How can I help when others are depressed?

What a helpless feeling! A friend, spouse, sibling, co-worker shows all the signs of depression. The person has gone from full of energy and life to tearful, lethargic, unmotivated and overwhelmed. The change from positive and confident to pessimistic and hopeless is heartbreaking to observe. You desire to help your loved one, but how do you? What can you do? Perhaps you have tried to cheer them up or invite them to functions so that they can get out and be with other people. Maybe you have attempted to talk them out of their depression by telling them it will get better soon or encouraged them to look at the positives in their lives. Despite your efforts, does it seem like nothing you do really helps?

There are things you can do to help someone you care about who is depressed. You can be a loving listener, an encouraging voice, and a praying heart. You can remind them of the many blessings that they have and help them identify the times in their lives in which they have not felt depressed. You can encourage them to seek the counsel of a physician, therapist, or minister. However, the most important gift you can give them is to remind them that they are loved unconditionally by Jesus Christ.

Jesus is the only one who understands their suffering completely. The Bible explains how God became a man, in Jesus. And He lived on this earth with all its challenges. Jesus suffered as He endured pain, hunger, fatigue, rejection, loneliness, and more. Ultimately, Jesus even experienced death on a cross. The Bible says in Philippians 2:6-8, “Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross!” Not only does Jesus understand what it is like for us to suffer but he did all of this so that we can be saved. Jesus died for us that we may receive the ultimate blessing of eternal life in heaven. Sharing this gift with someone we care about who is depressed is perhaps the best medicine!