Help My Boyfriend Is Depressed And Pushing Me Away
If you’ve never been depressed, you might not know why your boyfriend is pushing you away. You may not understand his emotional struggles, and you might even worry that you’re somehow to blame.
Here’s the thing about depression: it is no one’s fault. It’s also no one’s job to make it better unless that person is a medical professional. If your boyfriend’s behavior is getting you down, however, you may wonder whether you should even stay in the relationship. First, you need to understand why your boyfriend is pushing you away so that you can take the right course of action.
According to UK depression charity, Blurt, these are the main reasons why depressed people push others away:
The bottom line is this: depression is hard, and many people push others away because they find it easier to be alone.
Steps To Deal With Ptsd
#1. Accept that you can have PTSD from a relationship and that you can overcome it.
#2. Become more self-aware of your PTSD triggers and what causes them.
#3. Self-examine to understand the reasons behind your reactions and if it’s justified.
#4. Do not bottle up your feelings. Divulge them with trusted loved ones, friends, and family.
#5. Work on anger management and self-confidence to get rid of insecurities.
#6. Be honest about your feelings without feeling the need to self-blame.
#7. Find ways to relax and mingle with other people in social settings.
#8. Work on communication skills.
#9. Try considering things from others’ perspective.
#10. Go for individual therapy for PTSD.
These measures should also help you build a more solid support system. Plus, utilizing Stress Management Techniques can help you find your way out of many situations calmly.
Being open with others around you also gives them an opportunity to take an active part in your healing.
However, it’s also important to consider the role of caregivers of those with PTSD.
If you’re in a relationship with someone with PTSD, you may even develop your own symptoms. Or worse, you may fall into a codependent relationship dynamic.
In that case, you must take stock of the situation to be able to take care of yourself and your loved one.
Supporting A Loved One Through Ptsd Or Panic Attacks
This cartoon , in my opinion, illustrates the perfect way to handle every PTSD or anxiety episode. If I could actually live inside a blanket fort forever, I would.
Unfortunately, flashbacks, panic attacks, nightmares, intrusive thoughts, memories, triggers, and all those other lovely things that survivors have to live with don’t have the courtesy to always wait for blanket forts to be available.
It’s scary for the person experiencing the attack, but it’s also scary for any loved ones who are trying to comfort and support someone through an attack.
This post is for the supporters.
Often in the midst of the episode, the distressed person doesn’t necessarily have their full vocabulary and can’t articulate exactly what they need in that moment. Afterwards, they may avoid talking about it out of embarrassment, fear, or a desire to preserve the peacefulness of the present.
So how do you learn what is helpful?
If you’re like my partner, mostly through trial and error. However, this cartoon inspired me to draw up a list of tips, taking from my own preferences as well as those of some friends. They’re not universal, but they’re a starting point, I think, for the right mindset.
Usually when someone is having an episode, they’re not actually in danger. Their body just thinks they are in danger. The first step to helping anyone is to remind them of their safety. It seems obvious, but just telling them they’re going to be okay can alleviate some of the stress of what’s happening.
Tip 6: Support Treatment
Despite the importance of your love and support, it isn’t always enough. Many people who have been traumatized need professional PTSD therapy. But bringing it up can be touchy. Think about how you’d feel if someone suggested that you needed therapy.
Wait for the right time to raise your concerns. Don’t bring it up when you’re arguing or in the middle of a crisis. Also, be careful with your language. Avoid anything that implies that your loved one is “crazy.” Frame it in a positive, practical light: treatment is a way to learn new skills that can be used to handle a wide variety of PTSD-related challenges.
Emphasize the benefits. For example, therapy can help them become more independent and in control. Or it can help reduce the anxiety and avoidance that is keeping them from doing the things they want to do.
Focus on specific problems. If your loved one shuts down when you talk about PTSD or counseling, focus instead on how treatment can help with specific issues like anger management, anxiety, or concentration and memory problems.
Acknowledge the hassles and limitations of therapy. For example, you could say, “I know that therapy isn’t a quick or magical cure, and it may take a while to find the right therapist. But even if it helps a little, it will be worth it.”
Encourage your loved one to join a support group. Getting involved with others who have gone through similar traumatic experiences can help some people with PTSD feel less damaged and alone.
What Can You Expect When Dating Someone With Ptsd
Again, every situation is different, but in some cases dating someone with PTSD can take a real toll on a relationship, as there may be decreased intimacy, extreme clinginess, and/or isolation patterns. Someone with PTSD might have a hard time managing their emotions, as startled responses, extreme irritability, bouts of sadness and crying, panic attacks, and avoidance behaviors are all common ways of coping with the disorder, says psychologist Juli Fraga, PsyD.
For some people, PTSD can even make you hesitant to go to specific places or avoid certain people, says Douglas.
Typically speaking, people who go through PTSD often detach from reality, whether it’s because they’re experiencing flashbacks or they’re just struggling with symptoms of depression, anxiety, or trauma. And if your partner with PTSD experiences flashbacks or struggles with another similar symptom, this could reduce the amount of intimacy in a relationship—potentially creating conflict for the other partner who feels like their needs are not being met.
But while this all sounds very negative, the good news is that people with PTSD might be more in-tune with their emotions and triggers if they are in treatment, says Beecroft. This means there’s a good chance they already have a healthy sense of self-awareness.
Hes Stressed And None Of This Is About You
Continuing with our theme of not all rejection is bad, he might just need some time to figure some things out in his life that actually have nothing to do with you.
Even though you might share everything, he is still an independent person who had a life before you came along.
This is hard for some women to hear because they assume a lot of responsibility for their partners, but sometimes guys just need a minute to deal with something from their past or process something that has happened.
He might not be rejecting you at all: he might not even realize what he’s doing because he’s not making this all about you.
Maybe his boss is asking him to work late, and as your man is an ambitious person, he doesn’t want to let his boss down.
This can especially be the case if he is in his late 20s and early 30s where his career is starting to take hold.
He could also be facing health issues that you might not be aware of. And if you haven’t known him for that long, he may not be willing to confide in you.
So he pulls away from you to avoid you finding out.
QUIZ: Is your man pulling away? Take our new “is he pulling away quiz” and get a real and honest answer. Check out the quiz here.
Learn About Their Triggers
A trigger can be anything that spurs a fear response in someone with PTSD. It can be something that to you is very ordinary, but it reminds a person with PTSD of their past trauma. Everyone’s triggers are unique and specific to their experiences.
Talk to your friend about what their specific triggers are, and find ways to help them avoid those whenever possible. Specific PTSD triggers can be sounds, smells, dates, people, locations or even types of weather.
Disclaimer: Dealing With Violence / Abuse
If you have visited this article because you are being subjected to violence or abuse of any kind , please see below.
- This personal growth article is intended for people who have experienced one-off or infrequent issues with another person, where another person has been venting and has blurted out upset.
- There is a significant difference between this type of infrequent hurtful encounter where angry words are exchanged , versus a situation where someone is subjected to regular bouts of abusive language and behavior, or any type of violence .
- If you are in a serious situation dealing with someone else’s anger, lashing out, abuse or violence of any kind, or you think you might be and are unsure, please seek support. Talking to someone you trust is a good starting point – either a loved one or a professional. Help is available to you no matter where you live. Often there are free helplines and community services in place to support people in these situations.
Get Back To Loving Your Own Life
You might have had the best life when you met, but now things are a bit dull. You might be forgetting how amazing you are or what you have to offer this world.
Your work might be suffering or you might not be getting to see your family as much as you’d like.
Take this time to do those things better and get back to loving the life you have — without him.
My Boyfriend Has Ptsd And Has Pushed Me Away
A very common scenario when dealing with PTSD: My boyfriend has PTSD and has pushed me away. One of the saddest casualties of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is the desire to be alone. Your boyfriend or girlfriend will push you away from time to time. It seems like he or she is fine one day and withdrawn the next, which is really just a symptom of this disorder. It is painful to be pushed away when you love someone. So, how do you handle this request?
The most obvious answer is to let him have his space and trust that he can deal with the problem. But as women, that truly goes against our nature. We want to draw closer to someone that we love when we know that they are hurting. We try to be comforting and supportive. This is instinctual for us. It feels like we are “falling down on the job” as women to go away and leave someone alone when they are in emotional pain. After all, when we are in emotional pain, the last thing that we want is to be left alone. It just feels so wrong.
The truth is, if your boyfriend, husband, or partner who has PTSD tells you that he needs some time alone, not honoring that request will do more damage than you might imagine. This request is never made without him considering the risk that it could make you angry, suspicious, or even jealous. It is easy to read those types of themes into these requests. Considering that PTSD is involved, don’t jump straight to those conclusions unless he has previously given you a reason to do so.
What Are The Symptoms Of Ptsd
There are four type of PTSD symptoms: reliving the event , avoiding situations that remind you of the event, negative changes in beliefs and feelings, and feeling keyed up . Symptoms may not be exactly the same for everyone. PTSD symptoms usually start soon after the traumatic event, but they may not appear until months or years later. They also may come and go over many years. If the symptoms last longer than four weeks, cause you great distress, or interfere with your work or home life, you might have PTSD.
Learn more: Symptoms of PTSD
Common Internal Ptsd Triggers
- Physical discomfort, such as hunger, thirst, fatigue, sickness, and sexual frustration.
- Any bodily sensation that recalls the trauma, including pain, old wounds and scars, or a similar injury.
- Strong emotions, especially feeling helpless, out of control, or trapped.
- Feelings toward family members, including mixed feelings of love, vulnerability, and resentment.
Prepare Yourself Mentally And Physically
According to experts, we’re built to display anxiety and to recognize it in others. If your body and mind are anxious, your audience will notice. Hence, it’s important to prepare yourself before the big show so that you arrive on stage confident, collected and ready.
“Your outside world is a reflection of your inside world. What goes on in the inside, shows on the outside.”– Bob Proctor
Exercising lightly before a presentation helps get your blood circulating and sends oxygen to the brain. Mental exercises, on the other hand, can help calm the mind and nerves. Here are some useful ways to calm your racing heart when you start to feel the butterflies in your stomach:
Strategy 2 Love & Understanding
You may say any of the following things, or similar, depending on the situation:
- I understand where you are coming from.
- I understand you are upset.
- I understand you are in pain.
- I understand you are frustrated.
- Is there anything I can do to help you?
- I love you.
- I appreciate how you are feeling.
- Thank you for sharing how you feel.
Deal With Anger And Volatility
PTSD often leads to challenges when managing impulses and emotions, which might manifest in your loved one as moodiness, extreme irritability, or explosions of rage. A person dealing with PTSD lives in a constant state of emotional and physical stress. Since they experience sleep troubles like , it means they’re constantly on edge and exhausted, increasing the likelihood they’ll overreact to daily stressors.
For many of those with PTSD, anger might also be a mask for other feelings like helplessness, guilt, or grief. Anger allows them to feel powerful instead of vulnerable and weak. Others might suppress their anger until it erupts at a time you least expect. You should watch for signs that your loved one is angry and try to remain calm. Try giving them personal space and ask how you can help. Anger is a healthy emotion, but chronic anger spirals can have adverse consequences.
How Does Ptsd Affect Your Relationships
Remember: You didn’t decide to have PTSD or to have it impact your relationships. But PTSD symptoms can affect the way you interact with others, even if you’re not always aware of it.
For instance, PTSD might make it hard to communicate, which can make you feel anxious about relationship-building experiences.
Both personal and professional relationships can be affected by PTSD.
According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, approximately 5 to 10% of individuals with PTSD might face challenges in their relationships involving:
Avoidance And Emotional Numbing
Trying to avoid being reminded of the traumatic event is another key symptom of PTSD.
This usually means avoiding certain people or places that remind you of the trauma, or avoiding talking to anyone about your experience.
Many people with PTSD try to push memories of the event out of their mind, often distracting themselves with work or hobbies.
Some people attempt to deal with their feelings by trying not to feel anything at all. This is known as emotional numbing.
This can lead to the person becoming isolated and withdrawn, and they may also give up pursuing activities they used to enjoy.
How To Treat Ptsd
If self-coping doesn’t work for your loved one, you’ll need to know how to treat PTSD another way. Find a doctor to talk to and offer to go to the visit together. Many people find answers in formal treatment. Psychotherapy and medication are very effective for recovering from a trauma. Learn about cognitive behavioral therapy and medications used to treat PTSD, and share this information with your loved one.
He Might Be Scared Of Commitment
He wouldn’t be the first man to be scared of getting involved in a committed relationship.
Some men just aren’t used to dedicating themselves to a single person.
Maybe he is still young and he wants to play the field. Or perhaps he has been addicted to the thrill of the chase, but now that he knows he loves you, he doesn’t know what to do next.
I’ve seen many men stay single well into their 30s because they don’t know how to process their strong emotions for others.
He may also be clinging to his independence. He knows that he has strong feelings and that once you guys are in a relationship, he’ll have to put you first instead of himself. After all, I’m sure this guy is a gentleman. And that’s a big commitment .
So I’m sure you’re asking yourself:
What you can do about it?
If you’re in a relationship with a man who won’t commit or is drifting away then you’ll want to watch this simple and genuine video from Carlos Cavallo.
Most men don’t think about commitment in a logical way. Because men are mainly concerned with how the relationship makes them feel about themselves.
In short, your man needs to feel like he’s found the absolute best woman for him. Like he’s won the game of love.
Carlos Cavallo will show you a really simple and genuine way to give your man this unique feeling…
Educate Yourself On Ptsd
This condition tends to be misunderstood, and there’s often a stigma attached to it. If you have a friend who is struggling with PTSD, start by learning about it. Learn not only the symptoms but also learn about how it can make people feel and the emotional experience that can come with PTSD.
Learning about PTSD and gaining PTSD education can help you be more understanding and empathetic, and can also clear up misconceptions you might have.
When you learn more about PTSD, you’ll see that most people’s experiences aren’t like what you see in popular culture. The symptoms and the effects of PTSD can be more subtle and less overt, but no less difficult for the person experiencing them.
When Youre In A Relationship With Someone With Ptsd
When someone you love lives with PTSD, their symptoms can also affect your mental health and well-being.
Managing symptoms of PTSD is possible, so you don’t have to feel stuck. For you, becoming aware of how the condition might affect you and your relationship can be helpful.
It can feel hurtful to see someone you love behaving differently. Having an emotional reaction to what your loved one is going through is both common and natural.
You might experience:
- sleep problems
How Many People Did You Kill
Many people with PTSD have feelings of guilt and shame. A veteran may have survivor’s guilt for living when others didn’t or feel they could have done something differently that would have saved a life. This is a symptom, not a fact–and can be made worse by probing for details.
“Be sympathetic and understanding, and if the person wants to talk, let them,” says Elspeth Cameron Ritchie, MD, MPH, a retired military psychiatrist and member of the American Psychiatric Association. “If not, don’t push them.”
For Mackenzie, a 24-year-old survivor of sexual assault, the wrong question is: “What do you mean you were raped?””When people question experience, they’re disqualifying the way I was assaulted,” she says.
A better question to ask is: “What was your experience like?” This way, a person with PTSD can share only the details they are comfortable talking about. Or, you can always say, “I’m sorry.”
Be Patient With Us And Yourself When Were Experiencing It
“Don’t take it personally. If you’re reading this, you probably have a big heart, and you might feel frustrated when your love isn’t enough to ‘cure’ someone’s PTSD. So here are two things to remember: First, while many people can recover from PTSD, there is no ‘cure,’ as there’s no way to know what might trigger an episode of PTSD in the future. Second, this isn’t about you. So be patient with your loved one, and with your own heart.” ?Rita Zoey Chin, author of “”
#8 Developing Controlling And Abusive Tendencies
Undoubtedly, this is one of the most dangerous signs of relationship PTSD. A past experience or relationship that caused trauma can easily trigger feelings of insecurity.
Your ego goes into overdrive whenever you perceive certain situations as threatening. Further, it’s exceptionally common to feel intense rage and have zero control over your emotions.
This can go as far as pushing people away, insulting them, and even become physically and emotionally abusive.
These are some of the top signs you can have PTSD from a relationship without knowing you have it.
So, can you have PTSD from a relationship? Yes, you may very well can with intrusive thoughts and negative emotions you don’t want.
Now, you know How to Tell If You Have PTSD from a Relationship.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder will make it hard to feel comfortable and like yourself in any future relationships.
Acting out of impulse and anxiety become way too familiar, making things even more difficult.
Hence, taking steps towards self-healing is imperative.
Tip 4: Anticipate And Manage Triggers
A trigger is anything—a person, place, thing, or situation—that reminds your loved one of the trauma and sets off a PTSD symptom, such as a flashback. Sometimes, triggers are obvious. For example, a military veteran might be triggered by seeing his combat buddies or by the loud noises that sound like gunfire. Others may take some time to identify and understand, such as hearing a song that was playing when the traumatic event happened, for example, so now that song or even others in the same musical genre are triggers. Similarly, triggers don’t have to be external. Internal feelings and sensations can also trigger PTSD symptoms.
Drawbacks Of Emotional Avoidance
Emotions serve important psychological and physiological purposes. Your emotions provide you with information about yourself and the things going on around you. They communicate and motivate action. For example, fear tells you that you may be in danger; sadness tells you that you may need some time to take care of yourself or seek help from others.
While emotional avoidance temporarily suppresses difficult emotions, the emotions you’re trying to avoid may grow harder to ignore over time. Your emotions may “fight back” in an attempt to serve their functions.
If someone is determined to avoid feeling their emotions, they may eventually turn to more drastic and unhealthy ways to avoid them, such as substance use.? Avoiding your emotions also takes considerable effort, and as the emotions you are avoiding grow stronger, more and more effort is needed to keep them at bay. As a result, little energy may be left for the important things in your life such as family and friends.
In addition, using all your energy to avoid certain emotions may make it difficult to manage other experiences, such as frustration and irritation, making you more likely to be “on edge” and angry. Research has also suggested?? that .
How Is Ptsd Treated
Many people have some symptoms of PTSD in the first couple of weeks after a traumatic event, but most recover on their own or with the help of family and friends.
For people whose symptoms last longer, PTSD is treated with psychotherapy or sometimes medicine, or both. Everyone’s PTSD is different, so if you have PTSD you might need to try a few different types of treatment before you find something that works for you.