This is part of a series and I would recommend starting from the beginning if you have not done so already. You can find all the posts in the series under the tag "Comforting the Depressed".
Don't try to replace one, and don't let yourself bear the burden of one.
There's a reason that this is #4 and not #1 on the list. Because coming straight off the bat with "go see a therapist" or "have you tried medication?" is neither listening nor validating.
BUT. You are not a professional. You are not trained to deal with what has been studied as the phenomena of clinical depression -more than just catching glimpses as you go through life. Even those -such as myself, who has been through much more exposure than the average person- cannot and should not view themselves (knowingly or unknowingly) as being wise enough to know the most effective way of delivering help, or what the most effect help to be delivered is. It's something that I must remind myself of constantly when offering support to others with depression: I must accept my role as a peer despite how much I believe (often rightly) have "learned".Read More