Find answers to some of the more frequently asked questions on the Forums.

Forums guidelines

Our guidelines keep the Forums a safe place for people to share and learn information.

Announcement Icon
You can win one of three $200 gift cards. Complete our survey by 5pm, 30 June 2024 AEST to enter the draw. Your response will be anonymous so you can't be identified.

Depressed partner increasingly verbally abusive

Community Member
My boyfriend is depressed and in the last month is regularly verbally abusive towards me. I don’t know what to do.
2 Replies 2

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi Medusa

Sorry to hear you're going through such torment. I'm glad you came here.

There's a possibility he's deeply frustrated and doesn't have the ability to communicate in a more thoughtful way. I'm not excusing such behaviour, just considering a possible explanation for it.

I suggest you don't excuse it under any circumstances. We all deserve better than to be degraded. Do you believe you're able to convince him to vent in a more thoughtful way, asking him to find words that have less sting in them? You can even suggest he take the time to write them down, if need be.

A significant depression can definitely have us acting out of character, due to a number of factors. Thoughts mixed with deeply challenging chemistry can take us far from our natural happy peaceful self. Transferring our torment onto those closest can be the result. One of the factors I recall in my years in depression (which are behind me now) was being so angry with my husband for not being able to help me rise above it. I was desperate for someone to save me in some way. He was closest to me so copped a lot of my frustration, disappointment and even resentment. I think now of all the gestures he could have made to help me rise above the place I was in. Although he was and still is a loving guy, back then he didn't believe in 'depression', which didn't help matters.

This may sound a little strange but can you think of something your bf has always had a slight interest in or a natural curiosity about? It could be something that reflects who he naturally is. Maybe he always had some interest in writing or perhaps he's often contemplated understanding more about psychology or perhaps he's always dreamed of being a tattoo artist. Whatever it is, consider buying him a book on the subject or tools, like a beautiful notebook and pen set or sketchpad and drawing set.

Gifting someone in a depression the opportunity to explore a return to who they naturally are is one way of helping them raise them self out of depression. Such a gesture can set them on a path of satisfying self exploration. Try not to pick something he's obviously grown bored of because this boredom may reflect the fact that he's lost interest because he's discovered it's in no way satisfying. As long as it's harmless, his interest doesn't necessarily need to be your cup of tea either. It may simply prove to be the elixir that goes toward bringing him back to life.

Don't forget to look after yourself too 🙂

Community Member
Thank you so much for enlightening me. Your words and advice have been very helpful. I’m sorry I took so long to read your reply.