My girlfriend is great—she’s intelligent, very caring and has a sense of humor just like mine. We really click. The problem is that she has depression, and it’s really hard to watch her suffer and not be able to help her. She is the greatest person, and when she talks about herself negatively, it’s really sad. Sometimes she gets to feeling so bad that she doesn’t think she’s accomplished anything in life, is not worthy of me and doesn’t have much to live for. It really makes me sad to see her this way, and I want to help her. It even makes me worried that, if I were to break up with her one day—not that I want to—what would happen? She gets so depressed, and I’d hate to make it worse. But sometimes I wonder what it would do to her if I left her for some reason. We’re young and anything can happen at this point, but I’d hate to be the reason that she goes into a deeper depression. Is there a way to help her? How do I deal with this?
You are taking on a lot here. First and foremost, you cannot heal your girlfriend of her depression. But you can support her and encourage her to seek help. What is she doing to treat her depression right now? If she hasn’t tried therapy then encourage her to make an appointment. Don’t push or pressure her, but open the floor to the possibility and see how she responds. Also, if you were to ever want to end the relationship, it would only hurt the both of you to stay in the relationship because you’re worried about her depression worsening. You can cross that bridge when you get there, but for now you should focus on supporting her in her journey with depression. Do what you can to encourage treatment, and let her know you’re there to help whenever/however she needs it.