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How Can I Help my Depressed Boyfriend?

Asked by on with 1 answer:

From a teen in the U.S.: hi, I’ve been with my boyfriend for around 6 months. as I would hang out with him or we are on the phone he looks very stressed out and depressed.one day I ask him what wrong and he told me that he feels like he failed at being a good son and how he feels like he has to do everything perfect.

he mostly believes everything his mom would say to him like for example while on the phone with him his mom ask for his report card and he had 1 F but everything else would be an  a or an b because he took all his classes seriously and his mom call him dumb, slow, and stupid and ever since that day his grade just went downhill like he given up.

lastly his family bashed him to about every little thing and he feels like he can’t depend on them because of how they started acting when he moved to my town . as day go by he mostly don’t talk to anybody and he started to feel like his whole family I against him and that they don’t want anything to do with him

what are a few things I can do for him, because i don’t want it to get any worse than how he already feels and I just want him back to his normal self?

How Can I Help my Depressed Boyfriend?

Answered by on -

A.

You can do a couple of things. You can offer an alternative to the way he feels his family sees him. You can tell him that he has wonderful qualities and that he doesn’t have to be “perfect” to be loved. Chances are he won’t believe you, but it’s still important that he hear it.

Even more important: Urge him to get into therapy. This is really a family case but he can start with himself. A therapist will help him get to the point that he can feel strong enough to invite his family to join him in some sessions. My guess is that it isn’t that his parents don’t love him. More likely, his parents have a mistaken idea about how to motivate him.

You also said this started with a move to your town. It may be that the parents are  having difficultly adjusting and somehow feel that their son needs to be “perfect” as a way for them to be accepted. I don’t have anywhere near enough information to do more than speculate about that.

Tell your boyfriend for me, please, that withdrawing from everyone and repeatedly telling himself that everyone in the family is against him is only going to drive him deeper into depression. He deserves to be happy. He deserves to feel self-confident and capable. A therapist can help him reclaim his self-esteem and can help heal his relationship with his parents.

I wish you both well.

Dr. Marie

How Can I Help my Depressed Boyfriend?

TALK TO A THERAPIST NOW:

Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2019). How Can I Help my Depressed Boyfriend?. Psych Central. Retrieved on February 24, 2020, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2019/12/26/how-can-i-help-my-depressed-boyfriend-3/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 22 Dec 2019 (Originally: 26 Dec 2019)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 22 Dec 2019
Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.