How do I help?

11 Jul
Radhika Goel

My friend had been diagnosed with depression and was going through a very hard time. After few weeks she told me that she was taking medicines and what she was going through. I did not know what to say to her. Even though I told her I am there for her. I did not know how to act around her. When I could see her losing interest in courses and college activities, I did not know how to motivate her and how hard to push for her to do soemthing. What should I have done in such a scenario?

Responses 7

  • Mukul Arora
    Mukul Arora   Jul 23, 2017 11:30 PM

    Hello Radhika!

    I presume that if she is your friend you might be knowing her problem or the cause of her depression and if that is the cause you can as a friend talk to her about this . Not being two desperate but in calm way where she don't get anxious you invading her space. And if you are not aware about her situation then that must be priority because I don't think she can get out of depression without addressing her core issues. Motivation and faith healing talk doesn't going to work in case of depression that weak where she is already on medication. Once you have evaluated the situation and the cause of her situation you can talk to her as a friend, lend her a ear and as you are listener yourself after evaluating the situation you can figure what to say or to do when motvating her. In order to make her open about her problems you can either do some activity with her like going to gym or any exercises or sports of your common interest, go out some quiet place to eat just you two,share your life experience too. Because once they will hear your issues they might get this feel that they are not alone and will trust you with judgement making her more comfortable. 

  • shivani sinha
    shivani sinha   Jul 22, 2017 03:54 PM


    Sad to here about your friend, but do not worry all will be good. I would like to pat your back that you just care for your friend, happy to see that this type of friendship still prevails. Depression is something which detach the suferer with all things, be it people, family, his/her interest, etc. But if taken care and motivated well, then she will come out of it. First as she is your friend, ask her whats things are bothering her and making her feel worried. And if you know the reason already then try to solve it out. You have to be her support system because during this phase she will loose confidence in others and in herself too. Take her on outings and watch comedy films together. Always talk positive thing and make her trust that all thing will be o.k and she just need to believe in that. You can talk to her parents and tell them what she is going through and  make them understand that they need to support her. During these kind of low phases, a person all need is the love and care of parents and friends.

    You can talk about this to your teacher, but be carefull because this may be not liked by your friend. Maybe she will be more upset and may be other might just take it as an advantage of mocking at your friend. So, be careful in sharing her problem to other outside family.

    Hope your friend will recover soon and she might come back as she was earlier. You too take care of yourself as she needs you. If you need anything then please do write.


  • Shena Shaikh
    Shena Shaikh   Jul 13, 2017 06:42 PM

    Hey! I hope you are doing well.

    Firstly, I’d like to tell you that you shouldn’t feel guilty about not knowing what to do to help your friend. It’s wonderful that you are seeking advice because you truly want to help her and that is very commendable indeed.

    Here are a few things you can do to help your friend:

    1. Be empathetic. Dealing with someone who is clinically depressed is very difficult. It will sap the life out of you. But know that your friend doesn’t mean to be this way. They can’t help it. So try to understand what they are going through and not get frustrated.
    2. Be supportive. Your friend may not want to do certain things or talk at certain times and that’s okay! Don’t, under any circumstances force her. You can’t force the depression out of someone. You’ll just have to be patient and assure her that you’ll be there for her, every step of the way.
    3. Make sure she takes her medications, avoids her triggers and visits her therapist/psychiatrist. If at any moment, your friend starts talking about suicide, or tries to attempt suicide, I implore you to escalate the matter as soon as you can. She will required to be monitored.

    Stick it out through this and you can really impact her life. Hope this helps!


    APOORVA PANDEY   Jul 12, 2017 08:32 PM


    Since your friend has been diagnosed with major depression, I hope she is taking proper medications and undergoing psychotherapy. Don’t worry, this will definitely help alleviate her symptoms. But there are some things that you can do from your side to help out your friend:

    • First of all, understand that is isn’t that your friend ‘doesn’t’ engage in activities. It’s simply that she ‘can’t’. It is believed that depression is caused by decreased serotonin levels in the body. It’s biological. So, understand that she wouldn’t engage in activities all by herself.
    • In such case you need to be with her all around and help her out always. Be sure not to be very intrusive though.
    • Try this out. Make a list of all the activities that she was previously engaged in. Each day set a target of making her do one of those activities but be along with her. Don’t force her to engage in tasks all by herself,trying doing things along with her
    • Try giving surprises to her. Sometimes  take her along for ice cream walks.
    • Motivate her to exercise. Give her sugar free, healthy food rich in folic acid.
    •  Ask her other friends to come over and talk to her.
    • Take care of your health, exercise and eat healthy. You need to stay fit in order to support your friend.


    It is quite understandable that in such situations, we often do not know how to react. However, keeping one's calm and allowing things to take their own course is the best way out.




    SAKSHI BAJAJ   Jul 11, 2017 11:48 PM

    Hi Radhika,

    I’m so sorry that your friend is going through such a difficult time. Depression is a debilitating disorder and the person goes through hell. Someone who has never experienced it can never possibly understand what it does to a human being. I can understand how you must be feeling right now. You must be finding it difficult on how to help her. But let me tell you, it’s a very painful journey and the only thing you can do for her is to just be there. She is feeling a great deal of things; don’t let her add loneliness to that. Having someone by your side can help more than people think. We all need someone who cares and loves us. You do that for her. Most of the people leave a depressed individual saying that they are too sad and being around them makes them sad too. That is inhumane. Would people ever tell that to someone with a physical illness? I think we all know the answer to that. There are chances that nothing is making your friend feel better at the moment. Don’t try too hard. Give her space. People need to understand that one doesn’t just snap out of depression. It takes a lot of time and work. If it is so taxing for you watch them like this, just think how difficult it must be for her to live that. To live a life that doesn’t make her happy anymore. No matter how perfect it is. Don’t exactly tell your friend to do things. Work around it slowly. Remind her of the things that used to make her happy. Do them with her. Be patient. Don’t give up on her. Medication will help her, but compassion and support go a long way. She needs to know that she has people who care for her. I hope you both fight this and come out stronger than ever.  Take care.

  • Ayushi Jolly
    Ayushi Jolly   Jul 11, 2017 01:33 PM

    Hello there!

    It is so good to see someone so caring towards others in modern times.

    We know the depression can be traced through a variety of symptoms ranging from sleep cycles to eating habits to social lifestyle. It is important to know that how did she come across the diagnos,that might help you help her better. Besides,you can help her family or important others by knwoing her condition so that they treat her with love and affection.Also, you being an important part of her life can discover the root causes that lead to the depression.I would like to suggest some remedies.

    1. You must be nice to her,more than before. A lot of people care but few care enough.Social support can help her out greatly.

    2.Take her on a break.Being students,you cannot be really travle-bound but you can encourage little changes in her life like taking her a walk,joining yoga classes,breathing in a natural environment.

    3. Do not leave her alone.Loneliness might bred in more depressed thoughts that trigger furthur.Try convincing her to socialize or join societies or clubs.She might hesitate but you can keep trying.

    4.Tell her parents or ask her to visit a counsellor.Since there is stigma attached to the visit,she can always refer to online counselling like that on this forum.An expert is always beneficial.

    Hope this helps.Wish speedy recovery for her!

  • Shubhanshi Singh
    Shubhanshi Singh   Jul 11, 2017 01:26 PM

    Hello there! 

    Depression is a complicated disorder. Anything can trigger a person into self destructive mode. 

    I think you should play the role of a friend. Listen to her worries, be her support. At this time, probably everyone must be making her feel like a patient who needs to be treated. 

    You can be the one person in her life who can treat her like a friend. Act normal with her, talk about your day, ask her progress. Don't push her into anything. If she doesn't want to spend time with you, just try to understand and give her the space because it's normal for her to distance herself. You can keep a check that she doesn't spend all her time alone. It will help her is she is in touch with people. It will be tough for her but in the long run, this will help her cope up. Cherish your old memories with her so she has reasons to be happy and forgets her depression for a while.

    Talk to her parents and doctor. Ask them what can you do as a friend to help your friend. Don't see her with pity, nobody likes that. Have faith in her. 


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