Wednesday, February 1, 2023

My Boyfriend Is Depressed What Do I Do

How To Help A Boyfriend Whos Depressed: 5 Key Steps

What To Do When Your Partner Is Depressed

Interestingly, more women will suffer from some form of mental health condition in their lives than men one in every five, as opposed to one in every eight but sadly, far more men take their own lives as a result of said mental illnesses.

According to the Office for National Statistics, three in four suicides in the UK are carried out by men, making suicide the largest cause of death for men under 35.

So, weve asked Nathaniel Smithies, Founder and CEO of PlusGuidance, an online counselling service, for some tips on how to help your partner through a difficult time.

Seeing your loved one struggle with their mental health can leave you at a loss as to what to do and how to help, Smithies explains. Your boyfriend may feel distant, uninterested and at times even agitated, but you mustnt put too much pressure or blame on yourself for how hes feeling. Equally, you mustnt blame him for how hes feeling, either, he continues.

Like helping someone whos suicidal or talking to any loved one whos struggling, its a process that will affect you and your general wellbeing, too, so remember, practicing self care is key to being able to support others.

Keep reading for some simple steps you can take to help a boyfriend if hes depressed. And remember you are not alone.

I Think My Girlfriend Or Boyfriend Is Depressed: What Should I Do

Do you think your boyfriend is depressed? Are you worried about a girlfriend or partner being depressed? Not everyone knows what to do when someone they love has depression. Depression is a complex illness that requires careful management, and it’s not up to you to make your partner better. There is, however, plenty you can do to help someone with depression while still looking out for your own needs. Heres what to do if you think your girlfriend, boyfriend or partner is depressed.

Warning Signs Of Suicide

People with depression may be at risk of suicide. According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, more than half of those who die by suicide have major depression.

Partners of those with depression should be aware of the warning signs of suicide so that they can take swift action if necessary. Warning signs include:

  • talking about death or suicide
  • having a suicide plan

Also Check: Apps For Dealing With Depression

Negative Unrealistic Ways Of Thinking That Fuel Male Depression

All-or-nothing thinking. Looking at things in black-or-white categories, with no middle ground

Overgeneralization. Generalizing from a single negative experience, expecting it to hold true forever

The mental filter. Ignoring positive events and focusing on the negative. Noticing the one thing that went wrong, rather than all the things that went right.

Diminishing the positive. Coming up with reasons why positive events dont count

Jumping to conclusions. Making negative interpretations without actual evidence. You act like a mind reader or a fortune teller

Emotional reasoning. Believing that the way you feel reflects reality

Shoulds and should-nots.Holding yourself to a strict list of what you should and shouldnt do, and beating yourself up if you dont live up to your rules.

Labeling. Classifying yourself based on mistakes and perceived shortcomings

Depression Is Not Other People’s Responsibility

720 best Whispers on Dating images on Pinterest

Depression is not anyone’s fault, but we are all responsible for our own actions at the end of the day. Considering this, it is essential to keep in mind what you can actually affect.

Your partner is the primary agent in the path to accepting his diagnosis, understanding and setting boundaries to limit the consequences of his actions, and ultimately accessing treatment. You can help him along the way, but you will not be able to do it for him.

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Triggers For Depression In Men

Theres no single cause of depression in men. Biological, psychological, and social factors all play a part, as do lifestyle choices, relationships, and coping skills.

While any man can suffer from depression, there are some risk factors that make a man more vulnerable, such as:

  • Loneliness and lack of social support
  • Inability to effectively deal with stress
  • A history of alcohol or drug abuse
  • Early childhood trauma or abuse
  • Aging in isolation, with few social outlets

Depression and erectile dysfunction

Impotence or erectile dysfunction is not only a trigger of depression in men, it can also be a side effect of many antidepressant medications.

  • Men with sexual function problems are almost twice as likely to be depressed as those without.
  • Depression increases the risk of erectile dysfunction.
  • Many men are reluctant to acknowledge sexual problems, thinking its a reflection on their manhood rather than a treatable problem caused by depression.

They Look For More Distractions And Can Seem Disinterested Or Mentally Aloof

Men with depression tend to seek more distractions than women, which can be a problem if those distractions include alcohol and drugs. It also means more time might go by before he feels comfortable having the depression coming out conversation.

You can help him by encouraging positive distractions and guiding him away from the negative ones. You can even be one of those positive distractions on occasion.

Men also use distractions to remove themselves from the pain of depression. This can make them seem disinterested or oblivious.

CIA Medical Senior Editor Sarah Lisovich deals with depression and has dated a man with the illness. She said their outings often felt emotionally distant because both of them were trying to distract themselves from depression, from talking about it and discussing intense feelings.

His mind was far away, she said, and hers was not much closer at times.

Because the depression itself can be a distraction, there are other times when men with depressive symptoms can seem disinterested in those they are dating.

When depressed, I tend to focus more on myself and why Im this way than I focus on others, said author G. H. Francis, who deals with symptoms of depression as a result of his schizoaffective disorder.

Francis warned people who date men with depression to not mistake this lack of attention as a sign the man doesnt care.

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Caring Texts To Make Them Smile

  • Remember to take a break and eat something nourishing today!
  • Is there anything I can do to make your life easier RN?
  • Hey, I know we have plans tonight, and Iâd obviously love to see you â but just know that if you need some time to chill solo, thatâs totally fine by me.
  • Quick reminder: if youâre feeling overwhelmed today, try doing some deep breathing exercises .
  • Can I bring you some lunch today? #ServiceWithASmooch
  • Iâm already planning the most relaxing weekend for you. Almost there!
  • Let me know when youâre taking a break. I have a treat for you.
  • I want to cook for you tonight. What are you in the mood for?
  • If you want to take a break together, let me know! We could both use some fresh air.
  • Just Venmo-ed you. Coffee on me today. â¤ï¸
  • Studies:

    Hooker, E. D., Campos, B., & Pressman, S. D. . It just takes a text: Partner text messages can reduce cardiovascular responses to stress in females. Computers in Human Behavior, 84, 485â492. doi: 10.1016/j.chb.2018.02.033

    This article was originally published on 11.12.19

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    Signs Your Partner Is Dealing With Depression

    My Spouse is Depressed: Loving a Depressed Man

    Looking for early signs of depression in your partner canfeel like a game of Wheres Waldo? subtle clues are often hidden in the backgroundnoise of the daily grind.

    Thats where proximity comesinto play. You see this person on a daily, if not hourly basis, so you have to beaware of small changes that take place over time, Dr. Borland explains. Theseare things that youll recognize and say, Hmm, that seems out of character.

    Signs of depression in yourpartner might include changes in:

    • Communication:Are they pulling away from you? Or do they seem more on edge?
    • Substance use:Have they increased their alcohol intake? Are they experimenting with illicitsubstances?
    • Mood:Are they more irritable than normal? Are they crying a lot?
    • Sleep:Are they sleeping more, or less, than usual?

    Recommended Reading: How To Cure Depression And Anxiety

    Anger Arises Because We Feel Helpless

    Anger sometimes springs up to defend us against our own threatening feelings. Such as times when we feel vulnerable, helpless, rejected or sad .

    When we see someone struggle our first instinct is usually to help. We want to fix the situation and try to make the other person feel better. When someone is depressed however it can leave us feeling helpless as we simply dont know how to help.

    I went through something very difficult not so long ago and someone close to me kept getting angry at me every time I talked about the situation. I now know they werent angry with me. When I talked about the situation, they felt panicked, helpless, and unsure of how to support me. They wanted to stop the situation causing the distress and they couldnt. And so, anger sprang up to defend them against these feelings that were intolerable.

    Accept That There Will Be Bad Days

    People with depression have good days and bad days. To deal with the bad days:

    • expect that they will happen
    • understand that this is a normal part of depression
    • do not withdraw love or support during these times
    • take some time out and do something enjoyable, either alone or with others
    • remember that not every day will be like this there will be good days too

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    Encourage Him To Seek Professional Help If He Needs To

  • Deep sadness can be hard to handle on your own. If your boyfriend is sad a lot or hes going through tough times, a mental health professional might be able to help. Encourage him to make an appointment with a therapist or a counselor to talk about his feelings and what hes going through. He might be opposed at first, but remind him that hell feel much better in the long run.XResearch source
  • If your boyfriend is in school, have him talk to a school counselor on campus.
  • Engage In Physical Activities

    How to help my boyfriend through a period of depression

    Encourage your boyfriend to engage in physical activities. Along with social support and caring, exercise is an effective way to boost someones mood as it provides mood-enhancing chemicals called endorphins. Aside from that, physical activities are also a good distraction for him to make him stop thinking negative thoughts. You dont even have to go to the gym to do this. Make a routine for both of you to do physical activities while bonding with each other at the same time. You could go jogging every morning after waking up or go biking together at the park in the afternoon.

    Also Check: How To Ease Pms Depression

    What Happens When Your Boyfriend Has A Depressive Episode

    When my lover suffers from a depressed episode, he isolates himself. He removes everything and everyone. He doesn’t want to chat, he doesn’t want to be touched, he doesn’t want to be reassured of anything. He simply wishes to be left alone. He often becomes frustrated as a result of what is going on in his thoughts.

    During these times, it is very important for his family to understand that he needs space. He needs time by himself so that he can recover from this depression episode. As far as eating and sleeping are concerned, he needs these as much as anyone else. However, because of the nature of his illness, these need to be done in a proper manner. For example, if he were to sleep for too long of a period, then this could cause him more problems than what actually curing the disease itself would. Therefore, his family needs to make sure that they don’t interfere with these necessary activities.

    If you are wondering how to help your boyfriend during a depressive episode, then simply being there for him is all you need to do. Make sure that you don’t ask too many questions, since this might only make things worse for him. Allow him to talk about his feelings, but not too openly otherwise, this could also cause him further issues!

    Overall, depression is a serious condition that requires professional help. If you’re wondering how to help your boyfriend, then just giving him some attention will do the trick.

    Appreciate Small Milestones For Helping Depressed Boyfriend

    When your partner has depression, even the smallest lifestyle changes no matter how slow or insignificant can make a big difference to their emotional condition. Waking up at the same time for a week, taking a shower before noon, dressing well, etc are all little goals that must be met and celebrated.

    When your boyfriend has depression, even such simple tasks might make them feel like they are moving massive boulders. Thus, help them start slow and do one good thing at a time. Do not expect them to eat healthy and well one night and then wake up the next morning feeling on top of the world. Coping with or recovering from depression can be a one-step-forward-two-steps-backward kind of a process. You have to have patience in your relationship and be prepared to encounter many failures along the way.

    Nandita says, Do not try and change certain habits of your boyfriend unless you know that he wants to. If you push him too hard, it could have reverse repercussions that you do not want. What you want to do is increase his self-esteem by being positive and indulging in positive self-talk. Be genuine and supportive in your praise as that can really help, especially if it is coming from those other than you such as his friends or family. So try to encourage that if you can as it will give him a big boost.

    Recommended Reading: Prayer To St Jude For Depression

    Help Dealing With Your Boyfriends Depression

    Dont struggle through this alone find out if there are any depression support groups or counselors who specialize in depression in your community. Try to get in-person help for dealing with your boyfriends depression. Searching the internet and learning about signs of depression in men is good, but its important to get real life support.

    In When Depression Hurts Your Relationship: How to Regain Intimacy and Reconnect with Your Partner When Youre Depressed, Shannon Kolakowski, PsyD explores depression from the perspective of those who are in relationships with people who are dealing with depression spouses, parents, children, and lovers. She shares successful coping strategies of people who live with a clinical depressive or manic-depressive and often suffer in silence.

    If your boyfriend is dealing with depression, he may worry hes not good enough for you. He may be irritable and try to push you away if he feels like his emotions are out of his control. His sense of intimacy may diminish, and his interest may fizzle as a result of fatigue, medications and feeling disconnected you as his partner.

    The hard truth is that feelings of isolation, worthlessness, and tiredness can all take a hefty toll on your love life. But you dont have to let depression be the demise of your relationship.

    If your boyfriend seems more irritable and cranky than depressed, read How to Cope With a Moody Boyfriend.

    Buffer Stress By Making Space For Yourself

    Love Someone Who Has Depression? This is What You Need to Know.

    Because depression can feel like a third person in the relationship, you might need a healthy amount of space. This can alleviate the irritability issue mentioned earlier.

    Ava Strong, who has dated a man with depression, recommended partners practice healthy boundaries and self-love. This means protecting your mental health by giving yourself space when you feel it is at risk, which brings us to the next piece of advice.

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    Do Not Overboard Him With Your Concerns

    If your boyfriend is sad, he probably does not want the insecurities and sadness of his mind to spill over and cause hurt to you. At the same time, he wouldnt want to feel like he is someone who needs fixing. Doing so might make him feel like he is looked down upon and he could react in harsh ways, even.

    Nandita says, Its important that you understand his problems and try to be on the same page as him. You should suggest visiting a doctor or trying therapy. It is important that you keep any kind of judgment at bay because he is already in a very sensitive position. He will end up magnifying every little thing that you say and could take it very personally. Identify the positives in his personality and talk about them more than showing him that you are trying to change him.

    Offering them support is one thing, but taking charge of their personalities and trying to change them is another. He needs to feel a sense of independence to feel like he has conquered this battle instead of giving its reins to you.

    Related Reading: Practical Steps To Deal With Depression Our Panel Of Therapists Tell You

    Dear Therapist: My Boyfriends Depression Is Making Me Question Our Future Together

    I want to be there for him, but his depressive episodes are difficult for me to handle.

    Dear Therapist,

    My boyfriend and I are in our early 20s, and we recently moved in together after being in a long-distance relationship for four years. I’ve always known that he battles depression and has mild Aspergers. Recently, his depression has gotten much worse, and because this is the first time he has gotten very depressed since weve been physically together, I have no idea what Im doing. It is like Im walking on eggshells every time we speak, and if I say the wrong thing, he just shuts down. I cant push him for information or try to get him to help me with something around the house. I can barely get a normal conversation. I feel so alone.

    I love him very much, and I plan to spend the rest of my life with him, but I dont know how to live feeling like the floor could come out from under me at any time. He is trying to get help, but he refuses to go on any medications or stick with a plan to get better for very long. I am so scared that this is going to always be his lifea constant roller-coaster ride controlled by depression. I want so much more for him, and for us.

    I understand that theres nothing I can do to fix his depression. I just want to be there for him, but I cant sacrifice myself to his depression either. I need my boyfriend back. Help me, please.

    MaggieDestin, Fla.

    Dear Maggie,

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