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i don't know how to help without neglecting myself.


kateaux
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hi, my name is kateaux and i could really use some advice. my boyfriend is facing a really hard battle with depression.. suicidal thoughts are present. i am struggling with relationship anxiety which causes me to nitpick everything that might suggest he is losing interest. for example when we are together and i can see he is thinking i will automatically assume it has something to do with our relationship. therefore i will ask him what he is thinking and if he still loves me. also i get very upset very often,because most of the time we spend together we just hang out and relax but with his friends i always hear the most amazing stories. this triggers me to think and feel as if he doesnt have fun spending time with me and therefore doesnt like me. 

deep down i know this is not true and in fact means he loves me very much, he tells me he loves our time together. with his friends he always drinks to stop his thinking and feel alive which is very self destructive. and with me on the couch he feels safe and my company is enough distraction. and about the thinking.. i know i should let him do his thing and occasionally check in but i cant help myself i get really anxious. and i need constant reassurance. also i take it very personally when he wants to be alone or reacts irritated. or when i catch him wondering off when im talking. i know i shouldnt take it personally but how do i stop that! sometimes i can bring myself to let it go but more often then not it will ruin my day and i will show it and i want to talk about it. he always calms me down but then i start crying out of my enormess quilt feeling. i feel so guilty for letting him deal with my anxiety and pointing out al the negative things instead of focussing on the good things and appreciating him. and then i spiral down because i start thinking about what he needs right now and how i fail to give him that and that he might benefit of my departure. but then i realise he needs a stable support and i am just that and that he needs me more then ever and that me leaving him would be even more devastating. 

how can i be supporting and helpfull while dealing with this anxiety? i would love some tips and advice because i feel really lost. 

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  • Digital Mentor

Hello @kateaux

Welcome to our community. I'm one of the digital mentors here and I give advice and support to those who reach out to us. I just want to say thank you for sharing this with us; I can see how much you care about your boyfriend and he is lucky to have you. You sound so supportive and I am sure that you are doing more than enough for him. I think that it's always good to make sure that you're doing whatever you can to look after yourself too. Supporting someone with their mental health can be tough for the person giving the support, so it's good to make sure that you can have your downtime and self care too. It's totally normal to take things personally in your situation. It sounds like you are very aware of your negative self thoughts which is good. Awareness helps us to take a step back and figure out what we need to do to make a situation less stressful. I'm wondering, for some of the negative thoughts you have about the situation, could you change them into more positive thoughts? If so, can you think an example and let me know? Having negative thoughts is completely normal, but it can get to a point where they go too far and cause us unnecessary stress, and by changing our perspective from negative to positive, we can help to create a more positive mindset. What do you think? It sounds like you're doing more than enough to support him at the moment 🙂

I'm wondering, has he done or said anything that is concrete evidence for him losing interest? Also, can I ask, are you currently concerned that your boyfriend could take his own life? You might want to pass on this safety information for him here: If he is in crisis, please encourage him to reach out to one of the following:

I hope to hear back from you soon. Take care. 

 

 

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hi @Monsoon,

thankyou for responding so quickly. i will adress the most important thing first. My boyfriend is currently in therapy and he is aware of the helpful websites but he doesn't want to listen to that. his therapist is the only one he will listen to. well currently he hasn't been showing concrete evidence in him losing interest but he has left me in the past so that is why im very anxious. i know i should be thinking positive but i think my negative thinking comes from a place of uncertainty. when he left me in the past i felt so broken and it was so unexpected. so now i am on high alert to spot any signs so that i will not be surprised again. but now with his battle there are a lot of negative things to notice. like lower libido. decreased texts/calls. wanting to be alone. not as active and energised as usual. lower workdrive. and i know these things are related to his battle but i can't help and also feel like it has something to do with me. and therefore i'm constantly seeking reassurance which is a very heavy extra task in his situation. i know this and still i can't help myself to do so. and after he reassures me i often start crying because i feel guilty for putting extra tasks on him. and this is very upsetting for him because to him it feels like no matter what he does it's never enough for me. which isnt true! but im just so anxious and right now im doing a course on OCD and how to manage these thoughts. 

also, my boyfriend doesn't like to ask for help. even when physically sick he doesn't ask for help. for example. last time he was sick i called to see if i could do anything or if he needed anything. he said no and that he was okay. i went over anyways gave him a big hug and made him some soup and then left to give him his space. afterwards he told me he really appreciated it and that he needed just that. and right now he is mentally in a dark place and i know he won't ask for help. and also he really loves to be alone he needs to work on things alone thats just in his nature. but how do i know when to leave him alone and when to go and be there if he wont tell me. 

and about the fun things. he always goes clubbing and excessively drinking with his friends and he doesn't text/call me. and i figure that he doesn't want to contact me when he is so wasted because he is ashamed and he knows what he is doing isn't right. in the past he would call/text me when he was drinking and having fun. but now he drinks to stop his negative thinking and to ease the pain and he knows this isn't right and i will be dissapointed if he calls me. so he just avoides it. but on the other hand i think maybe he just doesn't miss me anymore.

i hope to hear back and thank you for the kind words. 😄

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  • Digital Mentor

Hello @kateaux

Thank you for getting back to me. It sounds like you're very aware of how your boyfriend's struggles impact other areas, such as his libido and communication with you. I can completely see how hard it is for you and why you would think negatively about it and feel like it's your fault, but it's good that you know that it's because of his mental health struggles. I think that by supporting yourself more through this, you will then be able to make it easier for yourself emotionally, which will then reduce these negative thoughts that you are having. 

I think you know deep down that the way he is at the moment doesn't mean that he feels any less about your relationship, and it's just that his struggles make him appear disinterested. I'm wondering, would you like me to suggest some things that you can do to support yourself more? You are clearly a very supportive and caring person, and I think it would be good to point some of that lovely attention towards yourself too 🙂 

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hi! @Monsoon,

you are right, deep down i know he loves me very much. also i think focussing on myself would help. i'd love some suggestions on things i can do to support myself more. in my opinion you should support each other equally but right now there is no way that's possible. so this is gonna be really hard but i've got to step up and support myself aswel as him. i like to think i'm already doing that but the truth is i am not giving myself the support i need. and i don't know how to do that. so yes tips and tricks are very welcome! thankyou in advance 😄 

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  • Digital Mentor
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Hey @kateaux

Yeah, focusing on yourself and making sure that you're taking care of your needs will help make things easier for you. I think that you've already made a good start by opening up to us. I'm wondering, who else do you have around you to get support from? Also, I'm curious to know, what things do you like to do which you could do more of? It's good to hear what things already help your wellbeing that you could do more of during this tricky time.

I think that it could be good for you to have a look through our mental health support guides here. You could maybe pick out a few things to try over the next couple of weeks and let me know how they go:

 

 

 

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