I don’t want my boyfriend to leave me, but he gets tired of my negativity. How do I help him understand my depression?
Before you consider discussing your depression with your boyfriend, I would suggest doing some research on depression first such as getting facts, statistics, and looking at other information on telling your loved ones about your illness. I would suggest the next few websites to help you out. They are www.NAMI.com, http://depression.about.com/, http://concernedcounseling.com/communities/Depression/related/self_help.asp and http://www.webmd.com/depression/.
One thing I have learned is education is power when it comes to managing your illness and helping others to understand it. It might take a little work and you may feel a little uneasy at first talking about the disorder itself. And to feel uneasy is perfectly OK. Don’t let it stop you though from trying to achieve what you want to do. You are looking to educate your boyfriend on the disease itself and how he can help you. I would suggest that you tell him YOU feel about the disease first. Let him know what your feelings are and let him know what you NEED from him.
Many partners do not understand until the person with the illness comes forward first. He may seem confused and not sure what to do. He may not understand why you can’t get out of bed or why you can’t get yourself to work including house work. It will take effort on your part to help him. Here are some suggestions on how to educate him on your illness and how you can let him know what you need.
- You can tell him what you need emotionally. Be specific and tell him so he can fulfill what you need.
- He will need to know how to help you keep your professional support so you don’t stop treatment too early.
- Maybe he could accompany you to your appointments. A lot of times psychiatrists can answer questions the partner may have.
- Asking him to help you stay with your treatment so that you do not stop it for any reason.
- Learning and helping you carry out your health care professional’s recommendations for lifestyle changes and any medication-related dietary restrictions.
- Encouraging you to participate in activities that once brought pleasure.
When a person has depressive illnesses it takes a lot out of the person suffering and the partner, too. It will take understanding from both of you to get through this time in your life. Be open, don’t judge on another, be honesty, give the benefit-of-the-doubt, and love one another always.
You will get through this time in your life. Be easy on yourself and try to keep moving forward. You will be glad you did!