My partner of two years has been struggling with patterns of feeling moody, withdrawn, and overwhelmed. We both have high-stress jobs and live thousands of kilometres from our (very different) home countries. But his bad feelings endure even when he is on holiday or goes back to Spain to visit family. He’s recently admitted that he thinks he might be depressed, but he is still reluctant to see a doctor or therapist to figure things out.
I’m trying to help him and encourage him to see someone, but his moods and attitudes are having a negative effect on my life, too. He can become so withdrawn that we barely speak for days, he loses his temper far more easily than usual, and his sex drive can be non-existent. All of these things make me feel so upset, and I’m working on not taking them personally, but it can be very difficult. I want to be there for my partner, whom I care about deeply, but at what point do I need to step back and look out for my own emotional well-being?
I know the first step is getting him to figure out where his depressed feelings are coming from and how he might go about coping with them, but then what? I’d appreciate any advice from those who have helped a friend partner with depression or had to encourage someone to seek therapy.