Want To Help Someone With Depression? Pretend They Have The Flu


If you want to help someone with depression when they are in one of their lows or bad depressive episodes – you can.

How? Pretend they have the flu.

A really bad awful flu, worst case you’ve ever seen! but the bonus is, it’s not contagious.

You wouldn’t expect the person with a really bad flu to get up and do stuff, no way! So tell them to rest up.

Lay down in their pyjamas if they want.

Photo Credit: Laura Mazza

Surround them with pillows and things that make them happy. You would never tell them to snap out of the flu!

They can’t… they’ve just gotta rest and ride it out, so put on their favourite show, favourite music, get em some movies.

Some tissues, make some soup… or lots of chocolate.

Cancel their appointments for them.

When you’ve got the depression flu, anxiety makes it hard to cancel appointments and depression means you’re not going to make them.

Be their secretary for a day.

And If their flu gets really bad and you see them going to a dark place, make an appointment for the doctor, or take them to emergency. The flu can take a turn sometimes, just like depression.

And the same applies if it’s just you.

Just because you got everything done yesterday and today you’re down the bottom of the roller coaster, doesn’t make you any less of a person.

It means it’s time to rest. Time to recover. Recharge your battery, it’s the only way you can be yourself again.

Mental health illnesses are illnesses.

Although there isn’t any runny noses, no broken arms, no visual signs to say someone is sick, it’s really debilitating… and it’s also hard to watch someone you love go through something hard without having the capability to fix it physically.

But you can help them by not expecting them to act like they are well, by not saying “snap out of it” or expecting them to go out and exercise when they don’t want to get out of bed (who would tell someone to exercise when they’ve got the flu?) and by just letting them recharge – just like you would if they had the flu.

Let them ride out the wave of the depression, so that they can rest and recover from it and come back to full health and be back to their old selves again.

If you want to help someone with depression when they are in one of their lows or bad depressive episodes – you…

Posted by Laura Mazza on Wednesday, October 9, 2019


  1. Thank you for this. I needed to read and be reminded. I am in the middle of a tough weekend with my son and it was good to be reminded that he doesn’t necessarily need to get out and see his friends or come with me to the store so he gets some “fresh air”. He needs rest and sleep and self care. What a great way to think about mental health. Mental health is health. Mental illness is illness.


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