Depression can put a rift in romantic relationships. However, understanding the right way to react to a partner's struggles can prevent walls from going up and help you build a stronger, more meaningful connection.

Depression isn't a mood

We tend to throw around the word "depression" as if it's a short-term state of mind rather than a chronic condition. People say things like, "That movie made me depressed" or "I'm depressed about the game last night." However, depression is more than a moment of fleeting disappointment.

Depression is a mental disorder that doesn't always have a clear cause. You may be surprised to hear your partner is depressed if everything seems to be going well, but be careful not to react defensively. Stay calm and recognize your partner is extending an opportunity for you to understand them better.

Don't take it personally

When someone we love is hurting, it's easy to feel as if we're responsible for