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How To Help Someone Get Over Depression

Updated on June 6, 2012
Depression is a painful, horrible thing
Depression is a painful, horrible thing | Source

Beating depression is no easy task. To accomplish a depression-free life one need to have the will to survive and a great support system. When someone is depressed the barge of thoughts and emotions may seem overwhelming, inflicting a seemingly never-ending cycle of lows and lower-than-lows. The thought of socializing and seeking help may seem really scary as the individual may be feeling shame or guilt, especially if there are thoughts or acts of suicide, self-mutilation or self abuse.

Here are a few ways you can help:


This is a simple yet powerful tool. Taking the time to sit and listen will become a means by which a depressed individual will be able to release some of their frustrations, anger and sadness. Being able to talk about how they feel will give them a sense of security and they will not feel as if all hope is lost, or that everyone is against them. They will, no doubt, be grateful to you for showing them that you care about how they feel and about them as an individual.


When someone you care about cries, do you always cry with them? Do you only laugh or smile when your friend laughs or smiles? I hope not. Learn to assesstheir emotions. Learn when to allow them to have a nice long cry and when to encourage them to laugh. If you are always looking sad or stressed out when your depressed friend needs you, then eventually he or she will go elsewhere for help or just give up trying to get better. Smile, even just for their sake, so they may see that it is not impossible for them to smile again, inspite of what they are going through. Be careful though; with their heightened emotions the reason behind your smile can be easily misunderstood.


There is no need for you to reiterate every negative thing they say or do. Speak of the positive things in their environment, their achievements, the good people in their life. Allow them to realize that even though they feel the way they do, there are many good things happening in their life.


 Tell them about what you are going through, tell them about the hard times you have been through. If they abuse or berate themselves or have attempted or thought of suicide, let them know how you feel or felt when they did it. This may help them to talk about how they feel and abuse themselves less.

Help Prevent Suicide


 Depression may not just disappear overnight. Many people need extra help to get through their depression. Try to convince them to visit a doctor or counsellor for help while letting them know that you are interested in them getting better.


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    • Loi-Renee profile image

      Loi-Renee 6 years ago from Jamaica

      Thank you. You're right, many people downright refuse to seek medical help and I think that's so unfortunate. In fact since the start of the year Jamaica has seen the numbers of suicide rise drastically and most of them are men.

    • Danette Watt profile image

      Danette Watt 6 years ago from Illinois

      It's very hard to watch someone deal with depression. I have experienced it myself as well as witnessed family members deal with it. It's easy to think they (or you) can "snap out of it" but it is sometimes a brain chemical imbalance, in which case, medicine is often required to bring everything back in balance, at least until the person improves. And too often people (men especially) don't want to see a counselor. They would rather just take a pill rather than dig deep to find out what is really the root cause of their depression (not always to easy to determine on the surface).

      Nicely written hub. voted up and useful.