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How to Help Boyfriend With Depression: Complete Guide On How to Be There for Him

If your boyfriend is having a difficult time and you are looking for some tips on how to help boyfriend with depression, then this guide will be of great help to you.

Read the entire article to know more about how to help your boyfriend through this tough time.

We know it's difficult for you to see him in such a state and a depressed partner is not easy to live with. However, there are many ways you can help your partner's mental health struggles.

So, here we have listed 10 things that you should do to help your boyfriend with his mental illness, but before we start, there are some things to keep in mind.


Consider the Following Before Helping Your Boyfriend With Depression

It is extremely important to know that any mental health issue is as normal as any other type of health issue. There shouldn't be anything abnormal or unusual about your relationship if he is suffering from depression.

Depressed people often feel like they're being judged by others. They may also feel isolated and alone.

It's very important to understand that your partner is going through something which is completely natural and nothing wrong has happened. You need to be patient and understanding when your partner is struggling with depression.

You must try to avoid getting angry at him because this will only make matters worse.

If you have never struggled or had any experience with depression, then you might find it hard to understand what your partner is feeling. So, it is best to talk to someone who has been through similar situations.

Your partner needs to trust you and believe that you care about him. If you don't show interest in him, he won't feel comfortable talking to you about his problems.

Don't force him

Remember that you cannot force someone to get better. It takes time for someone to recover from depression. So, don't expect immediate results.

A person with depression symptoms, major depression, or any kind of mental illness needs to work hard and have a support system of family, friends, and loved ones but especially mental health professionals.

You need to understand that it is not possible for anyone to change overnight.

If you want to help him, you need to give him space and let him take his own time. Don't try to fix everything all at once. Any person dealing with nonoptimal mental health conditions needs to feel comfortable and safe.

If he is having a depressive episode or depressive symptoms, then he needs to be treated immediately. But if he is just experiencing low moods or feelings of sadness, then you can wait until he gets over it.

There are several types of depression and each one requires different treatment methods. For example, if your partner is suffering from bipolar disorder, then you need to seek professional help.

But if he is just having milder forms of depression, then you can help him by doing these things:

  1. Be supportive
  2. Listen carefully
  3. Give him space
  4. Let him cry
  5. Avoid arguments
  6. Make sure he eats well
  7. Keep an eye on his sleep patterns
  8. Offer to go shopping with him
  9. Help him stay active
  10. Encourage him to exercise

In any case, there will be a point where you need to step back and let him do whatever he wants to do.

He should be able to decide how he wants to deal with his situation. He should be allowed to express himself freely without judgment.

When your partner is depressed, he feels worthless and hopeless. This makes him think that no one cares about him.

So, you need to remind him that you love him and always be there for him.

Do not make him feel guilty

Guilt is one of the most common feelings associated with depression and mental illness.

Your partner may feel guilty because he feels like he has failed you. He might also feel guilty because he thinks he has done something wrong.

It is very common among people with depression to blame themselves for their condition. They think they are responsible for what happened and they feel guilty for being unable to control their emotions.

Your partner may even feel guilty because he doesn't want to burden you with his problems. But remember that you are not responsible for his condition.

People with depression can often become self-critical and negative. Try to avoid making him feel guilty.

Instead, you need to reassure him that you love him unconditionally. Tell him that you know he's feeling bad right now but that you still love him. Try to keep conversations light and positive.

Remind him that he is strong enough to overcome this problem.

Be supportive

Supporting your depressed boyfriend means listening to him without judgment. This includes listening to his thoughts and feelings.

You don't have to agree with his opinions or beliefs. Just listen to him and support him in whatever way he needs. He may be having lots of negative beliefs that you don't agree with, anger issues, body issues, or even suicidal ideation.

Try to understand why he feels the way he does. Don't judge him for his behavior. Instead, try to understand his perspective.

Try to encourage him to talk about his feelings. If he is reluctant to share his feelings, then you can ask questions instead. For example, you could say "I'm worried about you" or "What are you thinking?" or even open-ended questions that lead to discussion and constructive conversation.

If he seems to be avoiding talking about his feelings, try to get him to open up by asking him about his day. You can start by saying "How was your day?".

This will give him the opportunity to tell you about his day and it will give you the chance to offer some advice or encouragement.

If he seems hesitant to talk about his feelings, then try to find out why. You can ask him directly or indirectly. Encouraging him to talk about his thoughts and feelings helps him get rid of his negative thoughts and feelings.

Make sure he knows that you are there for him.

Be patient

Depression is a condition that requires patience. You need to understand that your partner needs to work hard at his recovery from the depression process.

You will both need to be very patient and know that this might be an ongoing struggle. He may experience setbacks along the way. It is important that you remain calm and understanding during these times.

Remember that he is working through his own personal struggles. Don't expect him to change overnight. Give him time to recover.

If you want to learn how to help boyfriend with depression, you must be patient with yourself as well. Depression takes its toll on everyone involved.

Keep in mind that he has to want to change himself and take steps toward getting better.

Take care of yourself as well

It is also important to take care of yourself when dealing with someone who has depression.

When you're stressed, you tend to make poor decisions. Your mood affects how you interact with others. So if you're feeling down, you won't be able to provide the best support for your loved one.

Consider living an overall healthier life and it will also work as an example for your boyfriend. We recommend:

  • Stay away from alcohol and drugs. These substances can worsen depression symptoms.
  • Get plenty of sleep. Lack of sleep makes people more irritable and less likely to think clearly.
  • Eat healthy foods. A diet high in sugar and processed food can cause depression.
  • Exercise regularly. Exercise releases endorphins into your brain which boosts your mood.

Remember: couples work as a system and if one part of the system doesn't work well, the whole system fails so try to keep things positive and supportive.

You are the part of the system that is holding the pieces together during this difficult time, so if you want to help him with his recovery, you will need to take care of yourself as well and always check in on your feelings and emotions.


How to Help My Boyfriend Who Is Depressed?

We know that having a partner with depression can be a very difficult experience. It can cause stress and anxiety.

But it does not mean that you cannot help him. In fact, you can play an important role in helping him get through this period.

Whether his having feelings of depression or severe depression, it can lead to serious health issues and even suicide. People with depression may engage in activities that will only make their depression worse such as:

  • Self-harm
  • Suicide
  • Drug use
  • Alcohol abuse
  • Relationship problems
  • Physical illnesses

If your partner is experiencing these symptoms, please seek professional help immediately.

We urge you to take action now and do something to help him.

Here are 10 things that you can do and should keep in mind when trying to learn how to help boyfriend with depression:

10 Things You Need to Know If Your Boyfriend Is Depressed

Here are the 10 most important things you will need to consider to start your action plan to help your boyfriend bring back positive feelings into his life and remove any symptoms of depression for good.

1. Know the symptoms

Depression comes in many different ways and forms. There are several signs and symptoms that your boyfriend might have. Be aware of the warning signs.

The first thing you need to do is to be aware of the warning signs of depression. The following are some of the warning signs of major depressive disorder (MDD):

  • Feeling sad or empty
  • Losing interest in daily activities
  • Having trouble sleeping
  • Being unable to concentrate
  • Suicidal thoughts

Try to identify if your boyfriend is showing signs of depression and what those signs look like. We also recommend that you learn more about depression so that you can help him better comprehend its causes.

Understanding the reasons for his depression is important so that you know how to help him. There are many factors that contribute to depression. Some of them include genetics, environment, lifestyle, and chemical imbalances in the body.

You should also look for information and learn about the different treatment options. It's important to understand the various treatments available to treat depression.

2. Note if your relationship has changed and how

It is normal for people who are depressed to feel down and out of sorts. But sometimes, depression can affect relationships too.

Ask yourself if your boyfriend is behaving differently.

Have his daily activities changed? Has he been acting differently lately? If yes, then there could be a reason why he is feeling depressed. Consider his alcohol intake, drug usage, and other habits that might be affecting his mood.

Signs of depression may be physical signs as well as emotional. For example, someone who is depressed may experience:

  • Changes in appetite
  • Changes in sleep patterns and energy levels
  • Signs of being withdrawn from others

You have to know that there's a big difference between depression and sadness. Depression is a mental illness that affects one’s emotions, thinking, behavior, and physical well-being.

Sadness is just a temporary feeling that happens after a loss or disappointment. Sadness is usually caused by an event that happened in the past.

When someone is depressed, as mentioned, they tend to withdraw from others.

This can be hard to deal with because you don't want to see your boyfriend being unhappy or withdrawn from you. So, try to consider and understand the impact of depression on your relationship and how you can help your boyfriend cope with this condition.

Remember that this is a shared experience as he is your partner so always be there for him and support him through his fight against depression.

4. Plan the journey toward recovery

If you decided that your boyfriend needs professional help, it's time to plan the journey toward recovery. You will need to make sure that you're ready to take care of him. This means that you'll need to prepare yourself emotionally and physically.

Emotionally, you'll need to be able to handle the stress of taking care of him while at the same time dealing with your own feelings of guilt and frustration.

The road to recovery is not easy but it is possible. As long as you stay strong and supportive, your boyfriend will get better. Try to include some of these activities in your action plan:

  • A healthy diet
  • Regular exercise
  • Checking in on energy levels
  • Asking lots of questions
  • Plenty of sleep (not too little, not too much: just the right amount on a regular basis)
  • Social activity and pleasurable activities as well

Consider adding these activities to a shared calendar so you both remember to do them regularly and, most importantly: together.

5. Let him know you will always be there for him

You need to understand that your partner needs someone who cares about him. He may feel alone when he is going through this phase of life.

So, try to spend as much time with him as possible. Make sure you don't leave him alone at home or go out without letting him know. Also, if you notice any changes in his behavior, ask him what's wrong.

Don't assume anything. It's important to listen carefully and pay attention to his answers.

If you constantly show support and understanding, your boyfriend will start to feel more comfortable talking to you about his problems and not only you will help him with his recovery, but you will have a completely new healthy relationship and happy relationship in general.

You can let him know that you will always be there for him by:

  • Spending quality time with him
  • Being attentive to his mood swings
  • Showing interest in his daily routine
  • Making sure he has access to all the things he likes
  • Listening to him talk about his issues

6. Don't make any assumptions

The worst thing you can do when trying to find out how to help boyfriend with depression is to make assumptions.

It's very likely that your boyfriend has been suffering from depression for quite some time now. And, even though he might seem fine, he could still be hiding something. So, before jumping to conclusions, think twice and wait until you hear everything from him first.

Making assumptions will only lead to misunderstandings and arguments. So, instead of making assumptions, try asking open-ended questions like "What are you feeling?" or "How are you doing?".

7. Don't judge him or blame him

It's very easy to get angry at someone when they're depressed because you feel like they should be able to snap out of it.

But remember that he has been going through something really hard and he probably feels guilty about it. Instead of judging him, try being sympathetic and compassionate towards him. You can also offer to help him with whatever he needs.

It is very common for partners dealing with depression to experience guilt. They often feel responsible for their loved one's condition and feel like they failed them. But, it's okay to feel sad and upset. Just try to keep yourself calm and avoid getting angry.

8. Ask for help

For many people dealing with situations similar to this, it is very frequent that they struggle to ask for help. But please, never hesitate to ask for help.

You can call a friend or family member, or you can contact a professional such as a psychologist or psychiatrist and there are many ways in which you can do so.

If you feel like your life is spiraling out of control, then you need to seek help from someone who will be able to give you the support that you need.

You may not know what kind of help you need but if you have any questions about how to get started, then you should definitely speak to someone who has experience in helping others through these kinds of issues.

9. Be understanding

Depression isn't just an illness; it's a complex problem that affects people differently.

Your boyfriend might be having trouble sleeping, eating properly, concentrating on work, or even taking a shower or getting out of bed. He might also be experiencing feelings of sadness, anxiety, anger, or hopelessness.

So, don't expect him to act normally. Try to understand where he's coming from and why he acts the way he does.

If he behaves oddly, try to look past it and focus on the positive aspects of his behavior. For example, maybe he's spending more time with you than usual. Or maybe he's been working harder than normal.

Understanding, kindness, and compassion go a long way. If you want to help your boyfriend, then try to show him that you care by being understanding.

10. Learn from the experience

The best thing you can do is learn from the experience. This means that you should talk to other people who have gone through similar experiences.

This will allow you to see things from another perspective and hopefully, it will make you realize that you aren't alone.

Also, you should read books and articles written by people who have experienced depression themselves. These types of resources can help you better understand what your boyfriend is going through.

You may have noticed that your boyfriend seems to be acting strangely lately. Maybe you've seen him crying over nothing, or maybe you've heard him talking about suicide.

These things happen all too frequently. Sometimes we see our friends struggling with depression and we don't know what to say or do.

When your boyfriend finally recovers, both of you will come out stronger and this will also give you the capacity to help other people in similar situations.


Frequently Asked Questions

We receive many questions every day from people seeking advice on how to help boyfriend with depression. Here are some of the most common questions about how to help him:

How long does it take to recover from depression?

Depression is a condition that requires treatment, sometimes over a lifetime and other times over shorter periods of time.

However, research shows that most people with depression respond to treatment within months to two years. It is crucial not to give up on your partner if he doesn’t seem to want to get better. If he seems to have given up on himself, then it might be time to look for another way to help him.

You can always ask your doctor what kind of treatment would work best for your partner and what can you do to help him re-engage with life.

But remember: don't rush him. Give him time to heal.

Can I talk to my doctor about my boyfriend’s depression?

Yes, you can discuss your concerns with your doctor.

Your doctor may ask you about your relationship with your boyfriend and how you think he might be feeling. If your doctor thinks your boyfriend could benefit from counseling or another therapy, he may refer you to a mental health professional.

It is perfectly fine to ask for help if you are concerned about your boyfriend’s behavior or feelings.

What happens if my boyfriend doesn't want to seek treatment?

If your boyfriend refuses to seek treatment, then you may have to decide between continuing to stay together or breaking up.

It is a difficult decision but one that you must make based on your own feelings and values. You may want to consider leaving the relationship if you believe your boyfriend won't change.

You can also encourage him to see a counselor or therapist but do not force him into doing anything he does not want to do.

How can I tell if my boyfriend is depressed?

Many people with depression have no outward signs of their illness.

In fact, some people with depression even deny having a problem. It is important to look for early warning signs of depression, which include changes in behavior, thoughts, feelings, or emotions.

These signs often occur gradually before the full-blown depression sets in. Some of the more obvious signs of depression include:

  • Feeling sad or hopeless
  • Losing interest in activities that used to bring pleasure
  • Having trouble sleeping or sleeping too much
  • Not eating well or overeating
  • Being irritable or grouchy
  • Trouble concentrating or making decisions
  • Withdrawing from friends and family


We hope that after reading this article, you now have a better understanding of how to help boyfriend with depression.

Remember that depression is a medical condition just as any other type of illness is. It takes time to recover from depression but it is possible and with your help, love, and support he will surely succeed.

The most important thing is having an appropriate diagnosis of depression so you both know what to expect, what to look for, and especially, start taking action.

Clinical depression is a serious problem that affects millions of people around the world. Depression is often misunderstood and misdiagnosed, which leads to delayed treatment, untreated depression, and poor outcomes.

However, with your help and the right treatment for depression, you and your boyfriend will overcome this tough period and live a happy life.

We wish you the very best in helping your boyfriend with depression. Stay strong!

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