Even If You Don't Understand It: A Few Tips For Helping A Loved One With Depression

Depression is a mental health illness that can be debilitating to the people living with it. While almost everyone will at some time in their life experience something that depresses them – the loss of a loved one, a divorce, or financial troubles – it is not the same thing as being clinically depressed for no reason. If someone you love is suffering, you may not be able to understand what it is they feel. However, it is possible that you can help them with their treatment as they can work towards leading a normal life. Here are a few of the typical depression treatments and how you can help.


Some people feel that medications to treat depression are over prescribed. They do not understand that they are needed by the patient to be able to get through the day. If your loved one takes any type of depression medication, make sure they take it as prescribed. Do not allow them to take more than what the doctor ordered, but also be sure that they do take it. Telling them it is just a placebo or a way to "bandage" the problem but not solve it should be avoided. You do not want them to be ashamed or embarrassed about taking the medicine. While it does not need to be broadcast to just anyone, it is not something to be hidden to the point of missing a dose.


Therapy is a major portion of any treatment plan for depression. You should encourage the patient to go and to also be available if they want you to go with them. However, it is important that you understand they may not want you to go, or to only be there for a portion of the appointment. If you are invited, talk with your loved one about what they expect from you during the visit. If they want you to simply listen or if they need your help explaining something to the doctor. Never overstep what the patient wants and needs from you when it comes to a therapy session.

Lifestyle Changes

At some point in the treatment, the patient may need to make some lifestyle changes. No matter how much it may disrupt your life, it is important that you support them. The more supportive and helpful you are, the quicker they can get on with things and feel better. They will also appreciate the support and value your love and guidance in the future.

Do not dismiss someone's pain and depression as if it will pass with time. Talk with the patient and ask how you can help. You may need to visit with the doctor and therapist to be able to truly help. Always make sure your loved one approves of your interactions before you make any appointments. You may never understand how the patient feels, but you can help to make them feel better. For more information, contact a center such as Dr Kuris Counseling Centers.