Altodoit
A:

Hi Altodoit,

Nice to see you. Glad you checked in with this question.

I can certainly understand why you have so much concern about your partner. What you describe here in terms of his symptoms can be an indication of depression, but can also be associated with other mental health diagnoses. It would help for him to be evaluated by a mental health professional who talk with him and evaluate the symptoms he is experiencing. They could work together on a way forward.

Unfortunately, when someone is isolating themselves, they may not be open to doing anything to help themselves. If your partner is indeed depressed, this can be the result of depression. Depression tells you how bad you feel, and it tells you that there is nothing you can do about it. That's the double whammy of depression. It's not true. What your partner is experiencing is treatable.

I know this must be very hard for you to watch. It can be a very helpless feeling to watch someone suffering and not be able to do anything about it. You can't force your partner to get help. But you can continue to be supportive, to remind him how much you care about him, and to encourage him to reach out for help. That may not always feel like a lot, but it is.

I also encourage you to get support for yourself. Talk with family or friends, vent when you need to. If you are not talking with a counselor, that could also help. A counselor could give you day to day support, and help you to help your partner. Care for the caregiver.

I feel bad for you. I know how hard it is to watch a loved one suffering so much. I hope you will stay in touch. Let me know how you are doing.

And take good care of yourself!

Gary

Answered By Answered by Dr GaryCA
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Comments (3 comments)

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CarolinaJones
CarolinaJones March 2, 2017 at 8:45 pm   

ok!

Dr GaryTherapist
Dr GaryCA September 5, 2016 at 8:51 pm   

HI Altodoit, thanks so much for following up and letting me know more about what's going on. I feel sad for you. You are dealing with a lot. I do think it's important to take a look at not only the best way to help him but also the best way to take care of yourself. Again, care for the caregiver. I really hope you will be able to follow through on talking with a therapist. I think the outside perspective of a mental health professional could help you a lot right now. Please keep me posted.

Altodoit
Altodoit September 5, 2016 at 3:20 am   

Thank you so much for your reply. I have persuaded him to take vitamin supplements and SAM-e (after doing some research online). I'm hoping this will help. I also bought him a bike and he has been going out on it every day (I read that excercise can work wonders). He won't go and see a doctor at the moment. He is making efforts with his sleeping patterns and eating a little better. He lacks motivation, is long-term unemployed (although has two Master's degrees and is a qualified accountant), very moody. Sometimes I feel my mere presence annoys him. His house is a disgrace - you'd think it was a squat. He also steals from shops and is obsessed with not spending money. He can't handle being touched (when sleeping). He gets very agressive. He can spend all night looking for a mosquito (that isn't there). We're in very different places. I run my own business and a charity. I work long hours and love it. I have lots of activities in my life and never enough hours in the day… and to see him not wanting to do anything (when he's so intelligent!) is just upsetting. We're so mismatched. He knows I love him. I know he loves me, but I'm worried it won't be enough. I spend a lot of time crying. He makes me more unhappy than happy. Maybe I'm trying to rescue him? I've talked to my family and they want me to leave him. I'm 37 and want a baby. My family fear that he's dragging me down to his level and that I couldn't cope with a baby and someone who can be so mean to sometimes. Or thoughtless rather than mean. He comes across as selfish. But, I can't leave him. I know he'd end up sitting in his house not talking to anyone for months on end. He's done it before (for a year). I managed to get him back in touch with his family again, but it's a fragile relationship. I want to help him. He has so much potential and when things are good, it can be wonderful between us. I will go and talk to a therapist about this. I'm sure it will help. Thank you very much for your kind words. Alexandra

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