Supporting Someone Who’s Depressed

Depression is categorised as a mood disorder which causes persistent feelings of sadness and a loss of interest in life. It affects how you feel, think and behave and can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems. If you are someone who suffers from depression then I am sure you are aware what a difficult illness it can be to live with. Many times I have heard clients with the diagnosis wish it were something visible, like a broken bone. Then those around them would better understand their needs.

If you know someone who is depressed it can be difficult to know what to do. Especially if you have never felt that way. The first step is trying to understand how they are feeling. Below is a video that captures what it can be like to live with depression.

It can be incredibly difficult to offer support to someone who doesn’t feel like it will help or like they deserve it. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try, here are some ways you can offer support:

  • Listen without judgement. If the person who’s depressed lists all the reasons they feel down don’t counteract with reasons they should feel better. Often they already don’t understand why they feel the way they do. By telling them all the reasons they should feel better is not really hearing how they are experiencing things.
  • Be patient. Tell them you are there any time they need you. If they don’t take you up on the offer understand that they are not doing that to hurt you.
  • Offer support in any way. Offer lifts, collect shopping or even do odd jobs around their house. Depression causes almost a complete lack of motivation which means lots of things don’t get done.
  • Understand that this isn’t a choice. If those suffering could wave a magic wand and feel better, they would. However, even knowing the many factors the can cause depression doesn’t solve the problem.
  • Don’t give up.
  • Don’t say you know what it’s like if you don’t. 
  • Try not to push or get angry. Recommend that they talk to their GP or go see a counsellor but realise they need to make the decision for themselves.
  • Get support for yourself. If you are in a relationship or are a carer for someone with depression it can be draining for you to be around them. Find a way to support yourself and make sure you find a way to find joy in your life.

What anyone in this situation needs to know is that they are cared for. Do that anyway you can and you can help be the silver lining that gives this person hope.

“There are wounds that never show on the body that are deeper and more hurtful than anything that bleeds.” – Laurell K. Hamilton

— If reading this has made you realise that you may be depressed or are ready to get help then contact myself or a therapist in your area. —


Interested in starting psychotherapy?

As a therapist I have the incredible honour of being able to get a glimpse into the lives of others. Usually during the first session clients are nervous, unsure of what to expect. Over time as they open up we are able to build trust and establish a relationship. At its core, this is what therapy is all about. Having a non-judgemental, empathetic listener is incredibly healing.

I often get asked about therapy and counselling wondering about the process. I thought it may be helpful to explain some things. If after reading this you have any additional questions feel free to leave comment or message me.

What’s the difference between counselling and psychotherapy?  The main difference is length of time. Often people start counselling because they have recently been bereaved, they are depressed, feeling anxious or have one issue they want to work through. Psychotherapy is more long term, perhaps after you have started working through one thing you realise there are more aspects of your life you want to understand.


How long are sessions and how much does it cost? Sessions are usually 50 minutes and here in Ireland if you want to go private, on average a session will cost €60. However, there are many centres that offer low cost services or individuals like myself that offer a sliding scale.

Do I have to talk about my past? I believe to understand the present we need to understand the past. However, you don’t have to share anything that you are not comfortable with. The entirety of your life and past hurts has lead to the perception you have of the world. In some cases that perception is negative or unfairly judgemental of ourself and others. Therapy and objectively examining our past can help demonstrate when patterns began and allow you to have compassion for your struggles.

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What will be different? You. What is so interesting about therapy is that as time goes on you will start to feel different in yourself. Hopefully the end result is that you will feel more grounded, confident and secure in who you are. You may also notice a difference in your reactions and interactions with friends and family. As you feel better in yourself you have less of a reason to lash out which can benefit everyone.

Should I start therapy? I believe everyone could benefit from having a good listener in their lives. If you feel like there are aspects of your life that you want to change counselling or therapy could be great for you. We can get into patterns that are no longer benefitting us, sometimes we need support to change.

I have seen the amazing transformations that can happen thanks to psychotherapy. You can be happy in your life, you just have to decide you want things to be different and start making that happen.

“Courage doesn’t happen when you have all the answers. It happens when you are ready to face the questions you have been avoiding your whole life.” – Shannon L. Alder


With the recent suspected suicide of Robin Williams a limelight has been shone on what could have led him to do this. Which has brought attention to depression, and how without help it mentally chips away at those who suffer from it.

It’s a shame it takes the death of someone in Hollywood to draw attention to a disease in which hundreds of millions of people suffer from.

It can make you feel isolated and alone, forcing you to wear a mask. A brave face to show the world unable to share the pain that is really being felt.

There seem to be many comedians who suffer from depression themselves. Perhaps that’s because those who battle depression experience a flat affect, no emotional responses to situations or experiences. Seeing that they can make others experience joy and laughter gives them purpose. However, at the end of the day if you don’t have love for yourself the love of others means nothing.


If you are suffering from depression, get help. Although you feel alone in the darkness, you don’t have to be. Those feelings are a symptom of the disease. I had done a previous post with a focus on talking to someone when you are feeling down, you can read that here. It’s never too late to reach out, to ask for help, it could save your life.

“There are wounds that never show on the body that are deeper and more hurtful than anything that bleeds.” -Laurell K. Hamilton



When was the last time you said how you really feel?

Myself and my friend Sinead Lynch at Silver Linings have made a video looking at how the Irish and Canadians can avoid their real feelings.

Although we attempt, (please excuse my exaggerated Canadian accent) to use humour to highlight how we all can cover our true feelings. I do believe it is important to talk to someone when you are having a hard time. Life is not always easy, for many people it can seem like everyday is an uphill struggle. Sharing your internal strife with another person can sometimes help lighten the load.

And remember that animals this cute exist. That can help too.


There’s always time to talk.

“What does your anxiety do? It does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, but it empties today of its strength. It does not make you escape the evil; it makes you unfit to cope with it if it comes.” – Raymond Cramer


Stop Settling

Due to the format I’ve chosen for this site all the titles are in caps. This often can look as if you are being yelled the subject. In most cases that is not my intention. However, this time I would like you to hear the title as a loud voice in your head. A mantra you remember again and again, especially when you’re being treated in a way you do not deserve.


It seems as though many people feel that overall happiness is make believe or unattainable. If you believe that then of course you aren’t feeling fulfilled.

There are many things in our culture that seem to be taken as truth and no one questions:

  • Everyone is unhappy in their job
  • Relationships are hard
  • Life is all about struggle and is always difficult

The stories we tell ourselves are powerful and whether you believe it or not, they shape our reality. If all you see is struggle and strife, all you experience is struggle and strife.


Not everyone is unhappy in their jobs. Our culture places a lot of emphasis (maybe too much) on work. There’s an unwritten rule that we should live to work, not work to live. Why do we buy into that? It’s not worth it, dreading going into work everyday. Quitting in many cases is not an option so here are some tips on how to better enjoy your job.

Relationships can have rough spots but they shouldn’t always be difficult. It can be scary to examine a relationship but maybe it’s time if you are feeling unhappy.

Life can be full of difficult times but it does not have to always be that way. Loss and grief are terrible things to endure but don’t let them take you over. There are so many parts to you. You are not just your struggles.

If you want to read more on why you shouldn’t settle in life have a read here and here.

Start telling yourself that you deserve happiness and joy and be sure to settle for nothing less.

“There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” – Nelson Mandela


It’s Time To Talk

Depression has a way of entering a life and taking over. It affects motivation, eating and sleeping habits, sexual drive, concentration as well as many other things. It not only affects those who suffer from it but the people that surround them. Most of us can feel helpless in it’s presence, here’s a great representation of what it can do:

The difficulty with many mental health issues is the shame that is attached. Many people are afraid to be open and honest about how they are feeling. Carrying the weight of depression is difficult, carrying it on your own is almost impossible. The charity Aware here in Ireland has a campaign to stop the silence, called It’s Time To Talk. The goal is to show how important it is to have real and meaningful conversations about mental health.

Myself and my friend Sinead Lynch at Silver Linings wanted to add to the conversation. We decided to do a short video on ‘What is Therapy’.

The reason most people don’t start therapy is because they are scared about the experience, worried about what will be uncovered. I’m not going to lie and say that therapy is easy, it’s not. It can be very difficult but it can also be a life changing experience. Uncovering the past hurt and working through it, in a safe environment built on trust, is very healing.

If you have decided that you can’t keep going the way you have been, or feel like you don’t want to do this on your own.. Get help, life doesn’t have to be this hard. You are not admitting defeat, you are admitting that some things are not meant to be done alone.

“There are wounds that never show on the body that are deeper and more hurtful than anything that bleeds.” – Laurell K. Hamilton



Some people say that January has claims to the most depressing day of the year. Although scientifically that is not necessarily true, this month does have a dragging quality that seems to slow everything down. If you are feeling like you’re in a bit of a slump I offer some things that will hopefully leave you feeling all warm and fuzzy. This first video is of an 8 month old baby getting to hear his mothers voice. He contracted bacterial meningitis when he was 4 months old and hadn’t been able to hear since then.

A very happy puppy from Imgur xjWsIJR This is just beautiful.

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If you want to read through more good news stories The Journal has a great collection of some as well as nice videos. This week I was spending time with people who were talking about the news. It was so depressing, it made me feel heavy and sad. When I left them I searched things that would make me feel lighter again. Be aware of what you’re hearing and being surrounded by. Negative energy has a lot of power and can creep in when you don’t want it too. Enjoy this January day and do something like Googling cute kittens. I doubt anyone ever felt worse after a search like that. “The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.” – E.E. Cummings