Your Advice

My girlfriend is depressed, should I stay with her?

My girlfriend is depressed. She never wants to go out. She just stays inside all day and sleeps all the time. We barely have sex anymore. Good news is the GP recently diagnosed her and now she’s on antidepressants. I know it’s not her fault that my girlfriend is depressed, but I’m still finding it hard to cope with being with someone so…numb. I’m basically on my own 24/7 and constantly worrying about her. The worst thing is she won’t talk to me about it. I feel so shut out. Should I stay with her, and hope it gets better? Or does she just not love me anymore, and is using her depression as an excuse?

A message from The Mix: Click here to find out about the full range of resources available for mental health struggles. If you need some external help, you can contact charities such as Mind.

Holly Bourne Holly

Our expert says:

You wouldn’t believe how many questions we get about this at The Mix. It can be really hard to cope when your partner suffers from a mental health problem and it’s totally normal to feel overwhelmed, shut out, or unsure of what to do. The first step is to process and understand that ‘My girlfriend is depressed’. This doesn’t mean she loves you any less, it just means that she can’t always show that love and be there for you.

We have a lot of advice articles that offer practical tips for being with someone with depression. Often just understanding mental health problems better makes it easier to support someone. Just keep in mind that these aren’t substitutes for going to a mental health professional for medical advice. Depression is a long-term medical condition and if you choose to stay with your girlfriend, you should find out what the future looks like. 

You’re probably aware that, as with anyone who suffers from depression, there will be bad days. In those moments you have to find ways of dealing with depression. Whether that’s just holding her while she’s going through a depressive episode or doing something low key together, to take her mind off it – have an open conversation and figure out what works for you. 

Ultimately, only you can decide if you’re equipped to support someone who suffers from depression. Whatever you choose to do, make sure you communicate your reasoning to her clearly. It’s so important to have an open and honest conversation when you’re trying to end things. Otherwise there’ll be unresolved feelings for your partner as well as you (even if you don’t notice it to start off). For more tips and advice on breaking up, click here

But what do you think? Should you always support someone you love, no matter what? Or do you have a personal limit on what you can and can’t handle? Remember, there’s no right or wrong way to deal with this – we all manage the best we can.

Posted on 08-Dec-2014