For women, receiving support from their partner led to increased self-esteem and reduced depression in the future. "Giving to their partner made them feel better about themselves," said Matthew Johnson, Professor at the University of Alberta in Canada.
‘Stress takes a toll on physical and mental health, as well as close relationships, so that support can help a person better cope with it.’
"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," Johnson added. The study also showed that women with higher-self-esteem and men with fewer symptoms of depression received more support from their partners in times of stress.
"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 said, in the paper published in the journal Developmental Psychology.
But helping your loved one stick it out through a bout of depression can help their future mental health, he added.
Stress takes a toll on physical and mental health, as well as close relationships, so that support can help a person better cope with it.
"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," Johnson noted.
For the study, the team surveyed couples on their levels of depression, self-esteem and mutual support and showed that the more depressed your romantic partner may be, the more love you should give them.