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Topic: Boyfriend's mental health

4 posts, 0 answered
  1. Tgtat
    Tgtat avatar
    2 posts
    28 November 2018

    Me and my boyfriend have been in a relationship for nearly 2 years now, there have been some bumps in our relationship here and there but getting to the point, we love each other very much. I want to help him as much as i can, so that's why i'm here.

    My boyfriend's self esteem can be quite low at times and he gets very worked up over little mistakes he makes. I believe it might have to do with how he was raised, being expected to be the best all the time, his parents saying he was born to 'be a friend for as brother' (at least thats how he takes it), but speculating aside, i want to know how i can help.

    For an example of how things can sometimes go down, today at school it was raining and while our friends were buying lunch the teacher made us go inside. A while after our friends find us and ask why we left/didnt tell them were we were going and were reasonably a bit upset. After a bit of back of back and forth it settles down, our friends with less than happy expressions. Then i hear my boyfriend mumbling angrily towards himself, and then he slams the table and gets up with an expression i would describe as 'distress'. I try to pull him back down, or atleast hold him in place, but when he's like this it feels like you can't really do anything until the storm is over. Our friends are telling him its okay but hes still, saying its not and blaming it all on himself. There's more to the story but thats basically how it usually goes down, then it ends with him crying a little or a lot, depends. Sometimes he'll throw things he owns (not at anyone) or even smack/hit himself.

    I really want to know how i can be there for him and support him during these moments, or even prevent them from happening if i can.

  2. Whitepoppy61
    Whitepoppy61 avatar
    4 posts
    28 November 2018 in reply to Tgtat

    Hello,

    I'm so sorry to hear about your boyfriend's mental health.

    I actually share a strikingly similar experience, except in your boyfriend's position. My best friend often has to comfort whenever I get worked up over a mistake like even failing to help with school work.

    As someone who has suffered from low self-esteem since childhood, the fact that I have someone who is unconditionally supportive and accepting is more than enough. I'm sure your boyfriend is grateful you love and support him unconditionally. Of course during our dark times, we sometimes forget about these things. So don't be afraid to let him know how much you love him! Let him know how much he means to you and that he is already the best! Since we are often so caught up in our flaws, be sure to remind him of his positives and the fact you accept him no matter what. It is also important you let him know you are always there for him and willing to support him.

    These things may seem simple but to a person with low self-esteem, such words will mean a lot. By all means, extend yourself beyond these phrases! Kind and affectionate gestures can help him feel more appreciated.

    Admittedly, I am even more similar to your boyfriend as I tend to blame myself a lot for mistakes. Just like your boyfriend, I get very emotional and angry with myself to the point I don't listen to reason and become stubborn to change my negative mindset. Once I calmed down, only then do I accept my best friend's comfort. Although this will be very difficult, your boyfriend has to realise it's okay to make mistakes as we are all human and that we can be forgiven.

    On the other hand, while support in a relationship is crucial, it is worth considering encouraging your boyfriend to seek a counselor or any form of professional help. Considering your boyfriend has probably had self-esteem for a long time, it might be necessary to seek professional help as changing such cognitive thoughts can be very difficult. This is just something to consider and of course, never stop supporting your boyfriend.

    I encourage you to have an open discussion with your boyfriend about his wellbeing, make it clear that you are concerned for him and perhaps even ask what you could do to help.

    I'm sorry if this doesn't help for I am not exactly the best at giving advice haha. From someone who suffers from low self-esteem, I hope your boyfriend will get through this and feel happiness for himself! Don't forget to take care of yourself as well!

    1 person found this helpful
  3. Whitepoppy61
    Whitepoppy61 avatar
    4 posts
    28 November 2018 in reply to Tgtat

    Also, a very important tip to consider when talking about your boyfriend about his feelings of himself (and just anyone in general).

    It's important you don't counter his negative thoughts but rather inquire more into them.

    For example, suppose your boyfriend puts himself down by saying "I am stupid.". Instead of countering by saying "You're not stupid", ask "Why do you feel like this?"

    This allows the opportunity for your boyfriend to express his feelings more and the two of you can gain a better understanding of his mental health issue which will be highly beneficial.

    Even when ranting about his problems instead of offering advice like most people tend to do, ask some questions to learn more about his feelings e.g. "What happened afterwards?" or "How does this make you feel?". Ensure you listen to everything he has to say as this is something that is highly valued from someone experiencing a mental health problem (anyone in general actually)!

    Again, best of luck and take care!

    2 people found this helpful
  4. Tgtat
    Tgtat avatar
    2 posts
    29 November 2018 in reply to Whitepoppy61

    Thank you poppy,

    It's very helpful to hear from the 'other side' of this kind of situation.

    Your tip is very helpful as i realise now that I often do just counter his negative thoughts in an attempt to simply push them aside, and i will try my best to ask questions instead.

    I will also approach him about considering professional help.

    Thank you for your advice,

    - Tgtat