How to Ask for Help When You’re Depressed: 5 Tips for Reaching Out and Finding Treatment

Sometimes when we need help the most is when it’s hardest to ask for it. But there are solutions to the problem of your depression, and there are tips for how to ask for healing help. On the day that you make a connection with treatment, you will begin a supported journey toward an empowered future.

Depression is not who you are. It does not define your life or your worth or your future. But right now, it’s overwhelming, and it makes sense to feel overwhelmed.

Asking for help is not a sign of weakness any more than depression itself is. The important thing to note is that there is a way out of the darkness. You don’t have to see it or know how to navigate that healing path. You just need to send up a flare—in a manner of speaking—to let someone know that you need help and guidance.

Knowing how to ask for help when you’re depressed isn’t just about defining the action steps. It’s also about understanding how depression tends to stand in the way of those steps and finding the small windows of opportunity for hope and connection.

Tips for How to Ask for Help When You’re Depressed


If you keep waiting for another day to tell someone about your depression, that day might never come. If you’re feeling hopeless, then you could use some help finding the recovery path and getting some traction in the right direction. It’s perfectly okay to take one small step at a time.

1 – Resist Stigmatizing Yourself

Depression is a problem that has a solution. It is not a mark of failure or a punishment or a weakness. The fact that depression is a psychological disorder can take some of the pressure off your mind and emotions. There are treatments that effectively relieve symptoms and empower you to manage depression over the long term—once you get connected with a knowledgeable source of support. And the depression isn’t your fault because of something you did or because of who you are. You are still you, and depression doesn’t alter your worth or how deserving you are of compassionate care and a better life.

2 – Reach Out Where You Feel the Most Comfortable

Some people feel most comfortable talking to close friends or family when they are going through a depressive episode. But some people actually feel more comfortable talking to someone less familiar, such as a general practitioner or a stranger on the other end of a helpline. No way is right or wrong as long as you’re taking the step to ask for help.


Here are some more tips for talking with others about your depression.


3 – Practice Saying That You’re Not Okay

Maybe you’re not ready to get into the details. Maybe you can’t describe exactly what you’re feeling or point to why you’re feeling so low. You don’t have to. It is important, though, to at least admit that you’re not okay, that you’re not feeling well. Even just saying something simple like that out loud goes a long way to reversing some of the isolation that actually serves to keep you stuck.


Here’s a resource you can share with someone else to help them support you.


4 – Have Someone Else Call for an Appointment

Does it feel like too big of a step even to pick up the phone and call for treatment help? That’s okay. Break it down and ask someone to help you with this step. Give them your calendar, or just ask them to request the next available appointment. You can even ask them to go with you to the appointment. You don’t know how you’ll feel on that day, and making the plans with someone else will help ensure that you make it there and you feel supported.

5 – Don’t Be Afraid of a Diagnosis

Sometimes people fear the depression diagnosis itself. They would rather avoid making it official, avoid the stigma and the heavy weight on their identity. But with or without the diagnosis, depression weighs heavily on you. With the diagnosis, you have ready options to start on the recovery path. Without the clinical attention that leads to a diagnosis, effective treatment may remain out of reach, and your depression is likely to get worse. As a true mental health disorder, depression is nothing to be ashamed of, and the community in a treatment center will support your dignity as you reclaim your strength and your life.

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Why Depression Treatment Makes the Difference in Your Mood and Your Life


Depression doesn’t usually just hit you all at once all of a sudden. It tends to come on gradually. But it can build and overwhelm you before you’re really aware of it. And depressive disorders are composed of imbalances within you that you can’t simply rebalance on your own. So, the sooner you access comprehensive depression treatment, the sooner you’ll be back on an empowering path, living the life you really want.

Depression is fairly common, and the treatment options have become very accessible and effective in response. One of the best options for well-rounded and compassionate care is an inpatient treatment center. Here, clinicians can oversee a wide range of care approaches, including medication, individual therapy, group therapy, family therapy, and other holistic therapies as well. This kind of immersive treatment goes well beyond the relief of symptoms to empower you with coping skills and the ability to thrive. Your progress may be gradual, but your hope will grow as you discover the scope and depth of support available to you.

Bridges to Recovery offers comprehensive residential treatment for people struggling with mental health disorders as well as process addictions. Contact us to learn more about our renowned Los Angeles and San Diego-based programs and how we can help you or your loved one start the journey toward healing.