Is a depression a valid excuse?

Basically a guy I've been seeing blew me off over Christmas and new year but I know he suffers from depression and he said this is why he didn't talk to me for a week and a half and has apologised. But he did go out with his friends on one of those nights instead of seeing me and so despite his two apologies I have been ignoring him.
So am I right or should I be more forgiving cos he has depression?

Updates:
Thanks for the comments everyone, they've all been really helpful. So we have been talking this week as we see each other every day at work. And I said if he wants it to work then once he's ready we need to talk about his depression and how it affects him. As I need to understand so it doesn't hurt me when he shuts me out. He text me back and said he's happy to open up about everything as he knows it something he needs to face and he doesn't want to ignore me

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Most Helpful Guy

  • if you have depression it is easier to just hang out with some friends then to be intimate with someone. it sounds like he wants to hang out with you but maybe he is worried you won't like him because he is depressed, maybe he doesn't really care that much about what his friends think so it is more safe to hang out with them. I am depressed. When I like a girl I don't want to be around them because I am worried they will eventually find me out. i do want to be around them but it feel like the more I am with them the greater then chance that they will realize i am nothing and move on... maybe he has similar realistic fears?

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    • Oh very possible as that fits in with his behaviour and I've previously been dismissive about the depression

What Guys Said 26

  • It's an explanation, not an excuse.

    As a friend, I'd urge you to be forgiving. But I don't think you should feel guilty if you choose to move on without him from a relationship standpoint if he's unable to meet your needs. It may not be 'his fault', but you don't owe it to him to sacrifice your happiness to be understanding.

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    • its an excuse. if you had the flu for a week obviously you wouldn't be spending a lot of time talking to her or seeing her. Depression is an illness similarly and should be treated as such.

  • Valid excuse? you mean Valid reason/explaination? Yes

    He did some typical depression relief stuff there.

    Usually people with depression are people who also have difficulty communicating their issues. This is oftentimes due to people dismissing their beliefs and values so often that they start feeling 'dismissed' as a person altogether. Their opinions didn't seem to matter, or are relegated to nothingness.

    There is a sense of justice that is not being met for them. And too many people are treating their beliefs as garbage (either because their situation is too complicated to swallow in 1 breath, or there is a misunderstanding on the part of the listener). Basically, they want to talk, but they believe that if they talk, they'll just get shut down again. The pain of getting shut down is just too unbearable. The ones whose opinions they care about are oftentimes the worst perpetrators. Being shut down by a stranger is nothing compared to being shutdown by someone whose oppinions they care about.

    So if you're being shut out by a person with depression, it actually means that he gives your opinions a HUGE amount of weight. And if those opinions are going to hurt, he will naturally... avoid them til he can handle them.

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  • Depression is no joke. I don't think you would like to be with a depressed person for long and he may be correct. On the other hand, he needs to fix his depression before you consider spending time with him because it also affects those around.
    Have fun and let him sort himself out.

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  • He spent that time to go out with his friends than why did he leave you in the dark?
    I do agree with you depression isn't a valid excuse he makes no sense and by the
    sounds of things he needs to grow up some what ! That time should been spent
    with you after all what guy would blow over his girlfriend just to be with his friend?
    A guy who doesn't care and is using his depression as excuse to not go out with you.

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  • Depression can make a person incapable of keeping up his end of a relationship.

    That said, being effed in the head doesn't excuse bad behavior towards those we love.

    Understand him, but don't enable his depression by letting bad stuff slide.

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  • As someone who is in med school and already had depression: HE doesn't HAVE DEPRESSION. He may be feeling depressed and hopeless, but he doesn't have depression. He could be walkin into one though. Is depression a validated excuse? Maybe, it all depends on how he feels. He probably feels too bad tocare about relationships right now. My advice is: do your best to make him happier. If everything goes right, he'll love you for that.

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    • Hm, if you are really 'in med school' you should know by now that one of the first things an actual medical professional will always say in a situation like this is that they cannot make an actual diagnosis based on a short second-hand account like the above. Yet you somehow "know" he does not have depression - no medical professional will make such a confident statement with so little information (and 2nd-hand information only). Either you are still early in your studies and they haven't taught you this yet, or you skipped class that day, or you aren't really 'in med school'. But the rest of your advice is fine otherwise.

    • First of all I must admit I haven't studied psychiatry yet. But by her descripition he's not depressed yet. he's still going out. Talking to people. Depressed people nearly never do that. When they do the signs of stress and social isolation become nearly absolute. Usually the first sign of depression a regular person may notice is that the person is stoping to talk with their friends for no reason at all. He doesn't do that. Something that happens very frequently nowadays is sad people saying they're depressed without even going to the doctor. The only possibility I can conceive where he is depressed is him getting out of a depression after months of treatment, which doesn't appear to be the case since he didn't take a good oportunity to truly open up and feel connected to someone.

  • Having suffered from Depression and self harm, for me I can so no that isn't a good excuse. For me yes hanging casually with friends was a nice escape and easier than being close to someone BUT, when my gf of the time was concerned or worried about me I answered her. I didn't want to hurt her too. She was at the moment a good thing in my life like my friends and family and I couldn't lose her to depression as well. Just my two cents.

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  • Not saying you did anything bad intentionally but I don't know I've had friends myself included that have gone through depression and have lost gfs because they simply didn't understand or care enough and trust it just makes it worse he probably wants you to insist and push your way in cuz he probably feels to weak to try and reach out to someone that is as intimate as his partner

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    • We have been talking this week and I can't stay away from him cos we work together. I want to accept him completely but I am so worried his depression will break me. I can't stand it when he shuts me out but then when I've been around him when he's been depressed its brought me down too

    • I know when my friend passed away when I was 15 I went through depression and lost two 2 gfs while I went through it both left me because they couldn't handle it as I went through it pretty badly I'm not saying it's your responsibility to cure him of his depression or put up with it if you really don't want to deal with it but if you really do care about him then as another caring human being you should want to at the very least convince him to go to get professional help

    • Yea ur right. It's just a tough subject for me cos of past experiences but I've text him saying how much I want it to work so when he is ready I want to talk about his depression so I can try to understand - so hopefully that doesn't freak him out too much

  • Never dismiss depression. It is very real and debilitating. It impacts every aspect of life and what he probably needs is support and some type of therapy.

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  • He was proabably coddled a little too much when he was young. So now he doesn't know how to cope with the real world or even something close to the real world, like college.

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  • I have Bipolar. When I'm depressed I pretty much hide from the world. I do have a small group of friends who are my support network. They drag me out. He could just be trYing to come out of it.

    Look for other signs. Is he really active on FB? Does he text you back a lot? Is he sleeping A LOT? etc .

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    • He doesn't have fb. When he's depressed he doesn't talk at all but sleeps loads when he finishes work/on weekends but struggles to sleep at night

    • So you see the pattern? If he's following everything else then then yes, it would he depression.

      Now the more important question Is do you have the fortitude to continue this relationship with him? Especially if feelings are developing.

    • Yea there is a definite pattern with the same behaviour and roughly the same amount of time. We will talk soon so I can find out how it affects him. I will have to see if I have the fortitude as it is a difficult issue for me but bcos of how I feel about him I'm struggling to walk away

  • I have done this in the past. Mainly because I did not want my girlfriend to see me depressed. Sometimes going out with friends is just a way to help with feeling obligated to see your gf all the time. My question would be how often do you see him? I know one of my gf wore me out because I had to see her anytime I was off work. It almost felt like a chore.

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    • Well we work together but he is always instigating seeing my outside work. But then sometimes he just blows me off out of nowhere

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    • Oh I was thinking maybe it was just excuses for him not being that keen on me cos he runs hot and cold but maybe it's all down to the depression

    • Bi-polar is a different animal than depression.

  • he's to depressed to go out with you but he feels just fine to go out with his boys? doesn't sound right to me.

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  • Yes dear, it is. Imagine this, you're dealing with demons in your minds and are worried all the time, you won't want to be around a guy you like, because you think he'll feel down around you and avoid you afterwards!
    He just wanted to work on himself before seeing you again, because you obviously mean a lot to him that he only wants to be happy around you, so that he can impress you!
    Give him a chance or two :)

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  • I've sufferer from depression and it's really hard to understand I've broke up with with my wife down to my illness cause I never knew when it ceouls rise it's head at know body's. Fought not even my own if you love him and he loves you use can get through it give it time there are lots of people going through the same thing 1in3 suffer from mentle Heath in on way or another there's lots of help if you need it contact me if you like as someone who knows the. Coo good luck. X

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  • Depression is real and serious, especially around the holidays.

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  • depression cure as doctors said is blowjob for a men and orgasm for a women just give him one he'll be up as a horse and more relaxed then BOB MARLEY smoking week on an island

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  • I'd be careful. If he's using depression as a crutch when he wants to, then he's an idiot. Go see a dr. You could be in for a hard life if you hook up with a downer.

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  • I suffer from depression but I try my best to suppress it when I'm around my SO. They won't see me as a emotional wreck and emotionally unavailable. So I can see how he doesn't want you see him at his worst

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    • I'm not sure I could cope being ignored frequently and being with someone emotionally cold

  • I doubt it... if he was depressed... why not do something to cheer himself up... But I dont truly understand depression myself...

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  • Yes,
    Do not worry about it, depression is a brief panic and quickly passes and it is best to help

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  • Depression is something that no one can understand unless they have experienced it. I have and it sucks in ways you cannot imagine. I hope you cut him some slack.

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  • I can tell you from experience that it's definitely easier to hang out with friends than to actually hang out with a girlfriend or boyfriend because you're just comfortable around your friends, whereas with a girlfriend or boyfriend he could be a little more stressed out and worried that if somebody found out about his depression you wouldn't like him anymore

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  • This is *exactly* in line with depression yes. I also have depression and it precisely makes you withdraw from those around you.

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  • It is a valid excuse for sure. I have been depressed before and it sucked.

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  • Yes depression is an explanation and can be an excuse. Its just as debiliating as any other physical disease. It takes people's lives daily and can really slow down every day function to a halt.

    Its difficult to think, sustain relationships and create new ones. So yes, its very much an excuse and reason to whats going on

    Your best bet is to understand what depression is all about, because it's not just being 'sad'

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What Girls Said 22

  • I know when I was younger and suffering like this is used to shut people out a lot. It could take me 2 weeks to text someone back. I did feel guilty about it but I just wasn't able for it. My best friends now understand so they don't take it personally anymore. That doesn't mean though that you should just have to put up with anything. The fact he's being honest and wants to talk about it is a good sign. I think it shows him taking responsibility. As much as he can't help it when he's in the thick of being depressed, when he's ok he wants to take control of it so he doesn't hurt the people (i. e. you) around him. For him, it can be a very dark place especially when you feel you're starting to impact on other people and relationships. Kudos for being understanding. Hope things work out for you!

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  • I definitely think you are right on ignoring him. What he did was honestly wrong. Even if I had depression I would still have the nerve to call somebody and say "hey can we hang out another time? i'm not feeling well." Depression is not an excuse to hurt another person. In some cases depressed people do but it only takes a few seconds to make a phone call... and if he's hanging out with friends one of those days but yet can't make the time to tell you "Can't make it" that's wrong

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  • I think it was a convenient excuse. As someone who suffers from depression, I don't care how much you plead and cajole, I won't go out when I'm in the middle of an episode. In fact I tend to get mean and bitchy if you insist.

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    • Would you still contact people whilst depressed or completely lock yourself away. As this guy often retreats to his bed for days at a time and won't speak to me but I think it doesn't take much to send a text!

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    • I tend to become very withdrawn. I do still force myself to get up and go to work, take care of my kid, but I will wear my headphones and retreat into a book at every opportunity.

    • Ok that's helpful, I wasn't sure if he was lying about it but he did say he was dragged out by his friends but it pissed me off cos he didn't tell me until I text him and then he continued to not speak to me

  • As someone with clinical depression, when I'm having a bad day I don't want to be with anyone I'm romantically connected to. I just wanna slum it and if I'm in the mood for people it's just stupid friends I can get high and hang out with. Romantic partners always expect too much. And they want to "fix" you trying to make you feel better. It's fucking annoying cuz then if you don't pretend you're happy they get sad and it's irritating as hell cuz I shouldn't have to be guilted in to being fake. I just wanna coast with people who don't give a shit if I'm not in the mood to talk or be exciting in any way. It's good to have people who don't make you feel like you gotta pretend you're chill when you're not.

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  • I think that depression is a very vulnerable thing to go through and if I had depression I probably wouldn't tell my significant other if I can manage it on my own. If what you say is all there is, then no, he is not blowing you off. He probably doesn;t want you to see him that way. Show him your support by giving him the space he needs and let him know you will be there for him when (and how) he needs you.

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    • I get that but I don't know if I can cope with frequent silences and emotional coldness. It seems like I'm just gonna get constantly hurt

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    • I can't lie to him, he is perfect apart from the depression. I really can't decide, I want to accept him completely regardless of the depression but it really Is very hurtful to have him withdraw and block me out for weeks at a time and weakens the relationship between us when he is then ok again but I can't stay away from him. I never manage to stop talking/seeing him

    • It's not lying. It's avoiding collateral damage. Leaving a depressed person may seem like a "jerk" move to many, but my theory is that if you are getting hurt by their actions, then you can't be of any possible help to them, realistically.
      On the other hand, if you want to stay, then job number one is to take care of your own emotions and frustrations, because they are very much as vulnerable as his and not doing this will not end well for your relationship.

  • Yes it is. But I've been depressed before and a thing I did wrong was say that I'd go out,(but then know I actually couldn't at the same time) so he wouldn't leave me. So essentially it was a lie and that's no good no matter what. Feel bad about it to this very day :( . I just really liked him, but still was unfair to him.

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  • His friend probably cajoled him out.. and if you're only 'seeing each other', y'know, he may well be a bit nervous.. friends are easier. Yeah, forgive him. & Be nice 2 him. Depression's tough [in case you didn't know], really, sometimes it feels like there's glass in your brain. Or maybe that's just me being weird.. but like, the pain is so acute it's like glass. It feels physical

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    • We're kind of on the brink of having a relationship and I don't know if the depression is something I can cope with so I've been holding back

  • You really have to decide if this is something YOU can cope with going forward. It's not fair to you or him if he does suffer from depression and you aren't on board with this sort of thing happening. Personally in my experience, it's not usually diagnosed depression, just a convenient fashionable, difficult to question without looking insensitive, excuse for bad behavior.

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  • Im going through that too and honestly it just hits you. One moment u could be happy well at least slightly then it just hits you unexpectedly. I guess he got fedup and wanted to do something and go out. Talk to him.

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  • Yes, depression does make you either not want to see people or be selecitve about who you see, don't take it personally.

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  • Depression makes everything difficult and sometimes our friends will drag us out to do something even though we don't want to because we're depressed. Happens to me all the time

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  • My boyfriend dumped me for the same reason. Personally, if I was in your shoes, I would take him back in a heartbeat. But you are you and I am not. So do what you think. :)

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  • yes its a serious mental illness

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  • I feel like it is because I think that girls use that excuse a lot but its just their hormones so when a guys says it I think it is real unless they have a douchey personality.

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  • I think so, it is, it is very debailitating.

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  • Depression is real. So yes, it can be a valid reason. But it sounds to me like he uses it as an excuse to get out of being held responsible for being a douche.

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  • You're right about this one

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  • Yes, depression is a serious illness, but he shouldn't be lying to blow you off.

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  • Get a proper boyfriend, one without issues!

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    • He's not my boyfriend yet so I am considering that before I get too emotionally invested

    • Don't go there unless you want a lifetime of misery. Been there done that!

    • Yeah, @mecurious, men are p. awful..

  • i suffer from depression and it can be really hard to be around family/friends let alone someone i have romantic feelings for. being depressed is so... exhausting. it's hard to explain the ups, downs, and in-betweens, but trust me, it's valid. when i'm really low, i try to go out with friends so family doesn't notice/become too concerned and friends just think i'm dealing with something with family. besides, it's a huge distraction from what's going on in my head when i can force myself to socialize.

    it's a big secret to have and him sharing that with you should be appreciated. there's a huge stigma, but you can live with it as long as you can get the people in your life (at a least few) to understand.

    i have yet to do that with a romantic interest, but it looks like he's finding his way through it. i hope you can stick it out with him!

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  • It's possible because depressed people push everyone away

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  • Key words: not forgiving but *understanding* and not excuse but explanation. Try to understand what it is he's going through. It's something that follows you everywhere.

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