own issues and realise that it is HE that must face them, you can only be a support not part of the equation.

tell him that you have done your best to love support and have faith in him - you can not do anymore than you have done with that - if it is still not enough for him to believe then he must face the reality that it is HIS INABILITY TO BELIEVE what you say that is the problem and not the fact that you are not saying "I loveYou" twenty times a day instead on ten.

Remeber it takes time, he is scared and confused and obviously relying on you too much.
But your life is yours = if you choose to help him, then great butmake sure he does the homework himself. He can get counselling, he can read books on it, he can take charge of his issues, but using you as his only sourse of comfort is no longer a healthy option for either of you in the long run.
Peace
Hazza

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