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. Here’s what to do if you think your girlfriend, boyfriend or partner is depressed.
Help! I Think My Boyfriend Is Depressed
If you Google “I think my boyfriend is depressed,” you’ll see that millions of people struggle with this issue every day. It can be difficult to know what to say or do when the man you love is suffering, especially if he’s distanced himself from you and won’t accept help. You may find yourself feeling alone in the relationship and wondering if your boyfriend will ever get better. The good news is, while you can’t fix his depression, there is plenty you can do to help.
Don’t blame him, or yourself
According to Nathaniel Smithies, Founder and CEO of PlusGuidance, you must keep blame out of the equation: “Your boyfriend may feel distant, uninterested and at times even agitated, but you mustn’t put too much pressure or blame on yourself for how he’s feeling. Equally, you mustn’t blame him for how he’s feeling either.”
Help him with everyday tasks
Some men find it difficult to ask for help for fear of appearing weak or co-dependent. If your boyfriend is depressed, he will need help with everyday tasks as well as encouragement to retain his independence. Preparing him a nice meal or buying him a get-well-soon gift is a small gesture that goes a long way, but there may also be practical things you can do to show support, such as driving him to medical appointments or helping him clean his apartment.
Encourage him to talk
Although it’s normal for men to seek help to move past their problems, and therapy is growing in popularity with both men and women, some men are still reluctant to open up about their problems. Encourage your boyfriend to see a therapist or doctor who can help him deal with his depression head-on.
I Think My Girlfriend Is Depressed: What Should I Do?
Thinking your girlfriend is depressed can be worrying, especially if she can't spot the signs of depression or refuses to seek help. Girls and women face many unique challenges when it comes to mental health, especially in the age of social media and pressures from all sides to look or be a certain way. Female hormones also have a role to play, and many women experience depression around the time of menstruation, pre or post pregnancy and when they go through the menopause. All of this can be difficult to understand if you have no experience of depression, so what can you do to help?
Listen and communicate
Although you may feel like it’s up to you to provide an answer or solution if your girlfriend is depressed, you can't fix mental illness. There is plenty of practical and emotional support you can provide, but your main job is to listen and communicate with your partner and encourage her not to feel shame or guilt for being unwell.
Know that there is no ‘normal’
People with depression don't necessarily seem depressed all of the time. There is no normal when it comes to mental illness; some people experience major depressive symptoms for months or years, while others have days where they feel okay and others where they don't, especially during recovery. If you think your girlfriend is depressed but her moods seem to change rapidly, it's important to consult a doctor, as this can be a sign of a mood disorder.
Loving someone with depression can be a lonely place, and it’s important to remember that you deserve compassion, too. You must build your own support system of friends, family and loved ones, so you have somewhere to go when it all gets too much. For local support groups, online forums and information on depression, visit the National Alliance on Mental Illness website.
Smith, E. (2019, March 25). I Think My Girlfriend or Boyfriend is Depressed: What Should I Do?, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2020, April 5 from https://www.healthyplace.com/depression/relationships/i-think-my-girlfriend-or-boyfriend-is-depressed-what-should-i-do