So I think my long-distance bf is slipping back into depression. Long story short. I know he dealt with depression several years before he met me, including at least a short-ish period of time where he also dealt with suicidal thoughts. It was triggered by the loss of a serious relationship followed by the loss of a parent to whom he was extremely close. He ultimately got himself (mostly) out of that place. And by that I meant definitely out of the suicidal place, and mostly out of the depression place. But it would creep up here and there, for a week or two at a time, once or twice a year.
The last few months have been really hard for him professionally and the depression is coming back more and more. At one point he felt suicidal again, though only for a day or so. It's getting to the point where he feels depressed far more often than not.
I have definitely had some struggles with mild anxiety (maybe more than mild when exhausted/stressed) but the suicidal feelings are something I have never dealt with personally.
My questions for you all:
1. At what point do I suggest trying therapy? I don't know how to approach this. I know he doesn't really want to do the medication thing. Years ago he tried Prozac and HATED it. He self-medicates with pot and while I know that's not ideal, I also know he's just not open to changing that right now. But it seems to me that even just talking to someone would help, even if that's all he does. When he feels depressed, he wants to just hole up and talk to no one, so this seems like a really tough sell, but it's got to be better than nothing. (Right?)
2. What else can I do? Mostly when this happens he disappears into radio silence, which has sucked a lot since we're long distance, and I have tried to sort of let him do that when he needs to without freaking out too much. I basically just try to let him know I'm there when he needs me. But it seems like it's not getting better, and I am really running on my last reserves of being able to essentially be in our relationship by myself. I don't mean that to sound harsh or minimize at all how hard this is for him.
Thanks in advance.
TL;DR My bf is dealing with depression and I don't know how to handle it.