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Advice on how to support/help my partner

If you're concerned about, or care for, someone with mental illness
rainbow79
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Aug 14, 2021 11:02 am

Advice on how to support/help my partner

Postby rainbow79 » Sat Aug 14, 2021 11:08 am

I have been with my boyfriend for around 14 months now and I knew from the start that he suffered with mental health issues and he has had a troubled past. He's been in units, tried to kill himself around 3 times in the past, self harmed (not since I've known him but the last time was a few years ago I believe). He was at the tailend of seeing a counsellor when we met, and he said that talking to him was SO good. The past two years he's been much better as he was single (not with someone toxic), became a vegetarian and started running. He started to feel better. Then we met and it's been great. BUT he does have moments where he gets really angry (he had a horrible childhood where he was adopted by his aunt and uncle as his birth parents didn't want him) but he always calms down and all is okay again. Or, if he drinks too much he can get angry/upset again (can't we all!!). Anyway, it's normally when he's drunk that he says bad things like wishing he'd never been born, that he hates himself, that he doesn't know why I even like him, that he hates being him etc He says he's a really horrible person etc etc He does tell me that he gets stressed a lot but bottles it up as he doesn't want to upset me :'( I've suggested speaking to a professional again but he won't.

I really don't know how best to support/help him whilst he's like this? It doesn't help that I'm super sensitive and take things to heart - I have to try and not worry that I'm not making him happy as I know that's not how depression works, but it's very hard not to take it personally.
I always say the wrong thing to him when I'm trying to support him and I really just want to know what I do or say to him when he's really down? If I say that I love him or that I think he's a great person, it just seems to make him more angry/upset or he just doesn't believe it. I just don't know how to deal with it, I have no training or experience.
I just want to help him in any way that I can, I just don't know how to :(

Any advice on what to do/say when he's really down like this? He has a rubbish family and he trusts no one (other than me, or so he says). I tell him that I am his family and I'd never leave him or let him down but I don't think it helps.

I'm assuming that someone who sufferes with depression, there's nothing that I can say that will make him feel any better. But please, what can I do to help support him through it? It breaks my heart seeing him when he's so down :'(

epitaph
Posts: 122
Joined: Sat Nov 21, 2020 12:00 pm

Re: Advice on how to support/help my partner

Postby epitaph » Sat Aug 14, 2021 8:33 pm

Hi Rainbow79,

Without wishing to sound crass welcome to the forum. Obtaining the correct advice and support for someone who is actively refusing it is always going to be really difficult. This forum is quite quiet you could try posting the same post into this one to see what other responses you receive.

https://www.mentalhealthforum.net/forum/

Do things get worse if you give him space when he feels down or is displaying inappropriate behaviour? When he is calm what do you think his response would be if you asked him to seek help for "us", rather than himself ?

Take care

rainbow79
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Aug 14, 2021 11:02 am

Re: Advice on how to support/help my partner

Postby rainbow79 » Sat Aug 14, 2021 8:57 pm

Odd, I did reply but it’s vanished.

Thanks for your reply! When he’s down/angry I normally give him space when he’s being short/not nice with me. Then he calms down and says sorry. I know he doesn’t mean to get like it. I just don’t know what to do when he says he’s really stressed or feeling depressed? Do I leave him on his own? Do I hug him? What do I say to him?

I’ve spoken to him about seeing someone again during a time when he seems happy/okay and he just says he doesn’t need to as he’s not as bad as he used to be. And he isn’t, compared to how bad he was before I met him :(

epitaph
Posts: 122
Joined: Sat Nov 21, 2020 12:00 pm

Re: Advice on how to support/help my partner

Postby epitaph » Sun Aug 15, 2021 9:11 pm

We are all different...

For me if I'm really stressed, I need time out to go and do something else entirely.
Going for a walk, whilst listening to music, talking and being kind to others... Exercise
I would say give him space and then ask him later what he would have liked you to do?

No doubt you have researched what to say to someone who is feeling depressed?
As usual there is lots of information on the internet.
There are some points worth noting here:

https://www.healthline.com/health/what- ... depression
(Moderator please don't remove the link!)

Also bear in mind "For any number of reasons, people with depression may resist seeking help".

I’ve spoken to him about seeing someone again during a time when he seems happy/okay and he just says he doesn’t need to as he’s not as bad as he used to be. And he isn’t, compared to how bad he was before I met him

Perfectly written, this feels like some form of justification as to why additional help is not needed, when you already have clear (possibly regular) indicators that this is not the case at all!

Hoping things improve for you both, I mention this as you sound like the sort of girlfriend everyone should have! Please remember to look after yourself - ;)

Take care

rainbow79
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Aug 14, 2021 11:02 am

Re: Advice on how to support/help my partner

Postby rainbow79 » Mon Aug 23, 2021 8:09 am

Thank you so much!

It's hard, as I really don't think he will seek more help. I just need to make sure I'm saying the right thing when he does feel down. It can be quite hard, but he is worth it.

I'll have a look at that link now, thanks :)


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