How to help someone with Depression

How to help a depressed person

Every day there are more people suffering from Depression. Biological diseases have given way to more complex and profound disorders as far as the person is concerned: mood disorders.
Depression is one of the most serious and worrying diseases of our time.

What is Depression?

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV), used worldwide by Psychologists and Psychiatrists, the Depression is characterized by 5 or more of the following symptoms in the same period of 2 weeks and also represent a change in performance previous in the person.

  • Depressive mood most of the day, almost every day, indicated by the subjective story or by observation of others.
  • Marked decrease of interest or pleasure in all, or almost all, activities during most of the day, almost every day.
  • Significant weight loss without dieting or significant increase, or decreased or increased appetite almost every day.
  • Insomnia or hypersomnia almost every day.
  • Agitation or psychomotor retardation almost every day.
  • Fatigue or loss of energy almost every day.
  • Feelings of devaluation or excessive or inappropriate guilt almost every day.
  • Less ability to think or concentrate, or indecision almost every day.
  • Recurrent thoughts of death and suicidal ideation .


  • The symptoms must cause clinically significant discomfort or impairment of social functioning, work or in other important areas of the individual.
  • The symptoms are not due to the direct physiological effects of a substance (for example, a drug, a medication), or to a general medical illness (for example, hypothyroidism).
  • The symptoms are not better explained by grief, that is, after the loss of a loved one, the symptoms persist for more than 2 months.

How to help someone with depression?

  • It is essential to help the person to recognize that he suffers from an illness and to transmit to him that it is of vital importance that he receives psychological help, since the sooner he puts himself in the hands of a better professional.
  • Learn about the Depression: Characteristics, causes, treatments, consequences .. in order to assess the state in which the person is and if it worsens, improves, etc.
  • Treat the person with patience and tolerance, encouraging them to continue with the treatment since the characteristics of the Depression make this a difficult part.
  • Collaborate empathically with the person, as this will help to understand him and treat him better with the treatment.
  • Admit that sometimes it is useful to talk with the person and listen to them about their sufferings.
  • To subtly incite him to do small things (accompany him to the market, to buy the bread …) but respecting all his decisions without pressing him.
  • Knowing how to recognize signs of danger of suicide or of any threat to the person.
  • Never blame the patient for lack of will or lack of desire, as this is a very present feature in people with depression.

And above all, it is recommended that the depressed person share their feelings with other people who are in similar situations since the simple act of sharing is therapeutic and can learn from the experiences of others.

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