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How to Help Someone with Depression

If a friend or family member is struggling with depression, it’s not always easy to know how to help. You want to support them without being overbearing, offer comfort without minimizing their feelings, and provide hope without being dismissive. Learning more about depression, understanding what your loved one is going through, and finding effective ways to offer support can make a big difference.

Northeast Health Services offers depression treatment in Massachusetts that can help those struggling with depression find hope, healing, and a path to recovery. Call 508.794.8711 today to learn more about how our services can support you or a loved one.

What Living with Depression Looks Like

Living with depression is like carrying a heavy weight that never seems to go away. It can affect every aspect of a person’s life, from their relationships and work performance to their physical health and daily routines. Some common symptoms of depression include:

  • Persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, or emptiness
  • Loss of interest in activities once enjoyed
  • Changes in appetite and weight
  • Difficulty concentrating or making decisions
  • Fatigue and lack of energy
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or self-blame
  • Thoughts of death or suicide

If a loved one is experiencing these symptoms, it’s essential to remember that depression is not a choice or a sign of weakness. It’s a medical condition that requires proper treatment and support.

5 Ways to Help Someone with Depression

1. Learn About Depression

There are many myths and misconceptions surrounding depression, from the idea that it’s just a case of the blues to the belief that someone can simply “snap out of it.” A few helpful resources to learn more about depression include:

  • The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)
  • The American Psychological Association (APA)
  • Northeast Health Services’ website and blog

By educating yourself, you can better understand what your loved one is going through and offer more effective support.

2. Listen Without Judgement

Sometimes, the best way to help someone with depression is to simply listen. Avoid offering advice or trying to “fix” their problems, as this can make them feel invalidated. Instead, listen with empathy and without judgment. Let your loved one know that you are there for them, no matter what they’re going through.

3. Encourage Professional Help

Depression is a treatable condition, but it’s essential to seek professional help. Encourage your loved one to speak with a therapist or mental health professional and offer to support them in finding the right treatment for their needs.

4. Be Patient and Understanding

Working to manage the symptoms of depression takes time, and there may be setbacks along the way. Be patient with your loved one and understand that they are doing their best. Offer encouragement and support, but also respect their boundaries and give them space when needed.

5. Take Care of Yourself

Ever heard the saying, “You can’t pour from an empty cup”? This is especially true when it comes to supporting someone with depression. Make sure to take care of your own physical and mental health, set boundaries, and seek support for yourself if needed.

Contact Northeast Health Services Today

If you or a loved one is struggling with depression, know that help is available. Northeast Health Services offers comprehensive and compassionate treatment for those living with depression in Massachusetts, and we are here to support you on your mental health journey.

If you’re ready to take the next step in your mental health journey, click here to reach out to our team of empathetic mental health care experts. For existing clients, please click here and find your office location to contact your office directly.