Living with a person with depression

Having depression is hard enough for the affected person, but it is also hard for the people who live with it. Sometimes it is difficult to be impervious to that spirit that is breathed by your side, or we want to support and help you and we do not know in what way. Depression requires professional treatment and those same professionals can guide us on how to accompany them in life. However, from now on, we can put into practice some tips to make living together better. If you have ever wondered how to live with a person with depression, in this article we will tell you everything.


  1. What is depression?
  2. How to help a depressed person?
  3. How to act with a depressed person: coexistence?

What is depression?

To begin with, it is important to clarify that sadness is not depression. We all experience better periods and worse periods. Sometimes we are sad for longer than usual, but that is not why we are depressed.

Although it must be a psychologist or a psychiatrist who diagnoses whether or not you have depression, there are some symptoms that characterize it if they happen for a long time:

  • Sadness and melancholy.
  • Irritable mood.
  • Sleep disorders.
  • Appetite disorders.
  • Tiredness and lack of energy.
  • Catastrophic thoughts and sometimes about death or suicide.
  • Difficulty concentrating.
  • Feelings of guilt, extremely low self-esteem.
  • Feelings of hopelessness.
  • Difficulty maintaining social relationships or doing activities that you previously enjoyed.

How to help a depressed person?

The main way to help a person with depression is to encourage them to go for a consultation for a proper diagnosis. In that consultation, if necessary, they will prescribe the medication you need.

Another way to help you is not to judge and just be there, offering support and listening, without allowing excessive recreation in your negative thoughts.

Taking care of your diet and personal appearance are two basic pillars, as well as exercising. Simply walking helps change mental and body dynamics.

How to act with a depressed person: coexistence?

It is essential in living with a person with depression to understand that it is a disease.  It’s not just a bad time, it needs treatment. Sometimes we can think that the person is normal, but has become complaining or pessimistic. That is, it is important, no matter how annoying your attitude may be, to understand that it comes from an illness that does not allow you to act otherwise without help and enormous effort.

On the other hand, we must understand that, no matter how much it affects us, the person who suffers from depression is suffering the most, so we must be patient and understanding.

However, although we are clear that this person is upset, he is not himself, and we support him, we must find spaces of freedom to evade and not think about this problem.  Dedicating enough hours to the activities that we like without the company of this person is essential.

On the other hand, one of the best things we can do with this person, to improve their condition and our coexistence is to learn to be empathetic. We must practice active listening, without interrupting, listening to understand, not to answer. It is important to allow him to vent, making him feel a valuable person, worthy of being listened to, without interrupting or advising, much less belittling his feelings. After this, a good alternative is to encourage the person to do some pleasant activity, alone or with someone. If you don’t want to, you can try to negotiate, for example, if you don’t want to go play a sport, you might want to walk.

Something basic in living with a person with depression is understanding what can and cannot be contributed. In other words, the person who lives with someone who has depression is not responsible for achieving a cure. This responsibility belongs to the patient himself and to the specialists who are treating him.

Finally, one must allow oneself to be exhausted, angry, sad, hopeless. We can feel all of this without feeling, in addition, guilt.

This article is merely informative, we do not have the power to prescribe any medical treatment or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.

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