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Thread: Long-Distance Fiancé with Anxiety and Depression

  1. #1
    Anon0223

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    Long-Distance Fiancé with Anxiety and Depression

    My fiancé and I have been engaged for 2 years now, but we have been together for a total of 9 (almost 10) years. Even before that, we were best friends and have remained that way. I apologize for the long explanations, but I feel like there is so many overwhelming factors right now that I can't decide what to leave out. She means the entire world to me and so it absolutely kills me to have to seek out advice like this.

    For 7 out of our 9 years, we have always lived together. We actually began building a life; getting a number of animals, buying our first house, things like that. But a year and a half ago, I went off to graduate school approximately 8 hours away. We talked extensively about this decision and both agreed that it was the best way to accomplish the goals we have set for our future. However, due to work/financial things, she was not able to come with me, so the long-distance relationship began. We talked about this extensively as well and decided that we would be able to make it through this. The long-distance relationship has a very clear end date: the second I graduate in another year and a half, we will go back to living together like we have for the majority of our relationship.

    My fiancé has always struggled with anxiety and depression, mostly stemming from psychological issues from her childhood. Whenever I was at home with her, I was able to help her handle her depression, whether by providing distractions or just physically comforting her. However, now that we are apart, this is considerably harder. But she also suffers from social anxiety and panic attacks, which are nearly impossible for me to coax her out of over the phone. I have tried to help out as best I can but there are too many times now that all I can do is say "I'm sorry" or "I wish I could do something to help". I can't be there to handle all the things she needs done, so too often now I feel as though I'm not doing anything at all. She also has a couple medical issues that cause her physical pain on a daily basis. She has a bad back and ankle as well as severe migraines (which she is on daily medication for that doesn't seem to help as well as it used to). These things continue to plague her and there is nothing I can do to ease her physical pain.

    Of course, being in graduate school, money is very tight and this is one of the things that stresses her out the most and sets off her attacks. Because of this (coupled with her crippling social anxiety), I cannot convince her to go to a professional by herself to get treated. I also am not able to send her gifts frequently because, while the gifts make her feel better, the money that I spent on said gift almost instantaneously worries her again. Even though we only get to see each other for approximately a day and a half once a month, she sometimes questions whether or not I should spend the gas money to come see her.

    There are so many other factors that contribute to her current slump. For example, the people she works with drive her absolutely insane and she desperately desires to quit but is afraid to because she knows that it's a secure, well paying job that she can keep until I get out of school. Also, due to her social anxiety, she never really leaves the house to do recreational things. She does not have any outside friends to spend time with besides her sister who is busy raising a baby at the moment. I have tried to encourage her to pick up some hobbies to meet new people but, because of money and the panic that sets in from being around strangers, my efforts have been for naught. Our house is also in poor condition and the person who is living with us (to help with bills) is an absolutely worthless waste of space when it comes to helping her.

    I just am at a loss of how to help her. She has been in such a depressive, pseudo-bipolar mood lately that she has mentioned to me that she has passingly contemplated suicide, which she hasn't done in almost 10 years. I have done all I can from talking to her on the phone every day, Skyping her frequently, texting constantly, streaming movies together, cooking meals together, sending her love notes, and giving what small gifts I can afford. I have been so desperate to help her that I have even recently asked if she wanted me to drop out of school and come home, to which she insists that is not what she wants.

    I just want some advice from someone else, as I really have no one that I can talk to about this whole situation. I don't know what anyone else will have to say, maybe I just needed a place to rant and get this off my chest. All I know is that she is everything to me and I can't stand sitting idly by with no new ideas on how to cheer her up.

  2. #2
    DanZee
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    Wow. There are so many issues going on here. Your girlfriend is a wreck, physically and mentally. I wonder if some of the physical issues are related to the mental ones. Doctors are now giving antidepressants for pain because they found out if people are happier, they feel less pain. I think she needs to go to the doctor to check out an antidepressant and other forms of therapy.

    Another big issue is that she's using your various illnesses to control you, even though you're eight hours away. She is sucking up all of your time even while you're trying to study. She's got you on a string and I think she knows it. In a way, she may even be trying to sabotage your studies. The talk about suicide is indicative of this. She wants all your attention and she doesn't want to share it with anybody or anything.

    I thought at first she never left the house, but then you said she goes to work, so her condition is not as crippling to keep her home. I've got a feeling she's not as helpless as she seems.

    You've been enabling her by doing everything for her. I think this will only get worse (if that's even possible) over time. A marriage could turn into a spirit-crushing experience for you. I think you need professional help immediately to deal with your gf's problems. In a past century her family would have just locked her up in a remote room somewhere. You've got to help her deal with life. So far, you've been like a little boy taking care of a sick bird. Eventually, the bird has to be freed however. You've got to help free your gf from this dependency and make her stand up by herself.

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