We are in a long-term, committed and mostly happy relationship with plans to marry within the next year or so.
He is manic depressive, and I recently found out I have Endometriosis which causes chronic pain (and I also may have Depression). I am being treated but am still in a severe amount of pain on a day-to-day basis, but I have health insurance and am being seen. I self-medicate nausea with pot (I am also on antidepressants).
He was diagnosed in his 20's (he is now 30) and he is not (professionally?) medicated nor does he have health insurance. He self-medicates with pot and alcohol, and takes vitamins and St. John's Wort (and something else, I can't recall). Everyone in my family and group of friends knows about my health issues. He has been alone most of his life, so he doesn't have any friends or family to talk to about this stuff - only me. I try to encourage him to treat my family as it were his own (because it is) and he recently came out to my mom (defensively and probably not the right way, but at least he did it and I thought he was incredibly brave for doing so).
We both ended up leaving our jobs (we worked together) and moving in with my mom in January. I found a job immediately and he was unemployed and looking for work while I worked and supported us for 4 months or so. He then got a job in a kitchen right as I was put on temporary Disability for my chronic pain and lost my job. He started becoming really unhappy with working in the kitchen, as people were always talking about him or being rude to him (he said it was a lot like high school, and I believe him - we live in a very tiny town). He got a call offering him a job he'd previously applied for at a pizza place, so I encouraged him to go to the interview and he ended up quitting the other job later that day.
He was happier there for a while, but now is feeling the same way he did at the other job - like people are talking about him, hinting things at him, he thinks that any joke made within earshot of him is meant to be about him or to hurt him, etc. I try very hard to listen and quiet his fears, but it never seems to help. As soon as he gets home, he wants to go smoke, and I let him because it seems to quiet his mind. He tells me that his brain never stops, but when I ask what he's thinking, it's "nothing".
I know he has to be frustrated with me sometimes too, because I am in pain almost on a daily basis, am learning to deal with and heal my own depression, etc but I feel like I am seeking treatment and trying to heal myself when he isn't. Every time either of us are stuck in our depression, communication is nearly impossible. It becomes a giant circle of "well this is how I feel" "well you feeling that way makes me feel like that" or "that's not fair" or "i'm sorry". How can we communicate more effectively?
I know we have tons of work to do, and we both are dedicated and committed to each other, but I think we need help!! I am encouraging him to seek treatment by signing up for health insurance, and he agreed to do that recently. But when I brought it up (in a moment of desperation, as we were having one of our circling arguments where nothing gets better) he got very offended, as he seems to think I am blaming everything he feels on his illness. I can recognize that he is going through a "mood" (I don't know what else to call it, but he becomes extremely quiet, needy but distant, moody, will stop eating, stop sleeping well, etc) but I don't know how to respond to him in a way that both expresses how he is making me feel, while making him feel better about his own feelings?
Any words of kindness would be grand. I am in this for the long-haul but am drowning in our combined depression, and I know that is not healthy for either of us. Please help!