What Do You Do When Your Boyfriend Is Sad And Distant
If you are looking for ways to help your partner who is sad and struggle with some personal issues, some of the things you can do to be supportive include:
- Being gentle with your words, behaviour, and attempts to help him express himself.
- Dont overthink things, rather choose to ask him to talk about it when he is ready.
- Respect their feelings, no matter how irrational it might seem. Give him a safe space to talk about his feelings, acknowledge them, and help him express them.
- Little gestures go a long way. This could be simply listening to him, buying him his favorite snacks, spending time with him without expecting anything in return. If it does you good to give at a time when your partner is unable to do the same for you, go for it.
- Remind him that help is out there by encouraging him- even educating him about seeking professional help.
Theyre Not Lazy Theyre Depressed
One of the common misconceptions of depressed people is that they are lazy. This comes from the fact that they can often be messy and unproductive when they are in depressive stages. In fact, this is a direct symptom of depression. It is not that they are lazy, it is that they are exhausted, both mentally and physically. Depression takes a toll on the mind, often leaving its victims too drained to do the things they would normally do in life, making it hard to even get out of bed.
Help Them Connect To Mental Health Resources
Social support can make people more resilient against the effects of mental illnesses, including depression. However, often its not enough on its own. Depression is a mental illness, which means that people who live with it usually need treatment to recover fully.
One of the most important things you can do to help someone depressed is to get them connected to mental health resources. Depression often drains us of the energy to make significant changes in our lives. Connecting to resources is a practical way to help your loved ones start getting out of their suffering.
If your loved one has health insurance, many psychiatrists, treatment centers, or mental health therapists accept it. But, remember, whether your loved one decides to use these resources is up to them alone.
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Help My Boyfriend Is Depressed And Pushing Me Away
If youve never been depressed, you might not know why your boyfriend is pushing you away. You may not understand his emotional struggles, and you might even worry that youre somehow to blame.
Heres the thing about depression: it is no ones fault. Its also no ones job to make it better unless that person is a medical professional. If your boyfriend’s behavior is getting you down, however, you may wonder whether you should even stay in the relationship. First, you need to understand why your boyfriend is pushing you away so that you can take the right course of action.
According to UK depression charity, Blurt, these are the main reasons why depressed people push others away:
The bottom line is this: depression is hard, and many people push others away because they find it easier to be alone.
What To Do When My Boyfriend Is Depressed And Pushes You Away
Depression builds walls and/or burns the bridges around and between people. When your boyfriend has been dragged inside those walls and one across the bridge, there can be a distance between you and him that feels merciless. You miss him and though he is right there next to you, it feels like he is not. At least, not in the way both of you want to be.
Depression is like a withdrawal and it somehow feels that way too. It is a withdrawal from everything that is prospering and life-giving. Depression sucks the life out of ones life. When depression strikes, everything suddenly becomes hard and life starts to hurt. Your depressed boyfriend starts to stop looking forward to things.
He stops engaging and enjoying things, even the things he used to love. It can be difficult for you to reach him and sometimes he can be mad or appear as though he does not care. That is not because he wants to withdraw from you or push you away, although it can feel that way.
Here are some ways you can do for him.
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Be Realistic About Your Expectations
Dealing with depression is exhausting, and it can make something even as small as taking a shower seem insurmountable, which means its essential to be realistic about your expectations when it comes to how someone manages their mental health. Doing a load of laundry and putting it away could be a huge achievement for someone struggling with depression, and its important not to negate these triumphs as just being normal things. Even those who are actively dealing with their depression will face setbacks, as depression is the same as any recovery process in that its not linear. You may wonder during these times whether your friend will be OK or what is a normal life difficulty and what requires intervention, but the best thing you can do to support someone with depression is to keep the lines of communication open. This way you are aware of whats going on and the other person has the best chance of feeling comfortable talking to you about it.
They Blame You For Everything
According to your partner, youre the one to blame for everything wrong that happens in their life. It seems like everything you do is a mistake in their eyes, and it makes you feel terrible.
You should know that you cant be the one to blame for everything. Your partner is probably just trying to find a reason to leave the relationship. They push you away by blaming everything on you even though you probably did nothing wrong.
Even if you did do something wrong, they probably exaggerated it and made a big fuss about it even though that wasnt necessary.
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Can Anxiety Push Your Partner Away
People who struggle with anxiety also struggle with irrational thoughts, they might be quick to jump to conclusions and expect the worst. They may also fear being hurt or hurting others or being rejected and abandoned.
This anxiety can cause your partner to behave in ways that are emotionally or even physically distant- this is often because they are afraid and these fears usually arise due to various irrational beliefs about themselves and the world.
Take Care Of Yourself
Lastly, taking care of yourself is a big part of supporting a loved one with depression. But, as they say, you cant pour from an empty cup. In other words, you cant help anyone at all if your mental health is suffering.
Dont neglect your self-care practices in the name of supporting your loved one. Make sure you get plenty of uninterrupted sleep , eat nourishing meals, and move your body in healthy ways. In addition, taking care of your mental health going to therapy or a support group yourself might be helpful.
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Do Take Action If Youre Concerned About Your Loved Ones Safety
Lastly, take appropriate action if youre concerned that your loved one may harm themselves or try to end their life. Is there someone else in your loved ones life with who they trust and feel safe? Can you let them know about your concerns?
If you think your loved one is suicidal, but theyre rejecting your help, that can put you in a tough spot. But, at the same time, if your loved one is in a crisis, they must get help from somewhere. Suicide is a preventable cause of death, and you can do things to make a difference.
Things To Remember When Someone You Love Is Depressed
Written byMarc Chernoff //
There are wounds that never show on the body that are deeper and more hurtful than anything that bleeds. Laurell K. Hamilton
If you love someone who is depressed, please resolve never to ask them why. They dont know. Depression isnt a straightforward, thought-out response to a tough situation depression just IS, like Decembers weather in Seattle.
Be mindful of the darkness, lethargy, hopelessness and loneliness theyre going through. Be there for them, day in and day out, until they come through the other side. Its hard to be a true friend to someone whos depressed, but its one of the kindest, finest and most impactful things you will ever do.
Angel and I have worked with dozens of depressed people over the years, and we have experienced bouts of depression ourselves. One thing I am certain of is that theres no one size fits all kind of advice for depression. The reminders below arent universal clarifications, but simple guidelines that will hopefully give you a general starting point for helping your depressed loved one cope and heal, gradually.
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Depression Exhausts And Consumes A Person Which Is Why You Cant Take Their Behavior Personally
Relentless exhaustion is a common side effect of depression. Just getting out of bed in the morning can be an overwhelming and excruciating experience. Also, someone suffering from depression may feel OK one moment and feel completely depleted the next, even if theyre eating right and getting plenty of sleep. This can result in them canceling plans, departing get-togethers early, or saying no far more often than youd like. Just remember its not about you it has nothing to do with what you did or didnt do. These are just some of the prevalent side effects working through depression.
Do your best to never take anything they do too personally. People can only give to others what they have, and depression takes almost everything away from a person. All your actions and words should come from a place of love, but that doesnt mean your depressed loved one will always be loving in return, and thats OK. When you do not take things personally, you liberate yourself you open yourself to loving someone who truly needs you, freely, and without letting needless expectations get in the way of the immeasurable amounts of affection you are capable of giving.
Why Depressed Partners Push You Away
At some point in everyones lifetime, someone close to us, such as a partner, experiences hardship or trying times. It can be frustrating and confusing why our partners push us away as they deal with depression. Sometimes we do the opposite of what our partner needs by smothering them in an effort to help. This response can be harmful, which is why its important to understand why they push you away and what to do about it.
Depressed partners push those closest to them away as a defense mechanism for various reasons, like feeling more comfortable alone or not having the energy to keep up with you. Its situational, just like your response should be. By being empathetic and trying to understand the situation can help further educate yourself on an appropriate response.
As a partner, we can become enablers or deepen the depression by not loving enough or too much. Sometimes our partners dont realize they are becoming withdrawn. Everything is based on personal experience. And with a deepened understanding of why partners push away, we can figure out what to do.
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Saying Things Like Its Not That Big Of A Deal You Just Need Some Fresh Air Or Its Time To Move On Rarely Help
Its easy to tell someone you love positive things like this because you think youre giving them hope and helping ease their pain, but to someone suffering from depression these kinds of simple, clichéd phrases often come across the wrong way thoughtless, empty and essentially worthless.
The truth is phrases like these dont address reality and only agitate the anxiety within, making a depressed person wish they were alone. Its like trying to strap a two-inch Band-Aid on a foot-long, gaping wound.
So what can you say instead? Again, theres no one size fits all answer. Just be supportive.
Heres a rough idea of what I might say :
I love you, and Im not the only one. Please believe me. Please believe that the people who love you are worth living for even when you dont feel it. Strive to re-visit the good memories depression is hiding from you, and project them into the present. Breathe. Be brave. Be here and take today just one step at a time. Exercise because its good for you even if every step weighs 900 pounds. Eat when food itself sickens you. Reason with yourself when you have lost your reason. Im here now, and Ill be here tomorrow too. I believe in you. We are in this together.
And then Id give them a long, silent hug. Again and again.
How To Help Someone Who Is Depressed And Suicidal
Suicidal thoughts and feelings are sometimes a part of depression. If you recognize any warning signs of suicide in your loved one, you must take them seriously.
If you notice any warning signs of suicide, or if your loved one lets you know that theyre having suicidal thoughts, take appropriate action right away. Dont panic, and talk to the person about your concerns. Dont beat around the bush, and address the issue of suicide directly.
If its safe and appropriate to do so, let other people in your loved ones life know about your worries. Provide your loved one with the national suicide hotline number: 1-800-273-8255. You can also call this number yourself to ask for guidance about the best course of action for someone in your position.
If appropriate, help your loved one make a safety plan. Please help them remove any dangerous or sharp objects from their reach, including knives, firearms, ropes, and certain medications. Please encourage them to tell their medical provider or therapist about their suicidal thoughts.
Keep in mind that not all suicidal thoughts equal a crisis. For example, many people have passive thoughts about wanting to die but never make an action plan to end their lives. You can use the Columbia Protocol to ask your loved ones questions and determine if theyre going through a mental health crisis.
For more information about how to help someone who is suicidal, visit the Suicide Prevention Lifeline or call them at 1-800-273-8255.
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They Are Scared Of Letting You In
A fear of intimacy causes people to push their loved ones away.
They are afraid of getting hurt, possibly because of a bad experience in the past. If your partner avoids intimacy, it is to preserve themselves from possible heartbreak or rejection. They may have painful experiences from their past relationships. They are scared of letting you in and allowing you to hurt them. The thought of a close relationship makes them uncomfortable, so they push you away.
Pushing People Away As A Defense Mechanism: Spotting The Signs
Fear of intimacy is often our subconscious way of avoiding stress and rejection. Because we rarely do it deliberately, it can be tricky to realize its happening. Often, others will notice before you if youre behaving differently.
Those closest to you are probably your best indicators of whether youre acting differently in states of heightened emotion, were rarely the best judges of how we come across. Examples of pushing people away in relationships might include the following:
- Youre no longer returning calls or messages.
- You send fewer requests to people suggesting a meetup.
- You regularly make excuses not to hang out.
- You show less interest in the emotions of others.
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Make Sure That Connecting With More People Is A Healthy Decision
Some people are naturally more outgoing than others. You might be perfectly happy keeping a small circle of close friends to confide in . But more extroverted peeps might see it as more of a problem to solve.
If youre going to make a conscious effort to change your behavior and open up to more people, do it for you. If youre losing touch with close friends or partners, people you value in your life, then you might want to explore options to fix that.
But dont feel the pressure to become a social butterfly if thats simply not who you are.
Forcing yourself to maintain more relationships than you can cope with risks unnecessary stress. If you feel theres a problem that needs correcting, you can look at taking steady, positive steps.
How To Help Someone With Depression Who Doesnt Want It
Maybe youve noticed that a friend or loved one doesnt hang out as much as they used to or they always have an excuse for why they cant join in on social outings. Or maybe youve seen a decline in caring about personal appearance or the cleanliness of their home. While everyone has busy stages of life where you skip hair washing day or dont get to the dishes or laundry, these can also be warning signs that someone is struggling with depression.
Its normal to be unsure of how to talk to a person with depression without making the situation worse comments like just cheer up or I dont understand why you think your life is so bad arent helpful but there are some things you can do to be supportive during this time. Understanding how depression works and how it affects a persons life is the first step in figuring out how to help a depressed friend who wont talk.
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