What Can You Do for Someone Struggling with Depression?

by Nov 6, 2023

For those watching a loved one grapple with the weight of depression, the feeling of helplessness can be overwhelming. You might find yourself asking, “What can I possibly do to help?” or “How can I be there for them when I don’t fully understand their pain?”

Whether you’re a close friend, family member, or just an empathetic soul, you can equip yourself with knowledge, understanding, and practical steps to make a difference in someone’s life.

Here’s what you can do for someone struggling with depression.

Educate Yourself

One of the best things you can do for someone who is struggling with depression is to first take the time to learn more about it. Take the time to research and better understand what depression is, the causes, the signs and symptoms, and coping mechanisms.

Taking the time to educate yourself on depression can help steer you in the right direction if depression is actually what your friend or loved one is struggling with. If the signs still point to depression being the culprit, you’ll be able to reference the signs and symptoms when first bringing up your concerns to your loved one.

Show Support

While you can’t fix someone or cure them of their depression, you can show your support. Let your loved one know that you’re there for them however they may need it, and most importantly, when they’re ready to receive help. Don’t try to force them into getting help or taking your advice.

Showing your support for them means being there for them on their own terms. Let them know that you’re there for them however they need it. That means just being there for them, giving them a shoulder to cry on, listening to them, talking through what may be bothering them, giving advice if and when they ask for it, or helping check some of the items off of their to-do list.

Take Care of Yourself

Taking care of yourself may seem like a selfish item to add to a list of how to help someone else, but it’s not. You can’t dismiss your own wants, needs, or mental health and wellness just to focus on someone else. No matter the circumstance, you should always be willing and able to put yourself first. You can’t fill someone else’s cup if yours is completely empty. Make sure you’re taking care of yourself and your own wants and needs to avoid burning out.

Take care of yourself. Eat healthy and well-balanced meals during your day. Don’t skip meals. Drink enough water. Aim for at least eight hours of sleep each night. And find at least thirty minutes each day to move your body. If you’re noticing signs of burnout, it’s okay for you to seek your own help. Let others help you like you want to help them.

Urge Them to Seek Help

While you can’t force someone to seek additional support, you can talk to the person about your concerns why seeking additional support may be needed, and why you encourage it. When it comes to depression, there’s a big stigma against seeking support.

Talk to your loved one about why it’s actually necessary to seek additional support. You can even offer to help them research or find a therapist that works for their signs and symptoms, goals, and health insurance. If they’re still a little hesitant and it works for your schedule, offer to drive them to and from their appointments.

Next Steps

If you or a loved one is struggling with signs of depression, reach out to us today to set up an appointment now. 

Click here for more information on depression therapy.