• As someone else has suggested, is cycling an option? I appreciate that it’s ‘foot intensive’, but there’s no impact as such (if that’s what is antagonizing the injury)

    Getting up in the hills on the bike calms me down a lot and always makes me happier. The exertion, the views, the solitude. All under your own steam and miles from anyone. Wearing insoles really helped me when I had a foot injury.

  • I think it’s worth persevering with the foot injury, and [your partner] trying to figure out what is actually the problem – I’m confident that there might be something left to fix. In my experience, the medical profession often makes mistakes (which is what humans do, I make mistakes all day long in my professional career) or miss little things, and so it’s worth getting a second opinion or becoming an expert. At a certain point, 5 minutes of an expert’s time becomes less useful than say 100 hours of your own body awareness and research (or whatever it may be). So it might be worth paying the coin for a real expert to examine the foot, or to become as ‘expert’ as possible by studying the foot’s anatomy.

    Otherwise, my only other advice is to try and inspire the other partner to…[Read more]

  • Work provided them with a series of counseling sessions, which apparently helped a bit, but they ended a few months back.

    Could you look into continuing the counseling out of your own (collective) pocket? That’s what I did when I found myself in a comparable situation a few years back. Likely only your partner could say whether the cost would be worth it.

    I was reasonably fortunate in having a counselor who only required me to pay her what I thought the sessions were worth. I reckoned that it was worth at least as much as a good session of physio for a soft tissue injury, so paid her around the same as I’d previously done for that, and she seemed happy. (Obviously, if I not paid anything she wouldn’t have expected me to come back!)

    I’d also second other posters’…[Read more]

  • I’ve been there and it can be heavy. After some time I realised that I simply didn’t understand it and shouldn’t convince myself I did. And actually my best contribution was simply not making it worse with my own behaviour.

  • This might come across as a bit negative, and if so I apologize in advance.

    Please try and make sure that your partner actually wants help, and if so that they want help from you. I wasted several years of my life and damaged my own mental health trying to help my then wife until it because clear that she considered me to be part of the problem.

  • “Always put on your own oxygen mask before helping others”

    You can’t look after your partner if you don’t look after yourself. Make looking after your needs a priority too.

  • I used to be like this, but maybe for different reasons. “Don’t want medication, it’ll mask the pain and I won’t know if I’m doing damage, and I don’t want it anyway”.

    I got a shoulder injury and couldn’t do the rehab. Too much pain. Taking a few pills made such a difference that I could actually do the rehab and make progress. Maybe your partner has different reasons for not taking painkillers/medication, I don’t know, but it might be worth reconsidering.

  • Thanks for your support, much appreciated. Some good advice there. Unfortunately, due to my work, regularity is not easy to come by at the moment. We do need to get better at planning some fun activities to make the most of our time off together though.

  • Thanks, that’s a really great post. There are a couple of other issues I don’t want to go into on a public forum, but the foot and work-related issues seem t be the main things. I think it’s fairly mild rather than full-blown clinical depression, not that I’m any kind of expert. As you say, they are able to go to work and do some exercise. If you gave them a new foot and a dream job I think they would probably be back to normal pretty quickly. It’s just a recent change, mainly in the last couple of months, where their default mood seems to have gone from generally ok to feeling sad and lethargic that’s got me worried it could be developing into something worse.

  • Also, having reread everything I would suggest (with the usual caveats) it sounds like low mood, which should lift with the right support, activities etc. They wouldn’t really be able to go for a jog if they were clinically depressed (perhaps a slow short walk.) – and often unable to really get out of bed.

    Although it may not sound like much this is a very good thing as it is easier (relative term to improve) – it sounds like if you gave them their good foot back and a dream job they’d get happy pretty quickly.

  • Is there any chance of getting them to try cycling? That will help get the endorphins flowing!

  • You are in for a long haul and the process will take tolls on your relationship and yourself. You already know that as you have the first-hand experience. Me too.

    Accept you will have spells with negative feelings towards them. This is, of course, normal in a relationship, but there will be a lot more stress during both the depression and the healing process. If possible, try to share the responsibility between friends and/or family.

    Counseling a psychologist specialized in depression gave me an understanding of the mechanisms of depression and what can be done. There are some myths and it is best to get them out of the picture.

    Anti-depressants worked for me by taking away the deepest black holes and they have fewer side effects than the rumors goes. Some of the so called…[Read more]

  • Really sorry – I’ve been in the same situation. Lots of good advice in the other responses, so just to add that I found counselling for myself was quite useful. An opportunity to be honest and open about how I was feeling (fed up, guilty, annoyed etc. etc.) and to be supported. Also to maybe get advice about how you can support your partner.

  • Hi there, sorry to hear about your situation it is something I have a lot of experience of. Other half is not only a psych but also bi-polar.

    The first thing is to try and understand if it’s low mood from lack of exercise, shit lifestyle etc or full-blown depression. If it is full blown depression medicine really will help and without them, it could just persist on and on.

    The second thing is to protect yourself mentally and emotionally. This is really difficult, it is a bit like being with a dementor (to use an apt pop culture reference.) Try to remember that it is not you that is making them feel down and that although they may not be able to express appreciation for any efforts you make it is there and will be remembered when they get better. Try to spend some quality time…[Read more]

  • Very true. My other half is generally very supportive and aware that I need to get out and do my on thing. Thanks.

  • They are pretty set against taking any medication, but just talking to a GP could help. Luckily drinking isn’t an issue as they are almost tee total.

    They’ve started to take up a couple of other activities, and are slowly getting fitter, although often it’s hard to get them motivated to get out, and I don’t want to push them too much.

    Thanks for your advice!

  • Thanks, they’re definitely not a gym person, although they did join the local gym. Membership is mostly sat there gathering dust!

  • We did talk about swimming, and they started doing some around new year, but that has pretty much dropped off. They have started doing a couple of other activities that are less foot intensive, which definitely improves their mood when I can persuade them out, but I don’t want to be too pushy and put them off.

    We’ve talked about changing jobs, but it would require a change of career, and they don’t really know what else they would do. I think it could be good for them, but don’t want to push them into something they don’t want to do.

  • A familiar story. Firstly your “partner” (how I hate that PC term) needs to find a sport which keeps him or her fit and provides regular endorphins. Unfortunately, running is a high-stress activity and runners seem to be especially prone to injury so how about taking up cycling? Off road will suit a mountaineer because the route-finding skills and terrain are similar but road cycling gets you much much fitter and can be done from the front door and even an hour’s ride can see you coming home exhilarated and happily exhausted. Cycling is also low-stress so injuries are uncommon unless the bike is set up wrong. There are also plenty of informal clubs you can join and most bike shops have groups going out during the day and evenings. Having a small group of like-minded cycling…[Read more]

  • Probably stating the obvious but protect your outlets and your emotional health too. Don’t let their position pull you down.

    The first principle of first aid is to not put yourself at risk or you create two casualties and then cant help them.

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