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Readers Respond: How to Help Depressed Friends

Responses: 49


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?


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

I Just Fixed Me, Am I The One To Help?

I was depressed for a very long time, until i met some people who literally changed my life and made me happy again. over the year i havent felt like i did a couple years ago even once. Lately ive gotten closer to one of those people who without knowing it helped me. i told him about my depression and he confided many things that sound to me like he is currently severely depressed. ive only just fixed myself, am i the one to give advice? He is a dear freind but i got through my depression by myself and eventually freinds, so i dont know how to help him but hes confided so many things i want to help him. im just not sure how.
—Guest what do i do?

I don't know what to do...

My best friend, who just so happens to be the absolute best person I have ever met, thinks she might have depression... I'm in the dark about this, and I desperately want to help her, as I am usually the "Advice Giver" of our group, but I just don't know what advice to give her... It kills me to see her like this, and I just don't know what to do. Please help me, because I am just as confused as she is, and I keep blaming myself for what happened. I've been blamed for many things before, so don't request that either of us see a guidance counsellor. We've both been blamed; our school counsellor isn't the best at doing her job... I don't know what to do, so please help me because I hate what it's doing to us!!! :O
—Guest Scared for Best Friend...

Seeking Advice

My GF is pushing me away because she feels she can never be normal and I deserve better. I fell in love with her as is. She knows this and I'm at a loss what to do for her. She's had depression for 30 years and many bad relationships. We've both talked about how wonderful we fit together and that this has been the best relationship of her life. She even said that the day she told me to leave her alone for my sake. I don't live with her and fear whay may happen as she isolates herself from the world. She is unemployed and money will run out soon causing her home to be lost and other issues. Regardless whether I get to be with her as her boyfriend/husband, I care too much to just walk away. Advice please!!!

Seeking Advice

I've been dating a woman from my church since July. She told me she had depression but there was no evidence of it until October. I thought we were through the roughest part. After Christmas things got much better and we talked about a future together, how much we love each other and that despite our pasts, this was our greatest relationship we've ever had. That was repeated this last Sunday. Tuesday she ended our relationship stating she is so broken and can't be fixed that it's best for me that we stop seeing each other. Of course I want that relationship to continue, but more importantly I'd like to know how to proceed and help. She has no nearby relatives or friends and without me around she is isolated at home except for two days she spends part of the day at church. She is also unemployed due to her depression, narcolepsy, and chronic pain from an auto accident 10 years ago. She is bright, fun, creative, doesn't have real high highs but the lows are really low. Thank you.


My bestfriend has the signs of depression. He talks to his girlfriend about it but she doesn't know what to do so she ask me to help. I really want him to get better but he doesnt want any one to know he's upset, I don't know what to do
—Guest Jono-duno

depressed girlfriend

I really don't know what to do about my Girlfriend. I want to help her so much it hurts sometimes, but we live apart and all i can do is really talk and listen to her, which doesn't seem to help her anymore. I've tried listening to her problmes, but nothing was resolved, she simply stayed in her deprssed state, i tried talking with her to convincer her that her thoughts were untrue, but though she agrees that i am right in my analysis of her thoughts, it doesn't stop her from having them, and as long as i'm not there to dispel them, they stay. She doesn't want to take psychiatric medication due to the way most doctors hand them out to just about anyone who's been diagnosed with depression, sometimes in once conversation, and she doesn't feel that a psychiatric counselor can help her because they're only being paid to listen and dont' really care for the issues she's going through. And now she doesn't even want to talk about it anymore, because she's afraid it's bringing me down. help :
—Guest bryant

see it for what it is

i think the advice given here is pricless but if ur somebody who's in a good state of mind and living with somebody with depression the kindest thing for yourself is to get out as harsh as it seems its sometimes the best thing to do for both parties talking from personal exp for the last 2 years the end is always the same absolate sorrow or worry save yourself from pain and end it sooner rather than later sorry harsh fact i promise i tried it all but still love her
—Guest Mark

A Depression Ridden Significant Other

Hey, I'm Felix and I'm on the mental illness side of the relationship. I suffer from Depression, OCD, General Anxiety Disorder, and Social Anxiety Disorder(lovely, eh?). So I guess I read this and I just wanted to add some stuff. I'm in a relationship with another man and he usually does very well to comfort me. He could learn a few things, I think, but that's like anyone else. One thing I try to do to relieve my stress sometimes is to kind of seek attention from him. Usually this works, but when he is distracted or not here, I don't feel as good. I think I'll link him to this nice article and him and I will continue to work together to overcome my illnesses. By the way, I am 18 and have taken medication for my disorders for over a year now. I'm okay with taking it since it does help, and I kinda feel like my depression would push him away if I didn't take it. I see that as a major problem because sometimes even now I feel like it might do that now and then. Thanks for readin
—Guest Felix
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