A little background information: I am positive my boyfriend has depression (based off reading the warning signs for depression article). A few weeks ago it was something he was trying to overcome by himself and something we could talk about. It has now gotten worse to the point that it is basically breaking us apart because he is isolating himself, feeling worthless, and highly irritable with me. Our relationship is in a fragile state so it makes this even harder to deal with. I told him to see a doctor, but he thinks it has to be a psychologist/psychiatrist (which is health insurance doesnt cover) but I tell him to start with his primary first. He doesn't listen. It is a long distance relationship at the moment so I can't drag him to the doctor myself. He is not suicidal from what I know, but I do know he does have reckless behavior tendencies.
Questions: How can I help him? What are some techniques of communicating to him that won't make things worse? How do I help the relationship when he is like this?
I know if my conversations with my boyfriend became completely about my bipolar disorder if I have an episode, it would not help. Maybe try talking about things going on in each other's lives like nothing's wrong. He'll talk when he's ready. Pushing him doesn't work. It lead to a lot of strain in my relationship with my parents when they used to always be concerned about that and only talk about that or ask what's wrong or say I'm depressed/manic when I wasn't (or even when I was). You definitely don't want him to start feel resentful towards you or make him feel like avoiding you because you'll ask him about how he's feeling and try to talk to him about going to a doctor all the time--especially if your relationship's in a fragile state like you say.
Make it clear next time you talk to him that you're there for him if he ever needs someone to talk to and leave it at that. Carry on as normal in conversations. It'll undoubtedly be hard, but I can guarantee he probably has a ton of other people (family, friends) asking about that stuff all the time, and he'll be glad to have someone treating him like he's normal.
I would not sweep this under the rug and let him go on as he is. I suffer from major depression and get that way as well but I do know that deep inside that I did not want to live this way and really wanted help.
Definitely this is outside the scope of your relationship and nagging him about it all the time doesn't help either.
What I would do is contact a professional either online or in person and ask on how to approach this situation. Does his family know about this part of him? Maybe you can convince his family that he needs help and get him help.
There are many options out there. But to leave him there alone suffering and I know he pushes you away, he really doesn't want to live like this.
Do the research for him and ask questions for him.
This is all you can do for him and at the end if he still won't change then you tell him that he is mentally ill and needs help and that you don't know what to do for him and that you will still be his friend but that's all.
Hope that helps,
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