Q: I’ve been depressed for 5 months already. I confessed to my boyfriend that I had cheated on him.My boyfriend doesn’t believe I am depressed and I become more depressed.I have tried to commit sucuide so that I can get his attention.I don’t do anything fun because he has isolated me from my friends.How can I get him to listen to me? I always throw myself on the floor and yell at him.I have also become obsessed. I cry so much that my eyes hurt and i get headaches.He doesn’t talk to me when I do this.I can’t break up with him because I know he is also sad that he can’t help me. What can I do to stop this without having to break up?

A: Your depression and suicidality are separate from your issues with your boyfriend. I know they are connected in your mind (and maybe they are to some extent) but, trust me, you’ve got the two so tangled up together you can’t solve either.

First things first: The very first thing you must do is contact your local emergency mental health service. There are several near you. I googled “emergency mental health, your town and state”. You can also go to the home page of Psychcentral.com and click on the link on the right side that says “feeling suicidal?” That will take you to suicide helplines and articles that you might find helpful. Depression colors everything. You need to find yourself a counselor and a doctor to address it directly.

Then there’s your issue with your boyfriend. You say he isolates you and doesn’t listen to your feelings. You tell me that you have to throw tantrums to get heard and have attempted suicide to get his attention. That’s not the way that people in healthy relationships express love. But you know that already. That’s one of the reasons you wrote to me.

As much as you don’t want to break up, it seems well past the time to do just that. If you are worried about your boyfriend’s reaction, you could take him along to a therapy session so that you have your therapist’s help to talk it through. Perhaps he will then get the help he needs as well.

Please write back and let me know that you’ve taken care of yourself by seeing a counselor. I care.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie