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Can I act as a therapist to help my S.O on his depression?


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I've been with my significant other for months now. At first we were just like any other couples out there. We tried to get to know each other. Although we had a communication a year ago, it was just last year when I confessed that he's my ultimate crush. Things went smooth after that. Then I fell deeply inlove with him.


However, in our early months, I found out that he have trust issues. He's got a deep personality. He don't really trust people that much. At first I thought maybe it's just because of his past relationships.


He told me that he had rotten experiences with love. Although he never had a girlfriend yet, just mutual understanding kinda thing.


I tried to understand his situation. I also assured her that I love him so much, I won't leave him. This went on and I finally got his trust.


Little by little he opened up about his childhood experiences and whatall. That's when I found out that he's struggling with depression.


I'm a second year sociology student. I don't know how a therapist would professionally handle such case. However, it somehow gave me an idea when I tried to ask a professional help too.


I have a history of depression too. Until now, I'm still battling with my own demons. This year, I finally underwent a professional help from a psychiatrist as well as our college therapist after I had an anxiety attack. I'm feeling better now, thanks to the love and support of my family and friends.


My experience, prior knowledge with regards mental health and the underlying problems within the society that affects the human mind- helped me analyze the root cause of his depression.


He told me that he had a family of alcoholics. He had a first hand experience being abused by his family member. He was talked ****** in his young age by his Uncle. He'd seen his Uncle and Dad hurting and saying foul words on his Mom. He was also pressured by his Uncle to drink when he was 16. He haven't told me a lot about it but I thought of other worst things that might happen within a family like his.


It went on not til they had their own house. He told me, they were just sharing the house with his Dad's mom. The extended family type of setting within the household made them uncomfortable, but they managed to stay there for more or less 16 years.


His childhood experiences manifested on how he behave and think right now. I happen to read a study about Effects of Childhood exposure to Familial Alcoholism and Family Violence on Adolescent Substance Use, Conduct Problems, and Self-Esteem by Ritter et al (2002). I'm convinced that it took a toll on him especially when I got to know him better. Mostly a Self-Esteem issue.


Aside from suffering because of his childhood experiences. His parents doesn't acknowledge his depression. They are not open with the mental health issues. I also think he's suffering from their parenting style.


To add, he doesn't know how to release his emotions. He keeps on absorbing negative reactions that are thrown at him which affected his health in the long run.


Can you help me how to deal with him?


He said that he's willing to open up and ask for my help. However, I know that I'm not capable of giving an advice whatsoever. I really want to help with his depression but I know I need a professional take on his case.


I plan to do this tho:

Let him talk about his life, trauma, problems and all. I'll record it and let someone analyze his problem so that a professional advice can be given.


However, I fear to ask the wrong questions. I fear how to successfully help him.


I hope you can help me help him.


Thank you and have a nice day!


God bless everyone.

Edited by Monsoon
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Hey Laika. Thank you for reaching out to us. We are here to support you :)


It's great that your boyfriend has you looking out for him like this. I can really tell that you want the relationship to move forward and for him to trust you more.

You might find that over time, he begins to trust you. As there have been issues in his past experiences, it will probably take longer. It does sound like you're really committed to making this work :)


You're definitely right in showing how stressful experiences growing up can affect the way we think and feel as adults. However, these changes often aren't permanent and we can move past previous troubles with the right help.


I'm pleased to hear that your boyfriend is open to getting help. I think that as you said, he could really use some professional advice. I know that you want to support him by recording him answering your questions, but with questioning previous experiences, if there is trauma in childhood, you can re-traumatise the person with certain questions. With this in mind, I would let a professional have this conversation with him. There are other ways that you can help him other than being a therapist. It's important to know what we can and can't do for our loved ones. Do you think he would be open to seeing a therapist?


Here are some support guides you and you boyfriend may find useful:








Also, maybe you could ask your boyfriend to reach out to us so we can support him directly if he wants?


Let me know what you think of all this.


- Monsoon



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