How to Help Someone With Depression? Support a Family Member or a Friend. What To Say to Someone With Depression?

How to help someone with depression? A person’s quality of life can be severely diminished if depression is not treated. However, effective treatments are available, and those suffering from depression can recover and live productive lives with the right support.

How to Help Someone With Depression?

When left untreated, depression can have a devastating effect on a person’s quality of life. However, depression is treatable; with the right help, people with depression can recover and lead fulfilling lives.

There are a few things you can do to aid a friend or loved one who is depressed.

  • Don’t abandon them. Show them how much you care by assuring them they can always count on you. Don’t judge their feelings and offer to listen if they want to talk.
  • Urge them to see a doctor or therapist. If you or someone you care about is suffering from depression, it is crucial to get medical assistance. A person suffering from depression can find help from a therapist or counselor.
  • Assist them in adopting healthier habits. Regular exercise, a healthy diet, and sufficient sleep are positive lifestyle changes that can alleviate depression. Your loved ones will appreciate your support and encouragement as they make these adjustments.
  • Try to exercise tolerance and patience. Getting over depression is a slow process. Your loved one will not miraculously feel better in a single day. Show them compassion and understanding, and be there for them no matter what.
  • Keep yourself in good health. Taking care of a loved one who is depressed can be taxing on your mental health. Take care of yourself by asking for help from people you care about and local organizations.

How to Talk to Someone With Depression

When talking to someone with depression, it’s important to do so with empathy, compassion, and sensitivity. Here are some tips:

Decide on a good time and place: Find a quiet and comfortable place to talk without interruption.

Active listening means giving the person your full attention, keeping eye contact, and listening without judgment. Don’t cut people off or rush the conversation.

Show you care: Acknowledge how they’re feeling and let them know that you know depression is real and hard. Tell them that they are not alone and that you are there to help.

Don’t judge. Don’t make assumptions or make fun of their experiences. Instead, agree with how they feel and tell them it’s okay to feel that way.

Offer support and encouragement. Let them know you’re there for them and ready to listen whenever they need to talk. Encourage them to get help from a professional and help them find resources if they need it.

Don’t try to give advice or fix the problem: Understand that depression is a complicated illness that needs to be treated by a professional. Instead of offering solutions, focus on being a compassionate listener.

Be patient. Getting better from depression takes time, and the process is different for everyone. Give them your ongoing support and understanding as they get better.

Depression Fact Sheet

Definition: Depression is a common mental health disorder characterized by persistent sadness, loss of interest or pleasure in activities, and a range of physical and cognitive symptoms. It affects how a person thinks, feels, and functions daily.

Prevalence: Depression is a global health concern, affecting people of all ages and backgrounds.

Symptoms: Common symptoms of depression include persistent sadness, hopelessness, loss of interest in activities, changes in appetite and weight, sleep disturbances, low energy levels, difficulty concentrating, and thoughts of self-harm or suicide.

Risk Factors: Depression can be influenced by various factors, including genetics, brain chemistry, trauma, chronic medical conditions, certain medications, substance abuse, and significant life events such as loss or relationship problems. Women may be at a higher risk due to hormonal fluctuations.

Impact: Depression can have a significant impact on an individual’s quality of life, affecting their relationships, work or school performance, physical health, and overall well-being. It can also increase the risk of other health problems, including cardiovascular diseases.

Treatment: Depression is a treatable condition. Treatment options may include psychotherapy (such as cognitive-behavioral therapy), medication (such as antidepressants), or a combination of both. Lifestyle modifications, social support, and self-care practices are essential to manage depression.

Breaking the Stigma: Depression is not a sign of weakness or a character flaw. It is a medical condition that requires understanding, compassion, and support. By promoting open conversations, raising awareness, and challenging stigmas associated with mental health, we can create a more supportive environment for individuals affected by depression.

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Depression Statistics

Understanding the stages of depression and the prevalence of this mental health condition is crucial in addressing its impact on individuals and society. Depression is a common and serious mental disorder affecting millions worldwide. By examining the stages of depression from a statistical perspective, we can gain valuable insights into its prevalence, demographic patterns, and the burden it places on individuals and healthcare systems.

21 million

An estimated 21.0 million adults in the United States had at least one major depressive episode. This number represented 8.4% of all U.S. adults.

Source: National Institute on Mental Health


The prevalence of major depressive episodes was higher among adult females (10.5%) than males (6.2%).

Source: National Institute on Mental Health


The prevalence of adults with a major depressive episode was highest among individuals aged 18-25 (17.0%).

Source: National Institute of Mental Health

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What to Say to Someone With Depression

Choose your words carefully and show support when talking to someone depressed. Here are a few examples of what you could say:

  • “I’m there for you.” This simple sentence can show the person that you care and are ready to listen.
  • “I know that things are hard for you right now.” This shows that you don’t think their experience isn’t important.
  • “You’re not alone.” This can lessen the person’s feeling of being alone.
  • “I’m glad you asked for help. I’m proud of you.” This can make the person more likely to keep looking for help.
  • “I believe in you.” This can make the person feel better about the future.
  • “What can I do to be of help?” This shows the person how you can help them in real ways.
  • “Let’s talk about what’s going on.” This gives the person a chance to talk about their feelings and thoughts.
  • “It’s okay not to be okay.” This can help the person feel less alone and lessen the stigma of depression.
  • “You’re not a burden.” This can help the person feel less guilty and embarrassed.
  • “I’m here just to listen.” This shows that you are willing to listen without judging.
  • “I’m here to help and support you.” This shows how much you want to help the person overcome their depression.

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How Do You Help Someone With Depression? Get Help, Tips, and Strategies From We Level Up Treatment Advocates 24/7.

Provide empathy and understanding, and push the depressed person toward professional help if they need it. While We Level Up’s primary mission is addiction recovery, we also recognize the value of addressing issues related to emotional well-being. If you or someone you love suffers from depression and substance abuse, our caring staff is here to help in any way we can. Suppose you or someone you love is struggling with addiction or mental health issues. In that case, we invite you to learn more about We Level Up’s California drug rehab center and the individualized treatment programs we offer to get to the root of your problems.

  • Assessment and evaluation: A thorough look at a person’s health to develop a personalized treatment plan.
  • Individual therapy is one-on-one counseling that helps people deal with underlying problems, learn ways to deal with them, and grow as people.
  • Group therapy: Therapy sessions are held in a group setting so that people with similar problems can get support, share their experiences, and learn from each other.
  • Dual diagnosis treatment is specialized care for people with a mental health disorder and a problem with drugs or alcohol.
  • Medication management uses medicine when it makes sense to help the healing process and control symptoms.
  • Behavioral therapies are treatments that have been shown to work, like cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), or motivational interviewing.
  • Family therapy is when the whole family is involved in the treatment process to improve communication, deal with family dynamics, and make the environment more supportive.
  • Aftercare and preventing relapse: Getting help and support after the initial treatment program is over to stay sober and prevent relapse.
  • Holistic approaches use yoga, mindfulness, art therapy, and fitness programs to help people feel better.

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  1. What not to say to someone with depression?

    When helping someone with depression, be careful not to say things that might make their feelings or experience seem less important. Instead of telling them to “snap out of it” or comparing their situation to others, showing understanding and empathy is important. Don’t make assumptions, like saying you know exactly how they feel, and don’t make fun of their feelings or say they’re just looking for attention. Instead, actively listen, give them a place where they won’t be judged, and encourage them to get professional help. Consider that real support means having compassion, patience, and willingness to learn about their unique depression experience.

Watch How to Improve Mental Health? 8 Steps & Tips for Maintaining Your Mental Wellbeing. Find Top Mental Health Tips & Anxiety Tips Advice from a Therapist.

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Search We Level Up WA Mental Health How to Help Someone With Depression? Support a Family or a Friend Topics & Resources
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  10. Vidal-Ribas P, et al. (2021). How and why are irritability and depression linked? Learn More: how to help someone with depression