By Daniel Riddle

Depression can have many varied symptoms that affect each person in drastically different ways, but there are key symptoms that are more common.  You should keep these in mind when your loved one has depression, and I’ll go over ways to possibly try to help them.  These ways won’t get rid of symptoms but will instead hopefully help someone manage them.  

Fatigue and Appetite

I’m not sure if fatigue is the most common symptom, but I feel it’s fairly common compared to other symptoms in people I know, myself included.  Loss of appetite is another symptom that can be similar to fatigue.  With fatigue, you might not even have the energy to eat or prep food, even if you’re hungry.  

One way to help with this is to make sure your loved one is stocked up on groceries.  Remember that if physically going to get them groceries isn’t possible, ordering them is an option, depending on where you live.  If you don’t live with them, I’m writing another article on sending care packages to someone suffering a depression episode.

If they fall behind on chores, it is good to remind them, but don’t chastise or punish them for falling behind.  Just focus on completing the most immediate tasks at hand and see if there is any way to help them catch up.  

Social Interaction

Obviously, each depressive episode differs as well as the people having them.  Some people get better with social interaction, while others do better with time alone.  At some point, you should talk to your loved one about which is more likely for them and how you should behave for each one.  You should also have a system so you know how to act.  Hopefully, they can tell you, but sometimes that doesn’t work.  I know someone that has issues communicating during episodes, so I know he is having one if I don’t get a response to my texts in a set amount of time.  

If social interaction helps them, use video calls or maybe Snapchat or Tiktok.  Seeing your face could help significantly more than just hearing your voice or talking through texts.  You can also try to interact with them in ways that don’t require too much energy.  I usually recommend playing video games or watching movies together.  You can also play board games if you’re in person.  

If your loved ones wants alone time, make sure to have a system to check on them.  You can always text them and just wait for a response.  You can also set a time to check on them.  One important thing is to not draw too much attention if they have to cancel plans.  Just let them rest and make new plans another day.  

Sadness and Self-Esteem

Sadness and depression go hand in hand in most people’s minds, but depression is more than just intense sadness.  Sometimes it isn’t about sadness, just fatigue and anxiety.  Some people have self-esteem or disassociation-related symptoms.  These symptoms are the most difficult for a lot of people to understand.  

If someone begins bashing their appearance or skill at something, most people will start saying, “it’s not that bad,” or “don’t worry, it’s okay.”  instead of telling them they are wrong, or “it’s just the illness,” stay positive and be there for emotional support.  Do not say anything about their thoughts or fears being invalid or wrong.  Instead work on correcting them and help them focus on positive things.  

If their negative comments get to a point where you’re scared for your or their safety, please reach out to professionals in your area.  A quick internet search will find you phone numbers and the physical locations of professionals that can help.


Pain is a common symptom of depression; sadly, it comes in various forms.  It can be joint pain, headaches, skin irritation, or existential suffering.  It can also manifest as extreme sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures.  If you’re lucky, pain medication works, but it often won’t.  If your partner has this problem, they might be unable to have physical contact due to pain.  Just be patient and talk to them about how long it can last and ways to help.

Sometimes certain scents can help. For example, try candles or other scent devices.  Just be careful; the people I know where scent helps usually have certain smells that can worsen the pain.

Sometimes massages or heat can help.  My fiancé bought me a heating pad in the shape of a vest, and it has helped my depression pain immensely. Cold compresses or warm baths can also help, depending on what type of pain you have.  

I Hope This Helps!

The list of depression symptoms and solutions is so large I’m sure there are many more not mentioned here. So please comment on your experiences and advice, and hopefully together we can help people manage their symptoms. 

Photo by Kristina Tripkovic on Unsplash

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