Things have been kind of tough around here. I’m doing okay, the PTSD crap has been letting up a little bit the past few days, but I feel that this is only because of other stuff that’s going on and taking up the majority of my emotional energy. My partner is going through a really tough time right now. She has pretty severe depression in addition to her own trauma stuff, and it’s really bad right now. She has been having some suicidal ideation, and while I know she would not do anything to harm herself, it is still scary. Her antidepressant is clearly not working and is perhaps making it worse. In addition, she does not have health insurance, so has not been seeing a therapist. We are going to work on finding someone for her to see who does a sliding fee scale, but until then she just needs to figure out the medication issue (she goes to a community health clinic for meds).

She feels so alone and useless and hopeless and sad. She is crying all the time. She seems fine at times but it seems like every time I have to go somewhere away from her, like to work, she gets so sad and upset. And I feel really bad, but I get annoyed. I can’t help having to work, I pay all the bills. I certainly don’t ENJOY working 70 hours per week, 40 of them overnight, but it’s something I have to do. It makes it so much harder to have her get terribly upset every time I leave. It’s exhausting, in fact. She has basically no friends outside of certain people at her work, but she doesn’t see them outside of work at all. She is pretty isolative, and it would really help her to get out and make some friends and do some sort of activity, but of course the nature of depression is that it makes it nearly impossible to do these things.

I want to help her, but I know that only she can help herself. I can be supportive, but she needs to do the things like call her doctor, find a therapist, and get herself out of the house. I don’t want to enable the depressive behaviors such as isolation and being upset every time I leave. It’s hard for me to know what will be helpful as her partner. I have never been in the position of being in an intimate relationship with someone who has severe depression before, I have only helped people who are my clients professionally, which is obviously completely different. My own depression has been well-controlled with medication since before we met, so I don’t know how she could have helped me, which would inform me on what to do for her. For people who have had severe depression: what has been helpful for your partner(s) to do?