“It was a dream beach wedding for us in Goa. We had planned it for months and to see it all unfold the way we wanted it to be was surreal. The day was perfect and our families and friends were left pleasantly surprised by the astoundingly perfect arrangement that we and especially he had visualised. Everyone was left baffled by his eye for little details such as a map for the wedding week, the beautiful cake which envisaged our journey together and so much more. Also, the stage was decorated with stuff which the two of us loved about our relationship. We took our wedding vows at the beach with the setting sun behind us. It was indeed a fairy tale destination wedding for us. I will never forget that day ever”!
We have been married for a few years now and we have coasted along together so far. Barring the regular couple flare ups every now and then, we are a happily married couple spending our lives together.
“He goes into this somber, detached mood and disconnects himself from everything and there is not much I can do then”.
A bit about him – He is a gem of a person and loves the little things and moments in life. An emotional guy; he brings me flowers, chocolates and hand picks gifts to surprise me every now and then. He has a Chandler-esque sense of humor and a flair for writing and photography unlike anyone else I have ever seen. Reading books and watching sitcoms with me are his preferred methods of spending time with me. Our conversations are rarely dull as they are more about the what-ifs and what-nots of the life and so our dreams and aspirations are something that has always made us content. Calling him a dream come true for any girl wouldn’t be out of place and his ‘different’ nature was made me fall in love with him in the first place.
“He will be a dream partner for anyone: You would wonder, why am I worried then?”
Life feels complete and I feel like the luckiest woman except for ‘those’ days. It comes slowly at first and then all at once where he is all forlorn and stops communicating with me at all. I can see him transform infront of me and there is nothing that kills me more knowing that I can’t do anything about it. It has been really hard, heartbreaking, watching him go through this scary moments.
He becomes extremely quiet, withdrawn and all our conversations would be mostly in nods of yeses and nos. Our dinners together are mostly a blank stare at the food plates and silent gulping down of food and then immediately after, he just leaves. This could go on for days at no end with me trying to break him down and get through to understand his mental and emotional state but it never happens. On being asked, his retort is always the same, ‘I am fine,’ leaving me even more helpless. On further attempts, he has these episodic spells of anger and frustration at everything about us and about life in general.
“Initially, I thought this could just be a phase but slowly over the last year he has been slipping into deeper and darker episodes.”
He never discussed it with me even while we were dating but after much coaxing and altercations, he accepts that he faces these bouts of depression and has even met the psychologists on a few occasions to help recover. He doesn’t know the reason for it except that it can get triggered by anything out of the blue. Instead of asking, ‘what’s wrong with you,’ I ask ‘how do we face it together,’ but to no avail.
I judge his emotional state through his writings and his little posts here and there. Normally his writings are full of the bold and beautiful things in life but in such a state it becomes demoniac and dark beyond recognition. Everything starts bothering him and he becomes a ‘different’ human altogether! Normally, he would be the backbone of our relationship but in such moments he is not there for himself, even!
Depression is an illness and not a weakness. It’s not a fault of the sufferer!
His depression has had a debilitating effect on me now. I want to embrace him, understand his worries, be with him and help him heel but it is all to no avail. It is unnerving to see him in such a state and on his good days I restrain myself from bringing this up as it scares me that I might send him back in the perennial state of despair. At times, I feel like saying ‘it’s all in your head’ but then I know better than to do that.
I did a lot of research online and discussed this in detail with other friends and professionals. I have tried every trick in the book or specified by the counsellors but it seems to no avail and my intended efforts at times end up making things worse for us especially!
“Living with a partner with depression: I have changed for the worse!”
Living with a partner with acute depression can be draining. Of late, I have become more reserved with the increasing need to be alone and prefer being lost in my work, books or just like that! On occasions, if I have to travel for work, I have felt at peace! I know this may sound very wrong but often it has felt good being away from him. As a person I have become more anxious by nature, more prone to occasional outbursts and even meltdown every now and then. It has been a traumatic experience trying to get through to him and somehow, things have ended up worse leaving me in a pitiful state. I cry for hours at ends and cut myself off from the world and normally, my husband who would be my rock otherwise, just stays away!
Involving family and seeking counselling hasn’t been of great help and even our sex life has taken a hit as I am in perennial fear of not knowing what happens next. I am working hard to help him through his illness but in the process I didn’t realize how it has left me battered! I had heard that people you love can hurt you the most, and often I wonder, if this was what it meant!
Author’s note: This is an extremely personal story from one of our users who wants to stay anonymous. Inclov respects her choice and thanks her for sharing her life story. This is an attempt at highlighting the story of the Other Partner – the person who helps her partner deal with his illness but in return their story is never brought to the fore.