The 5 Do's and Don'ts of Helping a Depressed Family Member

The 5 Do’s and Don’ts of Helping a Depressed Family Member

The 5 Do’s and Don’ts of Helping a Depressed Family Member

Helping a family member who is battling depression may be a hard and multifaceted endeavor that demands a great deal of patience, empathy, and understanding. In this article, we will discuss five dos and don’ts for supporting a sad family member, so that you can provide the essential support.




  1. Educating oneself about depression is a critical step in assisting a family member suffering from depression. This is an essential and informative process that will enable you to provide appropriate support and have a deeper understanding of your family member’s difficulties. You should make an effort to learn the symptoms, causes, and treatments of depression in order to provide informed support.

  2. It is crucial to actively and empathetically listen when a family member shares his or her experiences. Avoid passing judgment or delivering unsolicited counsel. Focus instead on being present and offering emotional support. It is essential to let your loved one know you are there for them, even if they are not immediately ready to discuss their emotions.

  3. Depressive disorder is a medical disease requiring expert care. Hence, it is essential to urge and support your family member in getting professional assistance, such as from a therapist or mental health specialist. In addition, offer to accompany them to appointments and check in frequently to see how they’re doing.

  4. It is also crucial to encourage your family member to acquire healthy behaviors. Depression can make it difficult for a person to take care of themselves; therefore, it is crucial to encourage and assist them in forming good habits, such as frequent exercise, eating a balanced diet, and getting enough sleep. They may find it simpler to participate in these activities with a family member, so you might offer to join them.

  5. When assisting a family member with depression, it is vital to practice self-care. It can be emotionally taxing and demanding, so it is crucial to establish appropriate boundaries, prioritize your needs, and seek the assistance of others.




  1. Criticizing or blaming a family member for their sadness is counterproductive and might make them feel even worse. Depression is neither a decision nor a sign of weakness; therefore, it is essential to refrain from condemning or criticizing depressed individuals. In lieu of this, provide emotional support, empathy, and understanding.
  2. Family member’s depression cannot be “cured.” Resist offering unwanted counsel, downplaying their emotions, and pressuring them to “get over it.” Instead, you should offer emotional support, compassion, and understanding.

  3. Ignoring or disregarding a family member’s symptoms can cause them to feel alone and lonely. Depression is a serious illness that can have a substantial influence on an individual’s life. Hence, it is crucial to acknowledge their emotions and offer assistance.

  4. Depression recovery is not a linear process, and it may take time. Avoid being irritable or insistent with a relative. It is crucial to respect their pace and avoid exerting undue pressure.

  5. It can be emotionally demanding to assist a loved member with depression. Hence, it is necessary to exercise self-care, to establish healthy boundaries, and to seek the help of others. Remember that an empty cup cannot be poured from.


In conclusion, it is crucial to approach helping a depressed family member with patience, compassion, and understanding. By educating yourself about depression, actively and empathetically listening, encouraging and supporting professional assistance, encouraging good habits, and practicing self-care, you can provide vital support to your family member. Recognize that depression is a medical disease requiring expert care and emotional support. With the appropriate approach, you can assist your loved one in navigating their difficulties and finding hope and healing.

The 5 Do's and Don'ts of Helping a Depressed Family Member
The 5 Do’s and Don’ts of Helping a Depressed Family Member


1 Comment

  • John , February 19, 2023

    This is really helpful. Thanks!

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