General Advice/Feedback for someone with Depression

I am not going to get into all the nitty gritty about everything that has transpired to get to this point, some of it is more private then even on here, but I will try to be open about 'most' aspects of it all.

First off, my fiancee, whom I have been together with for over a decade is suffering depression. Now she tells me she's been steadily unhappy since early of Januarary this year, though at that time I think it was more about things out of our control, such as no one interviewing or hiring her in her field or even for a general office position, the fact we were paying a lot more for our hydro then we should because the landlord didn't fix an air leak in our patio door and well we had cool air getting in, that we didn't really 'do' much out, as in we stayed home a lot, and that she doesn't have a lot of people she can call friends and do things with.

Fast forward to when we moved in April, things seemed to be still the unhappy stage, though she was going out to the local bar a bit more often or later since she no longer needed a ride and could walk home (it's a 8 min walk down the street). There she's made friends, most of them I would call alcoholics as they go there multiple times a week and drink, and I personally believe they may be negatively influencing her to made bad or poor decisions. With that in mind I thought she'd be getting happier, at least going out and being social with these people but it seems that's still not the case.  We've had a rough patch between us since probably May, to the point we finally started seeing a couples counsellor (well twice, as we found one that my company 'insurance' covers some sessions after the first one). It was only just before that second counsellor that she started to admit she could be depressed or dealing with depression, with this second counsellor confirming she has it. Both counsellors are psychologists so it's not just a relationship counsellor of types.

So now we sort of know she has depression, though the next time we can see this counsellor isn't for another 2-3 weeks since they are booked up then vacation. So in the mean time its us trying to 'deal' with her depression. I am not sure if she has fully accepted it yet, but having looked up the symptoms she has most of them. One of the problems, added with those 'friends' is the fact that people who are depressed can make bad or poor decisions they normally wouldn't. So with that in mind I am trying to figure out not only to how to try and build our relationship back together, but also trust and support her to do the right things and not blow a gasket if she does the wrong thing.

I imagine there is probably more that can spilled but right now this is what immediately comes to mind to share.

TL:DR Fiancee has depression and we have had a severe rough patch in our relationship at the same time. She's depressed over not having friends, not having more than a retail job, and well much friction our relationship has had based on some of the bad decisions she has made. I am looking for ways to help her with the depression, support her to make good decisions and try to not get too upset if she makes some bad ones in pursuit of temporary happiness and the temporarily relief of the depression.

Alcohol is not cure for depression. It make things only worser. I would suggest finding her / making possible that she start doing some (any) hobby thing to wash the disapointment of life away.

I have had family with depression before. Without resorting to medication the only real things that can  help the mind are many of the same things that help the body. Ensuring you get sufficient sleep, but don't just stay in bed (no one should need more than 8hrs consistently), avoid depressants (like alcohol), avoid excessive sugar (as it will force your body through highs and lows), eat healthy, and get excercise as much as you can that is enjoyable (whether that is intense training, a swim, or just a walk). Lastly talk as much as you can, but only as can be done without getting stressed.

Other than that it's out of your hands for the most part. Really all you can do is encourage healthy options and avoid stressors. Best of luck to the both of you.

Problem is I have no control over the drinking part, because she goes out and does it socially and it temporarily makes her feel better, since she's out and well alcohol is a depressant, so it can suppress depression at times (I know it's odd but I've heard it is a temporary fix that yes can make things worse in the long run).

Can't do much about the sleeping as she's fairly constantly waking up early, not getting enough sleep and being tired for a good part of the day. Some nights she sleeps until she should get up, but those nights seem to be less and less common versus her being up an hour or two before her alarm needs to go off. She does walk a lot, though I think she may do too much of that on her days off where she could be spending a bit of that time applying to jobs, as she can't get a better job without applying to all these companies that'll probably not even call her in for an interview…

I can only do so much if she still keeps a lot from me, is secretive about things since well I might freak out as they could be you know bad ideas or things she shouldn't be doing but is doing them since they give her some glimmer of happiness.

I dont know what else to say. If things are as they sound I think it's pretty much time for professional help. There probably isn't more you can do. I wish I could help. Take care.

We have, but we had to go to two different psychologists as well the first one wasn't covered by my insurance, with the second one was. Unfortunately for both those sessions the majority was about getting to know our problems and assessing us, leaving not much time for anything else. The other kicker is that this new one we can't see until the 12th of August, so about 2-3 weeks away. All the while she can be more self-destructive with her 'safe place' and her friends at the bar of hers down the street.

A big issue with depression is it really is a hell to deal with, I have fought with Depression most of my life and whenever I have been hit hard with it I find booze and drugs will only make it hundreds of times worse.

In honesty distractions are key as well as a safe place, this is not always simple as there is always factors to consider and other obstacles.

Key is being a friend at this point may win over being a BF or husband as most likely you will be a punching bag on either side. Try to spend your time planning things to do together that do not leave either of you bored, go for hikes, sign up for a cooking class. The more time she gets where she is in a dark place the harder it is to see the light and get out of depression.

For myself I know sitting in a bar with other people drinking would just add another obstacle to overcome. Also you are right when you are depressed you do not think like yourself as there is always the thought "It will all end soon" or "No one cares so I will just do whatever I can for a quick escape" this leads to a far far worse outcome and even more time needed to get help.

Do not fear medication and individual counselling as that will be extremely important to get a resolution. When one person in a relationship is depressed both will need help, enabling or arguing will lead to more issues so both sides need to know it's not their fault and get help.

Depression is a true hell but it is something to overcome, but know it is a long process not a over night fix and most over night or quick fixes will lead to more issues and a more complex depression to overcome.

Good luck and as always I am always here to chat.

First thing you need to understand if you you want to be of any help: You will not fix anything. Don't make it a goal that you fix her depression. Don't make it a goal that you make her decisions. Don't force her onto medication if she isn't comfortable with it. All of that will only make things worse in the long run as you will most likely end up forcing her to do things that make her uncomfortable and want to crawl further down. John is 100% right that you need to be a friend more than anything. You need to be holding her hand beside her, not dragging her behind you. This is a long process and if you really do care about making a difference you won't try to rush it.

Drinking is something that I'm sure we've all done when sad and it's never the best option. The big thing here is that if it has become a crutch and you pull it away cold turkey, you will probably end up with her in an even worse position. One night when she's thinking of going out to the bar, work together for an alternative thing to do and keep occupied. If it works out, make it a regular thing. If not, try to find something else. It's all about distractions and spending time on something else that can make said time feel worth something.

(Busy day today at work, I'll touch on a few points later at lunch)

I've just been telling her that I am here to help her get through depression and I'm here if she needs me.

The drinking and going out I don't have much control over as that's where her 'friends' are, and well if she's at the bar with her friends, might as well have a drink or two at it. I have learned I'm not going to win that argument that these friends of her should want to do things with her aside from going to bars to drink, but either these are just drinking friends or I don't know what. Most of my social ideas get shot down, we used to roller blade a few years back, there's a great oval here but she has no interest. We used to go for walks fairly often together, half the time she just wants to go for a walk by herself or 1-2 hours at like 10 at night as sometimes she prefers to listen to music when she walks. We used to play video games together (Borderland series) but she now finds she doesn't feel like she accomplishes anything by playing them. Most I've been able to do with her in the past week is go to the movies on Saturday and we went to play pool Wed night (without drinking).

The other problem, well one of my own is how the hell do I get through this myself, as obviously she has and will hurt me as she tries to take shortcuts for the temporarily relief of being depressed. I mean I want her to know that some of the things she does hurts me, but I don't want to make it another burden or add fuel to the depression fire.

  • 9
  • 1897