Why won't you understand?

The earliest memory I have of these feelings is at age 12, but my psychiatrist believes I have been suffering from depression, anxiety, or both since the age of 8,9, or 10. I have only recently saught out help so I still am not that familiar with my illness or what it does to my brain. I didn't even know that I was depressed until around 18 years old, although I have been self-harming since 13.

For me, one of the hardest things to cope with is the lack of understanding and compassion that some people have. Since I have only recently started being vocal about my illnesses (within the past 2 years) I haven't come across too many non-believers, except for one... My boyfriend.

I cannot tell you how many arguments we have that end in me screaming through tears, "just leave me alone." I know isolation is the last thing I need but I would rather make myself worse than listen to the ongoing,

"what are you so sad about all the time?"

"you don't have anything to be stressed out about,"

"why don't you ever want to go anywhere?"

"all you have to do is just change; it's not that hard."

Those are just a few of my favorites.

Sometimes a depressive episode can be triggered by an argument and all hell is loose when that happens.

I have him yelling at me for something like not doing chores the past few days and then anxiety doesn't let me think clearly enough to stay calm which makes me angry and selfish or I begin to sob (or all 3!) which irritates him which make me feel worse and here you have a vicious cycle...

And no matter what approach I try to take he just will not understand that my brain is not like his, it doesn't function the way it's supposed to. Just this morning I was trying to explain my lack of motivation and he tells me that no one wants to do chores or work but you just have to so you do it. So then I tried the angle of 'you can't know how it feels to me' to which he replied yea he does because everyone feels the same emotions. He thinks they vary slightly from person to person but there is no substantial difference between my lack of motivation and him not wanting to wash the dishes.

I attemtped suicide about a week ago and he sat in the room with me when the on-call psychiatrist varified for me that my brain is in fact different and causes me to behave differently... But I guess she doesn't know what she's talking about.

I just really needed to get that out there. I'm struggling with my relationship and quite honestly part of me feels that it is doing more harm than good.

If this wasn't too long and someone made it to the end, thank you for your lended ears (or eyes, rather). What do you do when you face someone very dear to you who will not even try to understand?

10 Replies

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  • I read this and thought to myself the same thing I posted in someone else's thread.

    First of all, I'm sorry that you are going through all of this. But I promise you there is light at the end of the tunnel. And even though you may only reach that light every so often, it is still always there. I too suffer from anxiety/depression, have been for about 7 years now. Some times I get into a nice rhythm, but then sometimes I'll get stuck in anxiety bouts every so often, most recently 2 weeks ago. But anyway, enough about me.

    I just want you to know that you are worth more than you think you are and that there are people out there that care and take the time to help people like us. I don't like reading about people who attempt suicide because it breaks my heart. I have had my fair share of suicidal thoughts, but have nevee attempted it. I always come to the conclusion that there is so much more to life than I even know. And just thinking that makes it seem so worth it to me, that I only know an infinitesimal fraction of what exists out there.

    I am not going to sit here and tell you to leave your boyfriend. I don't know your whole story, all I know is what you told me, the bad. There has to be a reason you guys are together and that reason is probably because of the good. But listen, like I said, there are SO many people out there that understand and want to help and who are not judgemental. And from what you described, it seems as though he is not understanding and does not want to help, though he was there for you during the last suicide attempt, which is very important. But if he truly loves you and wants to be with you, then he needs to open his eyes and read about these disorders and see how it can affect you. You even said it yourself, sometimes his lack of understanding sets you into a vicious circle and this is not good, but can be fixed.

    Here are my questions though; are you on an anti-depressant? Have you been to a therapist? Has your boy friend been to a therapist? While I whole heartedly don't like the idea of resorting to a drug to make things better, it is a very useful tool to getting you back on the right track during a time in your life that you need it. I have been on an SSRI for 7 years now and would like to get off but it's not an easy task. I work on it every day and am confident I will be there some day. The biggest help would be to see a therapist. I can't tell you how amazing it is to talk to someone about everything and for them to actually listen and devise a plan for recovery. It always feels like a weight is being lifted off your shoulders! I suggest seeing a therapist who is big on cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) and mindfulness. I also think that maybe couples therapy may be a good idea as well, to show your boy friend that what you are going through is real and ways in which he can help make things better. Now if he were abusing you in anyway, physically or mentally, I would DEFINATELY say to get the hell outta there, but it doesn't seem to be that way.

    The bottom line is, never give up hope. The way your brain is wired and similarly mine makes it so we see the world a little differently, but that is not a bad thing. We just need to take some extra steps to stay calm. But there is also a greatness in the way we think. We can appreciate more the finer things in life, we just have to learn how to think that way, and learning takes time and patience. So be patient and never hesitate to seek help. There are people out there who care and want to help and who understand what you are going through.

    I know this was super long and I hope I didn't bore you! Please keep me updated as I read posts on here multiple times each day.

  • Thank you for the kind words.

    When I was at the hospital last week the psychiatrist gave me a weeks supply of anti-depressants. She told me what dosage she wanted me to take, but honestly I am weary about relying on medication to be happy so I'm taking a little less.

    I take 10 mg before bed. I'm still new to all this so I have no idea how relative that is; if that is a lot? Anyways it does make me feel significantly better. Yesterday I vacuumed the living room without being asked. I haven't done anything like that in months. But, unfortunately, I think that I may have bipolar disorder and today I had a very bad episode that the meds did not help at all. I even took an extra 5 mg this morning.

    As for therapy, I would love it but I can't afford it. The only reason I have meds now is because my mom kind of felt bad and gave me the $5 for the week dosage.

  • I'm glad the meds helped a little! I really understand the hesitation to rely on them, but think about it this way, if you cannot function without them, and they do help, let them do their job. It can really help you get through what you are going through so that you can work on more permanent ways to help you cope like therapy or meditation. Then you can worry about getting off them when you are ready.

    As for messing around with the dosage, I strongly advise not to do this without consulting your doctor because these types of medications have a lot of side effects that are dose dependent. It takes a little while for them to start really working. This is assuming its and anti-depressant and not a benzodiazepine. Benzodiazepines are quick acting and have a much stronger reaction than an anti-depressant. They should be handled with extra care and only taken when needed, in the dose that is suggested. Bottom line, you mentioned 10mg, so I'm assuming it's an anti-depressant, so stick with what your physician said to dose at and do not change it without consulting with them. Just be patient with it, it could take up to a month to really kick in.

    Lastly, I am right there with you, therapy is way too expensive and I really wish that it wasn't because it really works and with it being that expensive, it is basically shutting out a large population that needs it more than others. But you can always ask your doctor for a referral or surf the web for more affordable therapists. If this doesn't work, there are a lot of free online readings and guided meditations on YouTube that you can try out.

    But please, don't feel so bad about taking the medication. You have to think about it, why are you so against relying on it? It can help you get through this rough patch

  • I actually didn't know that about the side effects, thank you.

  • I accidentally sent the last message too soon by accident without finishing it! Read my edit.

  • Well as far as meditation goes, I have been meaning to try it but I just can't get myself to do it. Everything is such a chore and I have to coax myself into doing anything new. Sometimes it takes up to a few weeks.

    But I do chant sometimes and that helps clear up my anxiety and negative emotions.

  • I do this as well and I also feel the same way. One of my biggest problems, but sometimes it's a good thing, is how much meta-cognition that I do every day. It can really make it hard for me to try new things and to really switch my train of thought from panicing, but it's something I gotta work on.

  • I hope you get better soon. Never give up. You are a very strong person. Take one day at a time. Sending love your way😘

  • If there is anytime you are down and you need someone to tslk to judt send me a message and ill try to help you get thrrew it hope your doing ok today

  • Yes, unfortunately, therapy can be very expensive even if you have insurance. You might try to find a free or affordable therapist or Counselor in your area by calling your local Mental Health Association. You might also try Dept. of Social Services or your local Catholic Family Services to find free Anxiety Group Meetings.

    tr19 wrote an excellent post with recommendations that I have also had experience with. I was diagnosed with GED and other associated disorders to include Bipolar Disorder and PTSD since early adulthood and Drs. also suspect since childhood. I can assure you that medications prescribed and therapy, including CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) saved my life. Please take your meds at the prescribed dosage and follow up with your Dr. to let her know if you've experienced any problems.

    I truly hope you'll be able to find the help and counseling you need. It's important to surround yourself with people who care and understand. If possible, find a close relative or friend that you can share your experiences with and they, in turn, can offer comfort and support. The support of others like yourself, newly diagnosed and seasoned survivors, can be a powerful resource. This is an excellent place to meet them. Take care of yourself and let us know how you're doing :)

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