Dear Dr. Fraser,

For a long time, I’ve been trying to put a bad relationship behind me. Every time I try to pull away, the person draws me back in. I end up in severe depression and have acute physical problems. Some days, I just want to throw in the towel and give up. No matter how much I pray and read the Bible, have counseling sessions, nothing seems to help. What steps can I take to get out of the depression that is pinning me down?


Dear Depressed,

It sounds to me like at least part of the answer to the problem lies within your statement, “Every time I try to pull away, the person draws me back in.”

Could it be that this is a co-dependent relationship? The individual is wielding unhealthy control over your life only because you are giving them that power. You are going to have to establish a firm boundary between you and them, and part ways for your own well-being. Since they are triggering your depressive symptoms, it is up to you to muster the strength to say “No!” to them and mean it. And then, you need to move forward in your life with the support of friends and family.

You can do this with God’s help, but only if you make the decision to stop playing the “victim” role and stand up for yourself. You’re far stronger than you think you are! This other person seems to be emotionally manipulative (even abusive). Remember that you have rights, too, as God’s child!

One more thing, I’m unclear if you are being medicated for your depression. If not, it may be something worth looking into. Thanks for reaching out to me. It’s time to start believing in yourself!

Dr. Ryan Noel Fraser

Photo by Wolfgang Staudt via Flickr