Depression isn’t something to be hushed about; it is reality and has led to many suicidal thoughts, attempts and situations.

Stress is a leading cause of depression and anxiety, and if your partner is passing through this, there’s something you can do to save your relationship with that person.

Stress takes a toll on physical and mental health, as well as close relationships, so being supportive can help your partner in this time.

According to a study published in Developmental Psychology, the more depressed your romantic partner may be, the more love you should give them. Easing your partner’s stress as they deal with depression can boost their mental health later, the study found.

According to Matthew Johnson, a professor in the University of Alberta Faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sciences: “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.”

“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,” said Johnson.

The study which was conducted by researchers from the University of Alberta surveyed couples on their levels of depression, self-esteem and mutual support. Researchers found that the support given when a mate was feeling stressed was linked to future feelings of self-worth and depression.

For example, men’s feelings of self-esteem got a boost from supporting a depressed partner.

“Giving to their partner made them feel better about themselves,” Johnson said.

For women, receiving support from their partner led to increased self-esteem and reduced depression in the future.

So at the end of the day, supporting your partner when they are downcast is a win-win situation.