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Question
Posted by: Someone | 2010/03/28

What would you say

My boyfriend is depressed. So he went to the doctor in the hope he would be prescribed some medicine that helps. But the doctor said he just need " someone to talk to"  - counselling. But he''s been depressed for many years, possibly since he was 10-12 or younger. He''s been to a psychologist before when he was a teenager (now he''s 26) but the counselling didn''t help. He used to be a cutter and has many wide scars. Now he''s stopped but he''s often in a bad mood, never wants to wake up in the morning and doesn''t get excited about anything anymore. He was in love with someone else when I met him, someone who chose someone else.

Nowadays I don''t know if he still loves her because I''m always afraid to discuss that topic and cause him suffering, and he also doesn''t say much about it because he knows it hurts me. But he doesn''t love me and even though we try our best to make each other happy and make things work, I often feel like my attempts to help him are useless. I''m often down myself.

I love him and I only wish he''d find happiness in this relationship. We trust each other a lot and we have many happy moments as well as a happy sex life. But I don''t think this will ever get him out of the neverending circle. He''s also got a very stubborn mind, so none of his friends are helping either and counselling won''t probably do anything either. What do you think would help him? Would antidepressants solve the problem?

He believe he has too little of a chemical in his brain (I forgot the name), which is preventing him from enjoying life.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

We don't know whether the counsellor he saw all those years ago used any effective method like the modern CBT techniques, which good research shows to be really effective - so don't reject a method that could help, because one individual didnt use it effectively on one occasion. That's like giving up on music because you once heard a really bad guitarrist.
And such methods can be usefully combined with antidepressants to improve the chemical balances, in turn improving his ability to make use of the therapy. From the sound of it, could be Dysthymia rather than simple depression, but he'd need to see a good local shrink for a proper assessment and diagnosis. Encurage him to take this step, and don't take too much responsibility yourself for trying to solve his problems

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Our users say:
Posted by: cybershrink | 2010/03/29

We don't know whether the counsellor he saw all those years ago used any effective method like the modern CBT techniques, which good research shows to be really effective - so don't reject a method that could help, because one individual didnt use it effectively on one occasion. That's like giving up on music because you once heard a really bad guitarrist.
And such methods can be usefully combined with antidepressants to improve the chemical balances, in turn improving his ability to make use of the therapy. From the sound of it, could be Dysthymia rather than simple depression, but he'd need to see a good local shrink for a proper assessment and diagnosis. Encurage him to take this step, and don't take too much responsibility yourself for trying to solve his problems

Reply to cybershrink
Posted by: Someone | 2010/03/28

Sometimes I don''t know what to do. I''ve left my country for another one because of a man only to find out that he was married. Then I moved on and met someone who wasn''t right for me, so we broke up. Now I''ve finally found someone who is everything I always wanted, but I still can''t be happy because he isn''t and the key to his happiness isn''t in my hands. I hope so much that medicine helps him overcome this. Also I notice he feels better when I''m around than when he''s alone. But how can I be more successful in helping him? How can I repress the sad feelings and frustration that I sometimes feel and concontrate only on his needs to try and make us both happy?

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