How do you ask someone if they’re OK? What do you say when someone tells you they’re depressed? If you can find your words, you can help.
Common conditions related to depression
Sometimes people who experience depression are dealing with other things, too. Depression can trigger additional problems, or make existing ones worse. Learning about these related issues can make it easier for you or someone you care about to find the right support.
Depression and anxiety are different, but they’re both common and often occur together.
Also known as manic depression, bipolar disorder is characterized by extreme changes in mood. People experience intense highs and lows — cycling between mania (heightened energy) and depression. Bipolar disorder is treatable, but it’s treated differently than depression. If you think you may be experiencing mania, talk to your doctor.
Alcohol and drug use
It’s common to lean on things that may help numb negative emotions when you’re feeling low. But substance misuse can make depression worse. Part of getting help for depression is learning how to cope with feelings in healthy ways, without drugs or alcohol.
Addiction and depression often occur together, but the relationship is complicated, and one doesn’t necessarily cause the other. People with addiction may be at greater risk for mental health conditions, and people with mental health conditions experience addiction at higher rates. It is possible to recover from addiction with the right treatment and that may also help reduce symptoms of the co-occurring mental health condition.
Not being able to sleep (insomnia) is a common symptom of depression — but so is oversleeping. Sleeping too much or too little can’t cause depression, but it does play a role in how you feel overall. If you’re having sleep problems, talk to your doctor. There are things you can do to help your body settle into a healthy sleep schedule.
Depression affects everyone it touches — not just people experiencing it, but their friends, family, and loved ones, too. Depression can create physical and emotional distance between people, even when they care deeply about each other. Communication is key — talking about what you’re both experiencing and getting the right support can help you get through tough times together and keep your relationship strong.
Thoughts of suicide
Many people who die by suicide have a mental or emotional disorder. The most common underlying issue is depression.
If you’re in crisis, please use one of the following resources:
- Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or chat online with a crisis counselor at suicidepreventionlifeline.org/chatexternal.
- Text “WORDS” to 741741 to start a text chat with the Crisis Text Line.
- If you think you have a medical or psychiatric emergency, call 911 or go to the nearest hospital.
For additional information, visit the Support Center.
What you can sayRead more
Assessing how you are feelingRead more
Do you think you might be depressed?
Take our self-assessment, and share the results with your doctor or someone else you trust.
Practicing self-careRead more
Find the tools and resources to take care of your mind, body, and spirit so you can feel mentally and emotionally strong in your daily life.