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Old 12-12-2018, 08:22 AM   #1
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Default Looking for advice/information/anything - Anhedonia and depression

My partner (we are both in the 35-45 age range) has recently been diagnosed with MDD - major depressive disorder after many years of not seeking help. We have been together for about 7 years (2 years on, then off 3 years due to geography and back together for 4.5) and the first two years and the last 2 years have been light night and day.

He has been complaining of symptoms for years and done nothing because he cannot keep his current job on meds (it's a long story - but leaving that job would really change his/our world financially) - he will lose it, so he's felt like seeking treatment was not an option. He has gone off the deep end in the last 2 years. He is not happy, with anything - his job, his friends, me, nothing. He feels "nothing" for the most part but when he does he feels guilt and sadness. He gets withdrawn emotionally and then angry. We were having a discussion the other night, it wasn't "heated" at all, and all of a sudden he looked very angry and said he was "very frustrated" and wanted to stop talking and I was mystified as to why (we've had arguments before and this conversation wasn't close to headed in that direction).

His biggest complaint is a complete loss of interest an anything - he feels "numb" to most of what is going on around him, has very negative feelings about everything, and says that the descriptions he has read about anhedonia describe his feelings almost exactly. The strange thing (to me) is that he seems to have difficulty remembering anything enjoyable. We went out the other night with a friend of his and we all laughed at dinner, he was squeezing my hand, stroking my hair, making jokes, and clearly having a good time - then not 4 days later he says "every day is miserable" and that "he's not happy with anything" and hasn't been for months, which just simply isn't true. It's like he paints everything in a negative light if he has to talk about it and forgets what really happened. He was serious about the misery - in that moment he really believed that he had done nothing enjoyable recently, when just the night before we were laughing and joking about stuff and while it may not have been some spectacular night, it wasn't terrible for him, and while I realize there are times that he probably puts on a happy face, it simply isn't all the time. He's been excited about doing things - and the excitement is coming from him, but later it's like he can't remember those feelings at all.

It's been horrible for our relationship too.

He has told me in the last 10 weeks: he loves me and wants us to really work to stay together; he thinks of me as just a friend and feels like he "owes it to me" (I moved from FAR away to be with him 4 years ago) to stay together but he feels increasingly detatched, unable, and unhappy with being with me; to the following day telling me he is "looking for a reason" for me not to leave him because he "used" to love me so much and doesn't understand what happened but if I remind him that was telling me how he "loved me so much" last month or last week or whenever he doesn't say that he has no recollection of that but just looks like a deer in the headlights - he won't deny it as it did happen, but he won't acknowledge it either. It's like when he's in that negative mode, any "evidence" of positivity he just wants to pretend doesn't exist so he can feed the negative. Whenever we talk about "us" he tells me that he's been feeling negatively for "awhile" (awhile, however, depends on the day - it may be 2 months, 5 months, or up to 3 years). He is sometimes sweet and loving, and sometimes pushes me away to the point where I feel like he is disgusted to look at me. It's FRUSTRATING.

I just don't know where to begin and am just looking for someone to tell me this isn't all nuts. He told me just a few nights ago that he cannot trust how he feels and he thinks his mental health is "even worse" than he thought before he started counseling. Part of me thinks he really just wants to end our relationship and won't tell me - and another part of me thinks he is mired in depression and personal misery and I am just a bit of a punching bag, being the closest person to him.

So basically I'm looking for any help/advice/understanding as to what works best OUTSIDE of meds (if anything) and basically any other info anyone wants to add about depression and relationships or depression and anything really. I'm lost.
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Old 12-13-2018, 07:09 PM   #2
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Default Re: Looking for advice/information/anything - Anhedonia and depression

Maybe a moratorium on having these discussions or him just talking without filter about his feelings that are apparently up and down and focus on tasks or doing things together? Cannot blame you for the confusion you do feel in the midst of his instability.
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