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How can family and friends help a depressed person?

Family and friends can be instrumental in getting a depressed person to consult with primary care doctor or a mental health professional. Offer to go to the first appointment. Encourage the person to talk about depression and help him understand that depression is a treatable illness. This continues to be our greatest challenge: getting people with depression to reach out and access our services. When I speak to groups about depression, I say, “Suffering is optional.” It’s sad to hear people talk about suffering for months or years before getting into treatment. Once in treatment you may continue to help by encouraging him to stay with treatment until symptoms are resolved.
Family members and close friends can be a significant source of support for you in coping with your depression.
  • They can make you feel like you are not alone.
  • They can listen to you.
  • They can help you to find resources and learn all you can about depression.
  • They can help you maintain a healthy lifestyle every day.
  • They can help you stick to your treatment plan.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.