Depression builds walls and/or burns the bridges around and between people. When your boyfriend has been dragged inside those walls and one across the bridge, there can be a distance between you and him that feels merciless. You miss him and though he is right there next to you, it feels like he is not. At least, not in the way both of you want to be.
Depression is like a withdrawal and it somehow feels that way too. It is a withdrawal from everything that is prospering and life-giving. Depression sucks the life out of one’s life. When depression strikes, everything suddenly becomes hard and life starts to hurt. Your depressed boyfriend starts to stop looking forward to things.
He stops engaging and enjoying things, even the things he used to love. It can be difficult for you to reach him and sometimes he can be mad or appear as though he does not care. That is not because he wants to withdraw from you or push you away, although it can feel that way.
Here are some ways you can do for him.
Depression steals your boyfriend. If the depression has been there for long enough, you might feel a sense of grief. If you need to get mad, sad, or fall back some days, that is okay.
You are fighting a battle, too, a battle of your own. It is okay to back off to recharge now and then. Always be kind to yourself and do something that reloads you. You may also want to reach out to someone, but do not lean on your boyfriend. He already sees himself as a nuisance and anything that stirs it might cause him to withdraw even more.
It is really important to hear your boyfriend from where he is, but if the talk of a negative thought goes on and on and on and starts to lead you nowhere, it is not good for both of you.
It is called rumination and it can make it all the way more difficult to move through depression. Talk about it with him for sure, but try to lead the talk in a different path after a while if you can.
When a normal person is sad, they generally have a reason behind it. Depression, however, does not always work like that. Sometimes your boyfriend will be aware of what has triggered his depression, but sometimes it will not be obvious.
On the paper, he can look as though he has everything to be happy about and under control. He can even believe that himself. But depression does not always play by any rules.
At a time, when your boyfriend needs a connection the most, his depression will force distance. You have to do everything you can to prevent it from happening. Connection and good feelings reinforce the brain against depression, and exercise can inflict upon the brain the same changes as antidepressants.
The main problem is that the nature of depression will hold him back from doing any of these. So, do not wait for him to feel like doing things because he will not. His depression will be there to nurture withdrawal by stealing motivation and creating exhaustion.
You have to be gentle and loving in order to reintroduce him to life, connection, and good feelings. Chance is you will likely to get a lot of resistance. Know that it is not something personal and keep doing everything you can do for him.
You do not have to change or fix anything because if there was a way to do that, your boyfriend would have done it himself by now. Instead, acknowledge their agony and validate what he is going through. Be the one who can be with him without having to change him.
It will probably blow up your own feelings of helplessness, but directing things towards a positive direction will ease your helplessness, not his. The helplessness you are feeling is the bit you are doing together, so is the agony and the confusion of it. It is what makes your support something extraordinary and your love unconditional.
Those are 5 ways you can do for your depressed boyfriend. It is extremely exhausting for everyone. However, always remember that there is always a way through depression though it may take a great fight.
You may not always have it in you to fight alongside him and you may not always know what to do but it is okay. You only need to do anything you can do to nurture him and help to put back what depression has thrown off. You may also want to read Why Doesn’t My Boyfriend Understand My Depression?
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