• Apologies for the issue with a bizarre redirect on the site earlier today. There was a large server update and an error in an IP address had the traffic routing wrongly. No hacking or anything nefarious and nothing to worry about. Sorry for any stress/anxiety caused. Very best wishes - SF Admin

Do I or don't I push my girlfriend away?

#1
I've dealt with depression on and off for 25 years. Thought I had it under control but it came back with a vengeance. No active suicide planning because I have too many responsibilities, but I fantasize about it all the time and I'm sure it affects my mood.

My girlfriend feels that I'm pushing her away, which is typical for depression. She's close to leaving me. I'm at a crossroads. Do I let her in and let her try to help me, or do I push her away, breaking her heart in the short run but saving her from the long-term pain of dealing with me and my really bad prognosis of ever recovering for good?

I'd appreciate advice from anyone else who's been in this situation.

Thanks!
 

LOSTINSIGHT

Well-Known Member
#2
Total transparency will do you good in the long term.tell her how you feel and your concerns ."pushing" her away will only confuse her .
Unable to be honest with myself has me in an impossible situation.
Take care .
 
#3
Thanks so much. I think I might not have described my choice very well. It's not really between transparency and secrecy.

I think that a more accurate way to describe the choice is between giving in to depression and letting her leave on the one hand, and asking her to help me fight the depression on the other.

I can give up and let the depressed thoughts take over. If I do that, she will feel pushed away and will leave me quickly.

I can also try to fight the depressed thoughts. If I do this, she will try to help and will stay with me for now. I am not optimistic that this will succeed, though.

Again I appreciate the help.
 

Sunspots

To Wish Impossible Things
Safety & Support
SF Supporter
#4
Do I let her in and let her try to help me, or do I push her away, breaking her heart in the short run but saving her from the long-term pain of dealing with me and my really bad prognosis of ever recovering for good?
It should be her choice whether to stay and help or to leave now. You have no idea how her future will unfold without you. She may never get over losing you. She could end up with an abusive partner. If she wants to stay and help then please let her in and let her help you. If she decides it's too much (or you do), then you can both deal with it then. But don't make decisions on what's best for her, that's not your call.

I don't mean to sound harsh but I've been on both sides of this scenario and making decisions on someone else's behalf doesn't work.
 
#5
@Sunspots, Understood, and in principle I completely agree with you, but in reality I have to choose between two courses of action (giving in to depression and fighting it) where I pretty much know how she will react. I'm not making decisions for her, but it's a situation where what I do will influence her in predictable ways.
 
#6
So maybe the best solution is just to make the decision based on what I believe to be best for myself, not worrying so much about impact on her and trusting her to react in the way that's best for her?
 

MichaelKay

Well-Known Member
#8
So maybe the best solution is just to make the decision based on what I believe to be best for myself, not worrying so much about impact on her and trusting her to react in the way that's best for her?
Maybe the best course of action is to talk to her about this? Explain you're struggling a bit and have a hard time being the significant other you want to be for her at the moment due to your own issues but that doesn't mean you don't love her or want her to be with you. Just that you aren't running on full capacity at the moment and hope she can understand if you aren't as loving and caring right now as you want to.

I'm not sure what you mean by giving in to depression or fighting it? In my mind depression is most often a temporary condition that goes away at some point and all we can do is take care of ourselves in the meantime and try to overcome it. I often compare it to a cold. You can't always explain how or why you got it, you can't "cure" it but have to manage and treat yourself the best way while it's there (healthy daily routines, therapy, medicine, exercise etc), just like you'd curl up under a blanket and have some tea and soup if it was a cold. There's not much to do but to give oneself time for it to pass while ensuring it atleast doesn't get any worse.

Communication is key. Letting her know if you need some space for a while or maybe don't have the energy you used to at the moment. While simultaneously letting her understand that this is just a temporary thing and things will go back to "normal" again. That's really all I can come up with as advice. I have social anxiety, paranoia, attachment issues and constant anhedonia myself so when I was with my ex-gf I had to let her understand that if I asked for a day where we just didn't see eachother it didn't mean I didn't love her but it was just due to my issues.

Edit: And maybe talking about it helps a bit. When people are depressed they can tend to blame themselves for stuff or look for signs that convinces them they are a bad partner, family member, friend etc although it isn't the case. Maybe it would be good to let her convince you that isn't the case at all.
 
Last edited:
#9
@MichaelKay, thanks for your comments. I think everyone experiences depression in different ways. For me it's most like a drug addiction because it makes the anxiety and worry go away. It's a feeling of relief, the relief of giving up and not trying or hoping any more. Like a drug, it's bad for me and I know it, but it's also attractive and addictive because it gives me that feeling of relief. It's also not necessarily worse than the alternative. Anxiety vs depression - pick your poison.

So I have to choose between giving in to the addiction, allowing the depressed thoughts to take over and destroy my anxiety and worry, and losing my girlfriend in the process - or fighting the depressed thoughts, dealing with the anxiety and worry, and possibly preserving the relationship.
 

MichaelKay

Well-Known Member
#11
@MichaelKay, thanks for your comments. I think everyone experiences depression in different ways. For me it's most like a drug addiction because it makes the anxiety and worry go away. It's a feeling of relief, the relief of giving up and not trying or hoping any more. Like a drug, it's bad for me and I know it, but it's also attractive and addictive because it gives me that feeling of relief. It's also not necessarily worse than the alternative. Anxiety vs depression - pick your poison.

So I have to choose between giving in to the addiction, allowing the depressed thoughts to take over and destroy my anxiety and worry, and losing my girlfriend in the process - or fighting the depressed thoughts, dealing with the anxiety and worry, and possibly preserving the relationship.
I'm no shrink so take this with a grain of salt;

If it is a reoccuring problem it might sound like it isn't just a "normal" depression but something different (there are plenty of personality disorders and persistent depressive disorder that can make one feel like that). The typical major depression is often 6-12 months long, then disappear and doesn't (most times) re-emerge. Things like anxiety, epilepsy, physical conditions etc can lead to depression (or reoccuring depressions). I would definitely consider seeing a psychiatrist and maybe look into why you keep experiencing these things if I were you.

I thought for the longest time everyone secretly hated themselves and thought about suicide weekly since I was a teen. It wasn't until my late 20's I learned that I had an issue that wasn't normal and things clicked for me (Not that it got better, not gonna lie, but atleast knowing it gave me a chance to work on those issues).
 

alixer

We are all one
SF Supporter
#12
I've dealt with depression on and off for 25 years. Thought I had it under control but it came back with a vengeance. No active suicide planning because I have too many responsibilities, but I fantasize about it all the time and I'm sure it affects my mood.

My girlfriend feels that I'm pushing her away, which is typical for depression. She's close to leaving me. I'm at a crossroads. Do I let her in and let her try to help me, or do I push her away, breaking her heart in the short run but saving her from the long-term pain of dealing with me and my really bad prognosis of ever recovering for good?

I'd appreciate advice from anyone else who's been in this situation.

Thanks!
As a veteran of pushing people, find a way to stop.
 

Please Donate to Help Keep SF Running

Total amount
$0.00
Goal
$255.00
Top