Depression is a medical illness that affects the mind and body. It can affect how a person feels, acts and thinks on a daily basis.
Friends and family members of a person with depression may also feel the impact of the disease. If someone in your life is depressed, you may worry about his or her well-being, or you may notice its effect on your relationship. You may feel sad or helpless about how the illness robs your loved one of enjoying life or engaging in everyday activities.
When a friend or family member experiences depression, you can help the person seek appropriate care, develop coping skills and create a low-stress environment. You can offer emotional support and compassion. And you can learn to take care of yourself and manage the impact of the disorder on your own life.
Educate yourself about depression
You can help a loved one with depression by educating yourself about the disease. Read about it. Talk to other people you know who have been treated for depression or have helped someone else cope with it. The more you understand about what causes depression, how it affects people and how it can be treated, the better equipped you will be to talk to and help a friend or family member with signs of depression.
You can begin by learning to recognize signs and symptoms of depression: Continue reading About depression: supporting people with depression