My man is depressed

Question

I’ve been with my man for seven years and I’d planned to spend the rest of my life with him. I love him dearly, but he suffers from depression and it makes our life hard. One moment he’s on a high – life is good, he’s happy and fun to be with – and the next he’s on a low and wants the world to end. He says he’s trying to get help but refuses to take medication.

He finds it very hard to stick to any treatment plan and I don’t know how to help him. I work and can’t be there to look after him all the time, so I’m scared he’ll hurt himself when he’s alone and on one of his lows. I know I can’t cure him, but I want to support him as much as possible without sacrificing my whole life. How do I do this?

Answer

Due to the stigma attached to mental health issues it’s generally not easy for men to admit they need help with something like this. It’s good that you’ve supported your partner and stayed with him through this, and that you’re still willing to walk this difficult path with him. He really does need your support and understanding.

However, it’s discouraging that he’s not willing to take medication that would help not only him but your relationship too. I think it would be helpful for you to contact the South African Depression and Anxiety Group on 0800­456­789 for assistance.

Psycom advises that when you’re trying to help someone with depression, it is important to firstly learn about depression so that you can understand where your partner is coming from. Also create a supportive home environment after you suggested medical help. Another way to help him to deal with it is to celebrate all the small victories that he has overcome.