How can I support someone who is depressed?

Depression is very common.  Often people don’t know what to say, and offer such advice as,Just get over it…. Think more positively… or Stop being so negative… which, while well intentioned, only serves to leave the person feeling more isolated and alone.

It helps to learn about depression, and websites such as can be helpful. Emotional suffering is caused by many biological, psychological, and environmental factors, and a high percentage of depression is situational.  Depression is not something a person can simply shake, or think their way out of, and thankfully, most depression can be effectively treated. People need to be encouraged to ask for help from a professional.

Listening with compassion, helping with practical tasks, and generosity of friendship are other good ways to show your concern and help your friend or loved one.