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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
United States
Moderated by

Cynthia Stocker, LCSW, LICSW

Clinical Social Work/Therapist

My approach is direct, kind, honest & collaborative. My clients appreciate that I help them in a way that cuts through the jargon and gives clear explanations.

Top Rated Answers
TweedleDum
November 14th, 2014 12:25am
Try to empathize their feelings and put yourself in their shoes. Ask why are they depressed, when they started feeling this way, and how do they think they can stop it. And, be as nice and as caring and understanding as possible.
Anonymous
November 15th, 2014 1:30pm
It always helps to let them know that they are not alone, and that you're there for them. When depressed, feelings of loneliness tend to appear, so it's good to have someone in those dark times!
Pandette
November 18th, 2014 5:00am
Depression can be different for everyone and many people deal with it in different ways. Some people want to keep to themselves and others turn to drugs or alcohol. I think the best possible way to go about helping someone is by trying to speak to them first. Find out what it is that is bothering them and face the issue head on. Sometimes they may not want your help, and that's okay. Don't keep pushing them to open up to you because they may just hide everything away even further. Take your time because depression does not go away in just one day. Be patient and do not be judgemental. Most importantly, show them that you love them.
wordsmith
November 18th, 2014 4:36pm
Tr and be as understanding as possible. Make sure they know you will listen and not judge, if they wish to speak. Often, while it is difficult, it could be very helpful for both of you if you asked them to tell you how you can help. Each person's experience is different, and they might need different things.
guyinasuit
November 19th, 2014 2:43am
The best thing to do is be there for them - they may not want to talk to you about it, but when they do, it's important that you are there and ready for them! And know that they are only telling you this because they trust you!
Ellie15
November 19th, 2014 5:30am
Tell them to use their strengths and positive past experiences to help them remember this shall pass.
Anonymous
November 19th, 2014 10:11pm
Just be there for them, listen to them. Do not tell them it's all in their head, and that they should just "cheer up". Encourage them to ask for professional help.
Anonymous
May 8th, 2015 3:15pm
The most basic thing you can do is be with that person. Let the person know that you are there, and you are there to stay. Do not tell the person things like "it's not that bad", "it'll get better", "people have it worse". Even if the person lashes out at you in anger, don't take it personally. Just be there. That's all.
StrawberryNight
May 9th, 2015 11:00pm
Be there for them. Go for a walk when they feel up to, if not, open the windows. Let some sun in. Make sure that they eat and help them with chores around the house. Someone with depression might not be able to do it himself, but clothes all over the floor don't help either.
UniqueLife
June 6th, 2015 2:53pm
well, 'how' is hard to explain. you have to know what causes the depression, how does this someone take in advices, how this someone's daily environment is, and.... still a lot of other things. I would suggest to go for a professional help; therapists, psychologists, psychiatrists
originalLion57
June 10th, 2015 6:56pm
Tell them that you will be there for them, be a shoulder they can cry on, be an ear they can vent to, be the eyes they need to reflect themselves in and see that there's no judgement or condescension there, only love and support. And acknowledge that you can not imagine what they are going through and you don't know what their depression is like, but you will be there to comfort them when they need it and they are not a burden for needing to talk about something over and over again and they are not a burden for having a depression because it is beyond their control, but there is the possibility of healing and recovering and you wish the best for them so you will help them help themselves. Be a part of their journey as they save themselves because they are strong enough for that, they just need a shoulder to lean on at times when the going gets tough and they need to rest their legs a bit.
Anonymous
June 17th, 2015 1:41am
You listen to them. Ask they what is wrong and how you can help them? You give them resources and tools so they can further help like with a therapist.
chanelsdaisy
- Expert in Depression
June 22nd, 2015 6:12pm
depressed people are hard to help, most because you can say something wrong. I suggest them professional help.
Anonymous
July 7th, 2015 10:28pm
The best thing you can do in that case is to be there for the person without trying to make them feel guilty about how they are feeling, you can ask them to talk to you about what is making them feel so down, and how thaat you can help them through this difficulty time
scarlet25
August 3rd, 2015 4:50pm
First thing is to be kind and supportive, ask them if they have any specific reason for being depressed is for, then talk and support through that problem. If there is no specific reason, then you can maybe help them out regain the interests like introduce them to a new hobby, engage them in some activity. Though is the depression is severe they should seek help from a psychologist
Brittneym101
August 6th, 2015 5:55am
I have been depressed a lot in my lifetime and even more now as an adult. Each person that goes through depression handles it differently and not all cases of depression are the same. You can get depression from a variety of things. I couldn't/can't stand for anyone to tell me that I have to let things go and forget about certain things/people that got me this way. It's not that easy. You can't just get those type of things off of your mind just by saying so. Give that person space. Try not to ask a lot of questions. Even though it is healthy for he/she to get their feelings out in place of keeping them bottled up, but I wouldn't bring up anything unless they choose to bring it up and talk about it. Don't force them to talk because it usually just makes the person even more agitated and depressed. It did for me. Consider their feelings. Actually listen and let them finish what they have to say before giving your input. Don't give an opinion unless they ask for it. It's not easy to distract yourself from this type of thing. You have to just let depression slip away on its own.
Samalyn
August 11th, 2015 1:59am
The biggest thing you can do is make sure they know that you are there for them. Doing this allows them to know they have purpose in someone's life.
Sparklies
August 18th, 2015 12:39am
Sometimes simply being there for someone and letting them know you are there as a shoulder to cry on can mean the world to them.
Anonymous
November 9th, 2015 4:39pm
My critique is to make them #1 laugh, #2 realize the situation, #3 giving them advice. but someone people who go into their 'personal bubble' like to be there, and i understand, but that doesn't mean I leave them, i stay around to make sure that this bubble is securing them rather than holding them away from breathing.
insightfulTruth93
November 23rd, 2015 1:18am
You react as if you know it's not their fault..you don't put them down by advocating the illegitimacy of depression..You safeguard them from themselves and from the look that resides in your eyes ofy disdain, of pity,and of being just about worn out of their seemingly laziness.
Anonymous
November 23rd, 2015 12:02pm
Listen to them. Let them know that you're there for them and that you're all ears. Tell them that you might not know how hard it is, but you'll try to understand.
MondoZappa
November 24th, 2015 11:40am
By helping them find appropriate resources, like therapists close to them. Depression isn't just a mood, it can be a serious condition, and as such it is highly individual what the exact causes and symptoms might be. In some cases, like chemical imbalances in the brain, no amount of talking will do the same help as proper medication could.
Anonymous
December 14th, 2015 12:20pm
Sounds like you have a good heart and a friend is in need of help with depression or a family member Id advise them to go and see there go
PhoenixB
December 15th, 2015 6:36pm
You offer them support and a listening ear. There's not much you can do but be there for them and hope they feel better. You can help them by encouraging them to get help if it's getting worse or they're not feeling better too.
Anonymous
January 26th, 2016 2:05pm
Even if you can't give them advice, just make sure that you let them know that you're there for them, be a friend when they need it and all in all make sure they don't feel like they're suffering alone.
jadespace
February 1st, 2016 3:18am
Be there for them. Simply just provide a safe place for them to express and be expressive. Don't let stay depressed of course but guide them and they'll find their way.
Anonymous
April 5th, 2016 7:31am
The effects of depression are extremely subjective, but it is important not to belittle the person's feelings; acknowledge and validate their struggles, give them space to breathe rather than forcing them into what you think is the right route of recovery, and understand that it will take time. What was best for me was not when my loved ones shoved suggestions of typical modes of help down my throat - therapy, medication - but when they were just fully present and with me. Our conversations didn't even have to be about my condition; love and concern can be translated through other topics, other activities. It was a nice break as well from just worrying about what a burden I felt like I was.
radiantPassion58
April 11th, 2016 3:57pm
You listen to them, you love them , you show them they are valuable. Also maintaining a healthy lifestile and never holding back what you wmat to say can help.
KatieWhite
April 19th, 2016 12:52am
Help them understand that you support them, you understand that they're going through something, and that you care about them. If you can, try to convince them to see a professional that can help them overcome their depression. Also, people with depression tend to sleep longer and want to stay inside. Sunlight increases dopamine levels which is the hormone that makes people happy. Getting someone with depression to go outside and even exercise is a natural way to help them, even if just for a little while.
Anonymous
May 31st, 2016 5:02pm
To help someone who is depressed you have to show that your there and that your not leaving then . Show that you want to help and always try to make this person smile.