Skip to main content Skip to bottom nav

Any tips for being a kind and supportive friend to someone who has depression?

12 Answers
Last Updated: 02/26/2019 at 11:55pm
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
Moderated by

Monique Bivins, MA, LPC

Licensed Professional Counselor

I have a real passion for helping my clients to overcome life's obstacles . My work with clients is nonjudgmental, supportive, and interactive.

Top Rated Answers
September 11th, 2017 10:15am
Knowing they have the support of family and friends can be really important for someone who is experiencing depression. As a friend, though, it can be difficult to know what to do. However, you can just be there to listen to them. If they feel like talking, ask them how they’re going. Ask them what you can do and what they find helpful. Also, it is important to know when is the good time to talk and take their feelings seriously. Moreover, it'll be good for you to be well informed about depression to help you better understand what your friend is going through.
August 24th, 2017 7:37am
Let them know that you are there for whatever they need. Offer up your time and continue to let them know. If they need help getting to appointments arrange rides or take them yourself. Help organize a meal drop off schedule and a cleaning schedule. Depression can be a consuming disease and things like cooking or cleaning can fall to the wayside. The most important thing is continuing to reach out and offering help.
September 11th, 2017 1:33am
Depression can take on many different forms and affect people to many different degrees. That said, it can be very helpful to a friend with depression to just know you are there for them and that you won't judge them for their depression. That can be huge. Beyond that, you can always ask your friend what you can do to best help them. Some people need someone to talk to, while others may need help staying motivated or may need someone to help them with their daily activities. In my experience, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this other than letting them know you're there and finding out from them how you can best be supportive. It can mean the world to someone just knowing they have you on their side. Some people may not want to "impose" on you for various reasons. If you see something it looks like they might need, you can ask them if they would mind you doing that. Just keep an open line of communication with them and keep letting them know you are there for them. Beyond that, it's going to vary person to person very likely.
September 5th, 2017 9:23pm
Don't rush them. At times they'll be one of the saddest people you know, and along with that can come anxiety and a general feeling of worthlessness. Let know them that it's okay, and that you are there for them. In time, if you stick by them, they'll probably open up to you. Stay strong, and remember that your health matters just as much as theirs :)
October 25th, 2017 10:36pm
Be patient with them. If they don't have the strength to go somewhere, or if they cancel plans, please don't resent them for it. And don't make them feel bad. Sometimes, it's literally impossible to get out of bed or leave the house -- even if they really want to. Let them know you're there and that you care. Keep texting close at hand! :) Even though it's not always easy to go out and spend physical time with friends, I like that texting still keeps me connected. Sometimes, I "disappear" for a while (I'm talking months at a time) and when I emerge, friends have left or they are angry or they feel as if I didn't value their friendship as I should have. I understand this perspective (truly, I do). I often can't be there for a person in a way they need or in a way my heart wants to be. But, if you can be the person in their life that lets them retreat and emerge again without judgement, and if you are able to pick that friendship right up again without making him/her feel bad about "where they've been," I guarantee they will cherish your friendship with every fiber of their being. I have very few friends like this -- I can't tell you how grateful I am for them. Hope this helps!
October 6th, 2017 1:13am
Depression definitely isn't something easy to deal with, so it would be normal of your friend to be quiet, tired, having lack of enthusiasm, etc. If they want to talk about something, please listen to them and you can give feedback or your opinion to encourage them that you're listening. If they need time to be alone or doesn't want to talk, then let them have time to themselves. Try to give them you're full support at all times, but you shouldn't ''baby'' them (don't treat them like a little kid as if they need full support 24/7). Some people want to be alone or don't want to be treated differently since they've gotten depression. Hope this helps! xx
January 1st, 2018 8:04am
The best way to be kind and supportive is to show that you care, go out of your way and do something to show that you've really been thinking and worrying about them, and ask them how you can help. From there, the easiest thing is to just do as they ask, as long as their request isn't bad for them.
February 26th, 2019 11:55pm
Be there for them without being an additional source of pressure for them. Offer your presence and acceptance - not unsolicited advice or advice about ways you believe they can be fixed. You don't want to put a depressed friend in a position where they now have to make you feel better by saying what they think you want to hear. Is your friend isolating themselves? A nice way to reach out to them might be, "Hi. It's been a while and I'd really love to hang out with you. We don't have to talk at all if you don't want to, I'm happy just to be with you."
February 27th, 2018 4:23pm
dont push them too hard. Just let them be, they can get too much sometimes but please just understand. They'll get better soon.
March 6th, 2018 10:39pm
Just be there for them, dont judge, try not to get frustrated. understand sometimes they might want to talk but not always want advice... :)
May 7th, 2018 10:37pm
Here are some examples : - Be a good listener - Remind them of their qualities - Try to make them smile or laugh by a joke or a story ( just to remind them that they can win back that smile anytime, it didn’t fade ) - link the situation to their beliefs / religion ( sometimes one can feel relieved to remember that god is always there and capable yo change your state anytime if you just ask and talk to him ) Good luck 😊
July 30th, 2018 2:09am
Just being there for a friend struggling with depression is the best thing you can do. Whether it's sending them a text just to say hi, grabbing lunch with them, or spending a day with them listening, giving them a little of you time to check in with them is a blessinh, and just reminding them you're there and being a good listener is the best support you can give.