How to care for a loved one who suffers from depression

Be patient with your loved one. Picture: Pexels Liza Summer

Be patient with your loved one. Picture: Pexels Liza Summer

Published Sep 29, 2023


Whether you’re a parent or a friend, caring for a person who suffers from depression can be challenging at times.

If someone has been diagnosed with depression by a professional, even they will have a hard time accepting and dealing with the mental illness, therefore it’s important to be patient with the person.

Often they are still learning how to care for themselves.

The fact that they have someone like you who is willing to help them through a tough time, is already a wonderful thing.

If you find yourself in that position but don’t always know what to do, here are tips on how you can care for your family member or friend.

Educate yourself

In order for you to provide the best care, it’s important for you to know all there is to know about the illness.

Learn about its symptoms, causes, and treatment options. Understanding the condition will help you empathise and respond effectively to the person’s needs.

Maintain a routine

Depression has the ability to disrupt daily routines. This can often make it difficult for the person to carry out basic tasks.

Help them create and maintain a structured routine that includes regular sleep patterns, meal times, exercise, and relaxation activities. This is vital and can help to provide stability and improve their mood in general.

Help them create and maintain a structured routine. Picture: Pexels Karolina Grabowska

Monitor medication

If the person is receiving professional treatment, it could involve having to take medication. Assist them in adhering to their medication schedule. Offer reminders or help them set up a consistent routine.

Offer non-judgmental support

One of the most significant ways you can help is by being a non-judgmental source of support.

Encourage open communication and actively listen without offering unsolicited advice. Validation and understanding can go a long way in making your loved one feel safe and supported.

Encourage open communication and actively listen. Picture: Pexels Sarah Chai

Encourage social interaction

Those dealing with depression have a tendency to withdraw from society. Encourage the person to reconnect with friends and family members.

Go along with them to social gatherings or suggest that they join a support group. It helps to interact with people who understand their conditions and experiences.