A strong support system is very important in depression treatment. I've come across people who would have "lost their mind", gone over the edge, and committed suicide, had it not been for their loved ones being there for them through and through. Loved ones sticking through one's ordeal is really necessary, after all. So if your boyfriend is suffering from depression, don't leave him, even if he tries to push you away.
How To Help Your Boyfriend Cope With Depression
Helping your boyfriend cope with depression is not going to be easy. It's definitely not a "walk in the park". Many times, in our haste and excitement to help our loved ones, we end up saying or doing the wrong things, pushing them further down the brink of depression. It's very important to get on the right footing early on.
Here is a collection of tips on how you can help your boyfriend bounce back to his normal, pre-depressed state:
- Don't judge him or blame him. It is nobody's fault that he is feeling depressed, so don't take it all on him. And don't make the mistake of being a "Miss Know-It-All".
- Give him your listening ear. For once, let him do the talking, and simply be there to listen. Your depressed does not need to hear your opinions; he only needs to express himself. Give him that chance to rant about things that bother him.
- Show him you care. Give him a hug - he needs you to be affectionate.
- Take him to see a ballgame. Men always love sports, don't they? He is not likely to refuse your offer to take him to see basketball or football, or any other game for that matter. Being in a crowd is bound to make him feel better.
- Encourage him to do things he used to do as a child. Go bicycle-riding for instance, or ride the ferris wheel. As a child, did your boyfriend enjoy playing in the park? Take him there where he can be free to do whatever he wants.
- Treat your boyfriend. Make your boyfriend feel like royalty. Treat him to a spa or a therapeutic massage.
When To Seek Professional Help
With these tips, your boyfriend is not supposed to brood for a very long time. Needless to say, you need to watch closely for signs and symptoms that may indicate a worsening condition and the need to get professional help:
- Little desire to eat. Severe depression can cause people to lose their appetite. Don't let this happen to your boyfriend, else he will be dealing with more problems than he can already handle, such as malnutrition and weight loss, for instance.
- Food binging. Some people tend to binge to cope with their depression. Food binging is not at all a lesser evil compared to not eating at all. Food binging is unhealthy eating and it can in fact lead to obesity, weight problems, diabetes, and even heart problems.
- Insomnia. Your boyfriend not sleeping for days is not at all a good sign. This can lead to anemia and lethargy.
- Paranoia. When one's depression becomes so severe, one may feel paranoid or delusional.
When any of these signs and symptoms are present, don't waste time. Get your boyfriend to see a therapist at once. The therapist is the best person to properly evaluate your boyfriend's case and determine the treatment program that is right for him. Most likely, your boyfriend will be recommended to undergo psychotherapy sessions, to which you, being the significant other, will go to as well. The therapist may also suggest putting your boyfriend on medications to control his feelings of sadness.