Depression is a condition where a person feels sad and miserable, and has a lack of confidence. People who suffer from depression are detached from their surrounding world and often think of themselves as outcasts.
The most important thing to help a depressed person is to have patience and compassion. The first thing you should do is to make an effort to understand how the person really feels. Let him/her know that you are aware of the situation and that you are willing and honest to offer the helping hand. Do not hesitate to ask direct questions because this way you can get to the bottom of things. Secondly, try to make the depressed person listen to you. Give an example of a successful story and encourage him/her to start handling the problem as soon as possible. Be a little pushy if you have to and make him/her understand that depression can happen to anyone. The third step is finding the appropriate support group for the depressed person. This may involve a little extra effort but it is extremely helpful for a person to realize that he/she is not alone in the world and that there are others who cope with similar problems. Sometimes it is easier to be open and sincere after hearing other people. Ensure that your suggestion is not declined. The fourth thing to do is to convince the depressed person that you will be there all the way through, that you will not turn your back on him/her after the first obstacle. Be supportive and encouraging and, he/she will feel much better if he/she knows that you truly care. The fifth step is taking the depressed person to the doctor. This step is optional and you should do this only if you are sure that this is the best way. He/she may feel like a really sick person and this can worsen the depression. Talk him/her through that depression is very common and that in many cases drugs can be helpful.
The depressed person is in great need for love and sometimes that is the only thing that he/she requires. Depression can be a desperate cry for unconditional love. You should give your love, it is not expendable.
You should pay attention if the depressed person is abusing drugs or is drinking or smoking. He/she can often do it secretly and this can only cause more damage. This can turn into a serious addiction and it is important not to replace one problem with another.