Study Reveals That Easing Stress of Your Romantic Partner Can Boost His/Her Mental Health Later

University of Alberta research states that the more your partner is depressed, the more love you should give.

Matthew Johnson, a relationships researcher, states that it can be tough to pull back. However, helping your partner to stick out of depression can help secure their mental health in future. He stated: “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.”

Stress can affect one mentally and physically. Besides this, it can disturb close relationships therefore support is needed to cope with it.

Johnson, a professor in Faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sciences, said: “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.”

Study was conducted to survey 1407 couples on their levels of depression, self-esteem and mutual support. This study was published in Developmental Psychology.

Researchers have found that future feelings of self-worth and depression are linked with the support given when a mate was feeling stressed. Johnson said: “Giving to their partner made them feel better about themselves.” For example, men’s feelings of self-esteem got a boost from supporting a depressed partner.

Women have increased self-esteem and reduced depression in the future if they are receiving support from their partner. It is also found that women with higher-self-esteem and men with fewer symptoms of depression received more support from their partners in times of stress.

Johnson noted that, “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.”

Johnson added that supporting a partner who needs it most can be difficult. He added: “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 suggested to give invisible support in the face of negative reaction. Studies revealed that helping your partner without getting her know can also 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.

Other ways to help partner struggle with depression include lending an empathetic ear if they want to express themselves  logistics of daily life by offering to take on tasks that aren’t normally yours,” such as planning meals or driving children to school, can reduce feeling of sadness.

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