I have been in a relationship with my boyfriend, Kevin, for several months now. He is a great guy, and is a lot of fun to be around. But if you look deeper, our relationship is different than most other people’s relationships are. Kevin has a duel diagnosis of depression and anxiety. Together, they make everyday a bit more interesting.
Kevin was diagnoses with both as a young teenager in school. He was on medication after medication for depression. They didn’t work for him. He was on several that were not approved for people under eighteen while he was in tenth grade. After a while in therapy his psychologist suggested that he undergo electroshock therapy. That is when he decided to stop going. He did not want to undergo anything that drastic. Due to the antidepressants he cannot remember much of his tenth grade year or much of his early childhood.
There are days when I just want to pull my hair out when I try to make him happy. This puts a strain on our relationship. He is usually very easy going and calm. Sometimes he is anything but that. I have seen when he is in a state of depression that almost nothing can get his attention. That is when his anxiety is most noticeable. He can hear all of his negative thoughts telling him what they would do. Because of that, there are times when he is completely “gone” from this world. Sometimes even minutes will pass with me talking to him, and then he will look at me and ask what I said. It is hard sometimes to know that there are times where I cannot reach my boyfriend.
He stopped taking his antidepressants several years ago, but he is still on anti-anxiety medications. He often gets “stuck in a loop”. He thinks of something that is stressful or upsetting. Then that something becomes a million times worse because he cannot stop thinking of it. Then no matter how hard I try to get his mind off of it there is no hope. That is when his anti-anxiety medications are my life saver.
It is not always easy to be supportive. Sometimes it is downright impossible. At least, it feels that way. I like to think that as long as I stay calm he soon will calm down as well. This is almost always true, but sometimes I can’t do it. I will be the first to admit that I can lose my temper. I get stressed out just like everyone else. I always make sure I apologize when I lose my temper, and we let it drop.
I do my best to stand by his side at all times. I support his decisions on what to do so that he keeps his stress levels to the lowest possible. So today, that may be going to the store just to walk around. Tomorrow we may just stay at home and play video games. The hardest part is that I know he hates his job. He makes too much to just quit, but finding a different one in his field that pays the same has not looked promising. So right now to lower his stress levels to help with his depression, we are looking into work from home call center based jobs. This so far seems to be the best choice of job for him.