It’s even harder to find a tangible way to reach out to them and show them your support.
When an Imgur user found himself in a similar situation – his girlfriend was suffering from crippling anxiety and depression – he decided to make her an affirmation jar.
“My girlfriend suffers from, at times, crippling depression and anxiety,” Imgur user bodaveez wrote. “I saw this idea somewhere online and decided to make her something like it.”
He filled the jar with coloured-coded popsicle sticks – or Paddlepop sticks to us Aussies – which all served a different purpose. On the orange sticks he wrote quotes to inspire his girlfriend, on the yellow sticks he scribbled down reminders, on the pink sticks he included things to help her relax, and finally he included some blank sticks so she could write down the moments and memories that made her happy.
“Each ‘category’ is colour coded so for example orange are inspirational quotes from poets, political figures, philosophers, and humanitarians across time,” he said in a follow up Reddit comment.
“Yellow reminders are positive words to help you through the day things like ‘you’re beautiful’ and ‘it’s OK to ask for help’ the purple ones are tips to help her relax things like ‘take a break’ while she’s working on her Masters or ‘listen to your favorite song.’
“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.”
Although the boyfriend doesn’t yet know whether it’s made a difference, he said he wanted to do something to remind his girlfriend that someone loves and cares about her.
“She sometimes gets so caught in what she’s doing, she becomes overwhelmed and doesn’t even realize it,” he wrote in a Reddit comment. “I’m hoping that this will help her. Even a little is a lot.”
Bodaveez admitted he didn’t come up with the idea himself but he wanted to share it to help others who are currently trying to support someone who is experiencing their own mental health struggle.