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What can I do? (Depressed girlfriend)


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This is going to be a bit long, I'm afraid, I apologize in advance


So, I'm a pretty even-keeled and happy guy, in general, but I'm 23 and until February, I'd never had a girlfriend. (I used to occasionally get lonely, broody, and depressed about this, but that would only last for an evening, and then I'd be fine.) Anyway, I met a girl through mutual friends, we seemed ideally suited, as far as interests, views, etc., and I fell in love with her. After a few weeks of long daily phone conversations, and a love letter, she fell in love with me, too, and we've been in a relationship since. I'd call it long-distance, because she lives on the East Coast and I live in the Midwest, but it actually doesn't feel very distant, because we speak on the phone for hours and hours every night, and she's visited me twice -the first time, for about five days, and the second time, for about 3 weeks. She's coming again for a couple of weeks on Sunday.


Here's where it gets a bit complicated... At first, I was more into her than she was me. Now, it's just the opposite: she calls me literally the second I get off work, and we speak until midnight. She gets very upset and hurt if I insist on going to bed, so I've learned the best way to deal with this is to simply fall asleep on the phone. I can never get anything done around the house because she's on the phone with me, and I can't get off without hurting her feelings. I have to resort to inventive schemes to get a few minutes of free time -I'm ashamed to admit it, but my phone often gets "lost" in the couch cushions, or "forgotten" in the car, or the power cord "misplaced," etc. Ok, so, she's needy, not the end of the world, right?


But did I mention she's needy? Her boyfriend of 4 years dumped her in October of last year, and she met me in February. Before she met me, she apparently (according to her and her mom, whom she lives with) spent every day, virtually all day long, crying her eyes out. She even dropped out of school, because she couldn't cope with it after that. She admits that this guy was a compulsive liar and had mental problems, but she still misses him terribly. Once in awhile (less often lately, but it still happens every week or two) she will get super-depressed, start bawling her eyes out over what he did to her, (when he dumped her, he didn't even say goodbye, just stopped answering his phone one day, wouldn't come to the door, and had his parents give her the runaround.) All this said, I do believe that she truly does love me, because she spends so much time on the phone with me, and half of that is "Oh, I love you so much, you're so wonderful!" etc. She often speaks of marriage, our family in the future, how she can't wait until we're parents, and so forth. (She's completely baby-crazy, and apparently has been since she was 8 or so. Not completely abnormal for a girl, though.)


On top of this, she's OCD, and obsessed with health issues. She yelled at me the other night and actually told me that as far as she was concerned, we were finished, because of my horrible diet. (I ate a can of Dinty Moore soup for dinner that night, because it's quite difficult to cook something healthy one-handed whilst on the phone, and it was the first time I'd eaten that kind of meal since January.) Anyway, she's very volatile, and prone to say things she doesn't mean. A few minutes later, she said "goodness, I got a bit upset, didn't I?" and everything returned to "normal."


A few times a month, she will get extremely depressed, either about the previous boyfriend, about the way her mom treats her (her mom really is a * * * * * , apparently, and calls her names all the time) and will go into a deep despondency, where she says stuff like "the terrorists would be doing us all a favor if they just bombed and killed us," tells me that "I just want to sleep because when I'm sleeping I don't have to think about my terrible life," etc etc. I don't know much about clinical depression, but I'm pretty darn sure that if anyone has this condition, she certainly does. My suspicions are semi-confirmed because if she takes percocet (narcotic pain medication which she used to need for some health issues) she is much happier, and I'm told this has to do with levels of certain chemicals in the brain. She's tried to break up with me during these times, and when I remind her of her desire for a family, a happy future, etc, she says something like "oh, it's all pointless, I just want to become a nun, enter the convent, and spend the rest of my life praying because living life is silly and pointless." (I'm a Catholic, and not that I oppose women becoming nuns at all, but those are hardly good reasons, especially when every other day, after these spells pass, practically all she can talk about is how much she loves me, how she wants a family, etc.) She has told me that she used to try to break up with that previous boyfriend about once a month too.


So, what am I supposed to do? I mean, looking at the situation rationally, one could certainly be forgiven if they look at all this and say "this girl is nuts and has some mental issues, marrying her would be a very foolish thing." Yet, on the other hand, when we're speaking, I am reminded of the fact that she *is* very, very sweet, and that I do love her and care for her deeply. I want to help her in whatever way I can. On top of that, based on what happened with her previous boyfriend, I am seriously afraid that if I would ever break things off, she might actually try to kill herself or something. When she's depressed, (which is frequently) she tells me that the only happiness in her life comes from me.


She has suggested that she might need some psychiatric medication (anti-depressants) and I have agreed and suggested she see a psychiatrist. Yet, when I bring it up, she usually says "I want to see a naturopathic physician first, and see if some herbs could sort things out." ---yet, of course, she somehow never manages to make it to the clinic, even though she doesn't have a job and is between semesters right now (and money really is no object.)


Does anybody have any experience with situations like this? I feel like my life has been effectively "on hold" since February when I met her, and every day brings new drama and worries. Also, probably a separate question from the big picture, but when she is in one of her really depressed moods (like tonight, she hung up on me so she could go sob) is there something I can say? I try to be positive, reassuring, and loving, but nothing seems to work?


If someone reads through this and can give me some thoughts, thank you so much!



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I feel like you just described my ex, except my ex was less obsessive, but that's cause she was cheating.


My ex did the same thing. We had plans to move out to Denver (We lived in New Orleans) and there would be those times when she would tell me it's over and she was going to call it quits with sex and guys. And if I mentioned Denver she'd go on a rant about how the whole Denver thing was fruitless and a waste of money (Though she had a job offer that paid 65k a year, much better than her current 54K). Her mom told me she had extreme depression and anxiety becasue of events that occurred to her as a child. So, yeah, with meds, she completely happy and lovey-dovey.


All I can really tell you is, she loves you, but with her past relationship, she has NO closure so she may not ever stop thinking about that break-up. And that will have negative effects on her mood. I still think about my ex since I had no closure and that was in April 2010. And in reaction to that past relationship, she wants to talk to you constantly because she doesn't want you disappearing overnight like her ex did. If she has constant contact with you how can she lose you?


Her OCD will probably fuel her obsession to find out why her ex left her. She probably asks herself "Was it me?" "Was it something I did?" "Was he cheating?" "Was he using me?" etc. Whether she likes him or not, she'll want to know. I asked myself that for a year when after my ex drugged me, robbed me, and pretty much left me for dead in El Paso, Texas. Sometimes I still do.

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Closure or no closure for your girlfriend, her behaviour isn't normal. She has dependency issues which are bound to make for an unhealthy relationship. To be honest, I'm concerned about her motives for her being with you - from an outsiders perspective it seems that you are a way of masking over her low self esteem and not having to face her issues head on. Having you telling her how loved and special she is is a comfort blanket to her.


Also, I'm concerned about you and your lack of relationship history, in that, you have very little to compare this unhealthy relationship too and also that you fear being single again. That's why you are clinging to a girl that shouldn't be in a relationship right now. I think she needs to be single and work on herself (by seeking professional help?) however scary that may seem. Maybe once she has both laid the past the rest and has an increased opinion of herself you could start a healthy, happy relationship together.

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I think a required condition for your continued seeing of her would be that she see a medical psychiatrist weekly, every single week, for the rest of your time together. I think you need to put this condition to her and she will probably comply because she will not want to live without you. There are too many issues here for you to help her all by yourself, even though you obviously love her and care for her. The two of you need a real psychiatrist to be part of the team for the rest of your life.

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