How to help your boyfriend or girlfriend friend through depression.

Ashmita asks: I have been in a relationship for the past 9 months. It all started smoothly. But two months before, my boyfriend started having some problem. He used to get angry, even for some petty matter, and he suffered from sadness. At that time he told me that he was losing all his feelings for me, which I partly believed because he was going through a problem. I held on to him and firmly believed that everything will be okay. He soon visited the doctor and took medicines and reassured me that he stills loves me. Two days ago he again told me that thoughts like that still come to his head, but he keeps patient and waits for everything to become okay. His words show that he still loves and cares for me, which he tells me and I really don’t want to lose him. I suggested him to wait till he becomes okay and not make any decision in haste. Please can you suggest what else can I do? It keeps me worried.

Hi Ashmita –


It sounds like your guy suffers from Clinical Depression.  This fits with his ongoing sadness, his losing his feelings for you, the doctor’s medications for him… and with his belief that he’ll be able to love you as he did once he feels better.


True Depression is a really difficult problem for a lot of people.  It looks a lot like grief or sadness, the sort one feels after an awful loss.  But unlike those feelings, Depression isn’t necessarily about anything, so it can linger for a long time, even a lifetime.


Scientists have found lots of amazing facts about it in recent years, and have developed many medical treatments for it.  But – and here’s the tough part, for him and for you – no one medication works for everyone.  Because different brains are different, a prescription that works perfectly for one person will do nothing for another, and cause only nasty side effects in yet another.  The only way for doctors to find the right medicine for your boyfriend is what they call ‘trial and error’ – to try one out, see if it works, and if not, try another.  In the end, it might be a mixture of a few, at very particular proportions, that gets him where he needs to be, in order to fully be his happy, loving self.


So what can you do, during this?  Well, first of all, you can be patient.  You can tell him it’s okay, that you’ll stick by him while he goes through these experimental treatments.  And that means, yes, that you put up with being in a relationship with someone who doesn’t love you as he used to.  I know, that sounds difficult!


And second, you can work to help him get through his Depression in other ways.  The right medication will be wonderful, but other things you could do would be to:

–       Do activities with him that involve some sort of exercise – even just walking around the block

–       Try your best to talk him out of it when he gets in that “nothing matters, everything is useless” kind of mindset

–       Help him eat better; lots of junk food or things like alcohol or cigarettes really hurt his progress

–       And best of all, if you have access to one – get him hanging out with a DOG!  We are the best antidepressants there are, and we tend to model perfect behavior in that we live in the moment, love fully, and are always excited about what’s just around the corner.


But the truth, Ashmita, is that just by wanting to help, you’re the best medicine there is.  He’s lucky to have you.  And I’m proud to know you!


Here’s hoping he improves SOON!


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