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Ex partner depression and behaviour(51 Posts)
I am looking for some advice with regards to depression and behaviour of someone who is depressed. Bit of background; I’ve been with boyfriend for 7 months, he is a wonderfully kind, funny, happy full-of-life person. We were in love, he said I was his gift and that he’d never been so happy. We were best friends. I have always been aware that he has low moods and struggles with what I would say is depression. I’ve talked to him quite a bit about it. These are the symptoms:
-He was irritable
-He doesn’t want to live (but isn’t suicidal)
-He started to blame me for all his moods (I trap him, I make him angry, I make him unhappy, I frustrate him etc a complete departure from before)
-He is so angry, about what , I don’t know – he can’t articulate this or he says I’m the cause
-He says he has no feelings, feels numb and no longer loves me (yet he told me the day before he loved me?!)
-He feel worthless and constantly in pain
-I also noticed his sleep becoming disturbed
-He has become physical with himself – hitting his head, fists and throwing things so he ends up cut
He no longer wants anything to do with me and I am at a loss. 24 hours before he messaged me this I sat with him for 3 hours and consoled him and supported him and he said he loved me.
Basically I wonder if this is him talking or depression? He recognises he’s unwell and is seeking medical help but I don’t understand why he is taking it out on someone he loved and someone who has been supportive of him?
In a nutshell I don’t know what to do. I want to try and think logically but have never experienced this before. I am hurt and devastated he has become a monster. Do people get better? Do they stop blaming exterior factors? I fear I have lost him forever.
I would be so grateful if anyone with insight could give me their experiences or thoughts. I love him but apparently , all of a sudden he doesn’t?!
I'm sorry that you've to go through this OP.
I think you really need to protect yourself. He's said he's getting help but to be honest, if he's blaming it on you, whether that is due to an illness or his personality, it's not a good sign. Not it that his behaviour is your fault, that is definitely not the case, but he is blaming his behaviour/moods on someone else- you. We are all responsible for our own behaviour/happiness and pinning things on other people is definitely Not OK.
I'd be concerned that in trying to rescue this person you may well find yourself in an abusive relationship, therefore if he's saying he doesn't want to see you it may well be in your best interests to stay away! Your ex may well be ill but you need to keep yourself safe as a priority.
Thanks so much for your message. I thought as much. I was wondering if he is displaying the signs of depression or perhaps another illness or in fact I have caused him to become like this? (not sure how). He says he's felt like this way before me but I feel I've provoked him. I don't understand why he is blaming me, someone he loved? I suppose I am very confused and hurt.
You haven't caused this and you shouldn't blame yourself (easier said than done, I know). I shudder to think of the things I said to the people I loved the most while at my lowest point of depression. I felt so terrible that I wanted other people to feel terrible too. Now I take full responsibility for that and have apologised to them.
Like me, he may get better after he gets treatment. But you should prioritise yourself and you shouldn't take anything abusive. You should be your own priority - don't put your life on hold for him. I'm so sorry you're in this situation and I know how terrible it is for the pair of you. Please don't prioritise him over your own happiness, you deserve more than him being awful to you.
He is blaming you for how he feels when from what you have said you have done nothing wrong and tried to support and comfort him.
As much as he may be ill and not realise that this is wrong and damaging for you, he wont get better until he learns to take ownership of his own feelings and his health.
I've been there, I've done what he is doing to you (though not quite as harshly) and it only got better through therapy and learning that the problem was within me and my mental health, and down to me to fix, not down to someone else.
If he is blaming you for his feelings and saying he wants nothing to do with this because it's all your fault, you need to step away and not be a scapegoat for him.
If you've only ever shown him kindness then this isn't your doing, please don't let him convince you that youre at fault.
Hi OP, I agree with dangermouse. Your DP is obviously struggling with depression (and perhaps other illnesses) but scapegoating and hurting you isn't something that's par for the course, and you are not expected to tolerate it.
Have you spoken about this particular aspect of his illness with him? I'm a depressive and have a lovely, supportive DH. I treated exes badly in the past because I was angry and irrational, and took it out on them. Somehow, with DH it's different - we're very open about the illness, and I know fundamentally that we love each other - even at my sickest I don't doubt this, and work hard to stay sane enough not to add to the pain by blaming him/treating him badly.
How old is your DP? Has he been dealing with depression for long? It's taken me many years to be able to even try to 'manage' it, and to realise that my closest network are people who can help, and for whom I want to stay well.
I would just like to say thank you for replying to me and being so kind. I have been supportive, understanding, forgiving, loving. He says he is angry all the time, he is irritable, irrational , low and wants to die and then starts sobbing/weeping and is like a little boy. I have spent hours by his side and then he turns round and blames me. What I find hard is that he was so happy with me and in love , he said I made him feel invincible....and now I'm the cause of all of this?!
The only time I stood my ground and told him not to blame me for his mental health was yesterday. He actually responded well to this and said he knows he's hit rock bottom and can't carry on like this but asked if I could be there for him, perhaps to call me if he needed help....however today I get horrible messages telling me to leave him alone and I'm the cause of everything and he's angry with me. I want to know why anyone would behave in this erratic, nasty way?
The other thing he's not really taking care of himself i.e drinking, smoking weed not washing so much. His house is a mess and little things like clothes and bed washing isn't happening. Is this a sign of depression? I don't think he recognises its a bit gross! In my opinion he doesn't have the best relationship with alcohol/smoking and take sit to extreme's ...I think for escapism but also this doesn't help his state of mind.
He is 31, and from what I can ascertain his last long term relationship ended because he didn't address his health and shut her out. He has told me he has never sought help or spoken to someone about this. It started when he was at uni and has blocked it out all this time. Do I turn my back completely even though I know he's unwell? I feel responsible for all of this because I pushed him to realise he isn't well. I do feel guilty for rocking the boat and also feel like I deserve his anger because before he met me he wasn't this upset. I pushed and pushed to show him he wasn't well. So I've triggered it
Thank you so much for reading this
What a desperately sad thread to read.
First of all let's consider you in all of this.What do you want?How is all of this making you feel? Try if you can to take a step back and focus on you and you alone,he mustn't come into the equation.
Having done that have a think about the relationship.Has it been a happy one up to this point?Do you think that there is a future for you both?
If you think that there is then you have to be prepared for the long haul and trust me it is!
He really needs urgent help from his GP as I fail to see how he will be able to function otherwise.Have you suggested accompanying him to the appointment? What about family and close friends could you maybe ask for their support,maybe one of them could get through to him?
I have said some awful things to my DP when I was at my lowest but I didn't mean a word of them and apologised.Having known me for many years he knew it was the illness that had returned and I immediately sought help.
Whatever you decide to do please do treat yourself with the kindness that you deserve.
Thank you for your support and kind words. Wow strangers can be so kind! Thank you!
I want him to be well again, it’s heart-breaking seeing a grown man sob and not want to live. I want him to be happy. I believe if he was well this whole mess wouldn’t be unravelling.
I am so worried I pushed him to this as he is so angry towards me, I don’t know why he is making me into a monster, perhaps I’ve made him worse? Will he ever see I’m not the one to blame? He said I was his gift now I’m a monster. Interestingly he forewarned me and told me at the start that if he ever took me for granted I should leave him. I can’t help but think he knew he couldn’t keep up the happy exterior.
I suggested the doctor and therapy and he is going this week , a step forward. We talked at length about the appointment and things the GP will ask and the process (yet now I’m the monster?). I have a feeling he won’t go and convince himself , over the next few weeks, that it was the relationship and me who were making him unhappy. The more I show care and concern the more reason he has to hurl abuse at me (even though he would tell me several times a day he loved me, send me messages saying he loved me and all his actions showed love, respect and conviction – he’s a different person now).
I suggested I go with him to the GP/therapy and he said no. He accuses me of being like his mum (ie getting in the way). She obviously cares and is a very kind lady. She knows he’s struggling but not to this extent but I don’t want to worry her and she lives in a different country. Should I let her know? If I do I worry he thinks I’m meddling and I’m causing problems or sticking my nose in. He seems to be unable to see I love him and care. I suggested he talk to her but he is avoiding her and me thinking we are the issue. Now that you mention it I may get in contact with one of his good friends. They might be able to help because currently I am the enemy.
Thank you for your wisdom. The running advice is walk away and protect myself.
If you wish to leave him to it then that's perfectly fine if you want to stand by him again that's fine.Only you can make that decision.
He doubtlessly will tell you that you're interfering if you tell his Mum what's going on but from what you've said I think that she should know.
As previously pointed out to you there is depression which in itself makes you behave in sometimes hurtful ways towards those closest to you but there is also abuse.What strikes me here are the abusive texts.In my experience my DP withdraws into himself,this is a typical male way of dealing with the illness.
I would also be aware of the effect that the weed is having on him combined with the heavy drinking that alone would make me call it a day.These sound like psychotic episodes which are totally unacceptable to be at the receiving end of.
Thank for your insight and advice.
He was an amazing man and now he's this person i no longer know. The man I met and fell in love seems to have have gone. If the man who existed a few months back saw his behavior now he wouldn't believe it, he'd be disgusted.
I suppose the only thing i can do is delete his number and let him go. I hope he does get better but he sees me as the problem. I don't understand how depression or psychosis does that to someone?
Could i be to blame for all of this? I am worried I pushed him too far when i was worried about him.
You are not responsible for any of this whatsoever! All you merely did was point out his illness to him which any caring partner would do.
Many years ago I had a fairly short lived fling with a man who on the face of it would seem to tick all the boxes.What I wasn't aware of was that he was using weed in his leisure time,not just the odd joint but heavily.I experienced his rage towards me only once but it was enough not to want me to continue seeing him.
I'm aware that many people use cannabis with no known side effects but for the vast majority of others they display psychotic behaviour.
What you say really resonates and everything you have written , i know, deep down it is all true.
I have sent him a text to wish him luck at the doctors but in my heart i doubt he'll go or my message to him will make him angry (which i think is unfair). He hasn't responded so i assume he is still angry with me. Can he stay angry at me forever?
I don't understand how depression works. Are there times when people stop being angry and wake up to the fact they've hurt those around them?
Sorry for all the questions.
I want him to be well but also want the man i fell in love with to come back. I must sound so pathetic!
I don't know the answer to that sadly,but what I do know is by just isolating himself and not tackling the problem head on that he will never feel better within himself.
He is responsible for managing his illness all you can do is just be there to support him.
You've done the right thing in sending him that text,but in your position I would leave it as is for now.Maybe send another in a few days time but keep it light.
I'm keeping my fingers crossed that things do work out,but again I'm concerned about how you will cope during the whole process.
Thank you for your kind words and support. I feel that is it. I think he truly believes I have caused this and I’m so sad he thinks so little of me even if it is an illness ruling his brain. Perhaps he’ll realise it wasn’t me or the relationship. I hope he gets better and perhaps one day apologises or realises what he has done.
I find this so difficult as I used to be his priority and important to me I am now a stranger to him. All very sad. It’s like his memory has been erased and I no longer exist or the feelings of love he had.
Thank you for all your opinions. I don’t understand what he’s doing but I know it’s very hurtful and upsetting me. x
If he gets the help he will start to feel better and hopefully realise what he has lost or potentially lost.Until he gets the help and starts on the medication that moment won't happen.
It's desperately sad for you but it is something that you need to be aware of hence the requirement for you to consider putting your own needs first for the time being.
I love him very much but obviously it isn't going to work with my trying to help.
Let's hope he does get out of this despair and becomes more positive about life.
I wish he would contact me or apologise but I realise he can't see beyond himself and it's obviously easier to blame those around you than yourself x
Don't beat yourself up over it you need to care for yourself too.I am glad that you have recognised this.You must remember this even if you do choose to stand by him & offer support.
I wish he did want my support but I'm now a stranger to him. It's like I meant nothing
Feeling really rubbish. I miss him but he thinks I'm the cause of all of this and hates me.
I'm finding the mornings horrible. I have dreams about him.
I just want him to see I'm not a monster and haven't caused this. I want my old boyfriend back. I feel lost, alone and broken.
Sorry for this. The mornings are particularly upsetting for me.
I don't know how to make it better so I don't miss him or want him back x
You're bound to feel rubbish,I can appreciate that.Have you got any RL support?You need people to rally round you.It's miserable going to bed alone & then waking up alone.Really do feel for you.
I spoke to him today and he's told me he isn't depressed it's me and my behaviour.
I'm devastated because I can't help but feel I'm responsible.
I miss him but he's become a monster.
I don't know if it's depression or it's me or he's just an arsehole?
Sorry for the rant.
Sounds like he is an arsehole charlie
Or has a personality disorder/depression.
Or both/all of them- they are not mutually exclusive.
But I think the over-riding thing that comes out is 'arsehole', it might be temporary, it might be permanent but life experience has taught me if you stay with people who treat you like shit, even if they have 'reason' to, then they will continue to treat you like shit. Whether he is unwell or not, your ex sounds like he is not ready at this point in his life for a relationship, and it is likely to be some time before he is.
You sound lovely Charlie and I'm sure there are plenty of kind, decent men out there who will treat you with the love and respect that you deserve
charlie firstly this is NOT your fault and you mustn't blame yourself. As others have said you need to be careful as this could easily become an abusive relationship if he is blaming you for his thoughts and feelings. He isthe only person who can ultimately influence them.
He does sound depressed with the lack of personal hygine, tearfulness etc. Unless he us able to accept this and is willing to take action to deal with it there is nothing that you can do. Yes he needs to see his GP, but he also needs to be willing to make lifestyle changes. Alcohol is a depressant and will be making things worse. Weed also can severely affect mental health and as PP said can cause psychosis. Both can cause mood swings and erratic behaviour. My DH suffers with psychosis and from your post I don't see any obvious signs (loss of touch with reality, paranoia, belief in unusual things often around spys/aliens/religion, disordered thoughts) but then DH often has these thoughts going on internally before they spill out. DHs CPNs have also explained that whilst weed can be a cause and use can exacerbate people often self medicate with it as it brings short term relief to their symptoms and they don't realise that long term it is making things worse as that happens a few hours after use so they don't associate the weed with the worserning symptoms only the short term relief.
Supporting someone with Mental Illness is very hard work. If you are considering this then you need to set clear boundries with him about what is and isn't acceptable and clear boundries for yourself about at what point you need to walk away to protect yourself. It is also really important to have time out for yourself to look after you.
I think often people find it very difficult to accept that they are depressed, especially men in what is still quite a matcho society, it is easier for him to blame you than to accept he may have a problem that he needs help with. And if he isn't willing to seek help then I think you would be wise to walk away to protect yourself. If someone is psychotic they usually will not be aware that they are ill by the nature of the illness as their reality is distorted. DH has been adamant in the past that I am un undercover police officer and that I am poisoning his food, but that is very different from blaming you for how he is feeling.
I'm with dangermouse on this.You have tried to be supportive and he has thrown it back in your face.Illness or not I wouldn't tolerate being treated like this.
He didn't keep the appointment then?
He did go to the doctors and apparently he was told to stop drinking, do exercise and come back in a few weeks’ time. He then proceeded to tell me he probably only has ‘mild depression’ and turned it back on me (as if he’s had medical confirmation that he is well and therefore it must be me causing all this hurt).
I think he told the GP an edited version of what’s been going on because if he had been honest I know there would have been more intervention.
I asked if we could leave it on better terms (silly I know when he’s been the nasty one). He agreed and said he doesn’t want to leave it on bad terms with me.
Will he ever realise it isn’t me? How can a person go from being madly in love to not feeling anything? Perhaps I’ll never understand it or get the answers x
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