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Boyfriend has depression. What do I do? Watch

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    My boyfriend told me about 2 weeks ago that depression he has had in the past has now returned. I have no idea how to deal with it. We've only been together for 4 months.

    I've comforted him for things he feels bad about specifically but I really struggle to know what to say when he just says he's feeling low. I really care about him and feel terrible that he feels like this and I can't help, or that I just don't know the right thing to say the difference in his behaviour now that it's returned is sometimes quite obvious, but other times he seems fine... I just don't know what I can do. I know it sounds awful but as much as I care, I don't really like being around him when he feels so low, it's not nice to see it and I just feel awkward and helpless. I sound awful but I miss the 'old' him.

    And obviously I feel at least partially at fault for this happening. I can't explain why but I feel like this must be at least something to do with not being happy with me, me not being good enough or enough to keep him happy. I've already felt inferior to his ex girlfriend before and I can't help feeling even more so now... don't know if this is irrational or not. He says it's nothing to do with me.

    Advice anyone?
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    (Original post by Anonymous)

    And obviously I feel at least partially at fault for this happening. I can't explain why but I feel like this must be at least something to do with not being happy with me, me not being good enough or enough to keep him happy. I've already felt inferior to his ex girlfriend before and I can't help feeling even more so now... don't know if this is irrational or not. He says it's nothing to do with me.

    Advice anyone?
    Are you a troll ? Cos you sound one. If not I will reply.

    No one is at fault for anything. Why do you blame yourself for his depression ? And you already feel inferior to his ex ? Unless you are 14, get out of this relationship.To me it feels like, you are suffering from depression not him.

    Saying so, two depressed will make it harder for each other. So, even though it may be difficult, make the hard decision and leave each other. I know cos I have seen such relationship. Sorry to say this, but it doesn't work.
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    (Original post by zaback21)
    Are you a troll ? Cos you sound one. If not I will reply.

    No one is at fault for anything. Why do you blame yourself for his depression ? And you already feel inferior to his ex ? Unless you are 14, get out of this relationship.To me it feels like, you are suffering from depression not him.

    Saying so, two depressed will make it harder for each other. So, even though it may be difficult, make the hard decision and leave each other. I know cos I have seen such relationship. Sorry to say this, but it doesn't work.
    No! I'm not depressed at all. I know it sounds silly but surely it's natural to feel a little bit at fault ? I just feel like I can't be making him very happy; half of me does know that that's probably just me grossly misunderstanding the causes of depression though.

    The reason I feel like that about exes is because my ex was still in love with his for the whole time we were together and I guess I have some issues about exes now! It's not important to the post, I should've left it out really - it's just that I've been thinking about that again now too, despite the fact I got over it within a few weeks of us getting together when I initially realised it was silly.
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    The reason I feel like that about exes is because my ex was still in love with his for the whole time we were together and I guess I have some issues about exes now!
    I don't know how to reply to this cos you seriously has your own issue which is quite severe than your bf which you are not seeing. Stop worrying about your bf when you should seek help for yourself from friends or else see a psychiatrist.

    Why the hell you still remained with him when he loved his ex ?
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    Mods, can this thread be deleted please? Not sure it was a good idea after all

    (Original post by zaback21)
    I don't know how to reply to this cos you seriously has your own issue which is quite severe than your bf which you are not seeing. Stop worrying about your bf when you should seek help for yourself from friends or else see a psychiatrist.
    I really think you've misunderstood, it was a brief mention of something that worried me and it's not severe at all.
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    Mods, can this thread be deleted please? Not sure it was a good idea after all



    I really think you've misunderstood, it was a brief mention of something that worried me and it's not severe at all.
    No I am not talking about your bf, I am talking about you. From what I have read or anyone will read, you are suffering from severe insecurity, hopelessness and inability to see that not everything is your fault.

    When in reality you should worry about yourself and not others.
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    I'm sorry you're struggling. Caring for somebody with depression can be really difficult at times, your relationship doesn't have to end, and if you want to, there are things you can do to make things easier!

    At the moment you're probably feeling quite overwhelmed, confused about some of his changes in behaviour and a bit helpless because you don't know what to do. One thing that really help both of you is to learn about depression, and to learn about how it affects your boyfriend. There are loads of resources online for people in your position, and you'll be able to learn more about what depression is and what you can do to help.

    Depression affects everyone differently, so to learn about how depression affects your boyfriend specifically, talk to him! People with depression often feel like nobody understands, so he will probably really appreciate having the chance to explain it to someone understanding and caring. Learn about how his depression makes him feel, what triggers those feelings and what makes him feel better. The more you know, the more you can help. Saying, "I care about you and I want to help" is not going to do any harm!

    One thing that is really, REALLY important is not to blame yourself. Depression can come along at the best of times or at the worst of times, but it certainly isn't your fault. If those feelings are starting to get to you, or if you are struggling with any aspect of your boyfriend's depression, it may help to talk to someone professional about it. There is no shame in it at all, and it can help so much.

    Good luck! It's obvious that you care about your boyfriend a lot.
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    My boyfriend told me about 2 weeks ago that depression he has had in the past has now returned. I have no idea how to deal with it. We've only been together for 4 months.

    I've comforted him for things he feels bad about specifically but I really struggle to know what to say when he just says he's feeling low. I really care about him and feel terrible that he feels like this and I can't help, or that I just don't know the right thing to say the difference in his behaviour now that it's returned is sometimes quite obvious, but other times he seems fine... I just don't know what I can do. I know it sounds awful but as much as I care, I don't really like being around him when he feels so low, it's not nice to see it and I just feel awkward and helpless. I sound awful but I miss the 'old' him.

    And obviously I feel at least partially at fault for this happening. I can't explain why but I feel like this must be at least something to do with not being happy with me, me not being good enough or enough to keep him happy. I've already felt inferior to his ex girlfriend before and I can't help feeling even more so now... don't know if this is irrational or not. He says it's nothing to do with me.

    Advice anyone?
    My boyfriend also has suffered from depression previously. The most important thing for you to remember is that this is not him merely being unhappy, this is a mental illness. He cannot help this the same way he could not help if he had cancer.
    You should encourage him to talk to a professional about this, preferably his doctor or a therapist. Don't fuss around him, just be there for him and try to encourage him to do things he enjoys.
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    (Original post by Shelly_x)
    My boyfriend also has suffered from depression previously. The most important thing for you to remember is that this is not him merely being unhappy, this is a mental illness. He cannot help this the same way he could not help if he had cancer.
    You should encourage him to talk to a professional about this, preferably his doctor or a therapist. Don't fuss around him, just be there for him and try to encourage him to do things he enjoys.
    I suffer from depression that I've thankfully got under control at the minute but a few months ago I was just in this horrible downward spiral, and when I got told by a doctor that I was depressed, my boyfriend at first misunderstood and told me that it was probably because of exams and I'd be fine if I just thought positively, which led to an argument in which I told him this (in bold). And then he got upset because he felt like there was nothing he could do to help and that he was losing me to it. I did a Google search of "how to help a partner who is depressed" and sent him the results, and he seems to be a lot better about it now, so maybe you could have a look at one of those?

    As someone who's experienced this from the other side, I think the best pieces of advice I can give you are:

    1) Never tell him that he just needs to think more positively or that he should cheer up. If he was able to do either of those things he would and therefore he wouldn't be depressed.

    2) Don't blame yourself. It's highly unlikely that you've caused this, depression sometimes just happens to people. If you blame yourself it'll just make you feel worse and you won't be as good a support to him.

    3) Don't feel like you have to 'fix' things for him - you don't. He has to reach out and get help, either from a psychiatrist, or a counsellor or someone who's trained to treat mental illnesses. Again, if you think this you'll just blame yourself if he doesn't get better which won't help. Accept that there's only so much you can do for him before he has to start taking steps towards getting better himself.

    4) Hugs are always appreciated. Very much appreciated.

    5) Encourage him to get help, and if/when he does, tell him how you think he's doing. My boyfriend told me whenever he thought I'd made some progress and it helped me a lot.

    6) Ask him what he wants you or thinks you could to do to help.

    7) Don't be afraid to tell him how you feel about it. He may be upset by it, but he needs to know. Knowing how much it was affecting my boyfriend was one thing that made me determined to get help and get better.

    8) If he's feeling low at all, you could suggest doing something that he enjoys doing together - it won't cure his depression but it'll distract him from the fact that he's feeling low. If it doesn't then he really needs to get some help ASAP.

    9) Accept that even if he recovers from this spell of depression, he's experienced it before - depression is something that never fully leaves you, so he'll still have times when he's feeling pretty low, but if he gets the help he needs they should be much less often.

    It's not a great situation to be in and for the longest time I didn't open up to my boyfriend properly about it so neither of us really understood how the other felt. Once that had happened things got a lot better. I've been in recovery for nearly 3 months now, but I've still had my bad days, and I've noticed he's been a lot better at dealing with them since I showed him the stuff I found on the internet.

    Depression can adversely affect relationships but if you can get through it together you come out of the other side much stronger than you were before.
 
 
 
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