Depression Depression is a funny word in that we use it in the wrong way which actually diminishes what depression is. We hear people say they are depressed that day but the reality is they are just having a normal bad day. 

So what is depression and how can you help? 

So what behaviours do people who are depressed show?

  • People can appear normal – they are often trying to deal with their depression and be strong
  • They can appear to be happy – look at Robin Williams as an example
  • A depressed person may not tell you they are depressed – often they don’t know they are
  • With some depressed people it is evident they are sad and down – often they are visibly emotional

So as a friend or a supporter what signs would signal that the person you know is depressed and needs support? It really isn’t rocket science!

Signs include….

  • Acting positive despite stressors ( losing a job, money troubles, relationship problems)
  • Knowing / suspecting a person drinks too much or has bad habits
  • Knowing / suspecting a person works too much
  • Knowing / suspecting a person isn’t keeping on top of things at home
  • Knowing/suspecting a person isn’t on top of their game
  • A person who spends more time at home cutting themselves off from people
  • A person who cancels appointments and meet-ups
  • A person who doesn’t want to get involved with anything

Sometimes you only need to think about what has gone on for a person to know that depression is likely –after all WE are only human.


But often the biggest signs are circumstances

What is actually going on for the person?

  • Are they lonely?
  • Have they people / family around them who support them?
  • Have things happened to them that impact on their ability to cope?
  • Have they been ill?
  • Do they have money issues?
  • Is anyone caring for them on a daily basis? 

So what are the things to avoid if you suspect someone is feeling depressed?

  1. Never say “Pull yourself together”
  2. Never say “People have worse things happen to them”
  3. Never say “Get over yourself”
  4. Never say “ Ring me when you want a chat” 

And crucially how can you help?

  1. Make the contact yourself – don’t expect a depressed person to be able to “ring you”. To contact you will often take too much energy.
  2. Just send a few texts to say hello and how are you. Even if they don’t reply it will make a difference.
  3. Be practical – can you take a job/ task off a person to give them a break? Maybe bring a meal round, walk their dog, mow their lawn?
  4. Always keep in your mind that the person you see / hear actually maybe feeling worse than they appear ………”tears of a clown”.
  5. Nobody is a Superhero- so if someone has bad things happen to them without support it is likely they will feel depressed at some point.

So think about your family, friends and colleagues. Are any of those dealing with “life events” which may lead to depression? If so how can you help them?

Enabling Transitions provides coaching and support for those who feel depressed or down and also for those who are supporting a depressed person.

Reach out now and help a friend or colleague