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Boyfriend has depression- how do I support him?

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Bluebird00

New member
Joined
Apr 24, 2019
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4
Location
England
Out of the blue my boyfriend broke down just over a week ago and said he is feeling really down and anxious. He is showing all the signs of depression such as he says he feels numb and doesn’t care about anyone or anything, he can’t sleep, he has so much going on in his head and can’t process any of it and he feels withdrawn. For about 6 days he kept saying ‘I dunno’ when anyone asked what was wrong and then he finally opened up to me saying everything is wrong. He said he is having a bad time at work which I already knew about as he was struggling a few months ago and that he doesn’t know if he doesn’t care about me because he is feeling down or if our relationship is causing him to feel down so he is battling in his head. When he was having a bad time at work a few months ago he started taking antidepressants and then stopped them suddenly about a month ago because he felt ok which I know is absolutely not the right thing to do. I feel his work is the main factor in causing his depression combined with stopping the tablets suddenly. I know deep down he wants to be with me as I suggested splitting but he said no and when I suggested time apart for a few days which is something he mentioned, he broke down and said no. I feel he wants me around but he doesn’t want to kiss me, hug me or even hold my hand at all which is so sad. Is the fact he wants me around a good thing even if he can’t bring himself to show affection towards me? I want to support him through this and hope he gets better but it is so hard not knowing what to do or where I even stand with him. He said he doesn’t want to speak to a counsellor as he will feel like he is cracking up having therapy as well as taking tablets but I know this is something that will help him. He has never been this bad before and I just need reassurance that our relationship will be ok and that he will want to kiss and cuddle me again. He has only been on the tablets again for a week and a half so I know they haven’t taken full effect yet but I’m struggling with knowing what to do and I need hope that things could get better again.
 
calypso

calypso

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:welcome: to the forum. I think you are probably doing the right thing in supporting him. As for blaming the relationship, do you think that he is casting about trying to pin it on something, anything to understand? I can't tell from a post if he wants to stay with you long term but the fact he wants you there says something important.

If he won't go to counselling on his own, how about both of you together. If you are British, there is an organisation called Relate | The relationship people who will see couples or individuals who have relationship problems. They are very well trained and it could be a sneaky way of getting some help for him.

I agree with you, coming off the anti depressants suddenly almost certainly catapaulted him into a bad reaction and depression. You have to be on them for 6 months or more to get the effects of them continuously. Coming off them because you feel better is a sign they were working !! But he's right, pills aren't everything and not enough to help him long term.
 
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Bluebird00

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Joined
Apr 24, 2019
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4
Location
England
Thanks calypso it’s so difficult my mind is in overdrive. I’m doing all I can to support him but In the back of my mind I’ve got the niggling worry that he could end it at any point. I definitely agree he is trying to find something to blame and is thinking it could be the relationship. I’m just taking it day by day and hoping the tablets kick in soon to help him a bit and make him realise counselling might help. Thank you for the link to Relate I will have a look and see if I can convince him to attend. I just wish I could fast forward time and everything will be ok again!
 
Karafurushi

Karafurushi

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Apr 24, 2019
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Lexington, KY
I think what you should do is be there for him he’s not in the state of mind to think about anything else but, his own thoughts so you should stay with him and listen to him because that’s what anyone with depression hopes for, for someone who will just let them vent their feelings and listen to them, so just try to stay with him and listen to him through these hard times.
 
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Bluebird00

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Joined
Apr 24, 2019
Messages
4
Location
England
Is it normal that he can’t even face holding my hand, hugging me or kissing me? That’s one of the toughest things I am trying to be there as a friend but all I want to do is give him a hug but he says he can’t right now. Will he ever want to again?
 
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