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Long distance relationship with a guy with severe depression


Long-Distance Relationships Coping with geographical distance can make or break a LDR. Share your experiences and questions here.

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Old 18th February 2019, 1:35 AM   #1
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Long distance relationship with a guy with severe depression

I need help.

Me and my bf met on a language exchange app in 2015 and started dating on 2016, he is from the us and I'm from Japan.
He fell in love with me because I accepted his depression , like nobody else did, and accepted him just as how he is. (With severe depression, high school dropout, no work experience)

I instantly fell in love with him too because he is the nicest and kindest man I ever met before.

However since he had never worked, we couldn't meet in person for the first 3 years until last year, and only reason we got to meet finally was because I paid for him. Flight tickets, hotel rooms, and everything.
Yeah I could've visited him way before, in fact I bought tickets to the us to meet him, which my parents didn't know that I was visiting a guy as I told them I was visiting a girl. The moment they found out about the truth, they stopped me from going, and only option left was for him to visit me first, my parents told me.

But of course he had(and has) never worked so didn't have enough money to see me, and I kept offering to pay for him but he didn't want me to, but I kept asking him to let me pay for him, and he gave in finally and he visited me in 2018. We had the best time together, and I visited him in the us last October as well.

It was a long introduction but the thing is, his depression has slightly been taking over our control over our relationship.
He has never worked, his family are so poor he can't get a driver's license because he lives in the middle of nowhere and his dad is not home during the day to drive him to the driver's license place. Thus he can't go out to the city for working either, and his city doesn't really have a place that's currently hiring.
Plus he's got anxiety issues and trouble talking to people, and is socially really awkward of a person.

So in short, for him, it's hard to talk to people, get motivated to get out of bed every morning, want to work or do anything basically.

To make it even worse, his only family member that he gets along with is his mum, who has been in and out the hospital a lot recently for health issues, and her situation seems the worst right now and been in the hospital for a while.
Therefore, his depression is at its worst right now and our relationship has been getting worse and worse.

My family and friends know about his depression, but not how bad it is. He's tried to kill himself a few times, no one knows about it except for me, not even his parents. His mum knows about his depression, but she herself has been going through it most of her life, which makes her not want him to go to a therapist and get medication for it, because she knows how bad it could affect him as well as his depression itself.

It's really easy for me to get affected by his mood, when he's happy I am happy too but most of the days he is depressed so I can't be happy either and I've got mental issues as well, not as bad as his, but it's getting really hard for me to wanna stay in this relationship. But I love him so much I can't just leave him. That's not even an option for me. But I don't know what to do. I have never met anyone with a similar situation to mine, not in real life or online. So I need your help.

I do not want to hear people say "just break up" it's not that easy to solve this problem, if we broke up, another problem would come up, he'd most likely end his life the day we broke up. Please understand that we love each other but we need a way out of this, but we don't know how.
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Old 18th February 2019, 2:41 AM   #2
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Hi renrewanim, it sounds like he's got a lot to deal with, however I don't believe everything he's telling you. For instance, I don't believe that there's zero employment in his city. I don't believe that one of his friends can't drive him to get a driver's license. And what's the good of a license if he's not working? He won't be able to afford a car and all the expenses which go with it. I also don't believe that he's attempted suicide a few times and nobody except you knows. If he made a half decent effort, he would have ended up needing medical help.

That said, I do believe that he's got depression and anxiety. Question is, what is he doing about it? If they are really poor, perhaps they qualify for state funded psychiatry? Or he could admit himself to a psych hospital. What has he done about finding help to rebuild his life?

There is every chance this guy will drag you down with him. It's perfectly reasonable to stay with someone who's trying to get help. But don't stay with someone who refuses to help themselves.
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Old 18th February 2019, 6:30 AM   #3
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Hello basil67,
Thank you very much for your reply.

However it definitely is true that there is no place that's hiring in his city as of right now, I went there last October and looked for a job with him absolutely no place, and there had been one before but they're not hiring people anymore. I have been looking for a job for him on the internet as well but no, there is no job that he could apply for (no driver's license, no high school/college degree, makes it really hard)

And he's got little to no friends, some in a city he used to live in before, but he's moved apart from the city, and one in another state.

Therefore, it is true that he has never told anyone how he's tried to kill himself before, as he's got no friends who he can tell that kinda thing to. Well, he has, however, talked about it online, on Reddit before. He does make jokes about death and suicide and stuff like that with his best friend (the one living in another state) because the friend of his has depression as well, but not nearly as bad as his, so he's never told himself about it either.

But there are some things you have pointed out that are true and he needs to try harder on, is to seek help. He never talked to his mum about his depression until recently. I have shown him a site where he could ask for help with his depression, but he's not willing to try it out, because he's read some reviews online that said the site is all bull**** and can encounter someone that talks **** about you for having depression and stuff. He refused to look for help. Well I know he wants help, but he doesn't know where to look for it, or how to, when to, or why he has to, because he says "if I'm dead tomorrow, what's the point in seeking for help"

I know a solution to this problem, is for us to live together. But it's not possible right now, because i spent pretty much all money I had on his trip and my trip too. But when we're together in person he's hardly ever depressed, when I went to the us I stayed there for over 40 days but he was mostly happy while I was there, and when he got down, he knew I was there and he would get better instantly. But online it's really difficult to do, I'm not professional at helping depressed people, well with words. I'm the type to try to help by hugging and holding his hands and things like that. So I don't know what to do.
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Old 18th February 2019, 9:01 AM   #4
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Take your heart out of this. Logically what does your future look like with an unemployed lazy guy?
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Old 18th February 2019, 8:17 PM   #5
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Thing is, if something doesn't make sense, then it's probably not true. I know you don't want to think of him that way, but people can and do lie for attention.

He's attempted suicide five times and hasn't needed medical attention for any of them. Do you really think this makes sense? Be logical here: If he had seriously attempted it, he would have done a good enough job to require medical assistance to save him. Then once he's in hospital, he would have been seen by psych and his state of mind would have been diagnosed and assistance rendered.

His depression and anxiety lifted when he was with you. Not believing that either. Depression and anxiety don't work that way. People who suffer at the extreme degree he's telling you don't get better when they are with a loved one.

I agree that he's pretty much unemployable - but he should be able to be a cleaner or work in fast food. And if you were in a small town, I'd possibly believe that nobody is hiring. But I don't believe that in a whole city there's nobody needing a cleaner or a burger flipper. How many cleaning companies did he cold approach to ask if they have space for a new employee?

Unfortunately the only person who can help him is him. And the very least you should expect of a partner is that they do the best they can to manage their own mental health. He will drag you down with him.

I suggest some tough love: Make it clear that you don't want to get dragged down and that you will only stay if he seeks help.
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Old 18th February 2019, 11:39 PM   #6
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Thanks again.
I can see that you're a really considerate person.

I will try to tell him that sort of thing, that I'm only staying if he tries to help himself. But I just don't know how to word it or when to say it, cause it might hurt him so much he might attempt to kill himself again, and cause of his mum's situation.

Also I just thought I might've caused some misunderstanding, when I said he'd tried to kill himself a few times, I didn't mean it like he actually hurt him or cut him or any of that. I just meant like he'd sat in the living room for a good hour with his knife in his hand, that kind of attempts he made. So of course no one in his family could've known about it.
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Old 19th February 2019, 12:16 AM   #7
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It will only hurt him if he chooses to stay how he is rather than seeking help and retaining your love and care.

Just so you know I'm speaking of a place of experience, before I left my ex-h, I knew that my choice would put him at risk of a breakdown. But I couldn't stay with him just out of pity. As it turned out, he made a mild suicide attempt when I left. I learned from that that we can't be responsible for another person's choices. Don't stay out of guilt. And don't blame yourself if someone isn't stable enough to care for themselves. Help as much as you can while you're able to, but don't stay with a person out of fear that they will harm themselves.
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Old 19th February 2019, 12:38 AM   #8
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Did you love him though?
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Old 19th February 2019, 1:24 AM   #9
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No, he'd dragged me down with his depression and anxiety and I had lost all romantic love. I did care for him as a person though and the divorce was not acrimonious.
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Old 19th February 2019, 5:12 AM   #10
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I wish I didn't love my bf either
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Old 19th February 2019, 9:49 AM   #11
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You seem like you are pretty young. I think you should talk to your family about how to separate from this guy in a healthy way. There is not a future with him that you would be happy with. He is unemployed, severely depressed and halfway around the world.

He needs to get himself help to deal with his depression. That is not your responsibility to bear. You cannot help him to get better, he has to want to do that himself.

Much love to you.
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Old 19th February 2019, 11:16 AM   #12
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Hi wallysbears,

Yeah I am really immature mentally, almost like a little kid. So no matter what people say, I can't give up on this relationship like kids can't easily give up on what they want, like toys, clothes, shoes etc.

I've had many people say I can't be a saviour, but he has to help himself. I know that, so at least I want to help him get motivated to help himself.
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Old 20th February 2019, 2:56 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by d0nnivain View Post
Take your heart out of this. Logically what does your future look like with an unemployed lazy guy?
This right here is really something to think about. I was kind of in your situation and I'm much happier w/someone else. I went to visit the guy I was dating long distance twice. I paid for everything pretty much, he didn't even cover 1/2 of one of my plane tickets (50.00 for 1/2). When he came to visit he did pay for plane tickets, had free stay and I was paying for transportation. He is just giving you excuses. If he was motivated, he would have a job. Do you really want a guy who can't afford to do anything w/you? Do you want to always be supporting him? After experiencing this type of guy for only a couple months, I appreciate having a man who can help out financially.
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Old 20th February 2019, 5:07 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by renrewanim View Post
I know a solution to this problem, is for us to live together.
The fact that you believe that living together will be the solution tells me you are, unfortunately, quite naive.

I don't mean to be unkind, but you don't seem to have a true understanding of the complexity of his many problems. Living together would likely make many of those issues worse, not better. You saw a happier side of him when you were there - temporarily. If he genuinely suffers the way he says he does, you would likely be taking on a caretaker and breadwinner role that you are not prepared for. The happy side you saw would fade away as life returned to normal and he slipped back into isolation and emotional instability. Those aren't problems you have the power to solve.

What I see is a sweet young girl without much experience being sucked into a dysfunctional, online relationship by a guy who is actually more manipulative than deeply troubled. Realistically, the way things stand, there is no future here for you and you stand to get your heart put through a blender when the blinders finally come off and you see this person for who he really is.
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Old 20th February 2019, 2:38 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by renrewanim View Post
Yeah I am really immature mentally, almost like a little kid. So no matter what people say, I can't give up on this relationship like kids can't easily give up on what they want, like toys, clothes, shoes etc.
There is a word for this kind of thinking - codependency.

Maturing into a fully functioning adult means understanding some basic truths - one of which being that you don’t always get what you want. Another being that the only person you control is yourself.

If this man has a long standing history of depression with multiple failed suicide attempts, “love” will not be enough to cure him such that he can have a healthy relationship with a woman. You are putting your own mental health and well-being at great risk if you involve yourself in a relationship with a man who has a serious mental illness.

And let’s be honest here, this situation has more barriers than his mental illness. How do you think it is going to work that you live on different continents. How would you support yourself and pay the immigration costs. It’s just not realistic that you will be together.
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Last edited by BaileyB; 20th February 2019 at 2:56 PM..
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