Hello, I'm new.

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CloudAtlas6
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2017 3:01 pm

Hello, I'm new.

Postby CloudAtlas6 » Tue Jan 10, 2017 3:46 pm

Hey, nice to meet everyone. This is my first time using a forum so I guess I'll just jump into it? I've had depression for a long time, since childhood. It was really bad throughout high school and it kinda strained my relationships with my parents (they love me but didn't really know how to go about it? I'm sure a lot of you understand--it's hard for other people on the outside to wrap their head around what MDD is really like). Anyway, I got help, saw a therapist for a bit, tried some medication, and it took a while, but I got to a pretty good place! I still have really dark episodes from time to time, but *usually* I can see when they're coming and can at least brace for it.

Recently, however, two major changes have taken place. I moved abroad, which is nice, but I'm removed from my "normal" access to things that help me cope (the country I'm in isn't as well developed as the States). Also, I started dating someone seriously for the first time. He's wonderful! My only concern, however, is that lately the depressive episodes have been coming back, they last a lot longer, and they're darker...kinda like in high school. It maybe in part caused by culture shock and the weather, but my biggest worry is how it'll affect my relationship. He knows I have depression and that it was bad before, but I find it emotionally difficult to elaborate on with him. Also, whenever the depressive mood hits I get anxious, want to shut him out, feel clingier (which is not a pleasant feeling haha), but I simultaneously don't want him to see me like that or have to deal with my problem: I don't want him sucked into it because I know how bad it can be. But even worse is that sometimes I get this really twisted thought to just destroy the whole relationship--which is not something I want at all! I could elaborate more on this post but I want to keep it short haha, but I guess I just wanted to get some advice from people who have been/are in long term relationships with people while dealing with depression. Any tips or things to be conscious of? Any help would be very appreciated :)

encouragingsoul916
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2017 2:20 pm

Re: Hello, I'm new.

Postby encouragingsoul916 » Tue Jan 10, 2017 7:20 pm

Hi Cloudatlas,

It's nice to meet you! Thank you for sharing and it definitely sounds like you have a lot going on! Moving to a new place, change in weather, new culture to learn, a new relationship, away from your support… that’s gotta be tough. I think any of us would probably stumble with so many changes but it sounds like you’re excited and that’s a good thing :)

I’ve been married over 20 years and my wife suffers from depression among other things. For us, communication is the key. I’ve learned to be patient and not push but most of all not take things personally – which was really hard at first. One thing I also learned is that my wife doesn’t deal well with too much change, especially all at once. Additionally, she needs her medication and consistent, loving support of friends / family.

My advice – get yourself centered and make sure you establish a new support system. Without support it's going to be tough to find a solid foundation. Trying to manage all those changes will push you but with the right support I'm sure you can overcome :)

I’m curious, what led you to move? Do you have others (friends/family) outside of your boyfriend that you can lean on?

Orchaid Lover
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2017 12:47 am

Re: Hello, I'm new.

Postby Orchaid Lover » Tue Jan 10, 2017 11:44 pm

Dear Cloudatlas,
I know from personal experience it can be really hard to maintain close relationships with people while struggling with depression. I won't bother you with my whole story but I can offer you some advice. Sit down with your boyfriend, preferably when you are have a better day, and explain the situation to him. Only a couple people in my life know about my depression and unless you have it yourself it can be hard to understand what it's like. Most people don't really know how to be in a relationship with someone who's depressed. The best thing to do is to go through the different moods you have and how to handle them. For example when you push him away, just tell him that it's not his fault and they sometimes you really can't help it.
As for the recent move, I can understand how that may be a concern for you. I actually began developing my depression shortly after I moved back to the United States after spending several years in another country. I've recently joined the site as well and already I've found it helpful to just be able to talk to people with similar situations. If you can't go to a therapist or if you just need to talk then there are people here who can help you. Something I've done since developing depression is keep a journal, often it's helpful to just write down what you're feeling.
Best of luck,
Orchaid Lover

CloudAtlas6
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2017 3:01 pm

Re: Hello, I'm new.

Postby CloudAtlas6 » Wed Jan 11, 2017 3:13 pm

Dear encouragingsoul916,

Thank you for your reply! I really appreciate your advice and response, and it's great to hear from someone who's been together with their partner for so long! To answer your questions: I'm doing volunteer work in Eastern Europe (so it's cold haha) and will be there for 2 years. I have contact with my friends back home...but due to time differences and often their own relationships it's hard to want to spend time complaining about something they also don't fully understand like my parents. Definitely not their fault--it's just a bit of the reality. I am able to talk with a few other volunteers through text, but face to face contact is difficult with time constraints and transportation issues. I sometimes get see my boyfriend which is more than I can ask for, but that's why I think here is helpful too! Also, hopefully I can find closer friends amongst the locals as I get better with language :)

May I ask about how soon your wife was willing to open up to talk about her depression? For us, it's not a secret, but I get a little choked up when he asks about my past experiences with it. And now I just don't want him to see me in a down/flat state, since it's a LDR within the country and we try to use our time wisely. I do think, however, that maybe having a sit down is a good way to clear the air. Any suggestions on how to go about that?

Thank you again and best wishes to you and your wife!

CloudAtlas6
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2017 3:01 pm

Re: Hello, I'm new.

Postby CloudAtlas6 » Wed Jan 11, 2017 3:18 pm

Dear Orchaid Lover,

Thank you for your response too! And congrats on your move! May I ask where you lived abroad? The journal suggestion is really helpful and I think I might try to take that up as well as some other, craftier hobbies to spend down time. Browsing the internet can get draining after awhile haha. Your suggestion about having a sit down conversation is super helpful--sometimes we don't get to see each other for a while since we live a few hours apart, but in the event that I'm in a good mood do you think a skype or telephone call would work? Or should I hold out for that actual face to face time? Again, thanks for all your help and I hope you have a great week!

Best wishes!


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