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Dear Counsellor - Down and Out

Published:Tuesday | April 27, 2010 | 12:00 AM

Q.  I have been seriously depressed for the last five years. Twelve years ago, I was in a relationship with the man of my dreams. We were deeply in love. We started to live together for a few years with the intention of get married. We even bought a small house together. However, it all started to go wrong when I did not get a formal marriage proposal and he stated that he wanted to go away and study and get a degree like myself.

He was not willing to make any commitment and give me any assurance. I decided to end the relationship and I bought out his half of the house. He went off to study and after he graduated, he asked for another chance and we lived together for another time. But it did not last. He dumped me for another woman. He is now married. I was devastated and have been depressed. I have not worked for the last five years. I have moved and now live with my parents and am still in love with this man. I am not able to get over him. My parents are very supportive but they think I should talk with a psychologist. However, I think I will soon snap out of the doldrums. What do you think? What should I do?

A.  Sorry to hear of your ordeal. Five years to be in a state of depression is a long time, especially since it is preventing you from working and functioning normally. Your parents must be commended for being so supportive of you for these five years. You should be the one to be helping them. Instead, you have reverted to a state wherein you are unable to function as you would desire. Their advice that you should consult a professional is quite appropriate. They have your best interest at heart based on their care for you which has gone the extra mile. I would suggest that you consult a clinical psychologist or a psychiatrist. These professionals can prescribe drugs if necessary.

There is great hope for you. The same strength which enabled you to end the relationship the first time is the same strength that will help you to accept that the relationship is over and facilitate you moving on. You need to understand that you deserve better than your boyfriend who dumped you. You need to believe that there is a Mr Right who will love you unconditionally and you can love him equally. Obviously, you loved this man more than yourself and herein lies part of your problem. You should love him as you love yourself - no more, no less.

You are talented and educated and obviously have much to contribute to life, yourself, family and society. You were very wise not to walk away from the house but rather you bought him out. It means you have a lot of potential waiting to be released. You have the benefit of strong and stable family support which augurs well for your future. It gives you the freedom to try things even if you make a few mistakes along the way. You can become stronger because of this failed relationship and you have the ability to engage in a more fulfilling relationship.

All the best as you consult a clinical psychologist or psychiatrist.