A mental health issue doesn’t just affect the person suffering from it: it can also change the lives of the people around them too – especially those they’re closest to.
For some, being in a relationship with a partner who’s battling with depression and anxiety can leave you feeling more than a little helpless.
Which is why one guy has come up with an incredibly inventive way of helping his girlfriend who’s suffering from depression and anxiety.
Getting creative, he made his partner (he doesn’t share her name) a jar of affirmations – specifically crafted to give her a boost on particularly bad days.
Bodaveez – as he’s known on Reddit – shared a photo of the jar containing lolly sticks of many colours.
“My girlfriend suffers from, at times, crippling depression and anxiety. I saw this idea somewhere online and decided to make her something like it,” he wrote.
By colour-coding the sticks into four categories – from quotes and reminders to things to help her relax and a set of blank sticks for her to write about things that make her happy – he hopes it’ll help.
“Each category is colour-coded, so for example, orange are inspirational quotes from poets, political figures, philosophers, and humanitarians across time,” he explained.
“Yellow reminders are positive words to help you through the day, things like "you're beautiful" and "it's okay to ask for help".
“The purple ones are tips to help her relax things like "take a break" while she's working on her master's degree, or "listen to your favourite song".
And he also added another category, which asks that his girlfriend participate to the jar herself.
“I put a fine tipped sharpie in there with the blank ones so she record moments when she's the happiest and then she can pull one of those later when she needs it.”
According to a recent study, men and women appear to suffer from depression differently, a phenomenon that is particularly striking in teenagers. By the age of 15, girls are twice as likely as boys to be depressed – something that could be attributed to everything from body image issues to hormonal fluctuations and the fact that girls are more at risk of inheriting depression.
Unsure if it’ll be of any great help, he just wants to try and assist in any way he can think of.
“It hasn't been easy and I know I have a long road ahead of me but I'm trying,” he wrote in the comments.
“She’s very special to me … [the] least I can do is try to help. I’m sure there are plenty of guys like me around.
“Our relationship has been the most challenging of my life but also the most enjoyable.”
And social media users have been really touched by his efforts.
“As someone suffering too, I want you to know what you're doing could potentially be life saving, thank you for deciding to help her instead of treat her like a burden. I'm glad to know I live in a world with people like you,” one posted.
“That is really beautiful, a lovely model to follow! I hope (and trust) that it helps with such a frustrating and mysterious condition. She is lucky to have you,” another commented.
“Wow – this is a really great idea. Sometimes depression makes it really hard for people to hear what you are trying to say and sometimes talking doesn’t help. I'm going to pass this idea along, if you don't mind,” another wrote.
And we couldn’t agree more, it’s a very thoughtful idea.
Images: Nathan Mcbride / Bodaveez