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My boyfriend is depressed and distant (6 ways to deal)

In this article, we will be dealing with the topic: my boyfriend is depressed and distant. We will be exploring the impacts on the mental health of having to date a partner who is depressed and going through a mental struggle. We will also explore different ways through which you can deal with a depressed and distant boyfriend. 

At the end of the article, some frequently asked questions about depression will also be answered. 

My boyfriend is depressed and distant

Surviving a romantic relationship when one of you or both of them suffer from any form of mental illness is an immense challenge on its own. If your boyfriend is suffering from depression, it may seem as if he’s distant and emotionally unavailable. They may consider themselves as a burden and close themselves off completely, after a point. 

However, there are ways to tackle and get through this situation together. Though it may seem frustrating and overwhelming, with the help of some mindful tactics and willingness to understand, you can help your partner move forward and face challenges as they arise. Given below are some of the ways. 

  • Try not to take the reactions and symptoms expressed by your depressive partner too seriously. 

Sometimes your partner can seem least interested in what you’re trying to say and this might hurt you to an extent. Things might hurt you even more if you see them having a good and easy time with strangers. 

However, in all these situations keep an objective mindset and try not to take things to your heart. Focus on your mental health as well and keep away from unnecessary arguments and disagreements with your boyfriend. 

  • Tackle the issue together. 

Develop an amicable and mutual plan together for getting through the difficult times and talk through it openly and honestly. Being supportive, empathetic, and patient with your boyfriend while he’s dealing with depressive episodes and anxiety bouts are very important. Never be ignorant or dismissive of your partner’s feelings and thoughts. Give him ample space to express them genuinely and be there for him through the hard times.

While you are being understanding with your partner, also come up with practical solutions and gentle suggestions when the need arises. Educate yourself and your boyfriend about clinical depression and how it impacts your mental, emotional, and physical health. Both of you must be willing to work constructively and mutually to deal with the situation at hand. You can also opt for therapy together, or with your boyfriend alone. Set short-term goals and make sure you stand by your boyfriend and help him out in small ways to achieve the goals. 

  • Give your partner the space he needs. 

Sometimes, your boyfriend might need space to be alone and process his thoughts and emotions. Some days may be worse than others and his judgment might seem clouded and illogical. When suffering from depression, some days can feel hopeless, mundane, and your partner might berate himself as worthless and curl up into a ball. 

Understand that bad a day is quite normal and do not make it all about yourself.  Listen to what they’ve got to say and do not criticize or judge in any manner. Also, be careful not to force your partner into treatment. You can talk about therapy or counseling and educate him about the benefits. However, be cautious about pushing him too far or coercing him to go for therapy. 

  • Identify your threshold and stick to it consistently. 

This is the next most important step. Supporting a depressed and distant boyfriend can be quite overwhelming and tiring. There will be instances where you will feel like giving up and walking away. Hence, it is very important to keep a check on your own mental health. Make sure to draw clear boundaries and communicate with your boyfriend about what you can offer and what you cannot. 

You should realize that you cannot effectively help your partner while you are frustrated and tired of everything around you and how the relationship is moving forward. So be mindful and alert of your own emotional state and be in check with your threshold. If you feel things are taking a toll on you, take a break and look after yourself. This might include taking out time to indulge in your favorite activities and hobbies, spending time with your loved ones including family and friends, and getting some alone time. 

Your mental health will suffer if you start taking responsibility for your boyfriend’s depression without setting clear limits and boundaries. Eventually, it will lead to deep resentment and constant burnout. You might start to question the value of your relationship with your boyfriend and gradually will start to grow distant from him. 

Another important thing is to let your partner know when you’re unhappy and exhausted. Communicate honestly and with the intention of resolving the underlying issues together. 

You might feel guilty and anxious about opening-up to your partner. However, you must talk to him if something is persistently affecting your mental peace and come to a mutual solution to work on. 

  • Do not overthink things. 

It is completely natural to feel anxious and hold on to every word he says when he’s undergoing depression. In such situations, do not ponder over everything he says and don’t overthink about situations or things he says. Perceive conversations and uncomfortable encounters as objectively as possible. 

  • Constantly remind him of his value and strengths

Gain an understanding of his core beliefs and cognitive distortions. He might be having a skewed sense of self as a consequence of his depression. This will lead to negative beliefs about oneself and cause greater stress. In such situations, small gestures go a long way. You may feel as if he’s not listening or ignoring what you’re trying to say. 

However, it might be a big deal for him, and he will definitely appreciate it in one way or the other. 

Conclusion

In this article, we discussed how to deal with a boyfriend who is undergoing depression and who seems distant and hostile. We explored different ways to cope with the situation and how to take forward the relationship without too many problems and obstacles. 

FAQs: my boyfriend is depressed and distant

What is the relationship between stress and depression?

Chronic stressful situations can lead to depression, if not dealt with, properly. Depression can arise out of various causes. It could be genetics, brain chemicals, or stressful life situations. Poor coping skills also leads to physical stress and mental exhaustion extensively. 

What are the nine causes of depression?

The various causes of depression are as follows:

Certain medications
Inner conflict or disturbing external factors
Genetics and hereditary factors
Loss of a loved one
Serious personal problems
Chronic illness
Unexpected lifestyle changes
Ending of important relationships. 

References

https://lifehacker.com/how-to-support-a-partner-struggling-with-depression-1717700336

https://www.marieclaire.co.uk/life/health-fitness/mens-mental-health-515203

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Daniela Paez is a Clinical Psychologist with an MSc. In Clinical Neuropsychology from Bangor University. She has vast experience in working with children with disabilities, adolescents and their families, in extreme conditions of poverty and vulnerability. Additionally, she owns a private practice where she provides neuropsychological evaluation for children and adults, and treatment for mood disorders, anxiety, couple therapy, among other conditions.