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    Depressed partner - Need advice.
    smittenkitten posted:
    I'm a 24 year old female and my 30 year old boyfriend has depression.
    We've only been together 9 months, but I love him, and want to do anything I can to help him.
    The last couple of months he has been feeling flat and not getting enjoyment out of things he used to enjoy, and the last week its gotten worse.
    He talks to me about how he's feeling, but I feel like i'm at a loss as to how to help him.
    He's always irritable and snaps at me a lot, most of the time when I dont know what I'm doing wrong/what I've said to upset him.
    I've suggested he speak to his doctor, and he agrees, but keeps putting it off, and gets upset if I push it to much.
    I'd really appreciate any advice from anyone in a similar situation to myself, or who has been and got through it.
    Thanks in advance.
    GreenBlueNightingale responded:
    Hi smittenkitten,

    You are a beautiful, kindhearted person to care so much about your boyfriend during such a hard time for both of you.

    Some physical illnesses can make you feel low so your boyfriend should really have a physical to rule out anything like that.

    I have suffered for many years from depression/anxiety and know all the horrible thoughts and feelings that come with these problems. I have also experienced feeling better and having my hopes, dreams, happiness and laughter all show up again.

    Your boyfriend most likely snaps at you because feeling low can make you feel very irritable. You don't want to act that way but it just 'happens'.

    Does your boyfriend feel comfortable discussing these "flat" symptoms he has with his doctor? He might feel ashamed (not that he needs to), shy or just might not have enough energy to make an appointment.

    When you feel very low it's extremely hard to do things that would usually be easy for you to do.
    Could you talk with him and maybe you make the appointment for him and possibly go with him for support? Even if it was to sit in the waiting room or parking lot it would make it easier.
    When you're feeling terrible it seems as if it will never get any better and it's very, very hard to accomplish anything.You don't understand why and blame yourself for everything that's going wrong around you.

    There are medications that are very helpful and talking with someone about his feelings would really help. Anyone in the community such as a social worker, family physician, psychologist, psychiatrist or a religious person would be very helpful.
    The most important thing is that your boyfriend feels comfortable with the person he has chosen to talk with. He can try as many Doctors out as he needs to, if he doesn't click with the person it won't be helpful in the long run.At first it might be a little hard finding someone he feels good with, but don't give up there's some great people out there who want to help and understand what he's going through!

    If you tell him how normal it is not to want to be with other people when he's feeling bad he might feel better about going to an appointment.

    There are so many people all around him now that are hiding how terrible they feel. Many people take anti-depressants or self medicate with alcohol and drugs.I have met people in every position like lawyers, police and doctors who are suffering with the same problem.
    We feel like failures and very hopeless when feelings like depression strike. We feel like we are the only ones feeling the horrible way we do. Your boyfriend is not alone at all and I'm so glad he has you for support.

    Hopefully he will want to see a Doctor but in the meantime getting fresh air and exercise helps. Eating healthy foods and not becoming isolated is important too.
    There's so much more I could mention here but just know there is great hope for your boyfriend. Please let him know I care too, we are all in this together!

    Try not to take anything personally, when someone is feeling very low they are not "themselves". Treat yourself well smittenkitten so you can be supportive for your boyfriend. You could even talk with someone to get out your feelings of helplessness.

    It will get better, treat it just like any other lousy illness...he will get through it and then the sun will come out again.

    If there's anything I can help you with please let me know, I didn't go through all my trials for nothing

    Take good care of both of you

    It will get better!


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