How to Help Someone with Depression

It’s estimated that almost 30% of the global population suffers from depression. In fact, it’s the leading cause of disability worldwide. What makes this even more difficult is that many of us unknowingly shield ourselves from other people’s emotions.

We may feel hurt when someone doesn’t respond to our emotional outbursts, but we keep those feelings to ourselves so they don’t inconvenience others.

But there are signs that someone may be struggling with depression: they may withdraw from friends or family and lose interest in activities they used to enjoy.

They may also have difficulty concentrating, feeling tired most of the time, or having no sense of reward after something nice happens to them.

Depression is an illness and need not be taken lightly. The support you offer a friend or family member can go a long way towards helping them overcome their difficulties. Here are some tips on how you can best help someone who’s depressed:

Ask how they’re feeling

If someone has been depressed, they may not be in a place to explain exactly how they’re feeling. You’ll need to ask what they’re experiencing so you can provide the right kind of support.

You can also show empathy by acknowledging that they’re in a difficult situation, which can help them to open up.

Don’t gossip or invade their privacy

You don’t need to discuss your friend’s personal life, even if they confide in you about depression. Doing so may result in you talking about their symptoms without realizing it.

Privacy and confidentiality are very important, especially when it comes to mental health issues. Remember that you are not a doctor, therapist, or another professional who can provide appropriate advice.

You may not know the correct course of treatment. You may be trying to accompany your friend through a difficult time, but you may be adding to their stress if you reveal information that they should keep to themselves.

Hope is a powerful thing and it can be hurtful to someone if they feel they’re being encouraged towards a positive outcome when they don’t feel it yet themselves.

Show empathy and understanding

You don’t need to provide perfect emotional support, as others have struggled before you. Ask yourself how you would respond if you were in their shoes.

Instead of offering solutions when your friend is struggling, try to understand that there may be nothing you can do to immediately solve their problems.

Find common interests to discuss with them

When someone is depressed, they may lose interest in activities that used to bring them joy. You can try to turn their favorite hobbies into a therapeutic activities, such as baking or doing yoga together.

You can also try to rekindle interests that you used to share with them when they were healthy. You can find online support groups, or try social activities, such as sports or music.

Offer to take them out for a meal or a walk

Sometimes, simple acts of kindness can make a huge difference in someone’s life. You can give your friend a foot massage or take them out for a meal to show them that you care.

Taking your friend out for a meal or inviting them on a walk can also help your friend to relax and unwind. Doing so can help them to see life from a different perspective, as they may have been feeling isolated.

Take care of yourself too

While you may feel that you need to help others who are struggling with depression, you may be more comfortable if you seek professional help for your own mental health issues.

Depression can affect a person’s body, as well as their mind. If you realize that you’ve been putting yourself last, seek help before it’s too late.

You don’t have to go through a difficult time on your own. Talk to a family member or friend, or contact a professional who can help you. There are many nonprofit mental health organizations that will be able to help you.


It can be difficult to know what to do if someone you care about is struggling with depression. You can offer support by listening to their feelings and reassuring them that it’s okay to feel sad.

You can also help your friend by taking them out for a meal or a walk, or by taking care of yourself too. It’s important to remember that depression is a serious illness.

It can be overcome with treatment and support. You don’t need to suffer alone and there are many ways to get help, including talking to a friend, family member, or mental health professional.

It’s important to remember that depression is a treatable illness and there is always hope.