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Depression Health Center

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Action Set
Depression: Supporting Someone Who Is Depressed

If someone you care about has been diagnosed with depression, you may feel helpless. Maybe you're watching a once-vibrant person slide into inactivity or seeing a good friend lose interest in activities that he or she used to enjoy. The change in your loved one's or friend's behavior may be so great that you feel you no longer know him or her.

You probably want to help in some way. This topic will give you the tools to do so.

  • Depression is a disease. It's not being lazy, and you can't "just get over it."
  • The best thing you can do for someone who is depressed is to help him or her start or continue treatment.
  • Offer support. You can do this by understanding what depression is, being patient, and offering help.
  • Don't ignore talk about suicide. Talk to a doctor, or call 911 or emergency help if needed.
  • Reassure the person that he or she will get better with the right kind of treatment. Treatment depends on how severe the depression is and includes medicine, counseling, self-care, or a combination of these.

what.gif What is depression?
why.gif Why is it important to support someone who is depressed?
how.gif How can you help someone who is depressed?
where.gif Where to go from here

Up Next in This Action Set:
ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerKathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerLisa S. Weinstock, MD - Psychiatry
Last RevisedJanuary 11, 2013

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: January 11, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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