He won't let me help

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-14-2012
He won't let me help
3
Wed, 03-14-2012 - 5:04pm

In the past, my boyfriend has suffered from severe depression, and anxiety attacks. While they're mostly under control now (and were before we ever started dating), he will occasionally have bouts of time where he gets hit all over again. He's in therapy, and is on a couple of different medications to control the problems, but sometimes, I guess, that just isn't enough.

When these attacks occur, he always tells me about them, and says that being with me makes him feel calm and collected and happy. However, it seems that whenever this happens, and I ask him to come be with me, to let me help him, he turns down the offer. While part of this I know has to do with work, and him not wanting to miss it, and part is male ego, I can't help but feel helpless.

If he won't let me help him, what can I do?

I do my best, reminding him that I love him, offering time together (that I know he'll turn down), but beyond that, my hands are tied. Has anyone dealt with something like this? Depression doesn't just affect the person that's depressed, it affects everyone around them, and so I thought that perhaps, someone would have some advice for me.

Thanks in advance.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-2006
Fri, 03-16-2012 - 11:16pm

it's hard when a man won't accept your help. If you are accepting and are supportive to him, that's the best you can do. For example, go out and find enjoyable things to do together. There are behavioral things you can do to help someone with anxiety and depression. I like the book feeling good by Dr. David Burns, also Dr. Beck (forgot his first name). These books have cognitive behavioral therapy techniques for depression that re easily learned. Again a depressed person is not very motivated so if you learn these things and select some excercises to do together that can get them started.

I know a few things about depression. Feel free to ask for help here. Good luck and keep us posted.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-14-2012
Wed, 03-14-2012 - 8:47pm

Thank you for your insight. I sort of figured that there wasn't really much I could do, but I guess I was just looking for conformation that I'm doing everything that I can, if that makes any sense.

I'll definitely look up that book though, it should be an interesting read, at the very least!

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Wed, 03-14-2012 - 8:42pm

My exH has bipolar disorder and honestly there is really no way you can "help" someone who is depressed come out of it.