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Dealing with depression can be brutal, especially when your partner is suffering. We go through so many issues in life, and not everything is going to be perfect. When you commit to someone and love them no matter their highs and lows, you’ve signed up for staying by their side through thick and thin. It is not easy or ideal. No one is saying your relationship won’t have its bumps in the road or even a breaking point. But now is the time to be strong, showing your partner that you will help them get through their depression – listening, learning, and providing a steady shoulder to lean on. Your love is their anchor, your support is their hope, and just being there proves you are a true partner. No Judgement It is important that you aren’t judgmental or jump to conclusions about your partner’s emotional/mental state. As much as they may share, you still won’t fully know what they are going through, how they are struggling silently, and if or when they will see that light at the end of the tunnel. Your role is to provide comfort and care, express concern, and be open to any and all communication. You may feel scared, sad, frustrated, or confused. Your emotions are valid and expected. Think before you speak, be gentle, and pay attention to both their verbal and physical cues. It is going to be difficult for your partner to be vulnerable, and equally challenging for you to be their sounding board. Just be sure to show sympathy, even if you don’t have a solution or anything to say. Seek Professional Help If your partner has not yet sought professional help from a counselor or therapist, perhaps it’s up to you to make that move, or at least aid them in the process. Unless you happen to be one yourself, you won’t have the tools or knowhow that a professional has to deal with depression on a deeper level. It may take many sessions before you see a breakthrough, but just talking it out is helpful, step by step. It may come to the point where your partner needs to take medication or perhaps requires some time solo to deal with their illness. Be understanding, patient, and remain positive. Plenty of people have overcome depression successfully and have gone on to lead fulfilling lives. Remove the Stigma To this day, there is an unfair stigma surrounding mental health. It is a shame that as a society, we have not scrapped the notion that mental well being isn’t as “valid” as physical health, and those with depression, for instance, are not always treated seriously. Depression is real, painful, debilitating, and exhausting. It can cause severe suffering and sickness. Be part of the movement to remove the stigma and show your endless support. Increasing awareness [...]