I have been with my boyfriend for 2 1/2 years now. I love him very much and are planning our future together. He is extremely depressed with anxiety and anger issues (though NEVER directed toward me). He has been this way for about a year now. He knows he has a problem and has tried to seek help but never sticks to anything. He has not kept a job since we have been together. He has recently stopped attending classes and stopped looking for jobs. He also has been seeing his friends less and less and only ends up seeing them when he feels he has too. He moved out of his house and in with me. He has credit card debt and owes his landlord. I also suffer from depression and know what it feels like all too well. I don't want to leave him because I love him and know that this isn't his fault. I don't know how much more I can take of this though. I am afraid that his depression will cause me to back track in my own struggle. He is not close to his family and they know about the situation but feel it is not their problem to deal with, apparently it's mine. He has no health insurance and is not even a part time student so I don't know what his options are. I am contemplating coming to the counseling center for myself but don't know if it will help.
Signed: End of My Rope
Dear End of My Rope:
Wow, you are definitely in what sounds like a bleak situation. Your boyfriend's struggle seems to be intensifying and the burden seems to rest with you. Your concern for yourself is warranted and Charlie is glad that you are aware of the toll the situation is taking on you. For this reason, it is a good option for you to come to the Counseling Center for some help. The counselors there are skilled at working through situations such as this and will likely offer you some much needed support. Please call 285-1736 for an appointment.
As for your boyfriend, it seems he is sinking lower. You mention lack of insurance for him to seek services. Fortunately, there is a community mental health agency in Muncie that offers a reduced fee based on financial hardship. The agency is Meridian Services and the phone number is 288-1928. This would be a good option for your boyfriend because they offer multiple services such as individual and group counseling and psychiatric services.
However, you also mention that your boyfriend never "sticks to anything." This is concerning. Charlie wonders if he would "stick" to therapy services if he did contact Meridian. This is a difficult issue to address because mental health tends to be cyclical. In other words, the worse he feels, the more hopeless he becomes, the less likely he will seek help, the worse he feels, and so on. This cycle can be very strong and his avoidance makes it even harder to interrupt. On the other hand, the cycle does tend to reinforce itself in a positive manner too, i.e., reaching out for help will likely improve his mood and/or functioning over time, which will allow him to remain engaged in treatment, which will continue to improve his mood and daily functioning, and so on. Charlie hopes that he can take the responsibility of calling Meridian and sticking to it!
Straightforwardly speaking, your boyfriend does have to take responsibility for his own life. You (unfortunately) will not be able to do it for him. It tends to be true that it's difficult to help someone who doesn't want to be helped. What this means is that if he is stuck, it is up to him to get unstuck. Where does this leave you? In a no win situation. If he can't motivate himself to seek treatment, then you live with the burden of his issues or force yourself to leave the co-habitation and/or the relationship to save your own mental health. No wonder you might be getting more depressed yourself. Because he is stuck, you are stuck. Perhaps if you come to the Counseling Center to receive some support in the situation, you can serve as a role model for him. In other words, if you help yourself get unstuck, then maybe he can follow suit and get unstuck.
Whatever you chose to do at this point, Charlie wants to offer you some empathy. This is a very tough situation and obviously, you care very much for your boyfriend. Charlie hopes that you have your own friends and family that can support you. Please remember that help is available and you don't have to be alone in addressing the situation.
To holding on,
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