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chelle21689's avatar

Can you feel depressed for no reason?

Asked by chelle21689 (6987points) September 24th, 2010

My boyfriend just told me he had a confession to make. It made me anxious to hear what it was and he told me he’s been depressed for a long time and it’s worsen…it has not gotten better. He’s just been feeling sad and lonely even before he moved to away. I asked him “What kind of lonely?” because we are long distance and have been for 2 years. I asked if it was me or if it was because he doesn’t have a lot of friends.

He said he doesn’t know the exact reason. He just feels sad and alone. I asked him when he’s with friends or with me does he still feel this way. He said it helps but sometimes it doesn’t at all.

I’m afraid that I’m the reason he’s depressed and I’ve asked him if it was me and that I need to know. He said he doesn’t think I’m the reason.

I don’t know what to tell him or how to feel better.

Edit We’ve been together 5 years, 2 years distance. See eachother every 2.5 months on average. Idk if that helps

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17 Answers

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

If by reason you mean a stimulus in his environment, social or psychological..then yes, he could be depressed for no reason if there is a physical imbalance in his system and sometimes those aren’t caused by any particular event. He might want to know to begin a depression diary – writing down when he’s most down, giving himself ratings out of 10 and seeing if there’s a pattern – perhaps, he’s not telling you something, as well…

chelle21689's avatar

Now I just feel terrible that I can’t make him happy. And all those moments we had together a couple weeks ago were just fake smiles and laughter…must be one hell of an actor.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@chelle21689 That isn’t necessarily true. A depressed person can absolutely feel like smiling or laughing.

chelle21689's avatar

Come to think of it, this isn’t anything new. I remember when we first started dating back in 2005…he was telling me about a time when he felt depressed. He’s known as the funny guy…so I guess he hides it really well.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

It is certainly possible to be depressed for no apparent reason. That’s called clinical depression. It is like a disease, and thankfully, it’s treatable. There are many drugs available to help sufferers feel better. I would suggest that you talk to your boyfriend about seeing a doctor and perhaps even a therapist.

Depression is nothing to be ashamed of, and it’s nothing to disregard either. It should be taken seriously by the patient as well as the doctor.

chelle21689's avatar

I’m afraid that maybe after all these years I don’t know him as well as I thought I did and he’ll hurt himself or maybe since we’re long distance and I can’t be there for him he’ll find someone to make him happy and be there for him…I can’t be there for him =(

He can’t afford a psychiatrist either.

lillycoyote's avatar

There are two basic divisions when it come to depression. Conditional or exogenous depression or endogenous depression. The first type conditional or exogenous depression is a reaction to external events such as loss of a loved one, a miscarriage, possibly a traumatic event such as rape. We all kind of understand that one. The second type, organic or endogenous depression, kind of comes from within, comes for no apparent reason and is usually due to a biochemical imbalance in the brain. I’m certainly not a doctor or any expert at all but I believe that there are genetic components that can make a person more prone to endogenous depression though a history of traumatic event can also increase the likelihood of it. Anyway, bottom line: yes a person can become depressed “for no reason,” it’s biology. And there is also a tendency for people around them to blame themselves when someone they care about it unhappy, though it almost certainly is not your fault at all. It just happens to some people. And a lot of depressed people are very good at maintaining some sense of humor. The ones who don’t maintain some sense of humor don’t live very long. Anyway, it probably puts additional pressure on him to keep assuring you that it is not about you. Try to be supportive, but there are basically two bottom lines 1. If he is suffering from some kind of clinical depression, you can’t fix him and he can’t just buck up and snap out of it and 2. He will eventually have to get some kind of help if he doesn’t want to be unhappy his whole life. You can encourage him but he has to be the one to take care of it. Edit: There are usually clinics and all sorts of resources in most communities that support people with depression and other issues. He should seek them out.

chelle21689's avatar

I just want to know if he really means it when he says he doesn’t know why he is depressed. But then again, why would he come to me to talk about it if he has something to hide about the reason being depressed. Idk…..

lillycoyote's avatar

@chelle21689 Yes, it very possible that he really has not idea why he is depressed. Has anything happened to him recently that could be causing his depression? Did someone die? Has he had a major disappointment or failure recently like losing a job, not succeeding in something that meant a lot to him? Has something happened recently to someone that he really cares about? What makes you think that he may be hiding something from you? Do you have a reason to be suspicious or do you just not believe that he could be depressed for no reason? Is it possible that he is embarrassed or uncomfortable showing weakness to you? And why are you demanding so much from him when he is obviously in a vulnerable state? Maybe if you approached him more from a position of support and caring and from less of a defensive, demanding position he would be more open to talking to you. You don’t have to baby him but this really may be way more about him than it is about you.

chelle21689's avatar

No, he said he’s felt sad even before he moved which was 2 yrs ago. I’m assuming it’s been off and on…it goes away and comes back I guess. No one has died, nothing major happened to him. I mean he joined the Army and he likes it and he’s been doing great with what he knows how to do. He often doesn’t show emotion or weakness…but I guess to me he does when he feels like’s kind of rare though.

How am I being demanding? I feel a little good that he did confide in me though and wanted me to be there for him. I wish he could tell me the reason if he knew so that I can help.

lillycoyote's avatar

@chelle21689 Maybe demanding was too strong a word. I don’t think it’s quite what I meant. I don’t always express myself well. Maybe it was just when you said “I just want to know if he really means it when he says he doesn’t know why he is depressed.” It just seems like he’s said a couple of times that he doesn’t know. It may just be because you need to feel reassured that it’s not your fault, and it isn’t. There are resources for him in the Army but getting help for psychological problems in the service has it’s complications and it’s own issues, but I also know that the Army is very concerned about the current higher suicide rates among it’s personnel. You might try to connect with some of the support services that the military has for the spouses and or loved one’s of service members. I don’t know what support is available for girlfriends but I bet there are a lot of more informal types of support you might find through groups of army wives. They look after their own and might be very welcoming to you. That is one thing to consider. They might be able to help you help him. Or at least help you not feel responsible or guilty because you can’t fix whatever it is that’s bothering him.

BoBo1946's avatar

Absolutely yes…can be subconscious!

autumnsunset's avatar

Chelle, first understand that if he is clinically depressed NO ONE can make him happy. Not another woman, alcohol, or anything else. He needs counseling and possibly medicine. I have been married more than 19 years and my husband and I still learn new things about each other. That is normal. You can never know every thing about a person. Obviously he cares about you and trusts you to tell you something so intimate about himself. No one really wants to share such personal information about themselves. Now it may be a good time to think about what you can do verses if you did something or if he will find someone else. You said he cannot afford a psychiatrist but the military provides psychiatric services. My father and husband are prior military. He should begin by going to the meddac and they will refer him from there. Let him know you care and support him as he is going through this.

mattbrowne's avatar

No. There’s usually a combination of genetic disposition, upbringing and current and recent conditions of the environment.

chelle21689's avatar

He talked to me today saying he is against medication….=-\

asmonet's avatar

Your boyfriend is depressed. Get him to go see someone who can help, if not a therapist than someone who can see if medication is the answer and answer any questions he has or even correct any misunderstanding regarding meds – his GP for instance. It’s not you, it’s him. And he can help himself or you can nudge him in the right direction.

The_Invisible_Man's avatar

It is possible to be depressed without reason. One day back in high school, I just got depressed for no reason. Nothing was going on. Everything was just fine. The thing is, the night before my little brother was really sad for some reason. I think because of a break up between him and his ex. But the next day, I felt so depressed. I really wasn’t putting much thought into what had happened to my brothers, not to say that I didn’t care, but just maybe all of his sadness got transfered to me.

Maybe your boyfriend is depressed because someone else he knows is sad. This usually happens with a lot of people who are going through tough times. People who are constantly around other depressed people. If he isn’t depressed because someone else is, then I don’t know what the reason of his depression could be.

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