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Dealing with Depression/My girlfriend is depressed


I am 19 years old and my girlfriend is 17. We have been together for about 3 months now but we have been friends for 3 years.

As far as I know the first time she got depressed was when she was in middle school. She dated a guy for about 18 months. About a year into the relationship he started doing drugs and would beat her. This is when she started cutting herself.

She saw him 2 months ago, for the first time since they separated, when she got switched classes and was forced to sit directly next to him. She asked her teacher to move her away from him but he wouldn't listen to her. That night we hungout and she had a small break down, but it was resolved when I spoke with the teacher and convinced him to move her. Then the next week she got switched classes, and has not seen him sense.

The month before that she had been truly happy and even gave me all her blades to show that she wouldn't cut anymore.

After she was switched classes I could tell she was still a little frazzled, but me just being there helped her. She was fine after that not great but still overall happy.

About a month ago her best friend got dumped over a text message, and my girlfriend was there to help her through it. After making her friend she went home and was struck with sadness and cut herself again. When I saw the cuts she said she knows she loves me because she cut herself a lot less than she normally does because she thought about how I would react, and felt ashamed.

2 weeks passed and she was holding up fine. Then 2 weeks ago I could sense that she was depressed again. I would let her know that I was there for her and she could come to me with anything.

1 week ago she saw another of her exes. This one had raped her on several occasions. I don't know much else about him. After this incident she had started cutting herself everyday again.

Last night she asked if we could talk. I went over to her house and she came outside. Usually we kiss when we see each other but this time she smiled for the first time in a week, and she gave me a hug.

After beating around the bush for an hour she was finally going to start talking about what was wrong, but then a dog appeared and laid at our feet. She stopped and said she didn't want to say these things in front of the dog because she didn't want to make it depressed. She texted everyone she knew to see if anyone could take him, but no one could. Eventually a person walked by and we convinced him to take the dog with him.

We then sat there in silence for 2 hours. I could tell she was getting cold so I put my jacket around her. She said she didn't need it but as soon as it was around her she held it tighter around her body.

She then said that she keeps thinking of reasons why I shouldn't be with her. I replied with none of those are good enough to not love her. She then continued on to say that she has been in one of her worst depressions, and that she doesn't want to drag me down with her, and that I should leave her. I asked her if she wanted to break up. She started crying and said no. So I said I won't leave her then. She then said that she won't tell me how she feels that she will hold it in, and it will torture me and make me and cause me to leave her. I said I won't leave her and that anytime she wants to talk I will be there.

After several more minutes of me holding her, her mom called her in. She got up, wiped her tears away, gave me a kiss, and said she'd call me in the morning, and then she went inside.

I know I will be patient and be able to stay with her because I have a slight disassociation from society and don't really understand things, very similar to a child, but this also makes it difficult for me to connect to her on this subject, even though I have been depressed in the past as well. I was depressed because of a girl several years ago. I fought a lot and had sex with every girl I could get with. One day I was suddenly over it.

Her family is very traditional Mexican and does not believe that depression exists. When she told them she was depressed once they just laughed and told her to get over it. So therapy and medication are not options for her.

She has only really been close to on person in her family, her aunt, because her aunt, "did not give a shit about anything." (my girlfriends words) This aunt has been exiled from the family because of the way she acts, and no one has seen her in years, but there are rumors that she moved to Mexico.

My girlfriend is only really close with one other person in her family, her 13 year old cousin. The cousin started cutting herself, and my girlfriend freaked out when she found out, because she understands what her cousin is going through, and does not want that for her. I have not heard anything else about that situation. All the visible cuts have healed so either she's hiding them now or my girlfriend was able to help her.

Hello Felipe. I am sorry I was not able to respond to you earlier while going through such a stressful situation. I understand your love and care for this girl and I am sure that you want only what is good for her, but, in my opinion, unfortunately, you, alone, cannot help her get out of it.
You say that her problems have started through damaging relationships but they continue despite the fact that she is with you, who cares and looks after her.
I don't know how the mental health system works where you live but I am sure there are ways to seek and gain help.
You say that her parents do not seem to be concerned but they probably don't know that she is cutting.
What about her school? It there anybody that knows what she is going through?
Is there any chance of a teacher or a mental health professional or even you, to talk to her parents and alert them to the gravity of her situation?
What about mental health charities or even an appointment with a doctor without her parents knowing?
Can you discuss it with her? Can you convince her that she needs professional help and support her through the process? This in my opinion is the best you can do if, as you say, you really love her.
I wish you and her the best.
Take care,

Dealing with Depression

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Dimitra Vitsaki


I can answer questions about life crises depression and relationship difficulties.In my work I adopt an empathetic and not judgmental approach and believe that our symptoms such as anxiety, fear, distress and sadness are due not only to our upbringing but also to the social context within which we are born, grow and live our lives. I canít give legal or medical advice.


Many years experience working with people from all walks of life, including mothers and babies, adults and families in mental health settings and in private practice. My aim is always the same, to help the person I work with to find their own way in life.

MA in clinical psychology from the University Lyon 2 France. Post-Graduate Certificate in Health and Social Policy from North London University, London UK. Training in psychodrama, psychological therapies, confidence building and dealing with unemployment. Various professional and self development courses.

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Many people from all walks of life.

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