Post # 1
First, I want to be super clear: he is NOTHING CLOSE to abusive. He’s never placed his hands on me in anger, he doesn’t throw or hit objects, and he’s never yelled at me or even been rude to me. When we fight, he is compassionate and understanding.
But he gets angry. It’s pretty much always inwardly directed. And he’s quick to it. He can’t find something – “It’s just GONE.” His back hurts – “I guess this is the beginning of the end!” These sound sarcastic, but he means them so sincerely. Everything is a tragedy. He is so, so angry about the current administration that every day I get to hear “America’s over.” “We’re all gonna die.” And while I actually agree lol, I can’t talk politics anymore with him. I had to talk to him about waking me up with politics (he has insomnia, and he’ll always wake up before me and be up for hours reading the news, and as soon as I open my eyes I hear about some terrible thing that’s happened, “We’re all fucked.”). He doesn’t wake me up with it anymore, but even after I talked to him about it he still brings up the administration probably 10 times a day. And I just can’t hear it anymore.
As you’ve likely deduced, yes, he suffers from depression. He self-medicates with weed, which does help to calm him down and I can almost never tell when he’s high, so it’s a decent short-term solution. But he needs to be in therapy, likely medicated. He knows this but doesn’t want to do it.
It’s hard to qualify, how his anger affects me – it’s not like I’m scared of him doing something to me. But I AM scared of setting him off because that’ll just ruin my day further. He will not be comforted. He doesn’t want to hear “Well have you looked on the desk?” or “You can just take my keys.” He just wants to be angry, and anything I say makes him angrier. He says that he should be able to vent to me without me trying to fix it. After all, I vent to him. And this makes sense, in my head, but as he said to me once – he feels that I shrink away from him when he’s like this. I don’t know how to communicate with him when he’s like this. I wasn’t raised by angry people. His family are all yellers, this is normal to him, and I think he doesn’t totally understand why it upsets me so much.
He’s not like this every day, but a couple or a few times a week. He’s usually quick into it and quick out of it. I feel that he has an anger problem, but I’m also pretty even-tempered and am willing to entertain the idea that I’m not fully understanding his depression.
Post # 2
Wow, that sounds exhausting. No advice, but I couldn’t live like that.
Post # 3
- Wedding: November 2019 - City, State
dabblinggadwall : Ugh, this would drive me insane bee! What does he want from you when he’s in this kind of mood? I think it’s good that he’s quick out of it, at least you know it wont last long! I’m like your SO in that when I’m upset about something, in the moment I just need to be upset. I WILL talk about it and figure it out, but in the heat of it, I dont want suggestions on how to fix it, i just need to be upset for a min! (now, I’m not talking about losing my keys or something… seems silly to be that upset about something so minor). He really does need to be on medication and in therapy but you cant force him to do that. I guess, for the time being, all you can do is ask what he wants from you in the moment and you have to decide if you can deal with that forever.
Post # 4
dabblinggadwall : it sounds like he may be bipolar—his outbursts sound very manic. maybe have him go to a psychologist/psychiatrist to evaluate those episodes and maybe get on some sort of medication or therapy to show him how to maneuver these feelings.
I can see how this is exhausting for you…please know that you are under no obligation to fix him. He has to want it for himself, and if he doesn’t want to fix it and you’re growing tired of it, don’t feel bad for proceeding how you best see fit…
Post # 5
I’d recommend both of you seek counseling, or at the very least, you should go, they can help you understand the situatio nand give you tools on how to better handle and cope.
Post # 6
Exhausting , like PP said. I’d give him an ultimatum, either you’re seeing a doctor and getting proper treatment for your depression and erratic moods or I’m out. Self medicating with weed obviously isn’t working and I wouldn’t stand for this kind of behavior.
Post # 7
Yikes, Bee. That sounds awful.
You should know that weed is not the treatment of choice for depression. Pot smokers are more likely to be diagnosed with depression than the general population. Whether we can infer causality is yet to be seen, but the findings have been consistent. It is definitely not helpful.
There really is not much you can do if he won’t agree to therapy and meds. Staying away from him when he’s in one of his moods would at least help preserve your mental health and avoid reinforcing his behavior.
Here is some info about marijuana and depression.
Post # 8
That’s too bad for him that he refuses to get help. I can’t wrap my mind around people who know they need help but refuse to get it.
Unless he’s just saying that he knows he needs help just to appease you.
I couldn’t live like that either. I would tell him that something has to change, you refuse to live like this.
Post # 9
I appreciate the support. It’s not really good to hear, but at least interesting to hear that I’m not overreacting. I’m looking into therapists now, hopefully for both of us. At least for me. You’re right; it is exhausting.
Post # 10
Bee, I hate to sound like a doomsdayist myself here, but negative emotions and depressive moods don’t just affect the people who have them, but the people who are around them. I’m sure this must be exhausting and miserable for you, and it’s likely dampening your general mood and outlook on life, as well. There is absolutely no reason that you should have to walk on eggshells, wondering when his next angry or moody outburst will be.
He needs to seek help, and he needs to do it for himself. Weed isn’t working, but medication and cognitive behavioral therapy could help him with his depression, his insomnia, and his obsessive thoughts. That seems to be it, right? He can’t put down the phone or let go of politics. Every little thing that happens is the end of the world, so he must think on it much harder than is necessary. This is probably exhausting for HIM, and he just has no distance to know that.
Post # 11
angry men are scary, even when they aren’t yelling at you. that energy is scary. the uncertainty of what will set them off is scary. the fact that he’s noticed that you shrink away from him when he’s ‘venting’ and thinks that is your problem is…not great. :-/
Post # 12
dabblinggadwall : I would not marry someone who knew they had a mental health problem and wouldn’t get help for it. That can be dangerous. This is a by far worst-case scenario, not gonna happen, but what if you have children, he loses his job and Trump is elected again? Will he decide you’re “all fucked” and go the murder-suicide route? Some do. How can you know if and when he’ll turn from pathetic anxiety to full-on insane? Like I said, this is likely never going to happen, but I wouldn’t take the chance anyway.
I will support anyone who recognizes and receives the mental health care they need, but there is no real benefit to self-medication and as you can see, his problems are becoming worse. It’s ultimatum time if you plan on being in a family with him. No one needs that kind of stress, not him, not you.
Post # 13
dabblinggadwall : Ugh…he sounds a lot like my ex, who also had anxiety and depression that he self medicated with weed. It was so exhausting being with him…the amount of emotional labor I had to do every day was unbearable after a point.
This is not about you and your level of empathy…this is about your bf having a mental health issue that he’s not dealing with appropriately. Until he decides to get actual help – not in the form of weed – this is not going to improve. You can show all the empathy in the world, but he will remain paranoid and depressed until he gets professional help.
Post # 14
ChasingZenith : Yeah, wow, that definitely resonated with me. I agree – this must be exhausting for him as well, and it’s not fair for me to walk on eggshells. Thanks for that insight.
Post # 15
While I was reading your post, I kept wondering if he may have undiagnosed anxiety issues. I have anxiety and when it gets worse, like over a stressful few weeks or so, I’ll blow up at the drop of a hat over everything too. Given what you’ve said about his feelings on the political climate, I’d insist he explore that in therapy. Also, I have nothing against smoking, but it can cause or exacerbate anxiety.
As for the political stuff he randomly throws at you: my husband does the same, but I have to tell him when I’ve reached my limit. It can get emotionally overwhelming to constantly think about the state of the world, so I try to communicate as clearly as possible if I need a break in the moment or if a specific time (in the morning, for example) is off limits. Trying that might help in the meantime, while he works on things in therapy.