How To Help Someone With Depression To Get Help

By Patricia Oelze

Updated January 02, 2019

Reviewer Judson Haynes


While many people may refer to themselves as being 'depressed' at different times in their life, it's very different from someone who suffers from clinical depression. For example, the average person may feel 'depressed' because they didn't get the job they were hoping for or because they missed out on an event with their friends. Someone with clinical depression, however, experiences something entirely different, and it happens even when something good happens in their lives.

What is Depression?

Depression isn't just the mild feeling of disappointment or sadness that you feel in your everyday life. Even when something truly bad happens most don't suffer from clinical depression. But for some, depression is an everyday occurrence. The negative feelings about themselves, their life and everything around them seems to be a challenge, and they can't seem to get out of that awful cycle. Where many of us feel upset at one time or another and can pick ourselves up and move on, this is extraordinarily difficult for someone suffering from clinical depression.


There are several different types of depression, but the major category is called major depressive disorder. Unfortunately, it's all too common, and it influences the way you think, how you feel, and how you act.. What's even worse is that depression can lead you to withdraw from others, stop feeling interest in things you enjoy and much more, all of which can lead to worsening depression. In the end, you're caught in a vicious cycle where your depression keeps you from participating but makes you feel worse for not participating.

Symptoms of Depression

So, what are some symptoms to watch out for with depression? There are symptoms you can look out for beyond feeling sad or depressed. What you want to watch for are extended periods of sadness and hopelessness that seem to come out of nowhere or may be out of proportion to the loss or event that has occurred.

A loss of interest in activities that you once enjoyed or even in spending time with others including friends and family could be another sign. Withdrawing from others, spending more and more time alone and feelings of worthlessness or guilt can also be signs of something wrong.


If you experience trouble sleeping or seem to sleep too much if you have more fatigue or less energy and even difficulty thinking or making decisions, you could also be showing signs of depression. Thoughts of death or suicide are also symptoms of depression and if you are someone you know is experiencing thoughts of suicide, get help immediately by speaking with your doctor, calling a suicide hotline, or visiting the nearest hospital emergency department.

If these symptoms last for over two weeks, it could result in a diagnosis of depression but keep in mind that, as with any medical disorder, everyone is different. That means you could experience depression differently or someone you know may experience it differently. Changes in behavior are often a sign of something important, so you want to make sure you're keeping an eye on those changes and talking with a professional to find out what's going on.

What to Do If Someone You Know Has Depression

The most important thing that you can do if you know someone who has depression is to make sure they know that you are there for them and support them. Depression is a disorder that thrives on isolating people and making them feel worthless or hopeless. By asking questions about what they are thinking and experiencing you are creating a lifeline that may help your friend or loved one while they are seeking help and treatment.


The next thing to do is help them seek treatment. Get them to talk with a professional that can help them understand what's going on and start them on the path to recovery. It's going to be a long and challenging road but with the proper support they definitely can overcome these feelings of hopelessness... Just because things now seem desperate doesn't mean it will be that way forever. With help, they can move on from this.

To begin addressing depression,the first thing you need to do is talk to them about their current situation. By talking with them, you will be able to get a better idea of their thought process and how they view their current situation. The objective is to gather information about how long they have felt this way, whether or not they are having thoughts of suicide, and if they are willing to accept help to address their depression.

Even though someone with depression doesn't want to feel that way, they may discuss obstacles or reasons to not get help with addressing this issue. Sometimes, people with depression don't believe there is anything wrong with their thought process or they don't believe that anyone else can solve the problem.. They may be convinced that they can 'snap out of it' themselves or they may just have a negative view on therapy. Whatever the reason, it can be quite difficult to convince someone to go to therapy, even when they need it.

Convincing a Loved One to Get Help

If the individual you're trying to help is a parent, it may be easier to convince them to get help because of their child than to do it for themselves. Depression takes away the joy of being around your child even and of the things that they find important. Someone suffering from depression will see this and will see how it affects their child. Convincing them that getting help will help them be a better parent may be a way to help them see the importance of it.


If the individual has another loved one that they are close to this can also be a good way to convince them to seek help. Many people, especially those who are suffering from depression, believe that someone else's worth is more than their own and may be willing to seek treatment to help someone else rather than to help themselves in any way. By appealing to this part of them, you may be able to help them along the path, though they may still be somewhat reluctant to do so.

Convincing someone who is suffering from depression of their self-worth can be one of the most difficult ways to get them to seek treatment and help. Still, helping them to see their self-worth is an important aspect of the treatment process and by trying to help them along this path before they even begin, you can help them greatly. By talking with them, spending time with them, reminding them that they are not alone, and showing your support for them, you may be able to convince them to get help for themselves.


Remember, when you do get them to seek out treatment it's not going to result in an immediate fix. Rather, the process is only just starting when they go to that first appointment. It's going to take a lot of effort and work for them to get through this period in their life. It's going to take a whole lot of support from people like you as well. It takes a lot to overcome depression, and it's possible to overcome depression with a healthy support system in place. .

If you know someone who needs professional help to deal with depression you should check out BetterHelp, where you'll find psychiatrists and therapists available to work with you. Online counseling is a good step for individuals who are unsure of therapy or who are having a hard time leaving their home. You can connect with someone that you feel comfortable with and start your sessions whenever and wherever you like. Even better, you're going to be connected to highly qualified and trained professionals who know how to work with you to get you back on the path to success, health, and wellness.

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