So my boyfriend and I have been together for a whole year now and we've gone through a lot of hard situations but now we're stuck. I'm living with him and his parents. The issue is, he doesn't have a job. He lost his job in December of last year and I've been supporting us on a part time job. Recently though, I've gotten a second job. It's a full time job. He sits at home and plays Minecraft. The issue is obvious: I'm doing all the work and he's not helping me. However, we're pretty sure he has clinical depression and can't seem to motivate himself to do anything. He knows he's hurting me, he knows our life is hard because he won't get a job, he knows 90% of my stress is because of him not helping me, and he still can't and or won't do anything about it. I don't know what to do or what to say that won't make him depressed or mad at me but instead motivate him. He won't take my help with trying to help his depression. He says he wants to do it himself without meds but he's not doing a good job and it's hindering us. If there's any advice... Anything you can give me, it would be greatly appreciated :c thank you so much for your time.
Nature (age 19)
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Being in a relationship with someone who is severely depressed is no picnic. And waiting for them to resolve to “make themselves feel better” is an exercise in futility. You are just empowering them to not do anything and remain depressed. This is because the person may not really understand what is going on with him and therefore cannot help himself, in addition to the fact that being severely depressed sucks all the energy and motivation out of your body. I know, believe me.
So, if you care about him, and it seems you do, it is up to you and any friends and family you can find who are willing to help to pull him out of his deep, dark hole.
To fight depression, you must first understand the cause. With your boyfriend, as with anyone, the cause could be anything from genetic to hormonal to psychological. His losing his job in December was just the trigger that set off a catastrophic reaction. The actual cause of his depression isn’t losing the job (therefore, recommending he get a new job will not help), but, rather, something else within him.
The only way to do that is to get him some help from a psychologist, psychiatrist, or, at least, a local support group. For a lot of people, sadly, money is a factor, and insurance often does not cover mental health, or provides only minimal coverage, so finding a support group may be the best option. You can visit the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance to find a local support group and read educational materials about depression. Another good organization is Mental Health America or even go to MeetUp and see if there is a group near you.
(You don’t say this, but if he is suicidal, you need to call for help write away. Assistance is available 24/7 at the National Suicide Prevention Hotline 1-800-273-8255.)
Collect some information on depression and have a talk with him about it, expressing all the while your concern and love for him. Suggest that he go to one of these groups and that you will go with him for support. See if you can get one or more of his family members to also support him in this. If he absolutely refuses, then the next strategy is to be a liaison for him. That is, go to the meetings yourself, talking to the people there and picking their brains. They might even be willing to come to your home and hold a meeting there. You might also try to locate a doctor or clergy member to visit your home and give him guidance.
Another strategy: food and exercise.
Many people don’t realize it, but diet has a profound effect on our mood. Obviously, if you are depressed, you need to avoid alcohol (by definition, a depressant), and you should also not be taking any illicit drugs.
Other foods to avoid:
Foods that HELP you fight depression:
Fun Recipe: Green Tea Ice Cream with Healthy Chocolate Sauce
Ingredients for Ice Cream
Break up 2 ounces of bakers chocolate and place in pyrex measuring cup. Microwave on low power (3 out of 10) for 6 minutes. Remove softened chocolate and stir. It will look like a chocolate paste. Add 2 teaspoons of Truvia® and stir. Then add milk or cream a few tablespoons at a time and stir. Add the milk until the sauce is the consistency you like. You may add more sweetener if desired, too.
Start making him “treats” for his meals using ingredients like the above.
Next, start taking him out of the house. Go on walks together. During these walks, don’t talk or preach to him. If you do that, he’ll want to avoid the walks like the plague. No, instead, just go for a walk. Enjoy the outdoors (hopefully you don’t live in a bad area, but if you do drive out a little way and find a nice park) and just be with each other. Don’t talk about anything serious, like work or money. This should be an enjoyable time for him that he looks forward to. You have to get him away from non-stop game play. It’s not healthy, as you know.
I hope this helps! Let me know how it goes.
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