My sister is depressed (+How can I help)

This article will discuss what can be done once you realize your sister is depressed. For that, the article will explain what are signs to be aware of if the person is depressed. 

Aside from that, the article will explain what are ways to help your sister that is dealing with depression, and how to take care of yourself in the process.

How can I be sure if my sister is depressed?

A sibling relationship is not always an easy one. Although there is a lot of love in that relationship, there are also a lot of disagreements, complexity and sometimes they might even annoy you. 

But when living in the same house, one might notice that their siblings are acting differently, they might start to be more isolated, maybe sad, and you might start to wonder what is going on with them.

If you think they might be depressed, there are a few signs that can help you figure out if they are going through depression. The first thing is that they might seem unhappy most of the time.  

And although we all have moments when we are unhappy, a person is constantly unhappy and doesn’t expect a moment when they might be happy. They will also start to show how little they feel they are worth it. 

They might start expressing that they are a burden to people, that they are always wrong. This sort of thought won’t just go away, they might need support with that. Another thing that might show they are depressed is the fact that they are not interested anymore in things they used to love doing. 

It could be spending time with friends, practicing a sport they used to love, or anything like that. It can be that their eating habits change as well. They might start eating a lot more or stop it all at once. The same can happen to their sleeping pattern.

They can also seem to be tired all the time, and it is not only because they are sleeping less. Depression affects how energetic the person feels, causing them to feel like they have no energy left. 

It can make it hard for them to focus, and it is not something temporary, if a person is depressed, paying attention to something can be very hard.

If your sibling is experiencing depression, and it comes to a difficult point, they might start talking about death and suicide often. Sometimes it might be that they are not even talking about their death or suicide, but people that are considering this usually show a lot of curiosity around the theme.

If you notice these signs on your sister, they are probably depressed. So let’s discuss ways you can help them.

What are ways I can help my sister deal with depression?

Once you notice your sister is depressed, the first thing to do is to accept how they are expressing their feelings. Teenagers, when depressed, although also seem sad, can present anger outbursts, and may start fighting with people at their home. This might happen because they feel that this is a safe space to let their feelings out.

So once you educate yourself about depression, it might be a good time to have an honest conversation with them. You can ask when did they start to feel bad if they are thinking about suicide, what makes them feel better and what makes them feel worse.

This will give you a clearer notion of where they stand and will let them know you understand they are going through something, and that you are there to help. By asking those questions, it will also become possible to identify what has been the causes and triggers of how they are feeling, making it clear they might need help.

And that is another great way you can help them. You can encourage them to look for professional help, it can be a therapist or a support group. Let them know that you are there to help, but since you have never dealt with depression, having people that have, can be very important. 

During that process, they might feel bad and worthless. Keeping in touch with them, listening to what they have to say, and letting them know how you see them, and that being depressed is a period in time, can be a great way to show affection.

It is also important, when living with someone with depression, to understand that laughing and having good times are still allowed. A person with depression can benefit from it. They might not have fun the same way, but just having a nice chat with a sibling can be great?

But always remember to take care of yourself as well

It is a great thing if you can help a loved one dealing with depression, but a person shouldn’t forget about their mental health. Being the support system of someone that is depressed is like living on a roller-coaster.

One can experience good days and assume their sister is getting better, but the next day, they might feel bad again, and this can cause a person to feel extremely frustrated. People dealing with depression can also have periods of dark and negative thoughts, and sometimes people can get sucked into it.

Because of all that, having a way of taking care of your mental health can be important. It might also be a good idea to share the role of support network with other people. It can be other family members, maybe some of your sister’s friends.

This way you won’t feel like you are abandoning them when you need some time off, or because you have other things to do, such as work, study, or even a time out with your friends, since you shouldn’t neglect while supporting your sister. 

By taking care of yourself you will have a lot more energy to be there with your sister and to help them. So don’t forget about yourself in the process.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ): My sister is depressed, how can I help? 

When do I know if my sister is toxic? 

Although having problems dealing with siblings is normal, sometimes one might realize their siblings are starting to feel too toxic. The first sign a sibling is manipulative is that they often are manipulative. They can do or say things just to get what they want.

Along with that, they might be overly critical of your acts and thoughts, causing you to feel like you can’t say anything, if that is the case, it might be important to make it known about how you feel when they do that. And it is highly likely that they won’t take responsibility for things, and might just blame you instead.

Even if you show how deeply hurt you are, they might not show remorse, they will never feel bad for what they have done. And because being around them is so emotionally frustrating, you might start to feel exhausted around them. When that is the case, it is important to remember to take your time away if you need it.

They can also try to hurt your other relationships. For that, they might even embarrass you in front of your friends and family, and if you try to stand up for yourself, they might ignore you or just cut you out of their life completely.

How can I cheer my sister up? 

When your sister is upset, the first thing is to show your support, offer to hear them, hug them, and make them feel cared for. Allow her to cry and show her emotions, tell her it is ok to put the feelings out.

By doing that you are creating a safe space for her to share what’s bothering her. Listen to what she has to say, may share some of your thoughts on the situation, and try to find ways to do something she might enjoy.  Maybe watch a show, or even listen to music they like.

How can I treat my sister as a friend? 

It might be a good idea, to have your sister as a friend, for you both to do some activities together. Figure out something you both enjoy and take time to do it. Sharing things, as well as experiences, can be a good idea. Sisters usually have trouble sharing clothes, but by doing that, you can get closer.

And if there is a problem with something they got from you, try to not get so angry, remind yourself that this could have happened with any other friend. Explain you got upset about the situation, but be forgiven and move on from the matter, don’t let ruin the friendship you are creating.

What is sibling abuse? 

Sibling abuse is what happens when one sibling may physically, psychologically, or sexually abuse the other. It usually happens that the older sibling abuses the younger one, most of the time it happens that the abuser is of the male gender.

It is a way one sibling intimidates, terrorizes, or controls the other. It is something that often happens in dysfunctional, or neglectful families, in which the parents had trouble setting boundaries or disciplining the child that had abuser traits.

The abusers might have a lack of empathy, with an aggressive temperament. They can also feel a need for physical contact in families that are not emotional. And they might often view themselves as the victim of the situation.

Why is my sister so mean to me?

Your sister might be mean to you because your parents might be more flexible with them than they are to you. This may cause them to be rude, not only to you but to other people. 

It might also be that they have a competitive relationship with you, maybe there was something about how your relationship was created that caused them to feel threaded by you. Maybe if you are a younger sister, it could be that they feel like they lost some affection after you were born, and they might be resentful of that.

Don’t blame yourself, try to have an honest conversation with them, and see if they are open to it. By talking, it can be that the uncomfortable situation changes, and you can both create a new relationship.


This article explained how it feels to have a sister dealing with depression and what are the signs to be aware of their mental condition. Not only that, the article showed what are ways to help them, and also ways to look after yourself.

If you have any questions or comments about this article, feel free to write it in the section below.