I am new here so I hope I am doing this right...
My boyfriend suffers from depression and always has, even as a child. He is now 24 years old; he says he feels like it is getting worse. He has told me he does not feel suicidal and couldn't imagine doing anything like that. We have been together for 4 years and it seems I am just now understanding everything. He is not a talker at all so he doesn't really express how he is feeling to anyone. He refuses to get professional help but he wants to "get out of the hole on his own". I have had to slowly peel back the layers to get to where we are now.
Me on the other hand, I am a open book. I will talk about everything and share all my feelings and thoughts with him. I am 25 years old old and just finding myself. As a child I was diagnosed with ADD (Attention Deficient Disorder). Also I would suffer from anxiety from time to time. Back then I didn't realize that's what it was. I recently realized that I suffer from anxiety which then turns in to a panic attack. I have not been anywhere to receive professional help. Growing up I believe I taught myself to handle my anxiety and panic attacks on my own.
When you put all this together it goes a little something like this.
Depression hits him. I try and figure out whats wrong with him and why he is so "sad". I put sad in quotations because I am realizing now that depression is a whole lot more than just being sad. I'm the type of person that needs answers to everything. So I will ask over and over whats wrong and are you mad at me ect. to the point it frustrates him so much he will yell or ignore me. Then I start thinking in my head "What did I do? Why is he mad at me? Why is he treating me this way?" Which causes me to get anxiety. When I don't understand something or want to talk about something It will make my head pound, It's not like a headache I don't know how to explain it it's just a pain in my head and I can't stand it. This pain won't go away until I understand or get whatever it is off my chest. With all that being said the whole situation turns in to an argument about absolutely nothing (Literally).
Finally we are just now getting to a point to where we are understanding each other more. He opened up about his depression more and he walked in on me having a panic attack and it scared him. But he finally saw what I was talking about when I would tell him it's something I can't control. Before he would tell me you need to stop crying or I don't even know why you are crying, it's over nothing.
We are trying to work together to help each other. We have came up with a sign for when he is feeling overwhelmingly depressed so I don't question and question and put him deeper into the hole and that helps with my anxiety because I can tell myself it's nothing I caused or can prevent. When he shows me the signal that he is feeling depressed he said he just wants to be left alone. We also have a game room and we came up with if he is in there and the door is closed it also means he really wants to be left alone.
Now I said all that to say this:
He has always told me when he is depressed it's best to leave him alone. I have been trying to become better educated about depression. Some of the stuff I have seen says they say they want to be left alone but deep down they don't, they want to hear that they are strong and they are making a difference. I know everyone is different but that part I don't understand and am not sure what to do. We have lived together for 3 years and he has told me recently he was thinking about moving out and getting an apartment so if he gets in his depressed state he can just go and be alone and have control over when he wants to talk. This was all said before we made the signs and signals up. He has told me that when something goes on and it's something that we need to discuss or we are having an argument he knows we are going to talk about it even if he isn't ready to talk there is no getting away from it. And with him getting his own place he doesn't have to worry about that he can go home and choose when to talk about it. He thinks that will prevent arguments. He basically told me that he really wants to get ahold on his depression and wants to as he puts it "get out of the hole". He is tired of being depressed and he doesn't know why he is. He has joined a group online that he reaches out to and gets information. He told me it says he needs to overcome it hisself. I'm not sure if he is taking that the right way. Like I said before he doesn't want to go to the doctor at all. I am still learning a lot about depression.
What are you alls thoughts on this? Is there any advice that might help?