How to Help Someone with Depression

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Author Name: Lucas Cook
Date: Wednesday February 1, 2023

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When a friend or family member suffers from depression, it is difficult to see. You want to do anything you can to help them and let them know they are not alone. Around 280 million people in the world suffer from depression. 

The symptoms can vary, but when you notice the signs, you can take action to do your part. Here is how to help someone with depression. 

Common Symptoms 

Depression looks different for everyone and symptoms can vary. You can look for combinations of these things since most people have more than one symptom. Certain ones may be more noticeable than others. Here are some signs you can look out for:

  • Pessimistic and less hopeful for the future
  • Seem sad and express feelings of guilt and worthlessness
  • Unusually irritable
  • Seem less interested in spending time and communicate less
  • Have less energy
  • Neglect basic hygiene like showering 
  • Sleep too much or not enough
  • Eat more or less than usual
  • Less interest in activities they love
  • Talk about death or suicide

How to Help Someone with Depression

Whether your gestures are big or small, trying to help someone with their depression will not go unnoticed. A lot of the time, having someone supporting them is one of the main reasons they want to work to get themselves out of it. These are some things you can do to support someone with depression. 

Help Them Find Support 

Your loved one may not even realize that they are struggling with depression and don’t know what to do about it. Suggesting professional help, like going to a therapist, may sound intimidating, but it could make a big difference. 

You can help them sort through the potential therapists and encourage them to reach out to make the appointment. Even before the first session, you can help them with what they want to discuss with the therapist. 

What You Can Say 

It can be hard to figure out what to say to someone struggling with depression. You will want to use positive and supportive language instead of things that can potentially make your loved one feel worse. 

Phrases like “everyone goes through hard times” and “try to look on the bright side” can cause people with depression to feel like what they are feeling is not valid and continue to live the way they are. 

When you feel like you are at a loss for words but want to be supportive, here are some things you can say to comfort your loved one with depression. 

  • “You are not alone and I am here during this difficult time.”
  • “Although it is hard to believe, these feelings will change.”
  • “Even though I don’t understand how you feel, I am here and want to help.”

Offer to Help with Daily Tasks

When someone is struggling with depression, everyday tasks can be a challenge. Whether it is laundry, groceries or doing dishes, these tasks can be overwhelming and leave your loved one not knowing where to start. 

If you notice things around the house seem unorganized or like no food is in the house, offer to go grocery shopping with them or help pickup around the house. Minor help with tasks can make them more manageable to do. 

The Main Takeaway 

Dealing with depression makes every day difficult. No matter the severity, it makes life more challenging for someone. Having a support system will help your loved ones navigate this time in life even when it feels like you aren’t doing much. 

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