My boyfriend is depressed and has very vivid night terrors, his parents are controlling and refuse to believe he’s not okay…

They get angry and borderline abusive if he’s anything less than their idea of perfect. He’s afraid to go to the student help and has begged me not to tell my parents. I want to help him but don’t know how. What should I do?

It can be so difficult to watch someone you care about go through depression. It’s even harder when they don’t have many supports and rely a lot on you. I’m really glad you reached out to us because you shouldn’t have to go through this alone

If you think your boyfriend should reach out for support, what are some supports out there he would feel comfortable using? Sometimes the first step is reaching out to an adult he feels more comfortable talking to about that kind of stuff or even a service like ConnecTeen that’s anonymous and confidential. If he is suffering from depression, a doctor is also extremely helpful. That would also allow a professional to speak to both your boyfriend and his parents about the nature of depression and how it can affect someone’s behaviours. There are resources that either you or your boyfriend could access that are confidential such as the Eastside Family Centre which offers free and confidential walk-in counselling. You can check out their webpage here: http://www.woodshomes.ca/site/PageNavigator/programs/crisis/programs_eastside.html

Knowing that your boyfriend has asked you to not tell your parents about what is going on for him, it is important to point out that if you ever feel like your boyfriend is suicidal, you need to tell someone right away. If you aren’t comfortable telling your parents you can call ConnecTeen 24/7 @ 403.264.8336 or even call 911 if you think he is in immediate danger. Suicide is too big of a topic to have to handle on your own and there are lots of resources out there that want to help you both.

Watching someone that you care for deeply can also take a huge emotional, physical, and mental toll on yourself. Unfortunately, you may not always be able to help your boyfriend or convince him to take action to help with his depression or night terrors; however, you can make sure that you take care of yourself as well as possible so that you can be effective when you are supporting your boyfriend. There are many ways that you can do this depending on your own personal preferences. Making sure that you take the time to do things that you enjoy, such as sports, listening or playing music, journaling, the list is endless. Also trying to make sure that you get enough sleep and eat healthy meals so that you have the energy you need to get through the day.

Please don’t forget that you aren’t alone. There are lots of people that want to be able to help you and your boyfriend through this rough time. Reaching out can be really scary but also incredibly helpful. Remember to not lose sight of yourself and your own health. It’s really difficult to be effective when you haven’t taken care of your own needs first. Please feel free to contact ConnecTeen through text, chat, or phone whenever you need to.