Depression is a serious mental illness. For people with this condition, getting through daily life can be a tough challenge. It may be tempting to pull back if your partner has depression. However, this study says the more severe depressed people are, the more they need to be loved.
Relationships researcher, Matthew Johnson said, as tough as it may be, helping your loved one stick it out through a bout of depression can help their future mental health.
True love could be that powerful to be able to cure severe depression (c) www.hipwee.com
“Efforts from a partner to help alleviate stress may prevent the development or worsening of mental health problems and, in fact, could help keep the relationship healthy,” said Johnson, a professor in the U of A’s Faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sciences in a statement.
Support can help a person cope with the condition, those who are closely related to them can give the most valuable push.
“When we experience stress, especially high levels of stress, we are particularly vulnerable and perhaps that’s why partner support in those times is so impactful and long-lasting,” he added.
In the study published in Developmental Psychology, experts surveyed 1,407 couples on their levels of depression, self-esteem and mutual support. Results showed that the support given when a mate was feeling stressed was linked to feelings of self-worth in the future.
Such as, when a man supports his depressed partner, the man's self-esteem also gets a boost.
“Giving to their partner made them feel better about themselves,” Johnson said.
“Those who have better mental health to start with may have the capacity to reach out for support when needed and are better able to manage stress on their own, but they are likely not the people who would benefit most from a partner’s help.”
However, it's maybe true that giving support to people with depression can sometimes be difficult.
“When someone is depressed or has low-self-worth, they may lash out. A partner offering support reaffirms feelings of depression and helplessness, of the feeling that they have to pick up the slack,” Johnson said.
During the hard times, Johnson suggested offering “invisible support.”
“Studies suggest offering support your partner may not even be aware of, but would still be a helpful gesture, like taking care of a sink full of dirty dishes they haven’t seen yet. You can offer support, just don’t draw attention to it.”