We’re finally becoming more comfortable as a society when it comes to talking about mental health issues and it’s about time. While we should always be caring for our own mental and emotional well-being, it’s important to look after our partners too. For women in straight relationships, understand that your boyfriend may still find it difficult to admit that he needs help, which is why it’s so important to recognize the signs that he’s struggling with depression. Here are just a few to keep an eye out for.
- Changes in sleep patterns This could show itself in a couple of ways. First, he could be sleeping a lot more. If there’s an easy explanation for this, that’s fine. For example, maybe he’s working for more than usual and needs some extra rest. But if you can’t explain why your boyfriend is lethargic and spending more and more time in bed, it could be a sign of depression. Not sleeping enough could also be a problem. He might be struggling to sleep at night because he’s depressed, leaving him tired and void of energy. In short, any major changes in a guy’s sleep patterns can be a cause for concern.
- Lack of motivation Depression has a way of making you feel like you’re not yourself. If you notice that your guy doesn’t have any interest in his usual hobbies or doesn’t feel like doing anything, it could be a sign of depression. You’ll want to look to see if a guy isn’t finding joy in the things he used to like. This is fine if he’s interested in other things, but if it seems like he’s apathetic about everything, there’s an issue.
- Poor hygiene Depression can cause some people to lose interest in taking care of themselves. Your boyfriend might stop showering or shaving or caring about wearing clean clothes when he’s not in a good space and while it may seem like he’s just lazy, there could be something deeper going on here.
- Unexplained physical ailments Not enough people realize that depression can manifest in physical ways. Some guys get headaches, experience stomach problems, or have unexplained aches and pains. If any of these problems persist, it’s important to be vigilant. He may not complain too much or want to talk about it, so sometimes it’s up to his partner to ask questions and keep an eye out. If he’s got physical ailments that don’t have an obvious explanation, it could be the manifestation of a mental health problem.
- Irritability Depression doesn’t always equal sadness. With a lot of men, it comes across as anger or irritability. It’s just another way that negative thoughts can manifest themselves for someone with depression. Granted, we all have bad days when we’re annoyed at every little thing, but consistent irritability over an extended period can be a sign of depression.
- Concentration problems Depression has a cruel way of consuming your brain. Your thoughts are on other things, so you have trouble concentrating. Do you ever notice that your boyfriend is zoning out in the middle of conversations? If this happens a lot, it could be a sign that he’s emotionally checked out of the relationship. However, it could also be a sign that he’s feeling depressed and dealing with emotional turmoil.
- Appetite changes Much like sleep habits, this can go either way. Depression can make some people lose interest in eating, even when it comes to their favorite foods. For others, they eat more as a way to cope with their feelings. Drastic weight gain or weight loss in a short period of time is a concern for anyone, and mental health problems could be at the root of things.
- Problems in the bedroom If your boyfriend is depressed, it’d be weird if it didn’t have an effect on your sex life. The issue could be erectile dysfunction, performance anxiety, or simply a lack of interest in sleeping with you. Of course, there could be a lot of other reasons why this kind of stuff happens, but having difficulties with mental or emotional health is often overlooked as a root cause.
- Changing personality Depression prevents a person from acting or thinking the way they normally would. If you’re in a long-term relationship, you should know when your partner is acting differently. If his unusual behavior persists, you can’t rule out the possibility that he could be depressed. Keep a lookout for some common signs of depression and try to ask him questions about how he’s feeling. Finally, if you can’t figure out why he’s acting different, don’t be afraid to consult with a professional.