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My girlfriend has major depression, and I need help to know how to handle the situation


Haart
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Hello. My name is Haart, and I find myself in a difficult situation and in need of some advice.

I met my girlfriend online last January, and we have been a couple since June. We live in the opposite sides of the World, and is therefore in a long distance relationship. 

In September, I managed to visit her for a week, and we both had an amazing time, but shortly after I returned home, my girlfriend entered a deep state of depression. 

She has a history of mental issues, especially major depression and genetical(?) anxiety, and she has tried to take her own life on a couple of occasions in the past. 

My girlfriend has tried to explain that since she was in such a "high" of happiness for the week I visited, she fell hard and is now in a "dip". 

A lot has been going on in her life recently, with internet problems reducing our contact, being forced to move, as well as physical illness.

Lately, the sudden change in our relationship as well as stress from the university has really taken a toll on me. Whenever I think about her, I start missing her immensely, and I've been crying almost every day for the last three weeks,  missing the connection we used to have.

Since she's in this "dip", my own self image is crumbling. I can't stop thinking that I'm doing something wrong, and I blame myself for us not being in this amazing relationship we had before I visited her. 

I understand that my girlfriend is going through a though time, and I really want to know how to handle the situation with her depression. Is there anything I can do to help her? How can I show her that I care and love her even when she's in this state? In general; how should I act, how should I treat her, what can I do? 

At the same time, I can't ignore my own feelings. How can I balance being the supporting boyfriend while also not breaking completely? I've told her how I feel, but don't want to bother her with my struggles when she's going through this. She says that she wants me to talk about it, but when I tell her my worries and anxieties, she keeps blaming herself, and when I express that I feel like a horrible person, she mirrors my emotions and starts dragging herself through the dirt. 

What can I do? I feel like the situation is so mentally challenging, and crying every day and feeling like I've failed and that I'm not enough is tearing at me. 

I've booked a new trip to visit her in December, and I will be staying there for a month. I'm worried about what happens if she's still in the "dip" while I'm there. 

Does anyone have any good advice  on how to handle this?

I'm really sorry that this is all a lot at once. I just don't know what to do, and I need help. 

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Hey Haart, I see you are new to the community, just want to give you a warm welcome.

I am Daisie, a Community Warden on the forums, ensuring the forum remains a safe and positive place for all, and it’s a pleasure to meet you. If you do find yourself with any questions please just give me a shout. 

I can see you may benefit from a chat from one our Support Mentors? I have tagged our mentors in @Monsoon and @Blondie, soon as they are available they can get in touch. 

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3 minutes ago, Daisie said:

Hey Haart, I see you are new to the community, just want to give you a warm welcome.

I am Daisie, a Community Warden on the forums, ensuring the forum remains a safe and positive place for all, and it’s a pleasure to meet you. If you do find yourself with any questions please just give me a shout. 

I can see you may benefit from a chat from one our Support Mentors? I have tagged our mentors in @Monsoon and @Blondie, soon as they are available they can get in touch. 

Thank you Daisie. Someone to talk to would be very helpful

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3 hours ago, Haart said:

Hello. My name is Haart, and I find myself in a difficult situation and in need of some advice.

I met my girlfriend online last January, and we have been a couple since June. We live in the opposite sides of the World, and is therefore in a long distance relationship. 

In September, I managed to visit her for a week, and we both had an amazing time, but shortly after I returned home, my girlfriend entered a deep state of depression. 

She has a history of mental issues, especially major depression and genetical(?) anxiety, and she has tried to take her own life on a couple of occasions in the past. 

My girlfriend has tried to explain that since she was in such a "high" of happiness for the week I visited, she fell hard and is now in a "dip". 

A lot has been going on in her life recently, with internet problems reducing our contact, being forced to move, as well as physical illness.

Lately, the sudden change in our relationship as well as stress from the university has really taken a toll on me. Whenever I think about her, I start missing her immensely, and I've been crying almost every day for the last three weeks,  missing the connection we used to have.

Since she's in this "dip", my own self image is crumbling. I can't stop thinking that I'm doing something wrong, and I blame myself for us not being in this amazing relationship we had before I visited her. 

I understand that my girlfriend is going through a though time, and I really want to know how to handle the situation with her depression. Is there anything I can do to help her? How can I show her that I care and love her even when she's in this state? In general; how should I act, how should I treat her, what can I do? 

At the same time, I can't ignore my own feelings. How can I balance being the supporting boyfriend while also not breaking completely? I've told her how I feel, but don't want to bother her with my struggles when she's going through this. She says that she wants me to talk about it, but when I tell her my worries and anxieties, she keeps blaming herself, and when I express that I feel like a horrible person, she mirrors my emotions and starts dragging herself through the dirt. 

What can I do? I feel like the situation is so mentally challenging, and crying every day and feeling like I've failed and that I'm not enough is tearing at me. 

I've booked a new trip to visit her in December, and I will be staying there for a month. I'm worried about what happens if she's still in the "dip" while I'm there. 

Does anyone have any good advice  on how to handle this?

I'm really sorry that this is all a lot at once. I just don't know what to do, and I need help. 

Hey Haart,

Thank you for reaching out to us about this. I notice that you have quite a few questions, and I really get the sense that you're struggling to know what to do next given your situation. I completely get what you're saying about how you can't ignore your own feelings. We cannot support someone else to the best of our ability if we aren't also supporting ourselves, so self-care is so important here. It's important at all points, but especially when you're giving a lot of your energy to someone else. I'm wondering, when you say you feel like you've failed, can you tell me a little bit more about that, please? 

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4 minutes ago, Monsoon said:

Hey Haart,

Thank you for reaching out to us about this. I notice that you have quite a few questions, and I really get the sense that you're struggling to know what to do next given your situation. I completely get what you're saying about how you can't ignore your own feelings. We cannot support someone else to the best of our ability if we aren't also supporting ourselves, so self-care is so important here. It's important at all points, but especially when you're giving a lot of your energy to someone else. I'm wondering, when you say you feel like you've failed, can you tell me a little bit more about that, please? 

I feel like I have a responsibility as her boyfriend to make her happy, and I really really want to make her happy, but as things are now I don't know how. Is this a common thing with depression, that nothing brings you happiness anymore, or am I the problem?  I'm also very insecure, so when things start changing like they are now, I fear it might be something I'm doing wrong. Some of the thoughts I have are that I have failed at making her happy, failed at showing that I care, and failed at making her feel loved. 

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Hey there,

Ah, it's interesting that you feel like you have failed in so many areas with supporting your girlfriend. I'm wondering, can you think of times when you have been able to show her that you care and made her feel loved? When someone close to you is depressed, there is only so much you can do to support them. The person who can really make that change is the individual who is suffering from the depression. It sounds like you're really caring and looking out for her. I'm wondering, do you think there is any more that you can do? 

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On 11/11/2021 at 11:09 AM, Monsoon said:

Hey there,

Ah, it's interesting that you feel like you have failed in so many areas with supporting your girlfriend. I'm wondering, can you think of times when you have been able to show her that you care and made her feel loved? When someone close to you is depressed, there is only so much you can do to support them. The person who can really make that change is the individual who is suffering from the depression. It sounds like you're really caring and looking out for her. I'm wondering, do you think there is any more that you can do? 

I asked her when the last time I made her happy was, but she just replied that it's an unfair question, since she is depressed and is going through a lot at the moment.  So I'm not sure if the small things I try to do everyday means anything to her right now. I try to show her that I'm here for her, and that I care about her every day, but it's difficult doing more at the moment, due to me being busy with work at the university, and her having trouble with the internet quite often as well as being busy with stuff on her own.  Is there any small things I can do to really show that I care about her, and to really make her understand that I'm here for her? I understand that I can't do anything to "cure" her depression, but do you have any tips on how I can help her through it? 

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Hey there,

To be honest, from what you've said already, you're doing so much for her and I'm sure she appreciates it. I think that the tricky thing here is that when a loved one is struggling in this way, there's the temptation to want to do more and more, but the reality is, you can only do so much;  the only person that can truly turn things around is that person themselves. You're already doing so much, and I think it's good to recognise how supportive and caring you already are. What do you think? 

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