Depression is a complex and challenging mental health condition that affects millions of people worldwide. If someone you care about is struggling with depression, your support can make a significant difference in their journey towards healing and recovery. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore how to help someone with depression, and we’ll also introduce you to the Shift Protocol, an innovative approach that can be instrumental in treating depression.

How To Help Someone With Depression

Before we delve into how you can help, it’s essential to understand what depression is and how it manifests in individuals. Depression is not just feeling sad or having a bad day; it’s a persistent and often overwhelming sense of sadness, hopelessness, and disinterest in activities that were once enjoyable. Depressed individuals may also experience changes in sleep patterns, appetite, energy levels, and concentration.

Recognizing the Signs

The first step in helping someone with depression is recognizing the symptoms of depression. Some common indicators include:

  • Persistent sadness: If your loved one appears consistently downhearted, it could be a sign of depression.
  • Loss of interest: A person with depression may lose interest in hobbies, socializing, or daily activities.
  • Sleep disturbances: Depression can lead to insomnia or excessive sleep.
  • Fatigue: Constant tiredness and a lack of energy are typical symptoms.
  • Appetite changes: Depression can cause significant weight loss or gain due to altered eating habits.

Approaching the Conversation

Once you’ve recognized the signs of depression in someone you care about, it’s crucial to approach the conversation with empathy and sensitivity. Here are some tips for initiating a conversation about their mental health:

  • Choose the right time and place: Find a quiet, comfortable setting where you can talk without distractions.
  • Express concern: Begin the conversation by expressing your concern for their well-being.
  • Use “I” statements: Share your feelings and observations using “I” statements to avoid sounding judgmental.
  • Listen actively: Give them the space to open up, and listen without interrupting or offering immediate solutions.

Providing Emotional Support

Supporting someone with depression goes beyond having a single conversation. It’s an ongoing process that involves providing emotional support and understanding. Here are some ways you can offer emotional support:

  • Be patient: Understand that healing takes time, and there may be ups and downs along the way.
  • Stay connected: Continue to reach out and maintain regular contact with your loved one.
  • Encourage self-care: Help them prioritize self-care activities like exercise, healthy eating, and adequate sleep.
  • Offer reassurance: Remind them that you are there for them, no matter what.

Encouraging Professional Help

While your support is invaluable, depression often requires professional intervention. Encourage your loved one to seek help from a mental health professional. Offer to assist in finding a therapist, psychiatrist, or counsellor who specializes in depression treatment.

The Shift Protocol: A Revolutionary Approach to Depression Treatment

One of the most promising developments in depression treatment is the Shift Protocol, a groundbreaking approach offered by ShiftGrit Psychology & Counselling. The Shift Protocol focuses on reconditioning the responses of the brain, specifically the “walnut brain” or the pre-evolutionary brain, using psychological techniques akin to classical conditioning.

Think of it as rehabilitating a rescue dog afraid of work boots. The ultimate goal is to replace the dog’s fear response with a sense of safety by gradually exposing the dog to the boots in controlled, positive situations. This process closely mirrors the reprocessing of traumatic associations in humans, achieved through incremental exposure and controlled responses—essentially, classical conditioning in reverse.

ShiftGrit Psychology & Counselling - how to help someone with depression

How the Shift Protocol Works

The Shift Protocol is an evidence-based approach that harnesses the brain’s neuroplasticity to create lasting change. Here’s how it works:

  • Assessment: A thorough evaluation helps identify the root causes and triggers of the depression.
  • Targeted Exposure: The individual is gradually exposed to the sources of their distress in a controlled and supportive environment.
  • Positive Associations: Through repeated exposure, positive associations are created, helping the person reframe their perception and emotional response.
  • Sustainable Change: Over time, these new associations become ingrained, leading to a sustainable shift in emotional responses.

The Power of the Shift Protocol

The Shift Protocol is a powerful tool in the treatment of depression because it addresses the core mechanisms behind the condition. By reprogramming the brain’s responses, individuals can break free from the cycle of depression and experience lasting relief. It offers a sense of empowerment, as individuals regain control over their emotional well-being.


Helping someone with depression requires patience, empathy, and understanding. By recognizing the signs, initiating a sensitive conversation, providing emotional support, and encouraging professional help, you can play a crucial role in their recovery journey.

Additionally, the Shift Protocol, offered by ShiftGrit Psychology & Counselling, offers a revolutionary approach to treating depression. Reconditioning the brain’s responses through controlled exposure and positive associations provides a pathway to healing that can transform the lives of those struggling with depression.

If you or someone you know is battling depression, don’t hesitate to reach out for help. Depression is treatable, and with the right support and treatment, a brighter future is possible.