Need help breaking free from addiction?
1-888-993-3112
Call 24/7 for treatment options. Ad Info & Options

Depressed Boyfriend

Question:

My boyfriend of 8 years has not worked since April 2000 due to a depression. He now tells me that he is not sure if he wants to continue this relationship or not. He asked me to give him some time to find himself and give me an answer. It has already been 4 weeks and I am having a terrible time try to cope with this. I am now taking anxiety pills and seeing a psychologist to help me through this. He says he has no feeling for anyone or anything – is he stringing me a line?

This Disclaimer applies to the Answer Below
  • ‘Anne’ is the pseudonym for the individual who writes this relationship advice column.
  • ‘Anne’ bases her responses on her personal experiences and not on professional training or study. She does not represent herself to be a psychologist, therapist, counselor or professional helper of any sort. Her responses are offered from the perspective of a friend or mentor only.
  • Anne intends her responses to provide general information to the readership of this website; answers should not be understood to be specific advice intended for any particular individual(s).
  • Questions submitted to this column are not guaranteed to receive responses.
  • No correspondence takes place.
  • No ongoing relationship of any sort (including but not limited to any form of professional relationship) is implied or offered by ‘Anne’ to people submitting questions.
  • ‘Anne’, Mental Help Net and CenterSite, LLC make no warranties, express or implied, about the information presented in this column. ‘Anne’ and Mental Help Net disclaim any and all merchantability or warranty of fitness for a particular purpose or liability in connection with the use or misuse of this service.
  • Always consult with your psychotherapist, physician, or psychiatrist first before changing any aspect of your treatment regimen. Do not stop your medication or change the dose of your medication without first consulting with your physician.
Answer:

Depressions can be devastating and can certainly cause the sort of withdrawal-from-intimacy that your boyfriend is describing. I doubt that he is merely “stringing you a line”. This doesn’t mean however that you should allow yourself to be held hostage by his depression. You are in the painful but necessary position of needing to sort out just how much more of this you will take before you need to leave him to preserve your own well-being. Make a list of the things you need from him that he can legitimately provide you with. One of these things he can do is to get into aggressive treatment for depression (which might include medication, weekly therapy, support groups and physical exercise). With today’s reasonably effective treatments there is a good chance that his depression can be turned around in a matter of months. If he is unwilling to comply with treatments, or if there are drugs or alcohol involved, this depression could go on for a long time. Work with your psychologist to set limits on what is healthy for you and then stick to those limits to the best of your ability. You were a good and legitimate person before you met this man, and you’ll be just as good and legitimate if you need to separate from him in order to have a life worth living. Good luck.

More "Ask Anne" View Columnists

Close

Call the Helpline Toll-FREE

To Get Treatment Options Now.

1-888-993-3112 100% Confidential

Get Help For You or a Loved One Here...

Click Here for More Info.

Close

Call The Toll-FREE Helpline 24/7 To Get Treatment Options Now.

100% Confidential
Get Treatment Options From Your Phone... Tap to Expand