Author Topic: Dating someone who is depressed.  (Read 2791 times)

The Johnny

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Dating someone who is depressed.
« on: January 19, 2015, 11:16:31 am »
I usually like to keep my problems to myself, because usually its very clear to me what needs to be done, but it is not the case now... specially since i havent dated in ages out of lack of interest or time, im a bit out of touch not only in the general but also the specific sense, and ive seen a lot of you are experienced in multitude of dating scenarios.

I dont know where to start. Its about a specific girl named F.

I met F around 2006,  when i lived with my alcoholic bandmates when i was a bit of a druggie. She split from her home and cqme to live in the house, and we hit it off from day one, and we shared my room from day one... 4 months later she split to Cancun ot live with her ex gf from her teenage years, but she was not well received... came back to me, spent 2 more months together... then i got fucking done with life itself, took my things one night, left the band, quit drugs, lived in seclusion in the middle of nowhere, amd shortly after leaving for the cqpitol and started university.

Over the years she intermittently reached out to me thru email, and we sporadically went out, something like once a year, no bad blood, just myself having no interest other than school itself.

In january 2014 we had a chance encounter in the streets of her city, where my family lives, in vacations. Since then weve been in contact thru messages and since July, i think it was, weve gone out around 10 times. 3 times when i came to do some business inthe city. The rest of the times since i left the capitol to return to live to this city.

Idk, shes told me she dropped out of university after two years to watch over her mother which sometimes passes out, has a crappy job but with flexible schedules, and around 3 months ago she quit drugs, so im sure that feels pretty bad too.

And well, last tuesday when i asked her out she told me she felt bad, that she didnt feel like doing anything, and that she was going absentee for an (undetermined) while.

And i dont know how i should take it, i mean, i really enjoy her company, we have a lot of fun together and we have no trouble spending half a day togther justdoing whatever, were both not fond of large groups of people or peple in general and a lot of stuff regarding biography amd interests. Some days she has told me she feels bad and doesnt want to go out, but every time i go unnanounced im always well received.

 :?

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Re: Dating someone who is depressed.
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2015, 03:55:44 pm »
Wow, that's a tricky one.

Part of her depression  might be that she's not really doing anything for her own life and future, but there's nothing you can do about that.

I guess all you can really do is, if you like her that much, keep spending time with her and see how it goes? You can't change her, she has to want to help herself, but if she asks you to participate then you can encourage her to do things that will help her feel better, like getting out and exercising or going back to school.

Depression will often pass on its own after 6 months to a year. But you probably already know that.

Im guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk, Charles Wick said. It was very complicated.


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Re: Dating someone who is depressed.
« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2015, 04:44:17 pm »
Some people avoid activities because they can't see any point to doing them, others avoid them because they can't actually be around people. It depends on her personality if she actually wants to be left alone or if she could really use some time with others. I know when I'm feeling like that, I have to force myself to be around people, and it does help a lot. If she's willing to get together, try steering activities toward outsidey things.
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The Johnny

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Re: Dating someone who is depressed.
« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2015, 04:50:09 pm »
Yah, I try to convey to her that I know by social standards she might get judged, which she does, but that I know its a difficult and anomalous situation and that i accept her as she is.

I clearly remember when i shut myself off from the world and recovering how hard it was, and im trying to remember if i would had been less miserable and had an easier time getting over it if someone reached out to me or if i really needed that alone, me time, which translates to me not knowing if letting her be or reach out to her, which can either be comforting or intrusive.

Maybe ill visit her in the evening, bring her some pirated music and see how it goes.
<<My image in some places, is of a monster of some kind who wants to pull a string and manipulate people. Nothing could be further from the truth. People are manipulated; I just want them to be manipulated more effectively.>>

-B.F. Skinner

The Johnny

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Re: Dating someone who is depressed.
« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2015, 04:56:43 pm »
Some people avoid activities because they can't see any point to doing them, others avoid them because they can't actually be around people. It depends on her personality if she actually wants to be left alone or if she could really use some time with others. I know when I'm feeling like that, I have to force myself to be around people, and it does help a lot. If she's willing to get together, try steering activities toward outsidey things.

She pretty much hates everyone, and i can understand that, this city is one of the most conservative in the country filled with catholic militants that have a joy out of prejudice and a lot of conservative prejudice bullshit, and she doesnt filter herself out, but shes been explicit that she feels im not like others in that regard and stuff.

Sometimes we just spend time nearby her house walking around her neighborhood, or we walk at night around the historical center of city, other times we just play league of legends in my house.
<<My image in some places, is of a monster of some kind who wants to pull a string and manipulate people. Nothing could be further from the truth. People are manipulated; I just want them to be manipulated more effectively.>>

-B.F. Skinner

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Re: Dating someone who is depressed.
« Reply #5 on: January 19, 2015, 05:37:26 pm »
Some people avoid activities because they can't see any point to doing them, others avoid them because they can't actually be around people. It depends on her personality if she actually wants to be left alone or if she could really use some time with others. I know when I'm feeling like that, I have to force myself to be around people, and it does help a lot. If she's willing to get together, try steering activities toward outsidey things.

She pretty much hates everyone, and i can understand that, this city is one of the most conservative in the country filled with catholic militants that have a joy out of prejudice and a lot of conservative prejudice bullshit, and she doesnt filter herself out, but shes been explicit that she feels im not like others in that regard and stuff.

Sometimes we just spend time nearby her house walking around her neighborhood, or we walk at night around the historical center of city, other times we just play league of legends in my house.

I don't know what your schedule is like, but if you can get her outside during the day that would be awesome.
Im guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk, Charles Wick said. It was very complicated.


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Re: Dating someone who is depressed.
« Reply #6 on: January 20, 2015, 01:50:07 am »
Today i wrote to her just to check in on hiw she was doing, and i shared some of the stuff ive been thru in years past, but she didnt seem to take it well, basicly told me that i know nothing, thats just the way she is and to leave her alone and that she wants nothing out of no one.

It does pain me, but im trying to understand her... i mean, i saw her 12 days ago and we were doing great... a week ago she said she had a problem she didnt want to talk about and that she was dissapearing for a while, and now her response just feels bitter and angry when i was just trying to be emphatetic.

I cant tell if something really bad happened (her ailing mother, idk?) or if her depression is simply that profound to lash out like that.

My idea is to just give her space some 2 weeks up to a month, then go visit her, and if i get a negative reaction ill just move on. I mean if this was someone i just met and was just for fun id be so done by now, i usually dont care enough to be involved in drama, but she feels special to me.
<<My image in some places, is of a monster of some kind who wants to pull a string and manipulate people. Nothing could be further from the truth. People are manipulated; I just want them to be manipulated more effectively.>>

-B.F. Skinner

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Re: Dating someone who is depressed.
« Reply #7 on: January 20, 2015, 01:52:26 am »
And well, if anyone has been in a similar situation as me or her id greatly appreciatte it if you shared.
<<My image in some places, is of a monster of some kind who wants to pull a string and manipulate people. Nothing could be further from the truth. People are manipulated; I just want them to be manipulated more effectively.>>

-B.F. Skinner

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Re: Dating someone who is depressed.
« Reply #8 on: January 20, 2015, 03:13:25 am »
I can't speak to her specific situation and triggers, but I'll try to give a nickel's worth of free perspective. I have the bipolar, but of the sort that tends to mania and hypomania. I have definitely experienced some few truly horrific depressions. If she is clinically depressed then her feelings and behavior are not about reason, and you should not seek her reasons.

The lashing out is a defensive act. It could seem to be simple or complex if you could get her to explain her motives in words but the real, irrational essence would be that the only thing she feels is pain and sharp negative emotions, thus that's all she can express without acting. If she is also proud any attempt to sympathize could be taken as a personal insult as it may seem demeaning and remind her of her current weakness.

I would suggest giving her space if she wants it and not attempting to use reason or asking how she feels. Communicate more through positive deeds and demeanor.

Also... not to tell you your business but pursuing "a relationship" with a depressive is tricky at best and a horrible and potentially life altering clusterfuck at worst. Consider a supportive friendship or otherwise maintain a certain objective distance or you may get dragged down too.
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The Johnny

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Re: Dating someone who is depressed.
« Reply #9 on: January 20, 2015, 10:01:19 am »
I can't speak to her specific situation and triggers, but I'll try to give a nickel's worth of free perspective. I have the bipolar, but of the sort that tends to mania and hypomania. I have definitely experienced some few truly horrific depressions. If she is clinically depressed then her feelings and behavior are not about reason, and you should not seek her reasons.

The lashing out is a defensive act. It could seem to be simple or complex if you could get her to explain her motives in words but the real, irrational essence would be that the only thing she feels is pain and sharp negative emotions, thus that's all she can express without acting. If she is also proud any attempt to sympathize could be taken as a personal insult as it may seem demeaning and remind her of her current weakness.

I would suggest giving her space if she wants it and not attempting to use reason or asking how she feels. Communicate more through positive deeds and demeanor.

Also... not to tell you your business but pursuing "a relationship" with a depressive is tricky at best and a horrible and potentially life altering clusterfuck at worst. Consider a supportive friendship or otherwise maintain a certain objective distance or you may get dragged down too.

Yeah, im rethinking the rapport based on what im experiencing... at first i felt she was seeing someone else, but i started to understand that. the depression shes going thru seems deeper than what i thougth at first, and well, ive had bad times, im a social psychologist and have spent 2 years surrounded by schizophrenics, so i thought, eh a mild depression nothing too much out of the ordinary, but now i think i need to keep some emotional distance for my own good, thats what one friend told me too.

One significant turning point for the worse is when she stopped renting her own place around 2 months ago and moved into her mothers she seemed to, how to say it, i mean we arent upbeat people by any means, but she started to seem more weighted down, metaphorically speaking, with less energy and motivation.

<<My image in some places, is of a monster of some kind who wants to pull a string and manipulate people. Nothing could be further from the truth. People are manipulated; I just want them to be manipulated more effectively.>>

-B.F. Skinner

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Re: Dating someone who is depressed.
« Reply #10 on: January 20, 2015, 08:20:23 pm »
It also sounds like she's sending  you some "nope" signals, perhaps simply because she has too much on her plate to pursue a relationship right now.
Im guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk, Charles Wick said. It was very complicated.


The Wizard Joseph

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Re: Dating someone who is depressed.
« Reply #11 on: January 20, 2015, 10:43:51 pm »
It also sounds like she's sending  you some "nope" signals, perhaps simply because she has too much on her plate to pursue a relationship right now.

Seconded. I would only add that even if she was sending signals of real interest, and I also DO NOT SEE 'EM here, it's a very bad time to be establishing the associations of a new thing. Some depressives even use a new relationship to feel better and discard the person after like a used tissue. This isn't necessarily sociopathy per se, just the consequence of being associated with indescribable pain in the aftermath.
You can't get out backward.  You have to go forward to go back.. better press on! - Willie Wonka, PBUH

Life can be seen as a game with no reset button, no extra lives, and if the power goes out there is no restarting.  If that's all you see life as you are not long for this world, and never will get it.

"Ayn Rand never swung a hammer in her life and had serious dominance issues" - The Fountainhead

"World domination is such an ugly phrase. I prefer to call it world optimisation."
 - Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality :lulz:

"You program the controller to do the thing, only it doesn't do the thing.  It does something else entirely, or nothing at all.  It's like voting."
- Billy, Aug 21st, 2019

"It's not even chaos anymore. It's BANAL."
- Doktor Hamish Howl

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Re: Dating someone who is depressed.
« Reply #12 on: January 24, 2015, 04:04:11 am »
As someone who is "depressed and dating," I can relate a little bit to F. Sometimes, when you're really down, even if you want to go out, your depression makes it very difficult to allow yourself to actually go out. If I were F, I think I would appreciate some company that is willing to just stay in with me and relax, that way F would get some positive human contact without the potentially overwhelming struggle against her depression to muster the energy to go out, and it also helps avoid her possible regret of not taking the opportunity to go out when she had the chance. Depression can feed off of regret, so helping someone avoid potential regrets can be a highly effective way to assist them if they are also feeling very depressed. But, of course, this is all contingent upon the level of engagement you are looking to take on, and F's receptiveness to your desire to assist her.

Plus, I may not actually know what I'm talking about; I speak from personal experience, alone.
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Re: Dating someone who is depressed.
« Reply #13 on: January 24, 2015, 04:40:06 am »
what are your motivations for dating?
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Re: Dating someone who is depressed.
« Reply #14 on: January 24, 2015, 07:24:55 am »

It also sounds like she's sending  you some "nope" signals, perhaps simply because she has too much on her plate to pursue a relationship right now.

Seconded. I would only add that even if she was sending signals of real interest, and I also DO NOT SEE 'EM here, it's a very bad time to be establishing the associations of a new thing. Some depressives even use a new relationship to feel better and discard the person after like a used tissue. This isn't necessarily sociopathy per se, just the consequence of being associated with indescribable pain in the aftermath.

I still don't know what's going on, I'm still waiting for a couple of weeks to pass giving her the space she asked for. For all I know her mother could be very sick or something; if this was someone i had just met, didn't know her nor her particular situation and went out like 3-4 times id just be like "blegh im done".

As someone who is "depressed and dating," I can relate a little bit to F. Sometimes, when you're really down, even if you want to go out, your depression makes it very difficult to allow yourself to actually go out. If I were F, I think I would appreciate some company that is willing to just stay in with me and relax, that way F would get some positive human contact without the potentially overwhelming struggle against her depression to muster the energy to go out, and it also helps avoid her possible regret of not taking the opportunity to go out when she had the chance. Depression can feed off of regret, so helping someone avoid potential regrets can be a highly effective way to assist them if they are also feeling very depressed. But, of course, this is all contingent upon the level of engagement you are looking to take on, and F's receptiveness to your desire to assist her.

Plus, I may not actually know what I'm talking about; I speak from personal experience, alone.

Im not a cheery person myself, and i dont go out much, i mean, at least not surrounded by strangers and big places, so I do understand it to a certain degree, but i rarely have trouble or impediment going out with individuals to quiet places (i know that's me, which is a type of middle ground between "normal" outgoing person and "hermit" or whatever).

One problem with "staying in" is that her mother is kind of bitchy ive been told, and from the few interactions ive had with her, it seems to be true.

I'm willing to stick with her very much, as long as it isnt something toxic or draining, everyone's had nightmare months, semesters or years, so depending on what kind of situation it is will be my level of involvement; Im under the assumption that a bad event happened, thats why im being tolerant, but if its just a mood swing or just because, ill file it under "too much chaos and drama" and be done with it.

what are your motivations for dating?

I really like her for who she is. I've had plenty of party years where its like, whatever, "water under the bridge", who cares moments of meaningless relations with people that were in the same wavelenght, but im tired of that, ive had quite a lot of dates in the past 5 years where i go out 1, max 2 times and understand its more of the same and either stay as friends or strangers cause theres not enough things in common or of interest. If my only interest was hooking up, its quite easy, just go somewhere with music and booze and im set. Shes caught my attention in a special manner and that doesnt happen often.
<<My image in some places, is of a monster of some kind who wants to pull a string and manipulate people. Nothing could be further from the truth. People are manipulated; I just want them to be manipulated more effectively.>>

-B.F. Skinner