Mental Health Support

Is it the depression?

My boyfriend of 2 months has severe depression. He was doing well ...told his Dr the best he felt in 8 months. He decided to go off meds. Then a downward spiral emotionally.

He was very affectionate, loving, close & communitive. Shared everything about his depression.

Now I haven't seen him in a week. (I was out of town for 3 days). Days have gone by with no contact. He won't share about how he feels or how his Dr appointment went. I can barely get a word out of him via text. (I can give more details).

I've read where men with depression secluded themselves. Does this sound like that? It feels like it's just me he's ignoring but Idk why??

Is it caused by his depression? If it is, I can deal better than the constant wondering.

49 Replies

Hi vv48,

As someone who is suffering with depression myself the symptoms you describe are similar to mine. I wouldn't want to speak or see anyone for days on end. I avoided any social gathering and preferred to stay in, especially in bed not wanting to face the world.

I think the best piece of advice I can give you, is to give him time. You can send him a text saying that you hope he's OK. Do not think that it is you tho, he is obviously in a difficult place right now. I know that people constantly bombarding me when I was having my dark days just made me feel worse and I did want to tell them where to go, but didn't. So just send the one text and then wait at least a week to send him another, just saying something like you are thinking of him and you hope he is OK. Don't pressure him into seeing you or trying to get together or for him to open up to you. The texts just mean that you do care and are thinking of him. You may want to say that you are here if he needs you. Every case of depression is different tho, and as you say he hasn't told you what his doctor has said. But then he may not want to, that is his choice and it may be that he is ashamed of who he has become, or is having a hard time with it. Mine knocked me for six, and I didn't like how I was feeling but I couldn't snap out of it.

MIND (Google it, i think its but cant be sure) have valuable information about depression, as well as support that families, friends and partners can give to people with depression. I would also look on Google and find pages of the above, as this must be hard for you seeing him this way and feeling helpless.

I can only say, give him time and find out a bit more of 'typical behaviour' this is so you are aware of what he may or may not do, how he may be feeling etc as well as what you as his partner can do to support him.

I hope this helps and hope he comes round. When he does remember the key is to not pressure him. I still have my dark days but im receiving counselling and am on medication so there is light at the end of the tunel and that light is getting closer. I'm here if you need more advice or just a chat.



Thanks Gemma.

I think it's the not knowing that is the worst. If he's ok. If it's just me.

If I should keep trying to get a response and get him out of his cell as he has called it (Room), or not contact him. I don't want to push yet I don't want him to think I've abandoned him either.

Also, I have slight depression myself that I am on medication for so I can empathize but at the same time this effects it.


I have suffered from depression in the past. I too isolated myself. I am now a lot better but if I have a bad day I just want to hide from the world. Hope he gets the help he needs very soon and your relationship can get back on track. There is no shame in taking medication if he needs it he should just take it. Hang in there and please don't give up on him. X


Thanks Bubbles00.

I think he went on a different medication but I don't know for sure as he stopped filling me in. How long at at a time would you isolate yourself?



Have just been reading some of the other posts and hope I have not said the wrong thing as I said EVERYONE is different and no 2 cases of depression are the same. I have to admit I was the carer to my husband - he had the depression first but it was me who ended up very, very ill and as I said through my private health insurance I got the help I really needed and I have to confess if I hadn't got help I would not be talking to you right now it was that bad. Having had professional help I did eventually leave my husband of 24 years because where as I wanted to change he did not so I can understand some people saying don't stick by him. Again things with my husband were so bad it got to the stage where I just couldn't stay I had to put myself and my health first I had no choice. I don't want to go into details but his behaviour was very extreme. If you think you can help your bf and still keep yourself safe and healthy then please stick by him I am very glad my friend did BUT you do have to put your own health and happiness first as you don't want to end up with depression - believe me you really don't. Good luck and I so hope I have given you the right advice.

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Don't worry bubbles, for what it's worth that sounds like very good advice to me

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Thanks :-)


Hi there vv.

What you describe sounds very similar to the way I felt ( being male) when I had my first bout of depression .

I would turn the phone off and retreat from the world , at the time I was working away from home a lot and that didn't help me either ,because my hotel room would become my prison.

What I would say is try not to push him into doing things he's not happy about , my boss did that with me !.

If he doesn't want to talk to you about it , give him his space !.

One thing I did and still do is ,I keep a daily journal, which eventually galvanised me into making decisions, like taking a holiday , and trying to talk to more people about things etc.

I eventually came off meds, and felt good, I met a girl and had a nice holiday , but things turned bad in the last month of last year ,when I was involved in a major road accident , I slipped back into depression, because of my injuries, and the fact that I would be recuperating for a long time locked in at home and not able to get out.

My moods pushed my girlfriend away, and we are no longer an item .

I don't really know how to advise your boyfriend , but if its because he came off the meds too soon , I would go back to his GP and talk about it .

Maybe CBT therapy can help him , it has helped me in my period of recuperation , which I am still going through.

Is it work related due to stress ?.

If so he needs to make the big decision as to whether to find something less stressful .

There are lots of things that can trigger depression, and unfortunately its like the modern plague these days, what with stress at work , recession , family history , abuse etc, etc.

Finally I would say look after yourself , and your boyfriend.

Talk to him , hug him, hold his hand , gently try to advise him ,but don't push too far .

Pete xx.


Hi Pete.

Thanks. I've tried to do that, be there but not push. Like I've said, it's the not knowing that hurts the most.... And the feeling helpless. But reading this has helped, knowing it's part of it and knowing it passes.



Sorry to hear your bf is having trouble with the dreaded depression. Before I give you a little of my advice let me bore you with a little about me - I'll make it short.

I've suffered off & on with depression for about 20 years. I didn't realise until after about 10 years when I was about 30, I just thought it was low mood. Things got bad at about 34 & it really badly affect my relationship of the time. That relationship struggled on for another 2 years and then we ended very badly with lots of hurt. Now when I met her, & for the first few years, she a lovely lively outgoing girl. Over time I believe my mood had a big impact on her & on the relationship. When we finally ended she was the one that was sectioned because of trying to hurt herself. I wont bore you with all the details but I feel being around me was poisonous to her & dragged her down to my level. Finally this year I have started to get help but obviously that has been far too little too late for that relationship.

So my advice to you is to run. It may sound cruel & your first reaction is to say no & second reaction is to say how could you as it would make him worse. I don't believe it would make him worse as he is already there & to be so low already (so soon in a new relationship) is not a good sign & perhaps points to him not being ready to be in a relationship. Now I'm not one for ultimatums in relationships but in this case you could tell him that your backing off a little & will stand to one side & wait for him to get help. You edited your post but I read the full version where you said that he stopped taking his meds. That's fine if he can cope without them but it doesn't sound like he can or is just yet. Is he looking at therapy? It can really help & has helped me. Perhaps tell him that if he wants you then he needs to start that because if he doesn't want to get help for himself then he either does it for the relationship or he can wallow in his self pity on his own because you wont stay to watch.

Leaving sounds cruel & harsh but I wish my ex had done that even when I was so low. It wouldn't have made me suicidal or make me want to kill myself because I was already having those thoughts at the time & thinking of her wouldn't have stopped me. I wish she had left because her "doing the right thing" nearly ruined her & the guilt I feel from that is so great that it shames me to my very core. She should have recognised that there wasn't just one person in the relationship but two & each had needs. Just like you have needs within the relationship & while he is like he is those needs & wants will not be fulfilled.

I know most people will say to stick it out, be patient or try to help him. And that could very well be the right thing to do. But from my experience I don't know that it is. in an ideal world he'll get help but if he isn't ready then at the very least you need to consider what you want because it could him a long time to get that help. It took me 20 years, 1 marriage, 2 other long term 'married' type relationships, 1 half hearted overdose to finally get help and I stopped taking my meds & stopped the counselling 2 months ago before I'd finished them. Am I depressed today? No but I feel it there in the background waiting. Will it come back? Yes. But I will try to fight it harder than ever before & when it knocks me down I'm going to get back up & fight some more. But years ago I didn't have that attitude I just stayed down like your bf is doing. He has to get up otherwise you both will end up being knocked down.

I hope someone else whole heartedly disagrees with what I've said & offers some great advice so as to let you be fully informed so as to be able to decide how best to proceed for you & for him. But for what it's worth, that's my two cents.



Sounds scarily familiar unfortunately. Speaking from experience, just give it time. I'm sure he just needs a bit of space. I did the same thing myself, it sounds selfish but he may just need to be alone without somebody reminding him of it. Not sure if I've helped but I used to do this a lot. Best of luck. And he's lucky he's got somebody who cares enough to come on here and try to help!


Thanks Simmo, makes sense. &

I really do care and I want him to know that too.


Simmo just made a good point about it's nice that you care enough to come on here to help him. Perhaps take it a step further & show him this forum? If you do decide to don't tell him about it but show him it.

Just a thought.


Sounds like classic signs of depression.. Just like most of the above posters that's what I do, isolate, run away,

don't want to speak to anyone..

JimDon has a good point there, does he know about this forum? it might help him..

Good luck!

Luv, Holly xx


I'm not sure if he does. He was seemingly open about his depression before. One minute he would speak like he wanted suggestions and someone to watch over him. The next he'd be like I've had it for years...I've tried about everything. Plus he has said he lies to easily and that's why therapy doesn't help. That scares me.


Jimdon.... to your suggestion of leaving. Admittedly I have thought about it. Since we are in such a new relationship. But honestly, meeting him & knowing him for an admittedly short time I fell.

I'm usually careful and sensible & I don't use the word love randomly.

With him everything was different, the way I felt. Everything was right, we just clicked. Hard to explain but it was like...near perfect. I even mentioned it was too perfect and there must be a catch.........

Now he doesn't remember how he was then. He doesn't see how he was different. I think he was truly in a better place then...on the meds. But he feels like he's been this way all along only slightly better & pretending. Which makes me question, if that's true, what else was pretend.


Hi there I have to say I totally agree with Gemma. It's a very new relationship, plus you have to make sure he sees it as a relationship too. Personally I

Don't think Depression is an excuse to not phone someone. It worries me

That you say he lies. That is not a good trait. Is this guy working? If he us able to go to work then he should be able to respond to your calls.

Tread carefully in thus relationship as it's not a great start, make your own Life and don't was it around for him. If he gets himself sorted out then you may have a future, but I would not hold my breath. Gemma has said all that

I feel too.



He has been out if work for a month because if his depression. Like i said he was very affectionate and loving. He said we clicked and he didn't want to lose me. A few weeks ago..Some days had gone by where he was distant but i saw him every day. Things felt off then. One night he said he wanted me to know he loved me and that he knew he hadn't been showing it but he does. He also said he didn't see what I see in him. We talked more. I told him I feared he would wake up one day and be over me. (Because I'd how his mood changes). He assured me no, that I would have to do something for him to leave.

I would think though, If he were done with me, why not say so??



what worries me about your situation is that he is at a stage of not being affectionate or considerate already after only 2 months together. I can only go by how I am but it usually takes a while before the depression gets me to that point. Having said that something must have triggered it for him. Any idea what it could be?


Well he stopped his meds cold turkey and went down.

He was distant then affectionate. Then back again. The last time I saw him I stayed over. There had been no touching or kissing or anything. Very early The next morning I awoke to him caressing me, rubbing my back. We kissed for awhile. Later in the day when I was leaving he seemed like he wanted me to stay but understood I had to go. He said he was actually feeling good. The next day he went to a show (I was out of town). He texted and said he was having a good day. After that though....His contact dwindled.


Hi VV. I think the length of time you isolate yourself would depend on the severity of the depression at the time. These days if I have a bad day I just want to go to bed and hide but I do fight the temptation as I know if I give in I will spiral back again and at the height of the depression I withdraw completely. Fortunately I had private health insurance at the time, sadly I'm no longer covered, and a friend persuaded me to get proper professional help and I'm so glad I did. I'm not sure how to advise you as everyone is different. I know others have said don't put pressure on him but on the other hand without that friend coming with me to get the help I would not have got better. Happy to talk with you further if it helps. Big hugs. Xxx


You've had a lot of opinions and I'll just add mine into the mix too as it's good to have a variety.

Personally I don't think a week is a long time not to contact someone when you're depressed, or for me even when I'm not. I seem to like a lot of space and actually can't cope with people texting me everyday even when I'm what I would describe as "well" ( or possibly I'm just depressed all the time and just don't realise it as that is "normal" for me) I would definately not pester. Just

send that one text saying you care and are there when he is ready to contact and wait at least a week ; if he doesn't contact within around 7 days then contact again.

I do think the relationship is very new. I understand what you are saying about "clicking" but also things such as long term mental health problems will take a while to come to light and it may be he has had these problems for a long time and it will keep repeating. I would not say to leave but bear in mind you may have to cope with this happening often as it is a classic sign. Do you feel confident enough in yourself to get through these times you don't see him and be ok with him when you do or do you need someone who is more with you and in communication with you day to day? We all have different paces as well I've realised and mine must be very slow as I just don't understand how people can text several times a day when they've only known each other a short time. I'm probably a lot older than you though but was even more like this when I was younger!!

Proceed with caution but it may be that the difficulties he has will not give you the relationship you need in the longterm. You cannot possibly say this at this point though. I would sort of "monitor" it over the next couple of months and see what the pattern is with him and if it involves frequent withdrawing like I said maybe work out if you're ok with this (knowing it isn't about you, as it won't be , it will be about his mood). Also see how much you do click over this time as you will be getting to know each other better in many respects including friends and so forth so it will give you a better picture of where it is going.

Gemmalouise x

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Thanks. I guess it's because he would contact me so frequently before and now it's been over a week since I've seen him. Like I said, if I knew what was going on I could deal better. Just a heads up saying I need some time.

I mean last I knew he had thoughts if suicide. How was I to know. (He was fine as of Friday night).


Gemma I totally agree with you here. X



I would wholeheartedly agree with gemma on this,

Pete xxx.


Yes I agree with Gemma too. xx


vv48, call it a day while you still have a chance, best acvice ever. Ive been there !!!


So...I go by his house leaving work. He's not even home. I just don't get how he can be so bad as to not be able to text me but good enough to go out. ??!!

I received one random response last night. That's it.


Could be any number of innocent reasons why he wasn't in.

I think you need to consider what is best for your health. Please don't think that I'm putting the relationship down or how you feel, but you have only been together a short time. Yes I know you can fall for someone very quickly, but seeing as how people are on their best behaviour at the beginning perhaps you have fallen for who you think he is? The reality can be very different once we get to know a person more.

Perhaps leave him be for a few days & see if he gets in contact, just let him know you are there for if/when he wants to. During that time you could think about what is in your best interest?



Thanks James. I just need to know. If he wants It done...I just want my things so I can try to heal. I really don't want to lose him and I don't want to push but if it's truly over I need to break ties now.


He is hiding. I'd imagine he is somewhat embarrassed & ashamed a little & doesn't want you to see him so low & so soon in the relationship. Part of the reason men don't talk about depression & feeling & stuff is because we've been led to believe that men are supposed to be the (mentally) strong one in a relationship. Hell, the only reason I can talk about my personal crap on here is because I don't know anyone on here & we are all faceless & nameless so in a way whatever I put on here doesn't exist. I've been dating my new partner for a couple of months as well & I don't want her to see me down. I don't want her seeing me in pain because of a medical condition, I think it sullies me in her eyes, or at least it does in my eyes.


A simple message to say I need time would help a lot. Just SOMETHING so I know where I stand. Wait I can do if I know.

I don't let people in easily, so when I do it means something. When I care...I care deeply. So even though it's only been a short time, I'm attached. I care. It doesn't matter if he's not 'strong'. I wish &e could see that.


He did say before that he doesn't want me to only see him as depression.


Yeah... I keep thinking about both sides of it. And I do have my own issues and depression too. I just end up caring too much.

As far as closure...I get what you're saying, but for my own I need to know for sure. Plus, I need my stuff back. And no, there isn't anyone mutual to obtain it for me.

I know each case is different, I know he's had depression since early teens & I also know he has had long relationships.

I keep thinking the same things too, like it's so early so now would be the time to walk away. But as I've said it takes a lot for me to let someone in to begin with, so once they're's hard to just walk away.

And I knew he was out because his car was gone. I didn't stop there, I pass by it leaving work.



The first thing I would ask you is,,, why are you trying to have a relationship with someone who is ill, with a mental illness. If you want to be a nurse, or a caretaker, take the 12 step program.

You cant fix him, he is who he is...

Its the depression that is making him this way, it was his wonderful choice for suddenly coming off his meds, which has made him spiral out of normality. it was a stupid risky choice. So he probably doesnt wish to interact with anyone, seeing everything negatively,,, he thought he knew best. suicidal maybe. Sometimes you just cant help these people, I know that is hard but fact. They think they know best!!!

Everyone is told, dont just stop your meds, they have aftereffects which can be horrific and dangerous. So you might now need more meds to get you back up to where you were.

He has a chemical imbalance in the brain where the chemicals are not being produced. So it takes a while months sometime years to get a person functioning "normally"ish. which are the meds, try to replace.

Then now he will need counselling to cope with the feelings hes having, in order to deal with why he did this irresponsible thing.

Also dealing with his past.

Start walking and get on with your own life, your not a matre for the cause. Sorry tobe so hard. I suffer depression, So I know you cant have a relationship while hes like this,,, why would you want too??????


Because I care about him! And he shouldn't have pursued me knowing he had a mental illness then. And if he's truly done he should give me closure and tell me. I still have things at his house that I need back. If he's capable of going out he should be capable of telling me whether we are done.



Coatpin means well & does make some could points. We understand you care for him, and it's great you do. It's a shame he doesn't realise it because he has his head up his backside because of the depression. But look what it's doing to you. He may have forced himself out to get some fresh air & coincidentally you called round at that time. But your kinda climbing the walls because you want to know why he hasn't been in contact. Yes perhaps she shouldn't have pursued you but maybe he thought you'd be the answer he has been looking for to help him. Not saying your not the answer but maybe he's not ready to see it or let you in fully. try & take a little step back for yourself otherwise your just going to go round n round & upset yourself.


You should listen to yourself, your expecting a sick man, who has had a breakdown wether its over or not....!!!????

The closer is you knowing how sick he is,, and giving him the space to sort his life out, and get on with yours. Hes too ill to do any of that right now. He is not capable to talk to you, and for you to realize its over, and it shouldnt have started. How the hell could he told you, hes like a child.

Its for you tobe the adult and walk away. They only people who should be caring for him, is the mental health team. You cant fix him!!!!

Get someone who is talking with him to get your things. and for your sake leave well alone.

For a few years till hes stable. That is my expert professional opinion.

I had to do that to my boyfriend who wouldnt get help for himself. So I do empathise with you.


Passed by...wasn't home last night or now. I just don't know.....


I have been in this situation and it is very distressing, especially the first few times that it happens and even after then as all the alarm bells start ringing. I used to wonder whether to get the police to break into my friends flat to see if he was still alive, but i knew that would scare him; I went through agonies for days and weeks on end wondering whether he was alive or dead. In the end after several years I realised I could not control at all what he did and if he did do it then it would not be something that I could have made any difference to. I think he is alive now but i am not sure; a while ago he did answer a text when i myself was completely desperate; I know how hard that must have been for him. He could not help because he was clearly too ill and I just felt sad about it. I still send the occasional "catch up" e-mail as I know he cannot initiate contact with people so it gives him a chance to reply if ever he should want to. I got to know his patterns but it wasn't easy especially having to initiate the contact all the time,as how do you know someone wants to hear from you ? I used to wonder whether really he was trying to get rid of me but I think he would have said something if he was. I just think he was so depressed and avoidant and it was about him and not his feelings for me as i know he did care about me and he could show that at times.

So all in all I would say this is distressing you and it is early days; I am starting to think that this will be a pattern that will repeat with him. If you wait at the moment no doubt there will be some contact from him at some point but I can see it is distressing you (as it used to distress me) and if you are strong enough you may want to think about how this is going to be long term if it keeps repeating.

That's my advice for now. Gemmalouise X


Thank you for your advice. I really appreciate it. Part of me thinks that perhaps if this had happened later I could deal better..but idk. It's the wondering.

His car was gone so I know he left the house but I just can't grasp his ability to go out but not even say "hi" in a message.

If I knew for sure...... I'd be sad to be without him while he was hiding but would not always be questioning if we were still together or if he's off with someone else. Like when his messages started to get lesser if he could have just said that he was going into his funk. Since he told me before that this comes on in cycles for him. He was low last year at the same time he said.

I know I'm expecting rational out of a non rational disease but....

Just one message..One sentence is all it would take to ease my mind.


Yes I know exactly what you mean but I know my friend was simply unable to do this at the time. I'm not sure I could go through it again to be honest. The trouble is that is sort of "creeps up" when you've already made that good connection with someone and so you keep hanging on to that good connection and hoping it will be the same and it may be at times but for me if was forever decreasing to the point where it became untenable really but I still did try and help him as I'm just that kind of person and I knew that he cared which means a huge amount to me even now.

I do know the frustration though. Actually the one time I did actually see him and it was just like he wasn't there anyway; what you want is what you had but he isn't like that at the moment. Not everyone gets it to this extent though. Sorry I can't offer you any more reassurance. Just try and get on with your life as you would normally though I know it is extremely difficult as it preys on your mind and provides anxiety loops all the time.


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Well...update. I heard from him finally. "I'm OK. Just going through a lot".

Feels good just to hear that.


That's good. Hope it has alleviated some of your fears/worries


Thanks. It has somewhat.


No further contact then Saw him a week ago. Said he's just been eating. .sleeping. .and reading comics. Had doctors appointment that day to see if he could go back to work.

He hugged me as I left & quietly said 'see you soon'. Haven't heard from him since.

I was OK knowing it was him in a funk. But he's been back to work and doing things with his buddy. Why would he still not be able to even message me?



Sorry but I'm not sure how into the relationship he is. Sounds like he's avoiding you or the situation. As lots have suggested here perhaps you need to consider yourself and what's best for you because at the moment this whole situation doesn't seem healthy for you. It's got you going round & round in you head & questioning everything & becoming paranoid. Ask yourself, it this the person you want to be?

My suggestion would be to (get your stuff if you haven't already, and) focus on you for a little while and leave him to it. This way you will know how into you or the relationship he is. By the way most guys like a chase so if a girl plays a little hard to get it can pique our interest more. You watch a dog with a ball, if the ball is just sitting there the dog will grow bored with it quite quickly but as soon as you throw it the dog will chase it, bring it back & wait for you to throw it again. If you don't bother the dog will get bored again & lose interest unless you pick the ball up & throw it again. I don't think the dog even knows why it's chasing the ball other than it's moving & it's something to run after. It automatically does it. Sometimes us guys can (I wont say get bored) but we can find a relationship can stagnate or perhaps it's the guy that stagnates yet if we get to run a little it keeps our interest alive. Not sure if this whole analogy works completely or if it even makes sense.

Hope some of this helps.



I get what you're saying & I haven't been contacting him much. I know he was all into us and stated how much he wanted to be with me right up to him getting extremely depressed and becoming distant. That's why I was thinking it was just his depressed state.

When he asked me to stop by and told me how he has just been eating, sleeping & reading comics....that would have been his opportunity to say if he wanted to call us quits. I would think.

Idk...sometimes I do feel I need to walk away but sometimes I remember him...and us...and how he can be & I don't want to give up on him.

When he started to get lower he said he doesn't really have anyone in his life because he pushes people away. I asked if he was with me and he said he was trying not to.

Thanks for the advice.


I don't k ow what I k ow i have depression and anxiety every morning wake up pain I start and don't go ish


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