My girlfriend of 3 years has been pushing me away for the last 6 months. I don’t know why, but she tells me that she is depressed and that it has nothing to do with me or us. She says it’s just her… All I want is to be there for her. What should I do?
If she’s depressed it is not uncommon for her to try and push people away. It has nothing to do with any one of us. You may be feeling like this is your fault because of the things that you’re thinking. Things like if I had done this, or what can I do differently?
The truth is, whatever it is you did, you didn’t do anything wrong. If there’s something that I’ve learned about depression is that it makes someone feel totally isolated. It can be overwhelming for them to show affection when they are feeling so isolated and alone.
I’m not sure if this is the same situation, but my best friend went through this with her boyfriend. She was feeling so overwhelmed and alone, that she put up a wall between them. She pushed him away because it felt like he couldn’t possibly understand what she was going through (and in some ways he couldn’t). There were times when she wanted to scream and cry. She didn’t want her boyfriend to see that because, in her mind, he didn’t deserve to see that. Not when it was so soon in their relationship and they hadn’t been together long enough.
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How to Help my depressed girlfriend
When someone you care about is suffering from depression, it can be difficult to know how to help. Depression can make people feel isolated and alone, like they are the only person in the world who is feeling this way. It is important to remember that your loved one is not alone in their struggle, and there are things you can do to help ease their burden. Here are a few tips on how to help your depressed girlfriend:
1. Show her that you care. One of the most important things you can do for someone who is depressed is to show them that you care. This means being there for them when they need you, listening when they want to talk, and being supportive no matter what.
2. Don’t push her too hard. It can be tempting to try and fix everything for your loved one, but this can actually do more harm than good.
Encourage them to talk about their feelings
It was so hard for my friend because she thought that her boyfriend would think badly of her. She felt like he’d be disgusted with the things that were running through her head (and sometimes she was disgusted by it herself, which made it even harder).
Talking about the things going through your head can be helpful, but if your significant other isn’t willing to talk, don’t force them to do so. Let them know that you’re there for them if they need you. If you build walls around yourself, people may try to get through (even unintentionally). At the end of the day, this is something that she needs to open up about on her own.
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Be there for them when they need a friend
Sometimes, she would just want to be around her boyfriend and do nothing. She would ask him to draw pictures with her, play games and watch movies. Just be there when she wants time with you and what you can offer. Don’t push yourself too hard if it’s not what she wants. It may take some time for her to open up about what she wants from you, but just being there when she’s ready is all that you can do.
Offer advice with compassion and care
I can’t tell you that she won’t want advice because if her depression is situational, it may be that she wants someone to help her figure things out. Maybe she will ask for advice, but only with the context of not wanting the answer, they are offering. She’ll probably push back at first when you offer your thoughts or opinions on
Listen without judgement or criticism
Just listen. Don’t judge or criticize what she says or does no matter how it makes you feel. It’s a very sensitive time and even the slightest judgement can make things way worse. If you’re not sure if something is a good idea, don’t say anything at all. Just let her be. She may have some pretty irrational thoughts and she may want to do some things that you don’t agree with.
Causes of Depression:
Depression is a mental health disorder that causes feelings of sadness and hopelessness. It can affect how you think, feel, and behave, and can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems. Depression is one of the most common mental health disorders. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, about 1 in 10 adults in the United States experience depression each year. While the cause of depression is unknown, there are several possible reasons why your girlfriend might be depressed.
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Help them find ways to fill their time with enjoyable activities
Don’t fight the depression on your own. Support from friends and especially family can be really helpful during a time like this, but sometimes it seems that people don’t know how to help or what they should say. If you’re going through something similar, try talking to someone you trust about what’s going on. There are lots of people that would be willing to help and offer advice. Don’t suffer in silence.
Encourage healthy habits like eating balanced meals
It’s easy to forget things when you’re going through a hard time, but they can really help regulate your mood and energy levels. Talk to her about different ways she can make herself feel better and be encouraging, but don’t push too hard (like saying “You should exercise”. It may sound like good advice and it probably is, but if she isn’t ready to hear it, it can hurt instead of help.
Depression is a difficult thing to go through and it can make almost everything in life harder. Try not to be hard on her for the things she does or says that you don’t like, but also try and show her that there’s something worth living for (and that may take time). Your support and understanding can help her get through it.