* Hello, I am very concerned for my boyfriend’s emotional, physical, and mental health. I love him very much, but am so scared and worried for him. He has a very rough background: parents divorced when he was a kid, his older brother committed suicide, his younger brother is a drug addict and a schizophrenic, he went through two long-term relationships to end them because the girl cheated, he went into the military and saw what Iraq had to offer, and while he was in the military his mother passed away. He is only 24 years old. I bring this to your attention because there is no denying that these events affect him on a daily basis. I would expect them to because he still has to deal with the after-effects everything.
* He will come across to most people as an ordinary, fun, laid-back guy, but I obviously know him more behind the scenes and I know that he is depressed, and it seems to me that he does not cope well. For awhile, he has carried a daily routine of drinking a couple of beers a day, smoking a few cigarettes a day (which he has recently stopped), and smoking a few bowls of weed a day. I concluded that he doesn’t cope well with his problems by watching him do this (and no, I do not encourage it) – I am convinced that it serves as a distraction, so he doesn’t think about past events/problems. The consumption itself is never a lot or overboard, but I worry because it’s regular. Considering everything he has been through, he honestly lives strong; he has his life together (other than depression and mood changes); he seems to be the one in his family that has kept himself together. However, I recently found out that he has been taking anti-depressants. Prozac is a regular medication for him and I’m sure it has been for quite some time now.
* You may not be able to answer all of my questions because some of them are personal questions, but I welcome your advice. The questions that everything leaves me with are:
* 1. Can mental issues (referring to his brothers) be passed down through family bloodlines?
* 2. Is it ok to take anti-depressants regularly? How do you know when it’s just being abused? What is the likelihood of this negatively affecting him in the long-run?
* 3. After explaining his situation, do you think it’s really necessary for him to take anti-depressants? Is there not a better way to help him instead of popping pills?
* 4. He doesn’t like to talk much about his feelings or emotions… he doesn’t talk much at all really. Is this a problem? I feel like he could benefit from talking things out, but he just doesn’t like to and doesn’t want to.
* 5. I understand why he acts the way he does and why he takes anti-depressants, and I think it’s safe to say that he will always have issues with depression and being unhappy… I am still able to be emotionally close to him, though… as I mentioned earlier, I really do love him, but knowing that he will always have these issues, should this be a deciding factor in a relationship? I feel like it would be so wrong to turn away a relationship with him because he has these issues when he has no control over them – he can’t control his past. I want to have a relationship with him. But at the same time, seeing him unhappy makes me really unhappy. Would I be setting myself up for failure to pursue a relationship with him? I feel like I’m in a really tough position (not complaining because it could always be worse). Can you advise me in this area? If this is just a personal issue of mine, you are welcome to turn away the question.
* 6. Based on everything that I have explained, is there any other advice or information that you could offer? Whether it is for the situation in general or for him or for me?
Thank you in advance. Your response to my query will most definitely mean a lot to me.