How to support your boyfriend who has depression
During Men's Health Week, here's how you can help if a man in your life is suffering with depression and anxiety. But what should you do if your boyfriend or husband is suffering from mental health problems? A key warning sign that your boyfriend is dealing with depression or anxiety is him shutting down communication. Not every conversation has to be about how he is feeling, as that can feel claustrophobic.SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: Dr. Denney - Male Depression
SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: How to Help a Spouse With DepressionContent:
- 5 Signs That Depression Is Eroding Your Relationship
- ‘I broke up with my boyfriend when he had depression’
- Supporting a partner with depression
- Supporting a partner with depression
- How to support a partner with depression
- 7 ways to help if your boyfriend is suffering from mental health problems
- Tips for Coping With Depression in a Relationship
5 Signs That Depression Is Eroding Your Relationship
No one teaches us how to navigate a relationship when mental illness or depression enters the equation. I recently read a Washington Post article by a woman whose relationship was torn apart while she and her partner tried to deal with his depression. Last year when I plunged into a depressive episode during our relationship, my partner was at a loss. He had never dealt with this and wanted so badly to help, but had no idea what to do. Sure we hit bumps along the road, but in the end I felt loved, supported, and understood in a way I never had before during a depressive episode, and he felt like he knew what was going on—a big deal in this situation—and was equipped to deal with it.
It operates on the notion that the not-depressed partner is wonderful and selfless for standing by the partner with depression. They should therefore feel so lucky their partner is generously taking them on—ergo, broken and lucky. This means trying to follow their lead. Listening more than you talk. Trusting each other. Believing your partner or spouse when they describe their symptoms. Learning about what depression is. Meeting your partner where they are.
Being open to communicating differently. Someone dealing with depression is living in a whole different world. Getting angry at them for not showing up for you the same way they did before a depressive episode struck is like getting mad at your dog for not being ice cream—futile, frustrating, and kind of mean.
One of the first things I taught my partner was the Spoon Theory. Created by Christine Miserandino whom I consider the patron saint of folks with chronic invisible ailments , the Spoon Theory gave my partner a concrete understanding of my limited physical, mental, and emotional resources, as well as a simple language with which to ask about them.
The other resource that we found most helpful in understanding the unique language around depression was, well, a video game! When my partner first played it, he called me, sounding shaken. I told him yes, and he admitted that depression was so much harder, scarier, and more frustrating than it looks from the outside. Depression looks different from person to person and even from episode to episode , but I have never seen anything else evoke the feelings of depression the way that game does.
It can make us people who get angry easily. When your partner feels like they are ruining your plans, not fun to be around, crying yet again, both may kick in. Then repeat. A lot. Do you need me to bring you anything before I go? I was lucky heading into my last episode, because I am an introvert in a long distance relationship with a pretty intense extrovert, so we were already used to socializing separately. This is especially true for partners who live together. Here are a few tips for managing seasonal depression.
The solution here is so simple, though: take responsibility for your own social life. Make the plans you want to make, let your partner know they are welcome to join, but wherever they are is okay remember? You may need to discuss this idea with your partner if separate socializing is new for you, but ultimately, this can lift a whole lot of strain off of you both of you and your relationship, while giving you each much-needed self-care time.
This is a lot of work for one person, and you are doing some serious heavy-lifting by supporting a depressed partner in a relationship. What about when you need someone to be your soft landing place and during a period of time when your partner just CANNOT do it? Make sure you have your own support network. Hopefully your partner has a therapist, and you may want to consider one for yourself. Overall, when it comes to navigating depression in relationships together, think about what will make you each stronger.
These ideas are all about standing in solidarity with your partner, validating them when they feel vulnerable, and ensuring support for yourself. When we talk about depression and relationships, we tend to talk about frustration, anger, and confusion. I firmly believe getting on the same page with one another can remedy a whole lot of that, because I believe people have more capacity for empathy and mutual support than we give them credit for.
This article was originally published on YourTango ; republished with the kindest permission. Looking for real talk about the most important relationships in your life? Who isn't!
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Whether you're single, married, divorced, or in-between, the online magazine is not afraid to cover the stuff we all think, but don't say out loud. Also, the articles and hilarious memes on their Facebook page bring tears to our eyes! The literature on what to do or what NOT to do can feel a little cloudy. Our experiment worked! This unhealthy model only results in anger, resentment, and destroyed relationships.
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‘I broke up with my boyfriend when he had depression’
It can be quite challenging to help a loved one through depression. When this person is your boyfriend, you will feel your own emotional pain. Your boyfriend may be angry and lash out at you often. He may even try to withdraw from you completely.
Understanding how depression affects your partner can be key to building a healthy, supportive relationship that cares for the mental wellbeing of both partners. Depression can cause people to withdraw, behave differently or become more irritable. Common symptoms include insomnia, feelings of worthlessness and loss of interest in activities. It can even lead to physical aches and pains.
Supporting a partner with depression
Standing on the sidelines when a partner battles depression can feel like a helpless experience. You might feel confused, frustrated, and overwhelmed. You are not alone. Depression is an isolating illness that can negatively impact relationships and leave loved ones feeling helpless and afraid. The mood in major depression is often described as sad, hopeless, discouraged, or feeling down, but it can also include persistent anger. Angry outbursts and blaming others is common. Social withdrawal and lack of interest or pleasure are common among depressed people. Family members notice that depressed people seem not to care about finding joy anymore. All of these factors can make it difficult to know how to help a depressed partner. But your support is important.
Supporting a partner with depression
T here is no lightning-bolt moment when you realise you are losing your sense of self; just an absence. When you are caring for someone you love, your wants and needs are supplanted by theirs, because what you want, more than anything, is for them to be well. Looking after a partner with mental health problems — in my case, my husband Rob, who had chronic depression — is complicated. Like many people, Rob and I were not raised in a society that acknowledged, let alone spoke about, depression. The silence and stigma shaped how he dealt with his illness: indeed, he struggled with the very idea of being ill.
It's Mental Health Awareness Week and we're looking at people's experiences of mental health issues - their own and those of their loved ones. Here, our writer describes her boyfriend's struggle with depression - and the toll it took on her. I met Liam the way many modern romances start. We were friends of friends who started chatting online.
How to support a partner with depression
Editor's Note: Every Monday, Lori Gottlieb answers questions from readers about their problems, big and small. Have a question? Email her at dear. 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.
Try these: time management relationship advice healthy lifestyle money wealth success leadership psychology. When you married your partner, you agreed to love and support them for better or for worse, through sickness and in health. Though you may have found it easy to maintain your connection when you were both in a good mental space, your vows are tested when one of you experiences emotional issues. Relationships take work, and those that are marked by a depressed spouse take even more work than usual. Whether you are learning how to communicate better or are striving to keep the passion alive in your partnership, you must continually work on both the relationship and yourself to sustain a healthy union. Dealing with a depressed wife or depressed husband can be very challenging.
7 ways to help if your boyfriend is suffering from mental health problems
Find out more about cookies and your privacy in our policy. Read about how Sara dealt with the overwhelming experience of helping her depressed boyfriend, and the lessons she learnt in the process. Seeing a loved one go through a hard time always impacts you in some way or another. You watch them hang their head and cry a little, and you pat them awkwardly on the back and tell them it will be okay, because you feel sad for them and want them to be okay. But you then carry on with your own life. When my boyfriend of two years started to get a bit emotional, I told him it was hormones, or the stress of exams, and I said I would hold his hand whenever he felt sad. One Sunday about a month later, I was sitting at home watching the telly when he called and asked to come over. I'll meet you at the train station.
As men, we like to think of ourselves as strong and in control of our emotions. When we feel hopeless or overwhelmed by despair we often deny it or try to cover it up. But depression is a common problem that affects many of us at some point in our lives, not a sign of emotional weakness or a failing of masculinity. It affects millions of men of all ages and backgrounds, as well as those who care about them—spouses, partners, friends, and family. However, male depression changes how you think, feel, and function in your daily life.
Tips for Coping With Depression in a Relationship
No one teaches us how to navigate a relationship when mental illness or depression enters the equation. I recently read a Washington Post article by a woman whose relationship was torn apart while she and her partner tried to deal with his depression. Last year when I plunged into a depressive episode during our relationship, my partner was at a loss. He had never dealt with this and wanted so badly to help, but had no idea what to do.
Karen S. She no longer enjoyed her favorite activities, preferring to spend weekends sleeping in and watching TV. Their sex life was nonexistent. If you experience five or more symptoms for at least two weeks, you could have clinical depression, also known as major depression.
Being in a romantic relationship when one or both of you suffer from depression is a massive challenge. Depression can make your partner seem distant. None of that means your relationship is the problem. You two can tackle this together. We can give you some tips and suggestions, but only you and your partner can decide your boundaries, your compromises, and what you can handle.