How to help my girlfriend?

Discussion in 'Suicidal Thoughts and Feelings' started by maus, Oct 6, 2014.

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  1. maus

    maus New Member

    My girlfriend gets these episodes of severe depression, so severe that they make her suicidal. It happened again yesterday. Before I get into the details here is some background. We have been together for 3.5 years and we both recently graduated from college and now live together. I graduate a semester before her and moved to another state so for about 6 months we were long distance. During that time she was getting these episodes maybe once a month, usually because she was so alone. She had very few friends and was always alone at home, and she was stressing out a lot because of homework and assignments. One time it got so bad that she called the police and was taken to the ER and then to the hospital in the psychiatry ward, and I drove to her that night and took the rest of the week off work. After she graduated and moved in with me she was better for a while, but then she started stressing out a lot over money. She started hating her job because it paid so little and because she was by herself (she was working for a small business and the owner had her work at his house where she was by herself most of the day). Afterwards she got two new part time jobs which she liked, but they still paid very little. She told me several times that she was sometimes having thoughts of suicide but that things were getting better and she had to believe that they will continue to get better. Recently she got a new job that she loves, and it pays slightly better than the old jobs. She is now able to contribute towards rent and bills which she couldn't do before, and has a small amount of disposable income. For a while she seemed happy, she even told me a couple weeks back that 'things are pretty good right now'.

    Some background on what happened before yesterday. She got paid on Friday and about half of her paycheck she gave to me for rent/bills. We went shopping on Saturday and she got a pair of expensive shoes; she has problems with her feet and the shoes were really supportive. Yesterday morning she was normal/happy as usual, and we were driving to the grocery store. She got a message from her bank that her checking account was overdrawn and that she needed to transfer money. She transferred some from her savings account, money which she was saving for our vacation. At that point she got devastated that her entire paycheck from Friday was already gone, that she was stupid and irresponsible with money. I said that she had to give a lot of her paycheck to me so it's understandable, but she wouldn't listen. I offered to help her budget her money but she said she doesn't like budgets because it reminds her of how little money she has. She said she felt like crying. She said she wanted to go home and told me to drive home, which I did. She ran to the apartment and tried to kill herself, but luckily I was able to stop her. Then we laid on the ground and I hugged her and started crying. After a while she started talking to me. She said she thought things were getting better but clearly they were not, and she was tired of always worrying about money. She said if her entire life was going to be like this she didn't want to live it anymore. I told her that I loved her and couldn't live without her. She said she loved me too and I'm the reason she's made it this far. I told her that I knew things will get better for her and that she will get better jobs and make more money and she'll be happy, and I asked her to repeat this which she did. She also said that she was being selfish and wasn't thinking of how it would have affected me if she had died, and she apologized several times. Later on we did laundry and watched some TV and she didn't seem suicidal anymore but said she didn't feel like doing anything and felt 'empty'. Today when we spoke on the phone she seemed fine.

    My question is what to do to stop these episodes from happening. They are really sudden and extreme. Yesterday she was happy, then in the span of 10 minutes she became suicidal, and today she is fine again. I've tried different things to try to help her but she is opposed to a lot of things. She thanked me yesterday for not calling the police because she couldn't bear being carted off to the mental hospital again. She doesn't want to be seen as crazy. She is opposed to taking medication for depression. She is willing to go to therapy and even with that she is picky, plus she doesn't have enough money to pay for therapy and doesn't want me to pay because she doesn't want to owe me money. She saw a therapist a couple times after she was in the hospital but she didn't like her. She has a therapist she used to see in high school who she really likes, and I've told her to call her but she says she doesn't wanna disturb her. I've told her to call some close friends but she says they're busy and wouldn't want to deal with her issues. When she was still in school I told her to take a day off school or just skip and assignment so she could relax and hangout with some friends, but she said schoolwork was very important to her and she had to do it. Yesterday when she was depressed I told her that things were getting better and that she's now able to contribute towards rent and even save money for vacation, which she couldn't do before, but she just ignored me, and said that she was jealous of what I have accomplished and wishes she also had a good job that paid well and provided benefits. It's like she keeps creating these unnecessary barriers that make it harder for her to get better and for people to help her. Yesterday I offered to give her her rent money back but she wouldn't take it. I need some advice on what to do and how to keep these episodes from happening, other than just waiting and hoping that she'll get a job that pays as well as mine? She also not a fan of tough love so I can't just tell her to get it together. Please help.
     
  2. total eclipse

    total eclipse SF Friend Staff Alumni

    You cannot do anything for her SHE has to want to change you can set boundaries for youself so you are not dragged down into her depressive moments If she is suicidal you state clearly to her that you will get the appropriate people out to help her even if it means calling crisis line. If she get mad so be it but you are not a professional and you cannot take care of her let her know that. It is like she is competition with you instead of being your partner set boundaries to protect yourself ok hugs
     
  3. maus

    maus New Member

    That doesn't really help. Don't worry about me, I am not suicidal. And she has already been to the hospital when this happened before, but that didn't prevent future episodes. I can't just take her to the hospital every time this happens and rack up thousands of dollars worth of hospital bills, only to do same thing next time. I need a long term solution.
     
  4. Viktor

    Viktor Well-Known Member

    I've read your story. I am not professional and i have my life issues as well. In your story i envy you that you actually have a girlfriend that loves you. It's something i never known. But i will try to help here.

    Did you try to call helpline? Maybe they could give you some advice. Or maybe you could go to psychologist yourself. He might provide some advices as well. I would talk to your girlfriend. I know you did, but i would try somehow tell her that she is not the only one who has some problems like this, that many people has different reasons to go to therapist or taking some medications. Just don't make her feel like you are seeing her crazy, which she isn't. She probably has low self-confidence and was expecting to be more successful in life and it disappointed her that she isn't so successful. Let her know that it is awesome how much she is trying. That she has job at all and that it is awesome. Let her know that you are there for her. Make her feel safe with you. That even if she hadn't job, that it isn't end of the world. That many people struggle these days, having no job, etc.. Let her know that you are not disappointed by her at all. That all that matters to you is that you are together and that you love her. Tell her that you will always be by her side and that you want to help her feel better. Make her feel all that. As you said, she felt alone when she was without you on the high school. I suffer myself extremely from loneliness, so i can see how she felt. Someone simply can handle it better when people are without loved ones for some time and someone cannot. She is probably very sensitive too. You must let her know that you are there for her. Let her feel your love. You probably could visit therapist or psychiatrist together. That way, she could feel like you are by her side always. She could handle it better. Good luck to you and to your girlfriend. Hope i helped at least a little.
     
  5. total eclipse

    total eclipse SF Friend Staff Alumni

    I like Viktor idea for YOU to go get some therapy to help YOU help your girlfriend the therapist will guide you give you some skills you need to help both of you
     
  6. NYJmpMaster

    NYJmpMaster Have a question? Message Me Staff Member Forum Owner ADMIN

    There is nothing for you to do to "help her". You can be supportive and all that, but if she has true depression she needs help from a professional therapist/psychologist/Doctor. A lay person, even if they care and have the best intentions in the world is a very poor substitute for genuine help. Aside from the lack of knowledge and expertise, you are also too closely involved in the situation and lack the impartiality needed to actually "help". Offer support and encourage her to get real help while understanding your own limitations in actually helping - as much as you may want to be the hero or savior the best you can do is try to help her get professional help before she completely isolates, pushes you away, and leaves you both worse off.
     
  7. maus

    maus New Member

    Thanks for the replies guys, so basically you guys suggest therapist, either for myself so I can learn to handle this better, or for her, or for us together. What should I tell the therapist? My girlfriend is always afraid to tell the truth about how suicidal she is because she is afraid the therapist will put her in a mental hospital. She absolutely hates mental hospitals, and just suggesting it will make her depressed again, and that won't help at all. How can we talk to the therapist and tell the truth and get real help, without fearing that she will be put into a mental hospital?
     
  8. Viktor

    Viktor Well-Known Member

    Therapist won't put her in mental hospital. He/she can just recommend that, but that's all. Psychiatrists can do that, because they are doctors. Therapist isn't doctor. But still, nobody, even psychiatrist can put her in mental hospital against her will, if i'm correct. They can just recommend that.

    What should you tell the therapist? Everything. That way, your girlfriend can get help better and faster. I suggested that you should go together so that she doesn't feel alone in this. That you are there and standing by her side. You can't imagine how important is it for the depressed person to have a beloved person close to her as much as possible. I didn't mean that you need help too. You may visit the therapist yourself as well to get some advice from her, how to best help your girlfriend.

    Just keep telling her that it will be ok. That you are there for her and that going to therapist is absolutely common thing these days. Even taking some anti-depressants.
     
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