Health & Wellness Articles

How to Help Someone Who is Depressed

Encourating Your Loved One to Get Help

Depression is a mental illness, but it doesn’t just affect a person’s mind. It affects their body, their work, and their relationships with family members and friends. If you are close to a person suffering from depression, you probably know that something’s wrong but aren’t sure what to do about it. Depression is complicated to diagnose and treat, so only a qualified health care provider can do that. But there are some common symptoms that you can look for. If someone you know is experiencing five or more of the following signs, for more than 2 weeks, then that person could be suffering from depression:
  • Persistently dull, grey or empty mood
  • Feelings of worthlessness, helplessness, hopelessness, or pessimism
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in previously enjoyable activities or hobbies
  • Sleep disturbances or oversleeping
  • Feeling tired all the time, even if getting adequate sleep
  • Unexplained appetite and/or weight fluctuations
  • Thoughts or talk of self-injury, suicide or death
  • Self-injury or suicide attempts
  • Restlessness, irritability, nervousness, and edginess
  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering things, or making decisions
  • Physical symptoms that do not respond to treatment, such as headaches, backaches, and neck tension Continued ›
Page 1 of 3   Next Page ›

Advertisement -- Learn more about ads on this site.

About The Author

Liza Barnes Liza Barnes
Liza has two bachelor's degrees: one in health promotion and education and a second in nursing. A registered nurse and mother, regular exercise and cooking are top priorities for her. See all of Liza's articles.

Member Comments

  • How nice if all depressed individuals would get the help needed--- but reality is that help cannot be forced on anyone. If the depressed person rejects help or therapy, then the family members are left to cope with the "circumstances"--
    - This article says to keep in mind not to take personally the things the depressed person says or does.
    BUT small children cannot think in this "adult" way, and little children often suffer terrible consequences from depressed parents. Circumstances can be very harmful to the development of children. Many times intervention is needed for the welfare of children, and this "rescue" never happens. . ---- Please, I suggest that the professionals in the mental health field place a greater emphasis on "child victims" of depressed parents. It is indeed a serious matter. What about the children---?. - 11/12/2014 3:13:00 PM
  • This is a very good article. I was diagnosed in Jan. with bipolar, and actually went because my boss kind of forced me hinting that my job might not be secure if I didn't as it was affecting my work a lot. My sister tried to get me to get help earlier but I thought I could handle it on my own. I think we think that a lot, I'm ok, I can handle it, its just the blues. I'm glad that I got help. I had several other times I was just diagnosed with regular depression, but I'm pretty sure it was bipolar all along. Sometimes its hard to know the difference. I still have my ups and downs, but I'm doing better. Thanks for this article. - 5/14/2011 1:26:25 PM
  • As a person who has had to cope with depression most of my life, I feel that everyone should read this article. So many people know someone who has struggled with depression... a family member, friend, neighbor, co-worker... and having basic information on how to help would be helpful & reassuring. Thanks for a great article. - 2/8/2010 7:17:30 PM

x Lose 10 Pounds by January 12! Sign up with Email Sign up with Facebook
By clicking one of the above buttons, you're indicating that you have read and agree to SparkPeople's Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy and that you're at least 18 years of age.