Jump to content

Helping my girlfriend with CPTSD and severe depression


Recommended Posts

Hi all,

Completely new to this forum so bear with me here. I'm a 24 year old grad student and have been dating my 21 year old girlfriend for almost two years now. She was up front about her mental illness from the start, and I had some semblance of what I was getting into, having dealt with depression and anxiety myself in the past. However, her mental health has taken a nose dive over the past year. She's been frequently suicidal, combative, etc. I feel as though her entire life hangs in my hands and I'm responsible for dealing with all of her moods and crises. 

I know it's not my responsibility and I know it shouldn't be this way, but I do sincerely want to stick by her and help her. However, I feel like I can't set any boundaries without triggering a spiral and I constantly feel like I'm walking on glass. She's several months into therapy and a couple months into SSRI use. The latter has reduced the frequency of her suicidal ideations which is great but the threat still looms. I'm very proud of everything she's done so far, but this has been an especially rough week and I feel trapped. I don't want to leave her but I know it's not fair to me that I'm responsible for her life essentially. 

Just earlier this week, she threatened to commit suicide and told me it's my fault since I plan on spending time with my family (who I rarely see these days) instead of her during a weeklong break. I can't refuse sex if I'm feeling tired or anxious without sparking a huge fight. I can't take part in hobbies without her getting mad that I'm not spending time with her instead. I realize she's being manipulative albeit unintentionally or so I believe.

Granted, it's not always like this, but this week has been especially bad. Like I said, I really don't want to leave her, especially when none of it is her fault and she's really trying to make changes, so any advice would be welcome and very much appreciated. I'm just sort of at a loss right now. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Fisharefriends said:

Just earlier this week, she threatened to commit suicide and told me it's my fault since I plan on spending time with my family (who I rarely see these days) instead of her during a weeklong break. I can't refuse sex if I'm feeling tired or anxious without sparking a huge fight. I can't take part in hobbies without her getting mad that I'm not spending time with her instead.

This behaviour is completely unacceptable. CPTSD is not an excuse. She is being incredibly controlling and manipulative and you are allowing her to be.

If you insist on being with this person and making yourself more and more unhappy, she will only get worse. Be brave enough to set clear boundaries and stick to them. Do not tolerate threats and histrionics. If you can't do this, get out altogether. 

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, Fisharefriends said:

Just earlier this week, she threatened to commit suicide and told me it's my fault now. 

Someone's life is not a DIY situation. 

If she is suicidal, let her go so she can get appropriate mental health care.

Tell her you care but she needs to go to an ER. Contact her family and tell them she is threatening suicide so they can intervene.

Suicidal threats are a life threatening emergency, not dating drama.

You need to end it kindly, then delete and block her.

Take care of yourself and your own mental health.

Never play psychiatrist or God with someone in this much distress.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

There is nothing you can actually do to help. As a person with C-PTSD and anxiety and panic disorder, I know there was nothing my husband could do to help me. needed to deal with it in therapy, for a lot of people with PTSD anxiety comes out as anger. Not an excuse just explaining it . 
 

Someone else’s  suicidal ideation is never your fault. You are entitled to visit family and friends whenever you like. 
 

She should be out of a relationship if she can’t deal with one. However,  she will never make this decision so you must. And you do not need to be tortured because she’s in crisis. This is something she has to deal with by herself. No one can do the work for her only she can. And no amount of comforting will make her better she has to comfort her self. 

Edited by Seraphim
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

A lot of time people wrongly assume they can “ love someone “ into being better. You can’t . That is on them to do the work of helping themselves and loving themselves better. Many won’t do that, they want to make someone else responsible. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 hours ago, Fisharefriends said:

I know it's not my responsibility and I know it shouldn't be this way, but I do sincerely want to stick by her and help her. However, I feel like I can't set any boundaries without triggering a spiral and I constantly feel like I'm walking on glass.

Being in a relationship is a challenge, itself 😕 .  With expectations, energy is taken, etc.

Sometimes it's best to NOT be involved when someone is in such a state.

Sadly, she is so 'needy', she's now laying guilt on YOU - which is a form of control.. not good 😕 .

It's really up to her to deal with her issue's.  And as for her threats of suicide - you may want to notify her parents as you are concerned.  They can probably help & deal with all of this better.

You cannot 'help' her in a way, which is needed.

If you made plans to go visit family, do so.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As soon as you heard "mental, emotional issues" you should have said, no thank you.

This is not your problem. This is on her, and her family to deal with. Walk away as fast as you can.

People like her, excuse their abusive behavior under a cloak of mental illness. Don't kid yourself, she is fully aware of what she is doing, and is manipulating you on purpose. There is nothing you can do to make this better....RUN!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So you plan to tiptoe around this person for the rest of your life? You intend to give up everything and focus 100% of your time and attention on her? How does 50 years of that sound? Wonderful? Or like being in prison?

Next time she threatens suicide call 911. The professionals will make sure she gets the help she needs.

And consider therapy for yourself to find out why you find someone who behaves the way she does attractive.

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You can have compassion for someone who is suffering but draw the line when it comes to your personal limits and within closer relationships. Have a good think about what she's saying, what she is and what you are. You've lost yourself and your voice in this relationship. Ask yourself why and don't use the excuse that she's mentally ill or having problems. You need to own this situation as much as you can if you want to make any changes. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

You are not helping her, you are actively hindering her from getting the professional help that she needs and focusing 100% on her healing and getting a handle on her mental health issues so she can be stable. To get to where she needs to be, she needs to be single and focused completely on herself.

Also, mental health is never an excuse or a reason to put up with abuse. When someone is abusing you and manipulating you, it's your giant clue to walk away from that person. Especially when they use threats like suicide. Next time she threatens that, call emergency services, inform her family and walk away for good. Let professionals address her issues. 

Staying with her makes you feel like a hero and that's selfish and self centered. Knock it off and get out of her way. Also, yes, figure out why you are so compelled to live like that and get involved in something so toxic and abusive under a guise of "being understanding".

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you want to trap yourself in a cage with no walls, you can do that, it's not against the law. But it makes no sense, then, to view GF as the only one in need of professional help.

It's not in your own best interests to believe that you can stand outside of someone else's mental illness even while you immerse yourself in it.

If you want to opt into it, then be 'in' it responsibly and reach for the help you need to navigate it.

Edited by catfeeder
Link to comment
Share on other sites

No one and I mean NO ONE has the right to INSIST that they alone be your WHOLE world. 

I mean it.  Everyone from spouses, to parents, to children.  No one person should ever be your entire reason for existence.   

Human beings are social creatures and no one person can or SHOULD be your everything.  Not only is it totally unrealistic, it's toxic. 

You are not responsible for HER mental health.  Please re-read that over and over.  It's unfair of her to put you in that position to begin with.   

It's one thing to ask your partner to be supportive, I can get behind that. 

It's another to where you are; her entire reason for living, you cannot live your own life, have other meaningful relationships, do things of your own accord, have purpose beyond her, be perfect, be her psychiatrist, be her "salvation, and basically she's asking you to be her God.   That is incredibly unhealthy for BOTH of you. 

This cannot possibly sustain itself as is.  She needs to get help and if she's really reached that level of codependence with you in which she is threatening to kill herself if she cannot control your every action, then she is severely ill and really should be hospitalized.  You will never be able to live up to these standards long-term.  It's already driving you buggy.   

Mental illness isn't anyone's fault, you are right.   Behaviors are, though.  Just by ASKING you to let her dictate what you can and can't do, is not fair of her and she likely knows she should not be doing this.  This is within her control, so please do not defend that in her.  

I understand it's a tricky line, as I've had several family members with mental illnesses.  But ANY psychiatrist worth their salt will tell you that; playing into delusions, letting them control everything, not setting boundaries, accepting any and ALL negative behavior, is detrimental to their health and you are exacerbating their illness, not helping.  

I know you don't want to leave her and that's good of you.  But you MUST make it clear to her that things cannot continue in this manner.  She needs to find coping strategies to deal with not always getting her way with you.   You are your own person and behaving as your puppet master IS within her control and it must stop or trust me, you WILL reach a breaking point.   So, if she wants you to remain in her life, she needs to really seek change in her treatment of you.  Right now, this is a dictatorship, not a relationship. 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...