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How can I help a family member experiencing depression?

20 Answers
Last Updated: 10/27/2020 at 10:16pm
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
Moderated by

Lisa Groesz, PhD


With evidenced based therapies, we find the root of the problem together to implement solutions. We all face crises, transitions, or disorders at some time.

Top Rated Answers
January 27th, 2015 4:18am
Best way is showing that you are there to support them. Be there for them to talk to when they are feeling down. Plan activities to keep them distracted from their emotions/thoughts. If depression is severe help seek treatment.
January 25th, 2015 9:18am
let them know that you are there, you don't have to understand the illness or have it yourself, but actively letting them know that you are there to support them and that you understand that they're going through difficult times can be the best thing to tell them. it lets them know that they are not completely alone.
April 19th, 2015 10:16pm
I understand that the situation you are in is hard. All you can do it be there for them and give them advice, maybe they could even chat to one of our listeners here at 7 Cups. Have you suggested a therapist? It is a great way of battling depression. But just support them and let them know they always have somebody to talk to.
June 2nd, 2015 10:48pm
People suffering depression need to know that there is someone who is willing to support them. I think it is brilliant that you want to help. Firstly, they need someone who will listen, will not judge or insinuate that their feelings don't matter. They need to know that there is help available to them and where to look and sometimes, they would like to have someone there who can help take their mind off things which are causing them to feel so low. If you can do that, then it is a brilliant start. Never be worried to search further support, should their depression be leading to suicidal thoughts or appear to be getting worse. Sometimes, you will need the support to help you support them and it is always a good idea to get some expert advice on these situations, rather than go about it alone. I hope this helps.
June 6th, 2015 4:36am
Be supportive and let them know that you are there when they ned someone to talk to. Sometimes people that have depression problems just need a listening ear and someone that they can trust.
June 30th, 2015 11:07pm
support them, tell them you understand and let them know u care no matter what and will be there to listen to whatever is bothering them as soon as they are ready to share. love and support is the most important thing.
September 8th, 2015 10:36pm
You talk to them, keep up with them, make sure that they know you care-even if you have to repeat it over and over. I know it can be stressful, just keep making sure they are ok.
November 9th, 2015 10:43am
You need to support them, ensure they know you love them and never refuse love from them. Family will always have your back, so make sure you have theirs.
January 4th, 2016 10:57am
Always being there for them. That can mean being a listening ear, doing one thing that makes that person happy daily or such. Good luck!
January 18th, 2016 8:54am
Many think that we have to have the right words to tell the person experiencing depression all the time, but that it truly not the case. They just a little combination of compassion and affection. And let them talk it out when they are ready. Knowing that someone is always there for them helps a whole lot.
March 21st, 2016 3:21am
You could be a ear to listen. Giving advise are sensitive when it comes to depression. They will see things very differently compared to us.So try to be compassionate and understanding on what they have to say before giving any advise.
March 22nd, 2016 2:15pm
By being their, when they need me the most, that's how i will do when they need me. I will calm them, make them happy, even though they hate me.
March 22nd, 2016 8:21pm
It's a very personal thing to have a family member suffering from depression. I think the best way is to be there for them, let them know there is someone there to assist them one every thing literally. Other than that I would use my active listening skills learnt here to listen to them :D.
June 13th, 2016 1:37pm
Sometimes, all you can do is provide love and support no matter what. But remember to take care of you too. We can't truly help anyone if we aren't emotionally strong ourselves. Also, remember that it's not your responsibility to cure anyone. A family member will just be happy you know you are there for them! If the depression is really serious, helping the person find a therapist and/or psychiatrist could be very helpful.
June 27th, 2016 1:24am
If you believe that a family member is depressed try reaching out to them. Just talking to them can help them admit they might have a problem. You can also suggest therapy
August 16th, 2016 3:33pm
You gotta tell them that you are going to be there for them in happy and anxious times. Try as much as you can to make them laugh or smile, it'll help :)
August 14th, 2018 4:56am
If a close family member is experiencing depression the best thing you can do is let them know that you're there for them whenever they need to talk even if it's at midnight or 3 in the morning. They need to have someone they can trust when they can't trust them selves!
July 7th, 2020 8:06pm
Experiencing depression is more to what it seems to the other.Make that person feel comfortable around you so that he can open his heart to you and substantially reduce the load on his mind. Go along with him in daily routine activities so that his mind does not get preoccupied with depressive thoughts. Slowly,when the person is finally okay with it, talk to him about his thoughts and what has led them and him here. Why did he have to go through all this. Suggest him some mental health exercises but the foremost thing to do is listen to him.
October 26th, 2020 6:24pm
This is how I describe depression to others: Depression is like a shadowy monster, like a parasite. This parasite feeds off of your negative energy. In order to keep feeding on the negative energy, it will create negative thoughts. As long as you have negative thoughts, this parasite will continue to feed. There are several ways to stop thinking negatively. One is to remove yourself from the negative environment, like going on a walk or redecorating a room. Another way is to simply stop the thoughts. When you are having those thoughts, simple shout, mentally, STOP! Keep doing this until the thoughts stop. If there is someone I know who is suffering from depression, I will listen to them. Take time and actually listen to their thoughts and concerns. I will also give feedback to them. allowing them to come back to me, when they need some support.
October 27th, 2020 10:16pm
One of the best things you can do to help someone you care about with depression is to learn about it. Research what the symptoms are of depression and how to help them when they show. Let them know that you care about them and want to support them. Depression can affect people in different ways and is a serious illness. Try your best you remember that they often can't help how they are acting when depressed and that they are trying. Another thing that can help, is to remember things takes time to heal and recover. Nothing is going to happen overnight.