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When a partner is suffering from depression, it can be difficult to know how to help them while staying positive yourself.

On Reddit, people have been sharing their tips on how to support a loved one through their darkest days and maintain good personal mental health.

While some of the responses are from people who’ve experienced depression, others are from spouses, boyfriends or girlfriends who’ve supported someone else in the past.

Find their tips below or read our article on ‘How To Help Someone With Depression’ for more advice.

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Make Small Gestures

“Bring her flowers and something fun to eat, provide activities but no pressure to participate, and offer space if that’s what she wants. Above all, just listen to what she has to say, support her and don’t let her put herself down. Also, send her a nice note every now and then.” – NeonKnight88 

 

Don’t Blame Yourself

“The way I see it, you wouldn’t blame yourself if your significant other got flu, so why would you blame yourself that they’re depressed? It’s an illness, so you do the same thing as you would with any other illness – make sure you’re there to help out if you’re needed.” – Womblist 

 

Suggest Therapy

“Get her to talk to a therapist. You can be there for her when she’s feeling down, but if you become her therapist you will be unable to separate yourself from the situation and will begin feeling hopeless too. Depression is a terrible thing that people need supportive friends and family to cope with, but your first priority still needs to be your own mental health.” – kmitch7 

 

Don’t Try To ‘Fix’ Them

“As a woman who struggles with severe depression, the most amazing thing a person can do for you is to just support you and not try to fix it. Don’t try to make her exercise. Don’t make her feel bad if she doesn’t accomplish anything in a day. Don’t make her talk about it if she doesn’t want to. Don’t try to force her to be happy. She already feels so badly about herself and all those things. Just be there for her.” – spicybruschetta 

 

Be Patient

“Just know that meds take time to work, and sometimes people have to try multiple meds before they find the right one. It takes a lot of patience. Some people are less/more sensitive to medications, but for me they’re a godsend. I feel back to my normal self after going on them.” – fancyabiscuit

 

Be Physically Present

“What my boyfriend did that helped me the most was just sit with me or hug me. I would just say ‘today is a bad day’ and he would let me cuddle him or talk to him or hold his hand. The fact that he was physically there and he cared about me really helped me. He knew that he couldn’t ‘fix’ or ‘cure’ me. Being able to look up from homework or studying and see him there next to me made such a difference.” – kshvach 

 
Look After Yourself

“Don’t forget to take care of yourself. Do things with friends, see your own therapist, get a hobby, whatever. You can be a better support if you’re sturdy and well.” -auntiepink  

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