How to help your friend or family member living with signs and symptoms of depression

How to help your friend, family member with depression.

Friends and family members of clinically depressed individuals can have a hard time understanding the symptoms of their loved ones depression. They may be familiar with the illness by reading about it or through public awareness, but still depression effects everyone differently and in different degrees.

Mental illness cannot truly be understood by friends or relatives of the sufferer. Still it is an illness that shouldn’t be tackled alone. There are ways that you, as a friend or relative, can help your loved one with their symptoms. To begin to familiarize your self with mental illness as well as the signs and symptoms you can go to nami.org.

Depression is an illness that can be complex. It helps to comprehend it's symptoms and distinctively know how they affect people’s relationships with others. It is essential to keep in mind that people suffering from depression usually suffer from other symptoms as well such as low self esteem which in turn can assist in their loss of confidence in relationships.


In some of my experiences, while I was in the midst of depression, there were times when I was not aware of the effects that my illness was having on others. Not because I did not want to or cared, but because my own illness at times clouded my thinking and awareness.

As a a friend or relative of a person suffering from symptoms of depression it is important that That you do not say things such as " you don’t try hard enough to get better" or quote phrases such as “mind over matter.” This may cause them to feel worse and severely misunderstood which can heighten depressive feelings. Many of these individuals are very sensitive and what may work for another may not necessarily work for them. Sometimes an exclusive approach needs to be used for each and every symptom and person.

The best thing a friend or family member can do for a depressed person is become educated and knowledgeable on the topic of mental illness's and encourage the loved one to do the same. Offering companionship, understanding and patience is also a stepping stone towards helping the person suffering from depression or other mental illnesses.

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Comments 11 comments

creativeone59 profile image

creativeone59 6 years ago from Gold Canyon, Arizona

You are exactly right, great hub, thank you for sharing. Godspeed. creativeone59


Madison22 profile image

Madison22 6 years ago from NYC Author

Hi Creativeone, Thanks for the comment they mean alot. Happy Holidays!


Money Glitch profile image

Money Glitch 6 years ago from Texas

Good information especially with the holidays coming up in a few days. Unfortunately the holidays can cause depression in some people. Thanks for sharing!


Madison22 profile image

Madison22 6 years ago from NYC Author

Hi Money Glitch, Yes it is unfortunate and common. Thanks for your comment!


Tom Rubenoff profile image

Tom Rubenoff 6 years ago from United States

Thanks so much for this thoughtful article. Depression is so common around the holidays.


Madison22 profile image

Madison22 6 years ago from NYC Author

Thank you for your comment tom!


beth1966 profile image

beth1966 6 years ago from Michigan

Depression is an unfortunate illness, but your article gives people the enlightment and information that can really help. Thank you.


Madison22 profile image

Madison22 6 years ago from NYC Author

Thank you beth! Yes it is an unfortunate illness.


Rachel 6 years ago

Good article. Depression is an illness that is often misunderstood. Many people get depressed at some time or another especially during winter months. I just wrote an article about depression and feeling better.


NiaLee profile image

NiaLee 4 years ago from BIG APPLE

Love to you and all, thanks for that wonderful hub. I try to make my siblings and father understand that when it comes to my dear mother; and I need to remember myself sometimes. She gave so much of herself to the world, but when physical illness and betrayal kept on coming, she broke. When someone can not see or understand, we try to go the extra mile and support, advise, inspire. Your hub is a light and reminder to all of us. Thank you.


Madison22 profile image

Madison22 4 years ago from NYC Author

NiaLee, thank you so much!

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