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dangerzone
Posted: Wednesday, August 15, 2012 9:00:27 PM

Rank: Rookie Scribe

Joined: 6/21/2011
Posts: 1
Location: Atlanta, United States
I've been dating a really nice girl for six, going on seven, months now. We met when she had just graduated, was still looking for a job, and living with her parents and I was finishing up my senior year in undergrad. For the first couple of months she seemed really happy and perky. We've since both moved to a new city (neighboring ones) in order to start work (for her) and grad school (for me). Ever since, she's been really depressed that she doesn't know anyone, lives about 30-45 minutes away from me, and doesn't have her parents around any more. I've tried piquing her interest in joining various groups with similar interests to her in the area, but she doesn't show an interest in going out to meet new people. She's starting medication for her depression this week and I'm worried that it may make her feel better, but it won't solve her problems. Does anyone have any advice on something I can do? More than anything I want to make sure she has a circle of people to talk to greater than just me and her mom. I'm not sure I can keep being an entire half of her support system, especially since I have depressive tendencies myself. Also, if things don't change, would it be terrible of me to break up with her? She isn't suicidal, but I don't want to be the reason she hurts herself in other ways. Please help me, I'm at a loss for what to do.
Shylass
Posted: Thursday, August 16, 2012 7:21:15 PM

Rank: Gingerbread Lover

Joined: 1/6/2012
Posts: 3,595
Location: Trumpton, United Kingdom
dangerzone wrote:
I've been dating a really nice girl for six, going on seven, months now. We met when she had just graduated, was still looking for a job, and living with her parents and I was finishing up my senior year in undergrad. For the first couple of months she seemed really happy and perky. We've since both moved to a new city (neighboring ones) in order to start work (for her) and grad school (for me). Ever since, she's been really depressed that she doesn't know anyone, lives about 30-45 minutes away from me, and doesn't have her parents around any more. I've tried piquing her interest in joining various groups with similar interests to her in the area, but she doesn't show an interest in going out to meet new people. She's starting medication for her depression this week and I'm worried that it may make her feel better, but it won't solve her problems. Does anyone have any advice on something I can do? More than anything I want to make sure she has a circle of people to talk to greater than just me and her mom. I'm not sure I can keep being an entire half of her support system, especially since I have depressive tendencies myself. Also, if things don't change, would it be terrible of me to break up with her? She isn't suicidal, but I don't want to be the reason she hurts herself in other ways. Please help me, I'm at a loss for what to do.


I think you're wonderful for being so pro-active and still realising that there is only so much you can do. Depression is a horrible, cruel illness.

It will take at least three months to work out if the pills your lass has are going to work for her, need to be upped, or if she needs to try a different kind. Everybody is different.

Some people need pills all the time but depending on the illness and the causes, many people only need them for a time, so that their chemical levels can help carry the mental and emotional levels until the person is able to regain control.

I would suggest helping your lass do one thing she likes or that helps her every day. For me, it's wearing stripy socks so that i smile when i look down, and hugely, being in nature and walking in it. Eating a smiley gingerbread man or reading a message from somebody I like helps too.

Your lass is going to have to do this largely alone, because of the nature of the illness, butyou can help her find what works for her. Remember to take care of yourself too. Don't be afraid to be honest with her about your own needs too. Depression can be a very inward-looking thing and it can be hard to see outside of our prison. if you need a time-out, take it. It's for your health too, as well as her taking responsibility for her own.

I hope that helps in some way? Finding new friends can take a while, and there are many ways to do it. Encourage her to meet people.maybe visit with her and take her to some places to get familiarised. Perhaps strike up some conversations in a bar or food place if possible,and she may find those people recognise her if she goes alone.

If there is any way I can help, don't be afraid to ask. But please remember, if she does harm herself in any way, it is her decision to do so, and NOT your fault. Like I said, depression can be very inward-looking and ugly. The individual must take responsibility for their own actions. Perhaps help her find a counsellor or support group she can call on that are closer to her shod she need the immediate help?

Good luck, and do remember your own needs too. Please let me know how you get on.


Ut incepit fidelis, sic permanet.

***
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Clu3
Posted: Monday, August 20, 2012 8:20:23 PM

Rank: Active Ink Slinger

Joined: 1/17/2011
Posts: 23
Location: Nowhere
this wont be easy for both of you.
i suggest you to if she doesnt like to go out gift her books. it might help her to heal herself.
you might get help from book store workers about finding right book. i would give her some which about
motivating people.
also i would suggest her to get a diary. she doesnt need to write everyday. she can write her dreams ,how she would like to live if she know she wont fail,what she doesnt like about herself etc
if she doesnt like to write ask it to her .make her talk to you. you both might find solution.
good luck
anon47
Posted: Wednesday, August 22, 2012 3:59:09 AM

Rank: Active Ink Slinger

Joined: 8/21/2012
Posts: 33
Location: United Kingdom
The most obvious reason for this depression is the transition from college to the life of work.

1. Is she unhappy in work?
2. Is her career not what she thought it would be like?
3. Does she feel unable to admit that for reasons of pride?
4. Are there deeper issues to do with childhood which means she is not emotionally comfortable being an independent adult?
5. Is the new situation you find yourselves in teaching you more about your relationship (trust me I've seen some where 'perfect couples' move overseas and rapidly split).
6. Are there things she needs from you which you don't realise?
7. If there are feelings of unworthiness, what is causing them?

What is absolutely key is recognising whether she is able to talk to you about these issues or not. If she can't, then you may need to speak to her parents about this. Not judgementally, but because you care. But before you do that, you need to tell her you're thinking of that: if there's a strong negative reaction, there may be challenges ahead.

If this makes you feel scared and unprepared: you will need help handling this too.

I don't know what the answer is, but depression is usually associated with loss. Loss of a dream, an idealised fantasy world which doesn't exist, loss of self-belief, self-worth. It's the emotion of not yet accepting that something is that way, cannot be that way, will never be that way.

It's important that these things are sorted, because a depression lasting a few months is curable. One which lasts 5 years often isn't.

I hope you can help your girlfriend but don't be afraid to accept all the help you can get: if you really care for her, the more help and support of the right kind she can get, the better.
Saga
Posted: Wednesday, August 22, 2012 6:36:35 AM

Rank: Sergeant Turnip

Joined: 6/7/2012
Posts: 5,001
Location: Canada
Hi,
 
Great response from Shylass!
 
I have been where you are now, so I know what you are feeling and the frustration of not being able to fix the problems for her. Like Shylass said, you have to remember to take care of yourself in all this and make sure you stay happy as well. Depression is horrible for everyone involved and there unfortunately is no easy fix for this. Finding the right medication will take time and she will need to try different options, but if she finds something that works, you will notice a huge difference. Things will get better and she will get back to being happier. The best suggestion I have for you to help her, is talk her into talking to someone. You and her mother cannot be the only ones she talks too, she needs someone professional to talk things out with and that can make her deal with this and find the cause or the depression or to just figure out how to make things more bearable and to put things into perspective. You and her mother are too close so there is only so much you can do to help her out of this. I understand bringing this up with her might not be easy, but will benefit her in the end.
 
I know exactly what you mean when you say that you are the entire half of her support system. That is a very overwhelming feeling and can drag you down as well. In times like these you have to think about yourself! I know this is easier said than done, but you have to make sure you stay happy, especially if you struggle yourself with depressive tendencies. If you feel it gets too much and you need to end it with her, you cannot blame yourself for anything. Anything she does or any actions she takes is not on you. I know it is easy for us to say that, but take it from someone that knows about this – going through your days being worried that someone you care deeply for is going to hurt themselves is going to drive you crazy. The blame will NEVER be on you.
 
If you have any questions or you just need to vent, just let me know and I will try to help in  any way that I can.
Hugs


http://www.lushstories.com/stories/quickie-sex/rye-and-ginger.aspx
blazestcyr
Posted: Wednesday, August 22, 2012 11:57:55 AM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 10/19/2011
Posts: 737
Location: where bugs die
it takes 4-6 weeks for the meds to kick in

plus you have to try a lot to get the combo...correct

mental illness is a chemical inbalance in the brain

my sister was hospitalized for years before they found the right combo but this was the 80-90's

she is great,,, has a great partner & works in a doctors office

if the meds she is on are affecting her sex, or gaining weight(which is 1 of the reasons why people stop taking them)....get her to the doc...as there are lots more

please be patient...this is her body....trying to deal with a lack or certain hormones & chems

she will get better...she will feel better.& she will get back to the girl you love

hugs sweetie
JesseS
Posted: Sunday, August 26, 2012 10:22:01 AM

Rank: Forum Guru

Joined: 1/1/2010
Posts: 119
Location: United States
First off, please have her try acupuncture before meds. It is better, cheaper and has no side effects, nor addiction issues. Also bear in mind that the big pharmaceutical companies have spent a lot of money convincing people that addiction is fine, it's not. Doctors are way too quick to medicate. Beyond that, much has already been answered here. It is quite possible she is simply bound up in the emotions of the massive changes her life is going through and not yet understanding that it will work out. Try to get her to understand that everything is relative, that while this is huge in comparison to what she has done, it will be minor in comparison to her overall life.
At risk of starting a Forum war, I want to point out to Shylass & dangerzone, that they may be projecting themselves [Dangerzone states, "I have depressive tendencies"], [Shylass, "If it was, I would not suffer from depression."] onto someone who, according to dangerzone, "For the first couple of months she seemed really happy and perky. We've since both moved to a new city (neighboring ones) in order to start work (for her) and grad school (for me). Ever since, she's been really depressed." I am not trying to make light of anyones battles with depression, nor do I mean to slight those who are taking time to try an assist with serious advice. The point I want to bring out is that this does not look like a woman with a chronic depression disorder, rather someone struggling through a period of intense change. To that, it seems to me, the last thing this woman needs is to be joining clubs or getting onto meds. We can only reflect onto a situation what our own experiences have been and how our personalities handled them. It is too bad we can't sit down with her to ask what combination of experiences, or perhaps lack of them, and which personality traits, are combining to cause this funk that she is in. I agree with Shylass that there are too many 'counselling' horror stories to suggest that.
There is another, unlikely, possibility. She may just be showing that face to you. I knew a girl who would go into an apparent "depression" whenever she didn't want to deal with someone or something. She could turn the act on and off in a moment, especially in a crowded room. Again, not likely, just an example of a different angle.
Magical_felix
Posted: Sunday, August 26, 2012 12:35:58 PM

Rank: Wild at Heart

Joined: 4/3/2010
Posts: 4,908
Location: California
The best thing to do with a depressed girlfriend is to be an awesome boyfriend.

...getting to the root of the problem like.



Shylass
Posted: Sunday, August 26, 2012 2:12:06 PM

Rank: Gingerbread Lover

Joined: 1/6/2012
Posts: 3,595
Location: Trumpton, United Kingdom
JesseS wrote:
First off, please have her try acupuncture before meds. It is better, cheaper and has no side effects, nor addiction issues. Also bear in mind that the big pharmaceutical companies have spent a lot of money convincing people that addiction is fine, it's not. Doctors are way too quick to medicate. Beyond that, much has already been answered here. It is quite possible she is simply bound up in the emotions of the massive changes her life is going through and not yet understanding that it will work out. Try to get her to understand that everything is relative, that while this is huge in comparison to what she has done, it will be minor in comparison to her overall life.


You are always saying how acupuncture is the way to go before meds. It isn't always. If it was, I would not suffer from depression. Without meds, I would be dead. And I can't even take meds for the depression! But they still saved my life. Yes, acupuncture has meant I can walk again, but it does not work for everybody. One must also remember that not all acupuncture practitioners are qualified, nor safe. Should one wish to go down the acupuncture route, one should first make sure they are treated by a fully trained, qualified, certified, and tested practitioner, with scrupulous hygiene. Word of mouth recommendations are to be highly valued.

Talking and finding professional help and/or counselling is the first port of call, in my opinion. And I sadly have many horror stories I can tell with that method. Nothing will give an instant long-term cure to this hideous illness, so one must be careful not to jump into anything, but explore the options carefully once the illness has been identified by one qualified to do so. It all takes time, step by step.


And as for awesome boyfriends, they are sadly in short supply. The lass in question is very lucky, from what I can tell.


Ut incepit fidelis, sic permanet.

***
********************************CLICK THE BANNERS TO BUY THESE WILLY-STIFFENING BOOKS!********************************
clum
Posted: Sunday, August 26, 2012 5:54:40 PM

Rank: Clumeleon

Joined: 5/13/2011
Posts: 4,589
Location: Edinburgh, United Kingdom
I like Magical_felix's advice, personally. Keep doing your best, day after day. It's hard but relationships are hard. To support her through this is a truly noble act, even if it is at the cost of your relationship in the end. You seem to care for her a great deal and so I sincerely hope it works out.

If you are religious or spiritual in any way, use that. Seek guidance from a priest/rabbi/senior in faith/whoever and pray/chant/meditate/whatever. You have to be a rock.

If you decide it's too much for you to handle, you must make a clean break. Remember that you're not the reason she became depressed. It may well be that the reason she has become depressed was to show up the weaknesses in your relationship. That's life. Don't beat yourself up over it.

Make sure that you stay healthy, well-rested and on top of your studies. You're no use to anyone if you're in a low life state yourself.

Every day is a school day.
Roseygrrl
Posted: Saturday, September 08, 2012 6:13:27 PM

Rank: Rookie Scribe

Joined: 9/4/2012
Posts: 1
Lots of great advice here. One thing I would suggest is for your gf to see a therapist, if she is willing. I spent a long time deeply depressed and it is a horrible place to be. Good for you for being a loving, concerned bf, you really sound like a great guy.
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