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How do you help someone who is depressed?

68 Answers
Last Updated: 07/23/2018 at 6:19pm
How do you help someone who is depressed?
1 Tip to Feel Better
Moderated by

Smita Joshi, BA Psychology / MA / Advanced EFT Practitioner


I am empathetic with my Clients going through emotional overwhelm and passionate in helping them. I am supportive, openminded & interactive in helping my clients.

Top Rated Answers
September 11th, 2014 4:23pm
the best way to come out of depression is DISTRACTION :) stick to your hobbies, and distract yourself, and gradually you will be out of depression !
November 5th, 2014 7:29am
That's an important question to ask and thank you for asking because it tells me that you care about someone with depression and are willing to provide them support. I'm listing answers based on my personal experience and it's not comprehensive but I think they are some good tips. 1. Recognize the symptoms. Knowing the signs will help you help your loved one. Please see 7 Cups Of Tea's self help guide at 2. Let the individual know that they are loved. This one is HUGE for me. I'm very good at masking and I had a terrible episode where I could no longer hide behind the mask and it bled into all parts of my life. Concerned friends who did not know how to help me, simply told me that they loved me and then asked how they could be there for me. I was in the depths of despair (cliche but true) and even though it didn't clear up my symptoms right away, it gave me strength to know that people loved me even at what I felt was my most unlovable state. 3. Hugs. Okay, not everyone is a hugger so this might not apply... But hugs are awesome, healthy and one of the fastest and most concrete way of making a person feel less alone. And yes, I love hugs because they helped me through the tough times and wholeheartedly endorse them. :) 4. Offer to listen. Then listen actively, without judgment and with lots of love. If you don't understand, don't pretend that you do. Be clear that you hear them and reflect appropriately. 5. Rally the troops. Depression is usually aggravated by isolation so creating a loving protective community around the individual can be helpful. It doesn't mean everyone is going to smother the individual... but having multiple people do #2, #3, #4, #8 can help the patient. 5. Encourage the individual to seek out help and remind them that they deserve to feel better. 6. Accompany them to an appointment or meeting, especially if they are not functioning normally. Or at the very least, offer to accompany them. 7. Offer up resources. Depression can be debilitating and a patient may not have the functionality to look up resources on their own. 8. Keep socializing with them but don't force them to have or be fun. I would try to withdraw and isolate but I have key people in my life who would recognize what I was doing and would reach out to me over and over again until I said yes. I would go out and even if I didn't feel my best, they never forced me to feel anything I wasn't. I hope this tidbit helps. Good luck to you and your loved one.
October 15th, 2014 1:32am
Show them that you understand, and give them your best advice. I think that it is important to listen to them!
July 27th, 2015 10:32am
The first thing to do is to know what depression looks like. Depression is not just feeling blue from time to time. Depression is long-standing, daily feeling of sadness, hopelessness, worthlessness and emptiness. A person who experiences depression cannot often see a future for themselves, and feel like the world is closing in around them. The warning signs and symptoms of depression are usually pretty clear to those around the person suffering. Depression is also experienced as a loss of interest and energy in things the person normally enjoys doing, things like working, going out, or being with family and friends. Most people with depression also experience problems with eating and sleeping; either too much or too little. A depressed person’s memory and ability to concentrate will often be impaired too. The person with depression will often be more irritable or feel restless. In order to help someone who is depressed, you have to somehow convince the person to get some help. Tell them they are loved and that they deserve help. Never give up on them, and if all efforts to encourage the depressed person fails, get other people in their life to assist you. Recommend helpful resources to them be it face-to-face care in their community, or online sources.
September 10th, 2014 10:15pm
I try to see where the depression originates from and when it started. From there I help them come up with coping strategies!
October 27th, 2014 11:34pm
By being there for them and supporting them with whatever they need. Never judge them and be available and supportive at all times. Never turn your back on them when they need you most.
September 11th, 2014 7:07am
I just try to be there whenever they need someone. I've found it's better to let them come to you, instead of you going to them and asking them questions or something else along those lines. Just make sure they aren't becoming self-destructive, they're getting help if they need it, and to always be there for them no matter what.
September 13th, 2014 10:30am
You try to be there for them, and try to give them some support. Also, it's important to try and get them some professional help.
September 14th, 2014 8:13am
I make them think about all the good things in their life & that they have so many things to do yet.
September 14th, 2014 7:39pm
Recommend them to a therapist or self-help sites and talk about what is bothering them. You can also make sure that they aren't going to harm themselves and give them a suicide hotline and 911 if you think they do.
October 4th, 2014 4:42am
Usually I just try to have them talk it out and tell them about coping mechanisms! Tell them all about different resources that I know about is helpful, too!
October 6th, 2014 10:33am
Get their mind of off the reason that is causing Depression. Keep them occupied, and eventually thy will get over their depression.
October 13th, 2014 10:24pm
I think just being around them and caring for them is very powerful. Someone who has depression is in a difficult situation, but when they are alone, it can make them feel very empty and can worsen the effects dramatically.
October 14th, 2014 7:09pm
Show him/her that you are there for support for whatever he/she needs, but also know that an individual with depression may back away to try to find space.
October 22nd, 2014 11:16pm
I would help them find out why, share my own experiences. Never lose hope. There is always someone that will help.
October 24th, 2014 12:01am
Being there for people who are depressed is key. I am depressed more than I am not and I know that if I had someone to talk to who wouldn't judge me I would feel a million times better. Listening is better than giving advice because those who are depressed are delicate and may take things you have to say out of context.
October 25th, 2014 6:20am
I will first try to know the real cause of depression. Then i will try to help the person out of his state of mind.
October 28th, 2014 3:59pm
It's hard to help someone but the main thing to do is just be there for them. Be there when they need a shoulder to cry on or someone to talk to.
October 29th, 2014 12:01pm
It can be very hard to know what to do. Some things that have really helped me are just when someone is willing to be there for me, and not judge. You can't expect to make a depressed person happy, but you can provide comfort by not giving up on them.
October 29th, 2014 12:20pm
Make them feel loved and make them understand that you'll be there for them when they need something. Don't tell them what they should and shouldn't do - they already know and it makes it worse. Stay by their side.
November 1st, 2014 6:30pm
ask the person to explaine more about the situation.then ill try to feel emphathy for him/her. then i try to get on a conclusion from his words
November 1st, 2014 7:00pm
Don't just listen, make them FEEL heard and that their words and feelings matter to you just as much as they do to them. Focus on everything they are saying, and never judge anyone's situation. Show your compassion and warmth, and give them as much of your time as possible. They will appreciate it so much.
November 3rd, 2014 3:42am
helping them process through the issues to help them redirect their own minds and deal with the cause in a productive way by helping them self's and listening to their thoughts
November 4th, 2014 10:16am
Offer them emotional support in a non condescending and friendly manner, try not to look down on them and definitely don't tell them that ''they're just having a bad day''.
November 7th, 2014 6:46pm
I think the best way to help is to let them know that you're there. Even if they don't want to talk right then, it might help them to feel less alone.
November 8th, 2014 11:19pm
Don't give up on them. It may not seem like the person is responding to or even appreciates your concern for them but there's a part of them that is crying out for love and acceptance. Don't try to fix them or force them to get better - do not give someone an ultimatum. You can offer advice or resources if they ask for it but if you try to make them try something they don't want to do at best you'll be wasting your time and energy and at worst you could actually make their situation worse. If they try something and it didn't work for them don't take it personally. Similarly if they lash out at you or ignore you don't take it personally - you have to be strong and not let them push you away. Let them know you are there for them and support and accept them 100%. Let them know it's OK to feel the way they feel and they don't need to change if they don't want to. Hearing that is a breath of fresh air to someone who feels like they're not good enough because they don't fit our social norms and expectations and doesn't know what's wrong with them when it seems so easy for everyone else. Sometimes just sitting with someone not doing anything or saying anything can make all the difference in the world - check up on them as much as you can just to let them you are there when they need you. Engage them and encourage them to do things like getting out of the house or eating a nutritious meal because most likely they will not reach out to you to ask for help even though you have told them time and time again that they can call you for anything. A depressed person most likely does not think they are worthy of being helped and does not want to bother you so you have make the first move and be the one to show up emotionally. Get them to open up about how they're feeling and make sure you listen nonjudgmentally.
November 10th, 2014 5:03pm
You ask him if he wants to talk about what makes him that way,and get him to know that you will be there for him.
November 10th, 2014 10:19pm
It is best to send them to someone who can give them professional help. If that doesn't happen, the person may get more depressed or even suicidal.
November 11th, 2014 4:52am
Comfort them. Always try to make sure that they feel like they have someone they can talk to. Biggest thing you can do is be their friend.
November 12th, 2014 6:43pm
Learn from them the reason for their depression and what makes them usually depressed and when. And try to help them overcome it.