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How Do I Break Up with Girlfriend who Has Depression and Anxiety?

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From a teen in the U.S.: Hi i have been in a relationship since the 2nd semester of 9th grade, were now 5 years down the road and its not the same, the past 2 years i’ve been trying to break up but every time she says she can’t take it anymore and everyone in her life is leaving her and i’m the last person she has,

i’m worried shes going to do something stupid and am asking for advice on how to leave her and her not hurt herself because i still do love her and care about her but we’re going down 2 different paths and the constant fighting isn’t healthy,
Thank you for any advice

How Do I Break Up with Girlfriend who Has Depression and Anxiety?

Answered by on -

A.

I’m sure this is scary. Your girlfriend is very lucky to have such a caring person as you in her life. But it is only normal for relationships that start so early to end.  You have both grown and changed since you were only 14.  One of the most important tasks of the teen years is to “try on” different relationships  by spending time with a number of different people. It is only by letting yourself get close to others that you can find who will be the best “fit” for you for the long-term.

It’s not healthy or appropriate for you to be held hostage by your girlfriend’s  threats to hurt herself. But it is definitely a serious concern. The best way to help her and to extricate yourself is to ask her parents or a teacher or another adult you trust to assist. You can then turn responsibility for her over to someone who can help her deal with a break-up. It is not a betrayal of her trust to do so (even though she may accuse you of doing so). The rules of confidentiality (whether to a friend or a professional) don’t apply when someone is talking about self-harm and suicide.

My guess is that her dependence on you is due to her fears about being alone. That suggests a shaky self-esteem and perhaps a significant lack of coping skills. She is avoiding dealing with those problems by leaning on you. An adult who loves her can help her either address those issues directly or get into therapy.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

How Do I Break Up with Girlfriend who Has Depression and Anxiety?

Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2019). How Do I Break Up with Girlfriend who Has Depression and Anxiety?. Psych Central. Retrieved on June 18, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2019/01/24/how-do-i-break-up-with-girlfriend-who-has-depression-and-anxiety/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 23 Jan 2019
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 23 Jan 2019
Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.