Anxiety and Depression Support
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I'm new here, my girlfriend is struggling with anxiety and OCD. How can I best help her?

Hello everyone,

I've been dating this girl for 10 months now. She informed me at the beginning of the relationship that she has diagnosed anxiety and OCD, and perhaps undiagnosed depression. She has recently graduated college, and has since moved on to a doctorate program. Recently she has been increasingly anxious and uncertain about her future in the program, and whether she can make it to complete the program she is enrolled in. In the past months, there have been good days and bad days. On the good days, she comes home from school happy, smiling, and eager to tell me about all the wonderful things she did, and how she truly enjoys the work she is doing. On bad days, she comes home sad and doubting herself, her abilities, and her future. In the past, there have been multiple episodes and panic attacks that I helped her through. Just last night, we had a phone call discussing weekend plans, and then she broke down on me. I tried to Skype her right after that, but that led to nothing. I watched her hold her head in near-silence for an hour before she decided she wanted to go to bed.

We have talked about seeking treatment a couple times before. She said she was treated with medication for a short period of time when she was younger, and it prevented her from getting a good night's sleep, interfering with her schooling. As such, she stopped. I don't think she has tried any treatments since. The last time we talked about it, she wanted to finish out the semester before starting. I had to return home for winter break, so I was unable to help her for that period of time. She didn't want to seek treatment without me, so now another semester is about to start, and we haven't made any progress in that regard. I am very concerned for her this semester, as she alternates very frequently between "I love this. This is what I want to do," and "I can't handle this, I'm not worth it." I am concerned that this will interfere with her ability to pass her classes and do well in her lab work.

I know she is perfectly capable of doing well. I've witnessed it. I don't know how I can help her. I see her every weekend, but during the week I am 2 hours away taking classes of my own. I have done research to find her a professional in the area that specializes in anxiety and depression disorders. We have yet to speak to her or make an appointment. I feel my hands are tied here. What can I do to help her work through her disorder?

Also, I've read that couples' therapy may be applicable here, i.e. I act as a co-therapist. How does that work?

Would it be feasible to go through some sort of therapy while taking classes and such? I don't want to overload her further.

Thank you all for your help! This is getting very taxing on me as well. I love her more than anything. She is my best friend. She makes me happier than anyone else in my life. I want her to be happy, but I need some help to get her there.

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Oh what a lovely caring person you are. Your girlfriend is so lucky to have you.

I would try and persuade her to go back to her doctor on her own if you can as she sounds like she needs to either go back on medication or some form of therapy.

Wishing you both the best of luck and please keep us informed.

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