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Readers Respond: How to Help Depressed Friends

Responses: 57


Updated September 28, 2011

Do you want to know how to help depressed friends, but you're feeling unsure what you can really do? Many find that seeking out support for themselves is a good first step because you can't help other people without first taking care of yourself. Another useful tip is to educate yourself about depression treatment so you understand what treatment they require and can help them stay on track with it. What tips would you offer to other people who want to help someone they care about who has depression? Share Your Tips


I have struggled with depression for years, but I met a girl less than a year ago and fell for her within a week, she helped me over come my depression but I have recently found out that she was sexually abused and raped for years, and she is extremely depressed and I feel that there is nothing I can do for her, and I have since slipped back into my depression, we are only 16, please if any body has any advice it would be greatly appreciated
—Guest max

I am lost ...

My name is Veronica.. in my late 20's... As an adult now..For as long as i can remember my mom.. who has been my bff & is the sweetest most patient person..For as far back as i can remember she has had bouts of depression.. she was married & had me in her late teens . She grew up quickly & with me in a sense. She is an amazing person & mom.. beautiful in & out..BUT most recently her first & only love ..my father & my mom..have separated & are on the path of divorce.. also newly menopausal . She wont leave the house .. is old school & is a different person.. doesn't believe in therapy.. HELP what can i do before its too late!
—Guest Trying to Save her..

blinded by being naive

been married now for 5.5yrs now n my spouse has been in a depessed state before we were an item n in a way i too was in the same state but i seem to just brush it off with humour, but anyway this is about my spouse, we met in Paradise n i had said i will be the anti-depressant that they need n lately i've been neglecting my promise, n now it seems that the drepression has resurfaced n it seems to be worsened n we have a 3yr old that they have to deal with as i go to work (10hr shifts) i love my spouse with all my might but the things that are said at times of the out lashing is hurtful n its starting to worry me for our child, im not saying that anything will happen to either just that these episodes now come with "black-outs" n thats scary... what can i do to help if its gone that far already, my famjam may be torn apart because of this im always the one with the crucial answers at times but now im stumped, i should'nt of ignored it to this point so i'd advise anybody to listen har
—Guest mr.aitch

I'm Really Sick

Even though I don't look sick, alot of what I do is acting just to easily get through the day. Please don't push me to do things. I just don't have the energy for it until the medication issues are resolved. I carry alot of guilt over this. I need rest and understanding as I work through this problem and it takes awhile to do it.

Throwing our life away

... The story goes, I am shattered! We haven't had a holiday together for 2 years and are due to go away together for over a week finally next week which I thought was going to be exactly what we needed! I told her she should not be making decisions now as she has just started the drugs and also that she should not be making these emotional decisions which she make a lot of the time when she is depressed etc... After telling her to call her mum, her mums thoughts reflected mine and we are going away this weekend to see if we can enjoy our time together, let the conversation flow etc... I have been depressed myself sometimes due to the negativity that some other posts have reflected here and I love her to bits but if anybody has any words of wisdom to share for me please let me know! I feel I need to hear from somebody who has shared similar experiences.
—Guest Up in the air

Throwing our life away

My girlfriend was diagnosed with anxiety/depression 2.5 weeks ago and is now on drugs for it. We are both professionals full time and she is so busy she never knows when she'll get home, and I also run a business. We have been together for 3 years and have worked very hard to get where we are together so far and have paid a deposit on an apartment which is the next big step before we raise a family etc... Recently I have needed some support of my own as I have been very busy, tired, stressed etc... I have felt like I can't speak to her because she has enough on her plate. She came out 2 nights ago (possibly not int the right frame of mind) and after 1.5 hours of telling me I have done a great job with everything, I deserve better, plenty of girls would like to be with me etc... She thought it was best to break up because we lead 2 different lives and she doesn't think we have enough in common, can talk with each other etc... She promised she still loves me but she thinks this is best..
—Guest Up in the air

Living With A Depressed Partner

Dear Somebody, I wish there were some real answers out there. I do not believe in God, and the advice about therapy, medications, etc., look great as a written response, but those answers require health insurance, and voluntary participation by the individual whom is ill. I have been watching my spouse slowly commit suicide for years now. I think a lot of the information from Alanon, and information about co-dependency is helpful. It is unrealistic to tell a depressed persons loved one to 'hang in there', "be supportive", and "always be there for them". This is asking the impossible from someone who is already shouldering huge responsibilities. It is not realistic to look past the symptoms( they can't work, they can't do chores, they can't communicate, they lash out). The symptoms themselves have a way of blotting out every day life, and the person who loves the depressed cannot be expected to pick up the slack. It comes down to what you can handle and what you choose in a relationship
—Guest One Who Knows

Crucial doesn't mean medication

Hi, lots of good advice here however, your point on "medication and therapy" is misguided. Medication is not crucial and people need to know that.
—Guest Rob in Toronto


Hi my boyfriend is depressed. Its really weird seeing that written down. Before i meet him i never thought about depression and didnt think many people suffered from it. I was very naive and its such a shock too see so many people with it. It also really affects the partners/family/friends of them as well. One thing i know for sure you can NOT do it on your on own. Its so important you get them too seek profiessional help. Not only to help them but yourself so your not taking on so much. Take some time out as hard as it is, and as much as you want to be with then 24/7 it can really take a toll on you if you dont. They should understand this. Dont be afraid to talk to someone else about this. A close friend or relative it will help you also. My boyfriend has been depressed for 5-6 years and is only just seeking help now. Because i pushed him too and im so glad i did. He is slowly getting better but im not sure how long it will take. Too everyone out there please stay strong xo
—Guest Steph

If I could make it better

My heart and soul is with you all. Because i wish i could heal everyone. I dont want you to hurt. My son suffers from this depression that has taken a toll on his life. He is such a beautiful person, always the sunshine of my life. there was not ever a time he could not make me smile. but this illness has completely taken over his life, he has blessings all around him, but he cant see them. He feels guilty and ashamed and worthless, imagine that. My precious child feeling so alone and with no hope. I dont know how to help him I try everything, but I always seem to not get it right. I dont know how something like this depression can be so strong. Its horrible and my heart aches for him, if i could just make it go away, help him see the rainbow at the end of this dark tunnel he is in. I pray god guide him and lead him back to the happy person so secure and full of life he used to be. There is no right answer for any of this, its just a nightmare in my sons life. Prayers for all who suffe
—Guest yolanda

HOW to cure depressed people?

Well I know someone who is depressed what should i do? I am a good friend.. so I am trying to find something that will help!
—Guest bUBBLES

What if they don't want help

My husband and I have been married for a little over 2 years, but we have been together for over 10. He is very depressed and dependent on alcohol right now. He went to an AA meeting this past weekend and seemed to like it, and it seemed to help. But now he is drinking again and feeling worse. He is being reckless, not coming home from work and going out with his buddies. Not helping me with our two young children, etc. He told me last week he wants help, and I typed up some options that I found for him about doctors, and therapists, etc....I logged on to my computer today and it was deleted. He doesn't want help anymore...and I am at my wits end. I am trying to be comforting and helpful, but he is making it impossible. I'm feeling worn out myself and I can't do it anymore. What do I do?
—Guest lostwife

Unsure of the road to take

My girlfriend and I have lived together for a year. She claims she is depressed and feels ugly. She has minor, very minor, acne, and she says she has lesions on her face. She is constantly reading about acne and accutane, which she will start in 2 weeks. She pushes me away when I want to hug or kiss her. She blames me for anything that goes wrong. She never apologizes, in always the one to try a make up when we fight. She says she doesn't have fun with me anymore yet doesn't want to leave. She curses at me and flips me off when she is mad. She tells me I am always messing up. Her words, use your brain. It's always something with you. You can't ever do something right. She shows no affection unless I ask. She shows no gratitude or appreciation for the things I do. I cook, I clean, I do laundry... I never get a thank you. I'll ask, don't you think the house looks nice. Response: yeah, it looks nice. I don't know anymore if I'm the one who is to blame or if I'm just in an bad relship.
—Guest KDS


Hey I read all your posts and i am actually very tensed abt my boyfriend who I guess is suffereing from depression. We both came out from college and are searching fr a job but i guess not getting a job has actually taken him into depression,,, He doesnt go out nymore, Just sits in his room , if i call him he will jst listen to wat i hav to say and keep the fone down. I love him with all m heart and dont want to loose hope. Sme one please tell me hw to lift up his spirits ? How to take him out of depression.Its 2 months now .. :-( ..
—Guest Lovely

is there any hope?!

I met him before one year now..when I first hear him complain I thought it is just a temporary period and it will go a way by time..but latter I noticed ...no he is depressed ..he see himself worthless ..he has no energy to do anything..he constantly say bad things about himself..but it is too late to know this am deeply in love...I manage to convey him to see a doctor and he started to take his medication ..but I think it is not helpful..what I can do? I started to feel depressed myself..when I talk to him I feel my soul is deeply injured ...I tried everything..I took him to parties ..parks .whatever he needs to do..I call him every 15 min when I am away ..but he is only getting worse.. I am really tired ..it is now 1 year and 2 months and there is no change..and I feel that he is now completely depending on me in is life ..is their any hope?!
—Guest Dahlia

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How to Help Depressed Friends

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