Being a female in today’s world isn’t always easy. The constant pressure that social media puts on women is exhausting. You want to travel, go out with friends, eat right, and have the best body, but most of the times it’s unrealistic.

Did you know an estimated 16.2 million adults in the United States have had at least one major depressive episode? And the prevalence of a major depressive episode was higher among adult females (8.5%) compared to males (4.8%), according to the National Institute of Mental Health. On top of all the pressure, women are also more likely to abuse marijuana and prescription drugs than men. Women may be embarrassed by how they are feeling and instead of seeking help, they are choosing to self-medicate.  It’s our job as a friend, family member, or spouse to let your loved one know, they don’t have to go through this alone.

If you have a female (or male) in your life who is struggling with addiction or depression, don’t feel helpless, here are five ways to help her out:

1. Ask Her Questions/Try To Understand

For someone who doesn’t deal with depression or addiction, it may be hard to comprehend how the person suffering is feeling, but try your best to understand. Ask questions, do your research, see if there is something you can do to help them.

2. Encourage Her To Seek Help

Substance abuse is never the right answer. If you notice your loved one is drinking more or experimenting with drugs, encourage her to seek help. There are a ton of resources out there available to women who are struggling with addiction and depression. Again, do your research. A simple Google search can go a long way.

3. Form A Support Group/Community For Her

Feeling like you have a sense of community can provide support, encouragement, and help you feel like you’re not in this struggle alone. You can choose to do an online support group, an in person meet up, phone chats, or start your own group, the options are endless.

4. Encourage Her To Take A Social Media Break

Social media use is significantly associated with increased depression. With social media being so prevalent in today’s society, it’s hard not to compare yourself to others. Encourage your loved one to take a social media break, appreciate what she has, and take time to focus on herself. A social media detox is a thing and it can help you realize that there is a world without Instagram or Facebook.

5. Just Listen

Be a judgement free zone. Let your loved be open and honest about how she is feeling without interruption. Learn how to be a good listener, because she probably needs someone to just listen to her more than anything else.


  • Rachael is based out of San Diego but grew up in rural Oregon. She loves a SoCal lifestyle, especially because it means reading books at the beach in the evening. She's passionate about women finding success in the workplace and loves to write about her learnings from it.