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How Can I Help My Boyfriend with Depression?

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Hi, thanks for the help. Me and my boyfriend have been dating for a while now. Ever since we have been dating I’ve known he has been depressed. He didn’t have a good childhood. He stresses about everything. Usually he dazes out, and it’s hard to get his attention. He tells me he feels empty, and all alone. He tells me that I’m the only one he talks to about it. His parents don’t know how he feels, and either do his friends. I don’t know how to help him. I need a way to get him to stop stressing about everything, to feel happy again. HELP PLEASE!

How Can I Help My Boyfriend with Depression?

Answered by on -

A.

Many teens are frightened to talk to their parents about their mental health problems. Among other things, they worry that their parents will reject them, not be able to handle the news, think badly of them or not be sympathetic to their feelings. When teens eventually tell their parents, they realize that their fears were unfounded. Parents want to help, but too often teens won’t reveal the truth. Secrecy is the fuel that keeps mental problems alive.

Your boyfriend is obviously struggling. There are several ways in which you can help him. Encourage him to talk to his parents. Perhaps you can collect educational information about depression from the Internet and give it to him to read. Psych Central has a great deal of information about depression and the importance of seeking treatment. The National Institute of Mental Health is also a trusted resource.

If your boyfriend does not feel comfortable going to his parents, then perhaps there is an adult with whom he feels more comfortable. Suggest that he speak with that person.

Another idea, that he might be open to, is writing a letter to his parents. Some people feel more comfortable expressing themselves in writing than they do in a face-to-face conversation.

Finally, you should also discuss this matter with your parents. They might have some ideas for how you can convince him to seek help.

It would be a mistake to think that you can treat his depression. Leave that to the professionals. Do your best to support him and continue to encourage him to seek help. That’s the very best you or anyone else can do. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle

How Can I Help My Boyfriend with Depression?

Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW is a licensed psychotherapist and Assistant Professor of Social Work and Forensics with extensive experience in the field of mental health. She works in private practice with adults, adolescents and families. Kristina has worked in a large array of settings including community mental health, college counseling and university research centers.

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2018). How Can I Help My Boyfriend with Depression?. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 18, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2014/07/15/how-can-i-help-my-boyfriend-with-depression-2/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.