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How can I get the support I need to manage depression?

Key Resources

  • National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI), 1-800-950-NAMI (6264)
  • Recovery, Inc., 312-337-5661
  • National Depressive and Manic Depressive Association (NDMDA), 1-800-82-NDMDA (1-800-826-3632)

Depression isn't something you have to face alone. Having caring people around you is something that's important for everyone. When you suffer from a mood disorder such as depression, it's even more important.

What a Support Team Can Do

A support team of friends and family members can:

  • share your problems and experiences
  • listen without judging or criticizing
  • offer practical help and support
  • share information about depression and treatment for depression
  • provide opportunities for fun activities and social interaction
  • help you get the care you need when you can't help yourself

Take these actions to make your personal support network work for you.

  • Ask several close friends or family members if they'd be willing to become members of your support network.
  • Choose enough people so that you don't have to rely on anyone too much.
  • Let your supporters know that you don't expect them to be available all of the time.
  • Set up regular times for contact. Even if you don't see one another in person, connect regularly by phone or e-mail.
  • Tell your supporters that there will be times when you just need them to listen and other times when you'll ask for feedback and advice.
  • Spend quality time together and share activities you both enjoy. Take walks, see movies, play music together, share meals. Make your time together enjoyable.
  • Make the arrangement mutually beneficial. Be willing to listen and give support too.
  • Educate your supporters about your condition. Let them know who your healthcare providers are and how to contact them.
  • Create a support phone list and share it with all the members of your group.