My partner struggles to find joy in his main hobby (video games) and this results in strange OCD behaviour that makes him depressed. I feel helpless. I wish I knew how to make him end this pattern.
Only he knows what the underlying reasons are for his behaviour - and paradoxically he may not be aware of them if they are sub-conscious and from his childhood experiences which are being re-played in his adult life.
Does he believe that he has a problem? If not he is unlikely to get any help to explore it further.
If he has been diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder there will probably be some form of treatment underway ... or at least this safety-seeking behaviour will be monitored by the health services.
If I were working with him therapeutically I'd be interested in:-
His need for 'all-or-nothing'
The inner conflict he seems to be having about what he 'should' be doing
The need to 'wipe himself out' - and the experience of 'depression' for him
Is there an inner message about not succeeding - and if so what does that link to?
What is the significance to him of the need to withdraw and hide himself?
Do these patterns play out in his relationships?
Clearly you (and I) cannot become someone's unwanted therapist - but perhaps you might think about these aspects too - and if he is willing to get professional help then maybe these will give him something to work with.
The bottom line is - you can't fix him or change his behaviour(s)... only he can do that if the motivation and commitment to change is strong enough for him.
It may be helpful for you both to have some help with your relationship too (when he has got the the bottom of the behaviours you mention)...and look at the dynamics of your relationship and how you can improve things in future - with joint effort.
Maxine Harley (MSc) MIND HEALER & MENTOR
www.maxineharley.com - where you'll find some free reources that will be of help if a troubled childhood is at the root of the problem.
There is also some help available for troubled relationships.