Advice

Please Advise: My boyfriend’s depressed. How can I help him out of it?

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He’s interesting, funny, smart… and just happens to have some psychiatric problems.

Wise readers,  

Each week, the inbox of our venerable advice columnist, Miss Information, is flooded with queries. And although she makes a valiant effort, she cannot answer them all. To deal with the surplus, we've decided to turn to you. So, don your spectacles and help this girl out. You can give her advice in the comments below, or, if you'd like to share what you wrote with your friends, on our Facebook page.

 

My boyfriend and I have been dating for almost a year now, and I'm getting worried about the state of our relationship… and the state that he's currently in. We're both grad students working towards doctorate degrees, we're so similar it's scary, and we have an amazingly supportive, loving relationship. I adore him, and although I'm not ready to make any life-long commitments — I'm in college and can barely afford three packs of ramen a day — I can see myself eventually being able to marry him sometime down the road.  

However, there are two problems: one, he lives 3,000 miles away from me, and two, he's just been diagnosed with moderate to severe depression.  

When we met, I was just looking for someone to talk to. (Long story short: I was abused for six years, and have had the last two to recover and regain my sanity. It's been going rather well.) But soon, it developed into a relationship — he was interesting, and smart, and funny…and had some psychiatric problems. "So what if he lives 3,000 miles away?" I thought to myself. "I'm not going to find a guy/girl like this around here."  

Then we visited each other for Christmas, realized that we were in love, and had to separate a week later. After that, his already-moderate depression became worse.  

I don't know how to support him, mainly because I've never been supported, but also because I never experienced depression that couldn't be directly attributed to things I've experienced in the past. I worry that he's going to do something dumb, and I also worry that his grades will suffer. I want him to achieve his dreams more than anything. I blame myself for his depression worsening, since having an ongoing relationship prolongs the pain of being apart, and I don't know how to make it better aside from ending things. I am already beginning to feel lonely.

Should I stay here and support him through his treatment, knowing that it could just prolong his pain, or should I end things and hope for the best, knowing that I'll lose someone I love dearly in the process? 

—No Answers, Stuck Angsting

Help her out! If you've got questions of your own, email them to missinfo@nerve.com.