My boyfriend and I have no contact for five weeks. We were both hospitalize for depression, anxiety, self-harm and suicide attempts. We became each others motivation to live. But now end-year exams starts and all communications are gone. Not even one text on weekends. It’s the first week out of five and I already got suicidal today and self-harmed for the first time in months. I started smoking again and I’m permanently with a cigarette in my hand. I honestly don’t know how I’m going to survive this, and the fact that he’s suicidal as well just means he’s probably going through the same thing. What if he doesn’t make it? I’m seeing a psychiatrist once a week, but I skip it these days to study plus I don’t really like talking about myself having a low self-esteem.. but I’m just scared now. Scared of myself. I can’t focus on the exams while I feel like this. Every second is torture. what hope can possibly be left? (From South Africa)
What you want to do is focus on your self-care very intensely. You have no control over how your boyfriend will respond — but you do have a choice about how you will respond. Please keep your psychiatrist’s appointment. You will want to take care of yourself for two good reasons. First, if this is a phase he is going through you’ll want to be in a good, or at least better, place when he is able. If he isn’t able to maintain the relationship you’ll want to be strong enough to manage. This will require you having as much support as you can muster.
Self care is the most important thing you can do during a time of relational crisis. This means treating yourself well by getting enough sleep, eating well and not doing things that bring you down. I’d devote my energy to the things you can do to bring you to and keep you in a better place. Your psychiatrist knows you and can be important in helping you through this time. Reconnect to your therapy and do everything you can to nurture yourself.
Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: http://www.dare2behappy.com/. He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.
APA Reference Tomasulo, D. (2018). 5 Weeks without Motivation (Suicidal). Psych Central.
Retrieved on November 22, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2016/11/12/5-weeks-without-motivation-suicidal/
Last updated: 8 May 2018 (Originally: 12 Nov 2016) Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018 Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.