How to help your boyfriend with depression and anxiety
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.SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: Helping a friend struggling with depression: Tips from Dr. Randy Auerbach
If you are in a relationship with someone who has depression, you are likely struggling with a mix of emotions and hosts of questions. What's it really like to feel depressed? What can you do to help them through hard times? How will their symptoms and treatment impact your relationship? While every person's experience with depression is unique, here are a few things you can do to help your loved one and yourself.
A great way to support your loved one is to learn everything you need to know about depression, including its causes, symptoms, and treatments. Ask your partner's doctor for some reputable sources that provide the facts about depression, or do a quick search yourself on the Internet.
You can start with the following reputable sources:. There are many myths about depression. For example, depression is not simply the result of laziness or weakness. Your partner's pain may not "just be in their head. If you are unfamiliar with depression, challenge preconceived thoughts, ideas, and stigma by educating yourself.
It's especially important to validate your partner's feelings and experience of this very real and biologically-based illness, and, just like any other illness, it can be treated. Suicide is also a very real risk of depression so it's important to keep your loved one's environment safe such as removing any alcohol, drugs, or guns and to take it seriously if your loved one is feeling suicidal.
If you are having suicidal thoughts, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at for support and assistance from a trained counselor. If you or a loved one are in immediate danger, call For more mental health resources, see our National Helpline Database. It can be very stressful coping with another person's depression.
It's OK to take some time out for yourself. Self-care is not selfish. In fact, you'll both be better off if you carve out time to safeguard your mind, body, and spirit. Caring for yourself might also mean knowing when it's time to say goodbye. Certainly, this decision should be weighed carefully and ideally discussed with a mental health professional , but you may need to walk away if you or your children's emotional or physical well-being or safety are at risk.
When someone you care about is depressed, it's OK for you to feel frustrated, angry, and upset. It is very important, however, that you don't allow these feelings to fester and grow. Therapists, counselors, and support groups are not only for people with depression. Seeking professional help for yourself can help you feel supported, vent your frustrations, and make you more aware of your own emotional needs. Therapy can also provide answers to any questions you have about coping with the depression of a loved one.
One of the most important things you can do for someone who is depressed is simply to be there for them and verbalize your support. Hold them close or just listen while they share their feelings. Offer to help them with making appointments or doing some of the daily chores that they are struggling to keep up with.
Let them know that you are there for them in whatever way they need while they make their recovery. Depression can make people behave in ways that they normally wouldn't when they are feeling well. They may become angry, irritable, or withdrawn. They may not be interested in going out or doing things with you like they used to.
Your spouse or significant other may lose interest in sex. These things are not personal, and they don't mean that your partner no longer cares for or about you. They are symptoms of the illness that requires treatment. Just like when a person has any other illness, they may simply not feel well enough to take care of paying the bills or cleaning the house. And, just like with any other illness, you may have to temporarily take over some of their daily chores until they feel well enough to do them again.
Treatment is vitally important to a person's recovery from depression. You can help your loved one by helping them keep up with taking their medication and remembering appointments.
You can also help them by reassuring them that asking for help is not a sign or weakness or something to be ashamed of. Offer them hope by reminding them of their reasons to keep living, whatever they may be. Perhaps it's their children, a beloved pet who needs them, or their faith. These reasons, which will be unique to the individual, can help them hold on a bit longer until the pain subsides. Depression can make a person feel like a burden and unworthy of love and support.
Proactively counteract those thoughts by telling and showing your partner that you love them. Let them know that you understand that depression is affecting their thoughts, feelings, and behavior and that you still love them.
Reassure them that you are here to support them in their journey to get better. Everything feels more challenging when you're dealing with depression. Get our free guide when you sign up for our newsletter. Dean J, Keshavan M. The neurobiology of depression: An integrated view.
Asian J Psychiatr. Grohol JM. Top 10 Signs of Depression. Psych Central. Educate Yourself A great way to support your loved one is to learn everything you need to know about depression, including its causes, symptoms, and treatments. Separate Fact From Fiction There are many myths about depression. Remember to Take Care of Yourself It can be very stressful coping with another person's depression.
Try: Eating a healthy diet Exercising Getting enough sleep Practicing relaxation strategies Spending time in nature Practicing prayer or meditation Staying socially connected Participating in hobbies and activities you enjoy Caring for yourself might also mean knowing when it's time to say goodbye.
Get Support When someone you care about is depressed, it's OK for you to feel frustrated, angry, and upset. Be There for Them One of the most important things you can do for someone who is depressed is simply to be there for them and verbalize your support. Don't Take It Personally Depression can make people behave in ways that they normally wouldn't when they are feeling well.
Help Out Around the House Just like when a person has any other illness, they may simply not feel well enough to take care of paying the bills or cleaning the house. Treatment Is Important Treatment is vitally important to a person's recovery from depression. Offer Hope Offer them hope by reminding them of their reasons to keep living, whatever they may be. Demonstrate Your Love Depression can make a person feel like a burden and unworthy of love and support.
Was this page helpful? Thanks for your feedback! Sign Up. What are your concerns? Article Sources. Verywell Mind uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
Suicide prevention. Updated October Related Articles. Does Your Teen Seem Depressed? Here's How to Help. What Is Clinical Depression? When Grief Comes Home for the Holidays. Can Depression Actually Kill You?
How to help someone with depression
I suffer from depression myself and I know how tough it can be. But I want to talk to the partners - the people living with the people who are living with depression. It can make them say and do things that you just don't understand. I spent three years talking to more than people about their experiences with love, sex, and depression for my book, The Monster Under The Bed. These are their tips.
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.
How to cope when your partner has depression
Find out more about cookies and your privacy in our policy. ReachOut are running a new wave of recruitment for research about our users and want to hear from you! Tell me more. 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.
7 ways to help if your boyfriend is suffering from mental health problems
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. Living with depression for a longer period of time can take a toll on your partner's levels of energy, motivation and passion.
If you are in a relationship with someone who has depression, you are likely struggling with a mix of emotions and hosts of questions. What's it really like to feel depressed? What can you do to help them through hard times? How will their symptoms and treatment impact your relationship?
Supporting your partner with anxiety or depression
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.
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. He offered to help me with my art magazine and it went from there.
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. I can barely get a normal conversation. I feel so alone. 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.
Almost all couples have their share of challenges. However, when half of a couple has an anxiety disorder, both partners face a new set of challenges, and other challenges may be exacerbated. Although the study looked specifically at GAD, many of these findings would likely be true for other anxiety disorders, too. Having an anxiety disorder is usually associated with a great deal of personal distress, but it can be equally difficult for significant others. Partners of those suffering with anxiety problems often take on more than the normal share of domestic, economic, parenting, and other responsibilities such as the following:.
Depression in Men
This is a space to ask questions, share experiences and support each other. Find a relevant thread or start your own! Forum membership is open to anyone residing in Australia. My 25 year old boyfriend whom i have been with for 6 years is very depressed.
Anxiety and depression can have a devastating effect on a new family. If your partner has anxiety or depression, it can be hard to know how to help. It might seem like nothing you try makes them feel any better, and you might end up feeling helpless and frustrated as a result. Many dads say that a key turning point is understanding that anxiety and depression are health conditions.
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. When your boyfriend recognises that you can communicate without any pressure, he may confide in you more often.
Mental illness, including depression , is something every person must face and manage in their own way. But it also impacts relationships with friends, family — and particularly partners. Those closest to someone living with depression can be a huge source of love, comfort, and support. But they can often feel enormous pressure. Couples face a higher chance of divorce when one or both partners has a mental health condition. A multinational study found a 12 percent increase in the prevalence of divorce. Rather, it comes from how they interact and communicate, and how both partners approach the symptoms of the illness.
When your spouse has depression , you might be very worried, and feel utterly helpless. After all, depression is a stubborn, difficult illness. Your partner might seem detached or deeply sad.