When you’re in a relationship and something is off about the other person it can be very difficult to cope with. If your boyfriend has been depressed as of late, then you already know hard it is on you as well. Again, when two people love each other, they tend to share one heart. So naturally watching your boyfriend
suffer affects you as well.
Can You Help?
You can, but first you need to understand how depression in men can be slightly different than it is in women.
Regardless of male or female, people will experience the similar symptoms of depression, but when it comes to men; the triggers and specific thoughts they have on their mind may be different than what a woman would experience.
Men can experience depression sometimes if they don’t feel as strong as they would like to be. Things like not having a job, not making enough money, not
feeling like they are adequate for a relationship and even issues in the bedroom can affect a man’s mood and behavior.
If a man feels less masculine then this can affect male hormone levels and contribute to depression. But the other issue is that there is a common cliche in society that says that men have to be the strong ones, just like the irritating and burned out suggestion that women belong in the kitchen.
Yes, we still have stereotypes and as a result if a man doesn’t feel like he can match that “model of a man” he will also have a harder time talking about it. Men just aren’t supposed to talk about their feelings, right? Well all humans need opportunities to connect with others and share their thoughts and emotions. It’s healthy.
If Your Boyfriend Is Depressed – Here Are The Best Ways You Can Help
1. Be a true partner. Remember that there is a great person currently masked by sadness.
2. Don’t be pushy. The more you push the further he will pull away.
3. Try to maintain some normalcy for him so he doesn’t feel like he’s losing you too.
4. Be very affectionate and tender if you have that kind of a relationship with him.
5. Treat him as being masculine – no man likes pity.
6. If he’s stressed about money, try not to put him in situations where he would feel that he has to provide in that instant.
7. Gently suggest that he go and speak with a doctor or counselor. This is going to be tricky, because men don’t ever want to feel as though they have to rely on an outside source or get help.
8. Suggest to him that right now he’s obviously depressed and that the end goal is getting through the depression. Address it and then try to help him make a mission of it.
For example, you might say something like:
“I know you feel hopeless deep down inside, but I also know that you used to be happier. This means you can be happy again and there is a way. You are obviously very depressed and maybe a little scared about things. This is very common and all day long people are getting help. Let me reach out with you. I’m your partner – do this for us.”
9. Despite what you are reading here, never point out your boyfriend’s depression as “male depression” or talk about how guys get depressed too.
10. Is there a man that he could confide in some? perhaps an older male who has a lot of life’s experiences and wouldn’t make your boyfriend feel threatened. I can tell you honestly that there have been a few times when I relied upon a sacred kinship with some older males that I looked up to. I can also tell you that what they showed me was that the concerns and emotions a man can have are pretty typical for men. Knowing that can help lift a weight off your shoulder.
11. Are you a religious couple? if not – no big deal, but pastors can make great counselors, can be very kind and make great men for other men to look up to.
They’ve also probably heard just about any problem you can think of, because it’s a part of their job.
12. If there’s enough influence and you can get him to see a doctor, this might be a good step. Also consider whether the doctor or nurse practitioner is a man
or a woman.
In this scenario, your boyfriend might feel more comfortable talking about his bout of depression with a man or a woman, but it should be taken into account.
13. He may need to start taking an antidepressant medication if he isn’t already. If he’s having financial issues, there are a lot of generic medicines out there
that are very affective and super cheap.
Sometimes a person doesn’t have to stay on an antidepressant for very long and then sometimes they need it long term to cope, but regardless – it’s an answer.
Why Is My Boyfriend Depressed?
Here are some of the common causes of depression in men..
Work related stress
Worries about finances
Performance issues in the bedroom
Not achieving personal goals that are important to your boyfriend
Feelings of loss of identity
Concerns about family
Fears of aging
Unfortunately the signs of male depression can also be mistaken for typical, masculine behavior. This can lead you or others to not realizing that your boyfriend is depressed.
Sometimes when men suffer from depression they don’t act particularly sad, but become increasingly agitated, angry, aggressive and conflict-prone.
Erectile Dysfunction & Depression
Depression and stress can cause sexual performance issues in men from erectile dysfunction to premature ejaculation. In turn, not being able to have quality
love making can make your boyfriend depressed.
Unfortunately, sometimes SSRIs (antidepressants) can cause erectile dysfunction. However, addressing other issues can lead to natural solutions as well. Developing better habits, exercising, starting a healthier diet and avoiding substance abuse can be a good starting point if your boyfriend is depressed.