Girlfriend is in need of serious help

Hi all, really hard one this please bear with me. I'm looking for some advice on a very hard situation.

My girlfriend of over 2.5 years (long distance - see each other every 2 weeks at the weekend, we're about 150 miles/ 3 hours apart) is suffering with serious depression and not seeing anyone about it. I'm 21, she is 20.

It all stems from when she lost her job in December. She lives in a seaside town with very little job opportunity's.

She is really suffering, not happy with her looks since (put on weight) she says she feels like she is living in misery, she is not hopeful about anything, she is convinced I will leave her, she says she doesn't see any point in anything, has no motivation for anything, the list goes on, she is completely depressed :(.

Her family aren't the most 'supportive' either, unfortunately they don't all get on too well which is a major problem, probably one of the many causes in my opinion.

Over the past couple of months things have gone from bad to worse, she's demoralised at the fact she can't get a job, she applies all the time and even gets an interview now and again but unfortunately nothing seems to come of them. I keep telling her to be positive and hopeful but this only lasts so long.

Previous to this when she was working she was loving and affectionate, went to the gym etc. She was doing an apprenticeship and the company got rid of her once they received their grant from the government, which is absolutely sickening. (They have since been banned from taking on any more apprentices.)

Since I've known her she has had anger issues, has had a few screaming fits with her mum etc, so now she's feeling depressed mixed with anger makes her go into a fit. The slightest thing will grate on her and little things set her off completely. (Like the sound of her brother TV through the wall)

Today she has told me she's been having these 'fits' which she rages unbelievably; in her own words (She's on the phone to me on loudspeaker as I'm typing this) 'I can't help it, if you saw it. it's like watching someone with severe mental issues' today she's said she's scared she will do something she can't go back on. This is the first instance I have been made aware of this inparticular.

Over the past 3 weeks she has started hinting to me about suicide, and the last few days has actually said it to me on the phone. This is really getting to me as it would to anyone, It's such a scary position to be in. She said when she's in these depressive states and fits there is one thing on her mind (the worst) and I can't bear the thought of it.

This is my first dealing with anything like this, I like to think I am quite headstrong and I am always there for her on the phone etc being the voice of reason. But it's gotten too much now and I'm scared this is a step too far.

I have no idea what to do anymore, I've called Samaritans and had a long cry down the phone to them as previous to this I hadn't spoken to anyone about it. The amount of pressure this is putting me under whilst working full time and self-funding my studies is absolutely killing me, yet I hide it all.

I'm actually mesmorised myself typing this back that hearing these things from her has become a normality to me, I can't quite believe I'm even typing this.

She keeps saying if she came to mine for a few days she would be back to normal, chilled, relaxed etc and also that 'moving out' or coming to mine solves all her problems. (I believe this is just slightly irrational behaviour, she knows full well money is involved to be able to move out; but she could talk about it all day. I think it could be down to the fact she sees it as her only way out and so likes to talk about it. But I worry that when she has to go back home she will have a breakdown and it would make things worse.

I know that if she got lucky and got a job she would improve tenfold. The other day she had an interview, and leading up to that point she was the happiest girl known to mankind, texting lovely things, saying she's doing some baking and going to the gym, absaloutely brilliant. I think she could maybe be bipolar? She has often said this herself before there was an issue. Her mood can go from completely fine to severely depressed 2 times a day.

As soon as she gets the slightest let down hell breaks loose again and she's down.

I've said she needs to see a specialist / doctor / GP and she says she has and they turned her away. But I think she didn't explain to them the full extent of what is going on. This is the step I am currently trying to pursue - getting professional help. I will ring them up myself if need be.

So my question is this, does anyone have any advice to offer, has anyone ever been in a similar situation? I am at a complete lost end now.

I've probably missed out tons of information as I have written this as my brain is in a complete mash up of whats gone on. I love the girl to pieces and I'm also scared some of the damage this has caused won't just go away.

I would really appreciate any responses.

Many thanks,

Tom.

8 Replies

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  • Hi Tom,

    This sounds like a very difficult situation for you both. Sometimes when people feel really bad they talk about ending their life because it's a way to end the distress. You are right to be concerned because sometimes an impulsive act can be permanent. You seam very rational and understand that moving will not resolve her problems, she will just bring them with her. She sounds frustrated, which is understandable given her situation and will lead to the anger you suggest. The situation is also difficult for you, it sounds like you want to solve the problem. It's important you look after yourself.

    I am sure she finds you listening to her helpful, but it sounds as if it's hard for you to hear.

    I don't know where you live but there should be a service that she can be referred to for help. It's sometimes called Immediate access to psychological therapies. You can normally contact them yourself or go to your GP for a referral.

    You talk about suspecting bipolar, but I would say it's normal to be very happy at the prospect of getting a job and unhappy when that doesn't happen. It's also quite normal to want an explanation for behaviour that can seam up and down.

    You sound very caring. I'm sure she appreciates someone listening to her complaints and that in itself helps her.

  • Hi, thanks so much for the reply, you raise some great points. I have found a psychological therapies place in walking distance from her so I think this will be the next step!

    It's nice to be able to tell someone else.

    Cheers,

    Tom

  • Hi Tom, what. A Good boyfriend you are. Now it looks like you might be suffering too

    And taking the brunt of Girlffriends bad temper and moods.

    Losing her job must have been tough but you said she always had anger issues so

    I think it's affecting you a lot now so you will have to be very firm. Tell her she

    Needs to see her GP and tell him everything , Im sure he will help her. Also she can't

    Do anything right now about losing job but she can start eating healthily and stop

    Being angry at the world. Tom you may have to use a kind of tough love with her,

    Otherwise you yourself will get stressed. When she starts ranting and shouting tell

    Her you want her to see a GP and get started

    She hasn't Been ob hunting too long and she must be patient and give that time, I

    Think you are sensible not to agree with her moving in with you while she is

    In this state.

    Ok Tom please look after yourself and tell GF she needs to get proper help.

    Let us know how it all goes , maybe you could even go with her and and that

    Might encourage her. This will put a big strain on your relationship if she

    Continues to rant and rave without getting help.

    Hannah

  • Hi Tom, she is lucky to have such a caring boyfriend. You are doing all you can by being supportive because that is what she really needs right now. The way you describe her makes me think of myself. I moved out for 6 months and it was the best experience. It was like I was just happier, and I got along with the guy I was in a relationship with and life was just better. Now that I'm back at my parent's house I want to move out again and am currently saving in the hope I will be able to get a part equity some day. I need the hope that one day I will have this independence and my own space again. So I can understand where she is coming from in thinking it will solve her problems.

    Has she been to see her doctor? Anti-depressants have helped me to control my anxiety and some depression. It's not a cure but it helps you to manage your emotions.

    She is lucky to have a caring boyfriend who will help her find answers, you need to know that is very valuable to her right now and you maybe don't realise just how much that IS helping her.

    All the best,

    WTC

  • Hi Tom,

    I'm sorry to hear you are struggling with this, but I don't think you should take on the role of therapist or it will ruin your relationship. Your girlfriend must take responsibility for finding her own solutions or you are making a rod for your own back where she will look to you to fix all her problems.

    Having said that, seaside towns in the winter have got to be some of the most depressing places on earth. In fact any tourist area in off season, unless you love solitude and empty places, are enough to get the most positive people down. Also, living with family who may be projecting impatience about her not having a job, or making her feel a failure for losing the last one, is an additional burden. No wonder she is looking for an escape route. Is it possible for her to look for work someplace else for a while. A live in position as a hotel worker in another part of the country, or an aupair? Anything to get away from an area she will be associating with negativity. If not, then at least spring is on the way and she may begin to feel better once her town livens up again, at least until next winter comes along, so I would sugest she realises this and plans ahead to avoid a repeat of this next year.

    In the long run, your girlfriend is going to have to learn to stand on her own two feet. I would definitely counsel against giving her the option of moving in with you until she has done this, or you will be carrying her for the rest of the relationship.

  • The first thing you need to do, is take her to the gp, this is serious, she has hinted suicide and no one is listening,,,, your gp should, sounds like she is at the lowest point, shes ill, So she cant work, she wouldnt cope, and Im sure its not going to help her with more rejections.

    She needs to see someone, asap, like now. She might not be able to do this for herself. Im sure if her family knew how sick she was,, they wouldnt be treating her like this, if they care.

    She might just commit suicide. For someone to admit, they have these thoughts is not just attention seeking!!! They have these driving thoughts, and her thoughts can take over,, she will be drawn to do it. This is how nasty this illness is. Its like having the devil on your back , telling you how worthless you are, and your family does not care, so why dont you just kill yourself.

    The shock of loosing her job, can trigger a chemical imbalance in the brain to stop producing serotonin which as you see is causing her to have such a massive change in her, and her personality.

    The face goes pail, sleeps a lot, and or cant sleep, changes in eating, and sadly the drugs can make you put on weight, but you can deal with that later when your feeling better.

    If she gets to see a counsellor can help her deal with how shes feeling, and change her thought pattern.

    Its a devastating illness. It isolates you, so you no longer see anything worth living for, the sun no longer shines, everything dark and dull, everything is an effort, the body slows down.

    It is not something that will just pass, or it will just get worse if she does not get medical help.

    This only happens to heartfelt nice people it seems, who are "feeling" people who care. The nasty people it never seems to get hold of. lol lol.

    If you have a gem there, help her by just holding her hand, she will shine again, but it may take a bit of time.

    Just remember that wonderful person you remember is still there, shes just ill right now.

    please message me, if you need any more help I suffered sever depression, they had to try all sorts of drugs because everyones chemicals are different and its hit or miss.

    Take care, (oh I was a trained counsellor) which helped me, to see, both sides of the coin.

    Try also clean eating, no processed foods,,, Im loosing weight naturally, the processed foods have little benefit to the body, helps to store fat coz the body doesnt know how to process it so stores as fat.

    I dont count cals I just eat lol lol and feel so much better and clearer in mind.

    take care both of you

    Linda

  • Tom, I sympathise with your situation. It is a hard place to be in. The only thing I think you can really do to help and not make things worse is by modelling the behaviour you think is good, such as looking after yourself, eating well, getting enough sleep, doing things which alleviate your stress, socialising with friends and avoid anything which seriously impacts your mental health such as drugs. Don't enable your girlfriends negativity by encouraging her to moan to you. Try to avoid late night phone calls or talking if she has had any alcohol. Call her first thing in the morning and say something positive. Be a good example to her, and maybe you will pass on some positive energy.

  • Hi all, thank you all so much for taking the time to reply. There has been some brilliant advice and I can't thank you all enough.

    I'm off to spend some time with her this weekend so will let you know how it goes. She is seeming very positive today, and I've even managed us to go swimming tonight so that's positive.

    It's great to hear some of your stories and backgrounds and good to know that on the whole I believe I am doing the right thing and being as good as I possibly can throughout this, I will take your advice and support and move forward from here.

    Thanks again everyone,

    Tom

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