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Request For Advice: Dealing With A Depressed Boyfriend


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Hello! I hope this finds you well. I am writing mostly to look for specific advice--

The situation is: I have been dating J for roughly 3.5 years, and while we have our ups and downs, we are overall a pretty good couple. Recently, he moved overseas with me. I am currently 25, and he is 27. Two months ago (Sept), his younger brother killed himself, and since then we've been faced with quite a lot of issues.

We are back overseas. The first month was really rough, where his emotions were up and down, and he exhibited all the signs of extreme grief. Over time, he became more emotionally stable. He is talkingto a therapist online--but I think he may need to see someone here, or go back to the US.

I think he's depressed...last night we got into another argument, and he lashed out at me. (He has been getting angry easily, and taking it out on me, in ways he hasn't before. He always admits it after when I point out, and apologizes.) And then when I was angry, he started saying how his life is worthless, and I'm better than him, and he should just kill himself. I think his issues stem from several things. 1. Obviously, the biggest cause is his younger brothers suicide recently 2. His sense of worth: currently he is an intern at my firm in Asia, and he thinks he should be doing something else, making more money, being a big shot, and he's not. His ego is definitely hit hard right now.

Signs of depression that he has exhibited:

1. Irritability, anger

2. Difficulty concentrating

3. Negative thoughts-paranoid thoughts

4. He has lost weight, but I had assumed it is due to the food here. (I have lost weight also.)

5. Obviously suicidal talk (but last night was the first time)

Please share your experiences, but also actionable steps I can take, or he can take.

A few key questions:

1. What can I do right now?

2. What can he do right now to make it better?

3. Should he go back to the US (and back to his parents house, etc) or stay out here?

4. How do we find counseling in a foreign country in Asia?

5. Can you provide an analysis on what is going on? Will his depression last? What can I expect from his behavior over time?

Thank you!

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Hold on, the moderator will be here to post.

I would say anyone who is contemplating suicide or doesn't see meaning in living should get help asap. You might want to contact a hospital there to find out where to get help since you're not in your home country.

I am so sorry for the loss of his brother. Suicide is particularly difficult on those left behind and I imagine he is feeling a myriad of emotions. Grief makes it difficult to concentrate or focus for some time.

I am sorry for what both of you are going through.

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My friend, I'm so sorry that you are faced with such a complicated situation, but it seems to me that this is far beyond what an online discussion group such as ours can offer you.

I've no idea what bereavement resources are available to you or your partner wherever you are "overseas" ~ but since your partner is working with his own therapist online ~ and since he is not the one who is seeking my advice ~ I can only address my comments to you, and you can decide what you wish to share with your partner.

I can point you to a number of online resources aimed at helping another in grief, and some others about surviving suicide loss, so you will have a better understanding of what your partner may be going through ~ but bear in mind that everyone grieves differently according to one's individual personality, gender, past history with significant loss, and any number of other factors, including the specific type of loss ~ and death by suicide is one of the most painful and difficult to understand. Again, I'm so sorry this has happened to both of you, and I hope the following will be of some help to both of you:

Grief: Understanding The Process

Helping Another in Grief

Surviving a Spouse's Suicide (with links to Resources for Survivors of Suicide, as well as Related Articles and Resources)

See especially Understanding Survivors of Suicide Loss and 9 Things to Do Or Say When A Loved One Talks About Taking Their Life

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Dear Friend,

Anger is often part of the grieving process. I am presently living in Asia and there are many good counselors around. You can browse the Internet for I am sure they have their clinics and websites around. I don't know which part of Asia you are in now but I have met several psychologist/psychiatrists in Vietnam, Singapore and the Philippines in particular.

Help is around. Stay positive and be strong for him.

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