How to help a guy who is a huge jerk to himself

LoooveMonkey LoooveMonkey
My boyfriend has ISSUES and I need you guys to help me help him if you can, please.

About a month ago, he was diagnosed with anxiety. He worries about little things not worth worrying about all the time. He avoided talking to me for 3 days while coming to terms with that and thinking things out. And he did talk to me, but ever since then, he was distant when we'd talk and he has been very self-absorbed. He keeps worrying about what he looks like and he won't let me see him on webcam. I've probably gotten to see his face twice in the past month. And then a couple weeks ago, he got a grade on a test that he found to be unsatisfactory. I keep telling him that he is more than a stupid grade and he can't go back and do anything about it so he should just look to the future and figure out how not to let it happen again, but he keeps moping and saying he's worthless and hideous and his future is ruined.

He's been talking with a therapist once a week, but they haven't done anything groundbreaking for him.

Every time he makes a mistake or sees something he doesn't like about himself, he just mentally beats the shit out of himself for it for days. He doesn't even like to think about his childhood because of things he regrets (like grades from then!! X_X).

I miss him so much. I tell him he's smart and I truly believe that. I tell him he's beautiful. He really is. And I tell him how much I love him and what a great boyfriend he is to me and what a great person he is. I mean everything I tell him and he knows I do. It doesn't matter. He appreciates it, but it doesn't sink in. I can't keep seeing him like this. There has to be something I can do. Something I should be doing, but I'm not? Please help me. I need him to come back and be okay.
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violets violets
As someone who suffers from some pretty bad mental health issues myself, I can say the anxiety issues sound familiar to me. I think what you need to remember is that at its core anxiety isn't rational. It doesn't matter how much you know that, it doesn't stop the worries and fears and everything. Therapy can take a while to work, and that's only after finding the right therapist (which in itself can take some time). Hopefully his therapist will be helpful in treating the anxiety or at least guiding him towards treatment that will help. I think mainly what you can do is just be supportive, and make sure to take care of yourself too. And remember it's nobody's fault, mental health issues are the same as any other health issues. Stuff like this can be really hard on both those who suffer from it and those around them, I know. I wish you both the best of luck.
El-Jaro El-Jaro
Yeah, anxiety can't be reasoned with.

Really, there isn't much you can do, but be supportive.

Good luck!
indiglo indiglo
Agreed. Generally a good rule of thumb is that it is impossible to fix people. (or "help" them, it's just semantics) And this relates to any issue or problem, anxiety and beyond.

You can be loving and supportive while he works out his own issues though!
Ansley Ansley
Confidence. He needs little successes in his life. The more he has, the less his failures will matter.

However, getting him to participate in activities that will afford success is the difficulty here; encouraging him to be his best and encouraging him to participate in activities where he can be successful will go a long way. Nothing will change over night and you'll need a vast amount of patience to see him through it; if you choose to do so, that is.
LoooveMonkey LoooveMonkey
Thank you so much for your helpful reply, violets. It helps to hear from someone who knows. I guess I should stop trying to rationalize his anxiety like I always do. x_x He should very well know it's a silly thing to be worrying about himself. He doesn't need to hear it from me, too.

Stormy, thanks for the tips. I wouldn't even think of leaving him to do this alone. He got me through a whole lot when we first met.

Looks like mostly all I can do is mostly what I've been doing. Maaan. :\ I guess I kind of knew that, but I was hoping someone would have a magical answer anyway. I think I'm gonna bite the $300 bullet and go over there and see him. Give him a weekend of good food, sex, massages, and lots of cuddles. If that doesn't help, at least I can say I tried everything I could.
Ansley Ansley
Originally posted by LoooveMonkey
Thank you so much for your helpful reply, violets. It helps to hear from someone who knows. I guess I should stop trying to rationalize his anxiety like I always do. x_x He should very well know it's a silly thing to be worrying about himself. He ...
If you're invested and you really want to do it, it'll pan out. Relationships are a journey and no one sets out in them without some sort of baggage; granted some baggage is easier to carry than others.

Just make sure you have your own support network to get you through the times when it feels like nothing is getting through and you're ready to give up on him, yourself and the relationship. Negativity is infectious and familiarity can breed resentment. It's almost never intentional; it's often hard to spot until it's too late, so allow yourself some room to breathe, too.
Total posts: 7
Unique posters: 5