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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    How do I deal with my depressed boyfriend that is pushing me away?

    My long distance boyfriend is going through a lot of struggles right now. He was suffering with depression and it progressively got worse. He has had financial struggles and lost his home and his car. He is in a town that has little opportunity but stays there because of his children. He has been staying with friends and getting rides from them for about three weeks. I have done everything in my power to help him. He no longer wants any help from me and has pushed me away. He will not take my calls and rarely will text back. He says he doesn't want to talk and doesn't want me to see him this way. I go from feeling very sad for him and wanting to track him down and find him to being extremely angry. I told him I am not giving up on him and that I am here for him. It is not like him to treat me like this. I am heart broken and now can barely focus on anything but this. I have had anxiety attacks. I do not know how to treat him. Do I stop communicating or keep pushing?
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  • I have been working in Eltham, Melbourne as a relationship and family counsellor for over twelve years. I draw on current theory and research about … View Profile

    It's really tough to support a loved one who is depressed - the nature of the illness itself means that people are more likely to push others away and to isolate themselves. It's great that you were able to tell your boyfriend that you are not giving up on him, and that you are there for him. I encourage you to continue doing this; however to do so it sounds like you may need some more support for yourself. After all, if you are not coping well yourself, you're not in a position to help others. A couple of suggestions - the Beyond Blue website has some great resources for your boyfriend about depression and how to get help, and for friends and family to learn how to offer support as well as take care of yourself. Their details are at Also, Carers Australia offer funded counselling for family members and partners of people with diagnosed mental illness - you would see a counsellor close to where you live for up to 6 sessions, free of charge to you. This counselling is designed to help you with strategies to help your boyfriend, and to better manage the stress you are experiencing in your caring role. Their details are at All the best and take care of you!

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