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Depression Denial

By June 27, 2010 - 1:26am
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8 months ago I moved in with my boyfriend of 10 ten years. I sold my house and moved away from my family so we could be together. I feel totaly lost. I don't think my boyfriend is excepting how depressed I'm getting. We were supposed to be buying a house together but it's taking longer to find a house that we both like. My boyfriend, most of the time finds a problem with any house that I find that I like. I feel like they are just excuses. When I try and talk about problems, he either side walls them. Or just tells me that he's too tired to talk. I've asked him if he's happy with us and still wants me in his future. Everytime he says yes and I've not to think like that. Yet that's as far as it goes. He cuddles me less, our sexual relationship is turning none exsistant. I end up crying alot because I feel so alone in the world. He seams to not see how difficult it is for me. His flat, his city, his friends, his interests. None of this is me anymore. I don't think it helps that I don't have a job anymore, as I got made redundant a few years ago, he pressures me about that. Yet with my confidance so low how am I supposed to feel good about myself for others to want to employe me. If anyone has any advice, I'd be most grateful.

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I'm not a good one for advice, but I do have another perspective.
I chose not to be in relationships, because of the way depression alters my perspective about people, I feel that in a depressed state I am not likely to be the way I want to be with someone I care about, . . . and people really are hard to be around when it's really bad for me.

July 24, 2010 - 10:52pm


Your last question is the hardest, and I'm not sure I have the answer you want. I think that when we are depressed, it's probably good that we have those memories, those connections, because it is our link to ourselves when we actually FELT like ourselves. Does that make sense? I guess the trick is to remember those things about who we are without wallowing in the parts that make us feel even sadder.

I totally understand that you miss your old life. You built it, and you felt like yourself. You accomplished things. You knew people. All those things helped make up your identity. And you feel like you've lost that identity now.

You can start to build it back, bit by bit. Yes, you should be able to find volunteer possibilities on the internet. Just put in the name of your city and town and the words "volunteer opportunities" and see what comes up. Since you love animals, call the local animal shelter or rescue organization and see if they need volunteers. Local schools often need tutors -- your knowledge of science might come in handy.

Visit a doctor, and talk to her or him about being depressed. Please. It will help you enormously. Depression is real, it is physical, and it has symptoms that come with it. (Not just the crying and sadness, but other physical symptoms that affect your health.) The doctor may recommend therapy or medication or both; see what possibilities there could be for you there.

Your boyfriend is just plain wrong about "feeling sorry for yourself." I would like to see how he would handle losing his job, leaving his home and all the people he knows, feeling undereducated and having a depression. I would hope that he would be more empathetic and helpful to you. Depressed people are always hearing "just pick yourself up by your bootstraps." It is as if other people think we LIKE being depressed. (And I'm sorry, but you had a perfectly fine life before you moved, so it's not like you haven't shown that you CAN indeed be successful.)

Start getting exercise again. Perhaps the first week all you do is walk around the block once a day. That's enough. Just keep doing it. After a few days, maybe you'll add another block. The point is to keep doing it, to get your body moving again. And to get a little bit of fresh air, even if your instinct is to stay home most of the time. Just by taking a walk every day and very slowly increasing either your time or distance will make you feel better.

And those old friends or family? Use them for support. Are you on Facebook with them? Do you email them? Keep up those relationships. They are important keys to who you are inside.

Does this help a little?

June 30, 2010 - 10:37am
(reply to Diane Porter)

Thank you for your reply, just the fact someone understands how I'm feeling helps. I can totally relate to your comment about depressed people. About that they are always hearing 'just pick yourself up'. It's not as if I've choosen to be like this. It's just that it happened. That comment always makes the situation worse for me. Makes me feel like a terrible person, which fuels how I am feeling in the first place.

I've been asked by a member of my boyfriends family to help clean their home. I've said yes, as it will get me out and also help the way I'm feeling, I hope. I also intend to find the number for the local rescue society. I know it sounds strange, I'm finding it hard to do all this stuff. As it's like I've hidden away for 8 months, or maybe even more. So I'm feeling alittle panic stricken. Tiny steps, right?

Once again, diane. Thank you for taking time out to reply to me. You have helped me.

Take care, Starfall

July 1, 2010 - 2:01am


I, too, have had to relocate a few times, but the last time it was without a job, and it was much, much worse. I think we take a lot of identity and value away from our jobs with us, and when we don't have that go go to, it almost starts to redefine us entirely.

It shouldn't, but it does. And it affects us to have to depend on our partner for all the finances when we haven't been used to that in the past. It can make you feel much less worthy -- of love, of a new job, of confidence, of accomplishment, of the ability to stand on your own two feet. Even if all that used to be second nature.

I think volunteering is a fabulous idea. It gets you out of the house, helps you meet other people and it doesn't cost much! Also, don't forget about libraries. You can go there and browse, you can sit and read, you can use the computers -- again, it doesn't cost anything, and it gets you out of the house and into another place.

Do you (or did you in the past) exercise? Can you do this now? Not only will it help keep you healthy, it will help restore the chemicals in your brain that even a slight depression can affect. All that good stuff like seratonin and dopamine respond to exercise in huge ways.

And what did you used to do in your job? Are you looking for a job now? If it seems too hard to find a job in your old field right now, look for an easier part-time job that would give you a place to go, a routine and a little money. Apply at Home Depot, at Whole Foods, at bookstores. Even working halftime will get you back in the swing of things again and then you can work on trying to get back in your old field if you want to.

Please know that you aren't alone. You are just 8 months into a huge transition, and it IS HARD. I realized after a few moves that the time when I really started feeling "at home" in a new place was somewhere around 18 months in. (And that was when I had a job, so without a job it takes longer).

Do you have friends or family who you stay in touch with? Does that help?

June 29, 2010 - 9:05am
(reply to Diane Porter)

Hi Diane,
I used to exercise when I lived at my own place. I own a rowing machine and used to do roughly 20 miles at day on it. I enjoyed it alot because it did help and I felt good because my body was also benefiting from it. The reason I don't do this now is because all my stuff is in storage with my folks, up where I from. I couldn't bring much of my own personal stuff with me when I moved in with my boyfriend because he is sub-letting this place from someone else. So as well as my boyfriends things the flat is filled up with the other persons. This person comes to flat on national holidays and for the rest of the time stays at one of their other homes. I have tried to do sit up's, press up's that sort of stuff. Yet I find I don't have the energy these days to carry it on. I just feel sad all the time. That's why I thought I was becoming depressed.

As for my previous job, I used to be a lab assistant for 18 years at the same place. So when I got made redundant it hit me hard. As I suppose it would hit anyone hard. Don't think I've gotton over losing my job & that was over 3 years ago. They were like family to me, now it's all gone. I went to work there straight after leaving school. I'm 37 years old now and because I moved internally up the ladder where I worked, I got the skills of working in a laboratory that way. I never passed any exams in science at school. So I don't have the correct grades to move into another laboratory job. I've been looking for a job, but because I'm so down. I just end up thinking nobody would want me and give up beyond the point of looking. It's frustrating because I know I'm a good worker. I do like the idea of volunteering. Would you know how I could do this? Should I look on the internet? I don't know the area very well, as I've tended to just stay in the place that I live all the time and don't go out much.

I hope that it hasn't looked like I've felt sorry for myself with the stuff I've said. My boyfriend says that's all I'm doing. Which makes me feel abit paranoid.

Diane, I want to thank you for your advise, it was very kind of you. May I ask you a question? How does a person stop thinking about the past, about the good times and the people that were there but not now? Cos. right now things are so different from what I've been used to. I don't know how to handle it. I hope you don't mind me asking, take care, Starfall.

June 30, 2010 - 1:20am

Hi Alison, I want to thank you so much for your reply and advise about my situation. Many of the things you said hit home with me. Especialy about expecting my boyfriend to empathize with me and actually be sad with me. This is true. I think I feel alittle on the bitter side on how easier it has been for him than myself. His life appeared not to have been affected much as mine. If I may say, his life seamed to have got better. Purely on the fact that he now has a cook and cleaner at home for him, alas me. I realise that I've been unrealistic. What you said that he probably never understand how difficult it is for me, well it's helped me to think differently.

I like the idea of branching out and making new friends here. The volenteer works sounds like a good way to go. I like helping people and love being around animals, so maybe I should start down that line. I've just felt so low recently and bombarded with my boyfriends lifestyle that I felt trapped and scared to face anymore, what I saw as problems. Didn't know if I could deal with it and stop the crying that I seamed to do all the time. I swear my boyfriend must think he has a different person living with him at times. I was more independant, more confidant That got me down too.

Once again, thank you for your advice.

June 28, 2010 - 3:08am

Hi Starfall,

Relocation is difficult. I've been there, and your story sounds very familiar to not only mine, but many college students and young professionals I worked with.

You have relocated by moving away from your family, friends and your home. You mentioned that you do not currently have a job, but I am wondering what you are doing with your time? It can be very depressing to sit and wait for someone to get home; especially someone whom you are having a difficult time with right now. I think the first thing is to either find a job, or volunteer somewhere to get out of the house ,meet some new people, and keep up your skills. What are you interested in? Do you like to help people in need? Do you like to help out in a bookstore or library? Do you like to work with kids or adults or animals? There are so many volunteer opportunities, that this alone could give you something that is YOURS and YOURS alone while you are working on your relationship stuff.

You are right: your boyfriend probably does not know how hard this is for you, and probably never will. I would stop trying to get him to understand, as he may be empathetic and caring, but unless he is going through it too, it is difficult to explain to someone who has never relocated exactly how hard it is. I may even guess that you are wanting him to not only empathize, but to actually BE sad with you? (I am speaking from experience, so could be way off).

What you CAN expect from your boyfriend is:
- Introduce you to his friends. He hopefully, is caring enough that he knows some of his female friends that you would like.
- Suggesting sites-to-see & activities-to-do. While you are trying to make friends, he can be showing you the town, getting you excited about your new location. He can invite some of his friends whom he thinks you would like, too.
- Letting you pick out some furniture, decorations or small items to make his place a home for BOTH of you.

Of course, if you are feeling that your sadness is more than just sadness, you could be depressed. Depression is usually described as "overwhelming feelings of sadness with no apparent cause", but your "cause" is relocation...away from family, friends and independence. Your "cause" is not feeling as close to your boyfriend as you had hoped. You can most definitely talk with a counselor or psychologist, as it is common to need a third-person to talk with during difficult transitions...that's exactly what they're there for, whether you are clinically depressed, sad...or somewhere in between.

We're also happy to continue talking about this, too. It is really difficult to move-in with a boyfriend, especially in a new town. There are SO many issues that arise:
- the place was "his" before, and people can become territorial without even realizing
- the dream of moving into together has been replaced by the reality..and never can quite live up to the dream
- communication issues, finance issues, sex issues, spending time alone vs. apart...these are all NEW things that need to be worked out!

Let us know how we can help! Many of us (including me) have "been there"! I was in exact same situation (almost): dated boyfriend for only a year, both moved to Virginia for my job and moved in together for first time. I had a difficult time transitioning without family or friends, plus new job. He had no job for a year. It was really tough... we actually spend an ENTIRE weekend fighting over the placement of the toaster in the kitchen!!!! We lived together for 7 years in Virginia, had enough good times and enough love that we did get married and had a son. We still struggled with our new place at times. Fast-forward to now...we have been happily married for almost 8 years and have two sons. Life is good...but is was a REALLY difficult road for a few years!

Hope to hear from you soon!

June 27, 2010 - 1:05pm
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