Have you ever been depressed? Or maybe you’ve been in a relationship with someone who is depressed? 2020 will certainly have helped to increase the number of people suffering from this mental illness. Because if there’s one thing that 2020 will have taught me, it’s that no one is immune to depression.

Before presenting the 3 apps, I would like to explain to you where the desire to write about this topic came from.

My story

In January 2019, when I was single for just a few months, I met a girl. During the first date, she tells me that she had a depression a few months ago, and that she is slowly recovering. She tells me about her situation… I give her a hug. The current passes well and we move on with a second and a third date. Then we become a couple. I know, starting this relationship, that there will be difficult times. But as I told her from the first meeting, the hard times don’t scare me because I’m able to see all the potential and keep a focus on that moment when she will be better.

The beginnings are always magic. And this was also the case for us. But I quickly realized that the hard times would be more present than I thought. Still, I was already so in love. So I took it upon myself to help her in every difficult moment. And when I had a little difficulty understanding, she reminded me that she was feeling bad so I could be present. And to be honest, I’ve always done it with love. Every moment that I had to help her get out of bed by texting or talking to her on the phone, or even by video, I did it with all my heart. Each time, I shared her pain, I absorbed it. And I was trying to help her as best I could.

At times, the anxiety attacks were joining the depression. A few times I even had to help her breathe and calm her down. Then I consoled her because she felt bad and was afraid of losing me. But I stayed every time. Through that, she met and integrated the little family (I have 2 little boys). But I hadn’t realized how fragile she was. So this integration was the biggest mistake I made in our relationship.

The management of the boys and a too rapidly increasing workload caused a relapse. Never mind, I remain present as much as possible. And I think I was always there to help her with her depression. Then comes 2020…

2020 will have been difficult for me from start to finish. And there will have been, in the end, little good moments…

January started badly, with a severe flu that turned into a bronco-pneumonia. This flu (which I suspect to have been COVID-19) kept me on the sidelines for the first few weeks of the year, in addition to having created a quarrel in the couple when I could not go in the family of my sweetheart. The month of February brings a mini respite, despite the concern that begins to mount as we watch the pandemic invade Europe. March will hurt as we quietly enter confinement and daycare centers close. It means having the kids at home full time and not being able to work effectively. Add to that the fact that my girlfriend was still not getting better after her fall relapse. Managing the children, helping my sweetheart with her growing depression and anxiety, and financial stress caused great stress on our relationship and on family life. But it is April that marks a turning point in this year of misery. One month of complete confinement. Both psychological and financial stress begins to set in. Quarrels in the couple are starting to happen a little more often. Eventually, my sweetheart came home less and less when I had the boys.

May finally brings some hope. But our couple is shaken up and something is wrong with my sweetie. I try to help her as best I can, but I don’t seem to be able to reassure her, to comfort her well.

In June, it no longer works. She’s leaving me! She comes back 10 days later and asks me if I want to take her back. Strangely, I was doing well with this breakup. But as I still love her, I take her back. The only truly joyful moments of 2020 followed. Romantic outings in the park, walks hand in hand… We make love. But in July, after only one attempt on the part of my sweetheart to see the children, she leaves me again. I still love her and know that she needs to heal her depression so that we can be happy together again. So we decide to stay separated, but to remain lovers and exclusive…

August brings another great pain as she asks me to break our agreement so that she can sleep with a man who is courting her. In the end, she won’t sleep with him. She couldn’t because she realized that the only person she wanted was me. We resume by telling ourselves that we will be together only when I don’t have the boys, but that we also want to keep time for ourselves. In August, another mental brick hits my sweetheart. A story that took place in her childhood comes back to haunt her. I feel all the pain and decide, once again, to accompany her in her recovery. Lots of tears and pains due to this new bombshell and the depression which, quietly, seems to want to let go a little.

October will shatter everything as the pandemic strikes again. We still don’t see each other when I have the boys. The cold weather decreases our meetings and the Covid stress sets in again. Slowly, we feel more and more alone and isolated.

Then in November comes the stabbing. She tells me that she feels bad to continue with me because she now knows that she does not want children in her life for several more years. This time, it’s me who makes the decision: So things can’t go on between us… Despite this, we continue to see each other, supposedly as friends. But it’s not okay. She feels lonely and, at the end of November, begins to “date” guys. She wants to prove to herself that there are men she likes who don’t have children.

At the beginning of December, I learn it. I realize this is not working for me. I love her and want to bring her back to me. I am looking for solutions to our problem of children. But it seems to be too late. On December 5, we tenderly make love twice. Then she tells me that she still loves me, but that she wants to be able to stop loving me so that she can enjoy life now that she is better. After I spent 2019 and 2020 helping her out of her depression, after I helped her through this other trauma, she tells me that she wants to leave me so that she can finally enjoy life? I did everything so that we could finally really enjoy life together. But it is another who will benefit. Tuesday evening, we’ll talk on the phone again. She tells me her decision is final. The next morning, it does not go well. My life changes. I see black… I find myself at the L-H Lafontaine hospital. Diagnosis: depression.

After spending almost 2 years helping someone get out of their depression. To involve myself emotionally, mentally and physically to help her, she abandons me. I sink. Now it’s my turn to need healing.

The apps

Pixels

Screenshot - PixelsPixels is a minimalist approach to bullet journaling.

With this mobile app, you can track your mood in a simple, quick and easy way. Every day is a Pixel! You can record your thoughts through notes and the emotions you have felt during the day.

You can also get information and statistics – in graphical form – on your mental health through its “your mood” section.

The data that the user provides is confidential and is not kept by the managers of the application.

Happify

HappifyHappify offers science games and activities that can help reduce stress, overcome negative thoughts, and build resilience by providing effective tools and programs to improve emotional well-being.

Happify techniques are developed by scientists and experts who have researched evidence-based interventions in the areas of positive psychology, mindfulness, and cognitive behavioral therapy for decades.

MoodTools

MoodtoolsMoodTools is designed to help you fight depression and relieve negative moods, helping you on your road to recovery.

This application contains several different tools supported by research. They include: a reflection journal, which allows you to improve your mood by analyzing your thoughts and identifying negative / distorted thought patterns based on the principles of cognitive therapy; activities, which allow you to regain your energy by performing energizing activities and monitoring your mood before and after, based on behavioral activation therapy; a safety plan, to follow in case of suicidal thoughts to ensure your safety and use emergency resources during a crisis situation; a test consisting of a PHQ-9 depression questionnaire to monitor the severity of your symptoms; and videos that can improve your mood and behavior, guided meditations and TED talks.

MoodTools was designed in collaboration with several mental health professionals. The app is free, contains no advertising, and is a non-profit company dedicated to helping people with clinical depression.

The conclusion of my little story

Now I am rebuilding myself. And if there is one thing that is important, it is to move forward one day at a time, while being able to see past the current difficulties. Lucky for me, I’m surrounded by good people and I love what I’m doing.

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