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FreddieMack's avatar

How do I get her to understand I need my privacy when I'm depressed?

Asked by FreddieMack (94points) May 28th, 2009

When I get depressed, I just want to be alone. I don’t want to have anything to do with anyone or anything. Usually when I’m depressed, I go on a cruise for an hour. My girlfriend just always want to be there to help me, but I don’t always want her to. She is the best thing in my life and it hits her hard when I tell her I’d like to be alone for a little while. She just doesn’t understand how important that is. She makes me feel guilty by saying that it hurts her to not let her help me or make me feel better. My condition is that the only person who can make me feel better is myself. No one can help me overcome my depression, anxiety, or anger except myself. I am the only one who is capable of doing that. What should I do to get her to understand?

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15 Answers

MrGV's avatar

There’s really nothing you can do except to sit down and talk to her about it. That’s how she is and will always be you’ll just have to learn to accept that fact.

filmfann's avatar

I am the same way. It was hard for my wife to adjust to it. Just say what you wrote.

FreddieMack's avatar

I have told her and she still doesn’t understand

JONESGH's avatar

Direct her to this post with sublety

cyn's avatar

get a psychologist

FreddieMack's avatar

I have gone through counciling and the whole nine yards. I get subscribed xanax, paxil atavin and a bunch of other pills that i can’t even pronounce. I don’t take them because when I do I just feel like a robot and that I am not living my own life. Basically, I have no emotions when I am on them. I feel nothing.

hitomi's avatar

Hi…are you my friend Jon?? Sorry…it’s bizarre because I JUST had this discussion…

Two of my best friends started dating and I have spent a lot of time having to explain some of his behaviors to her.

They just broke up and one of the reasons is that he has to be alone and really think things through and deal with stuff himself before he is willing to talk even a little (if at all) and she has trouble dealing with that…she’s not very patient and she wanted to know what was wrong and had trouble dealing with the fact that he didn’t want to talk right then.

I suggest really talking to her and also trying to learn to talk about things afterward…tell her that you need to take time to deal with things, but later you need to be willing to talk to her about what you’ve gone through and how you felt when it’s not so close to the surface. It’s all about compromise and meeting somewhere in the middle.

wundayatta's avatar

The problem is probably that she thinks it has to do with her, even if she says she doesn’t think that. She might believe she’s done something wrong, or it just makes her nervous when you’re out of her sight—like you’ll kill yourself or something.

That could be it, or it could be something else. If you can, you might try to get her to tell you what she feels like when you need to be alone. A lot of depressed people want to be alone. It’s like if they are near people, they feel crowded and irritable and all they want to do is stare at the walls, but if someone else is there, you have to make like you care. You do care, but you can’t deal with it at the time.

People who have never been depressed have no clue. It is impossible to imagine what it feels like when you sink down so deep, and everything is heavy and unmoveable, and you can not imagine it ever ending. You feel like you’re worthless and a burden to everyone else, and you just can’t deal with it. You want to crawl into your room and obsessively play your video games or something like that. You just can’t do that if someone is around.

When we’re depressed, we are desperate to get away from our minds. Visitors want to talk about it. They want to help. But help just throws us back into our minds and we remember how fucking awful we feel, and it’s time to stick the ice pick in our eyes, again. Or maybe through the temple—that might give some satisfaction. Fuck. I can’t be thinking about this shit.

So—to get away from these thoughts, sometimes obsessive distractions can help. Some do video games. Some watch TV 24 hours a day. Some do porn all the time. Obsessively whacking off. I liked to hang out online thinking about other people’s problems. I still do.

Anyway, if you haven’t been there, this sounds like bullshit. It is unimaginable. People who haven’t been there often think depression is like some kind of sadness, and if you are entertained, you can be brought out of it. If you turn them away, it freaks them out and makes them think they did something wrong, and then they try even harder to be around you. It’s a vicious cycle and it has to be broken.

Tell them the truth as best you can. No embellishments, but don’t pull your punches either. Describe what it’s like, and what privacy does for you. Hopefully, she’ll get it. Also, find out why it bothers her. If you both know what is going on with each other, you can negotiate something that works for you both. Good luck, man.

shit, I gotta stop answering questions like this—I go on far too long—my own obsession, I guess

Darwin's avatar

Try writing her a letter explaining how much you love her but how important it is for you to deal with this problem alone. Like many women she may be a nurturing sort and so her instincts are to care for you. You need to explain to her what she can do to help you, which it seems is to go off to do something away from you for a while until you get things sorted out.

If she has never suffered from depression she will have a hard time understanding, but if she loves you she will try as long as you are willing to explain.

Supacase's avatar

I have this same problem with my husband. He doesn’t understand why I just need to be alone. He feels I am rejecting him, but it really has nothing to do with him at all – good or bad. It is all about me. I don’t mean this in a mean way, but people generally take things personally and can’t believe anything isn’t somehow related to them. It is a little self-absorbed, but kind of in an lacking-self-confidence sort of way.

The only thing I can suggest that hasn’t already been mentioned is to reassure her ahead of time that you will be back and will spend time with her but you need a while to get your thoughts back on track. It has really just been through showing over time that what I said was true – I will be back, just pretend I went to the store! He has finally come believe me and allow me that time even if he still doesn’t understand me.

YARNLADY's avatar

When you say you don’t want to take you meds because they make you feel like a robot, and not yourself, it makes me think you misunderstand the whole concept of clinical depression.

Depression is a manifestation of a chemical imbalance in your brain that causes you to “not be yourself”. Instead, you have all these feelings that are not the real you, but only the chemical imbalance, causing your brain to misfire.

If the medication is the wrong one, or the wrong dose, you will not have the relief you deserve, so talk to your health care provider about the issue. In my opinion, it is wrong to think that the symptoms of depression are your “real” self, because that is simply not true.

justus2's avatar

I have to be honest here, I go through a similar situation with my fiance. The best advice I can give you is to let her know you need to get your thoughts straight before you can talk about them and then always make sure you talk to her about them so that she knows you know she is there for you and that you feel comfortable talking to her so you are both happy, but I understand her feelings and I can sympathize with her because I go through a lot of the same feelings a lot.

Kraken's avatar

Tell her to bugger off.

sophillyk's avatar

I know exactly how you feel, i sometimes feel this way myself and my boyfriend lives with me so it’s hard for us sometimes. I think that you should talk to her and explain that your depression has nothing to do with her, just tell her that sometimes you need to be alone to think and to relax your mind. She should understand so long as you let her know there is no connection between your downs and her. Good Luck!

HeatherTerwilliger's avatar

I’m on the other side of this. I’m the gf worried about my bf who pulls away from everyone for days or even at worse a couple weeks… He warned me that he was like this in the beginning and I try to respect his need for space. I do however try to randomly msg him and tell him I love him and am here whenever he’s ready or if he needs me. In your opinion is that respecting his wishes?? Is there anything else I can do to help him without hovering??

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