How To Help A Loved One Suffering From Depression: A Compassionate Guide

Not only does depression impact the person dealing with it; but it also affects family and friends who want to support them but often don't know how. 

It can be both heartbreaking and perplexing to deal with someone you love who is depressed. When trying to support them and look after your own mental well-being, you could feel overwhelmed and unable to do so.

Even though I'm not a mental health expert, here are some top suggestions for supporting a loved one who is suffering from depression.

Remember with love, compassion, and faith in God, anybody can heal and you have the power to heal them. 

Let's dive into top tips that you can follow to help support a loved one.

Helping a loved one through depression

Tips you must follow to help your loved ones in their mental health journey

1. Open channels of compassionate communication: Being there for a depressed person is the first step in providing support. The fact that you are here is a reassuring sign for them that "you are not alone". But move carefully. There should be open but non-coercive communication. Don't be offended if someone withdraws because of depression.

  • Listen without judgment: Your loved one needs a secure environment to express their feelings. Listen without passing judgment. It may be beneficial to have someone listen.
  • Don't force them: Recognize your boundaries and give them the space they require if they aren't ready to communicate. Tell them you're ready to talk whenever they're ready.

2. Refrain from "fixing their issue": It makes sense for someone who greatly desires to "fix" their loved one's depression. However, there is rarely a simple cure for depression.

  • Avoid offering advice: I understand you want to help them and you have good intentions but this can make your loved one feel burdened or misunderstood.
  • Be patient: Recovery takes time. Your ongoing assistance is more beneficial than a one-time, comprehensive fix.

3. Encourage professional assistance: Depression is a medical disorder that frequently calls for expert help. Encourage your loved one to consult a counselor, a psychologist, or a psychiatrist. If they feel comfortable, offer to go to the appointment with them or to assist them in locating medical specialists.

  • Research together: Together, research the sometimes challenging process of hiring a therapist. Offering to assist them in their search for mental health providers might ease their workload.
  • Support medication routines: If medication is recommended, encourage your loved one to follow their schedule without enforcing it.

4. Perform gentle activities: Sometimes, a quick trip or easy task might provide fresh air. Keep in mind, nevertheless, how your loved one is now feeling.

  • Nature walks: The combination of fresh air and the outdoors can be comforting. It can be refreshing to take a quick stroll in a local park.
  • Mindfulness or meditation: Introduce them to mindfulness or meditation practices to help them focus their thoughts, even if only briefly.

5. Take care of yourself, too: It is important to highlight this idea. Providing support to someone who is depressed can be emotionally depriving. Be sure to give yourself space to rest and recover. A cup cannot be poured from when it is empty.

  • Set Limits: Be clear about what you can and cannot achieve. You are not a therapist; you are a friend or family member.
  • Seek support: Lean on your network of friends and family for support, or think about speaking with a mental health professional yourself. Even caregivers require care.


It can be difficult and time-consuming to support a loved one who is depressed. Even though it hurts to see a loved one struggle with depression, remember that it's a medical condition. It's not your responsibility if a loved one is depressed, just as it's not your fault that you can't make it stop.

You're doing the best you can for someone who is trying their best to fight their own internal war if you combine this with encouragement to seek expert help.

You can heal them and your unwavering love and support can bring their and your life to ease. Just trust and believe in God! 

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