5 Things to Say to Someone Who’s Depressed
Depression – it’s truly a disabling illness. A lot of people suffer from depression, which is characterised by persistent feelings of sadness and loss of interest that may last for long periods. It is a tough feeling to experience. When you are depressed, it feels like it will never end.
As a friend, relative or partner of someone who is depressed, what can you do to help? How do you deal with them? And when you’re with them, what do you say?
Many people have a hard time dealing with those who are suffering from depression. They are hesitant to approach because they don’t know how to react, what to say, and what kind of help to offer. Some just stay away because they are afraid their depressed loved one will just push them away.
Well, there are actually things you can say to show that person you care. Here are some of them:
“You’re right. It’s really painful.”
People with depression aren’t looking for answers to their problems. Most likely, they have thousands of it already in mind. They just can’t do it. You need not offer a cure for their condition. What you can do is simply acknowledge it and most of all, empathise.
“You don’t have to walk the path alone. I’m here if you need me.”
This says it all – you care, you get it, you don’t really understand it, but you love them, and you support them. One of the most difficult things about depression is that it makes a person feel as if they are the only person in the world who is going through a hopeless battle. People with depression may experience an overwhelming sense of loneliness. They may think no one understands them, or no one wants to be with them. So make sure to remind this person that he or she is not alone. Let them know that people in their life do love them and are there for them if they need them. And you’re one of them.
“How can I help?”
People with depression struggle with doing things they need to get done. They just can’t find the motivation to do it. Offer your support and assistance in getting something done for them. Maybe you can offer to pick up a few groceries from the store, walk their dog, or get the mail.
“It may be hard to see this right now. But you won’t be like this forever. One day it will all be over…. Look forward to that day.”
People with depression tend to lose all perspective. They may think that depression is going to hunt them all their life. Saying something like this reminds them that all of our emotions and moods are not permanent, even if they feel like they are.
“I believe in you!”
Depressed people tend to lose their self-belief. They feel like nothing they do is right or good enough. That’s why it can be helpful to reaffirm that you believe in them. Let them know and feel that you deeply believe they are capable of feeling better again. Let them feel they are still an awesome person, even if they don’t feel they are.
Remember though, that another approach to comforting a depressed person is to say nothing… and merely listen. It is sometimes the very best response, and the most appropriate. Give your full attention. When they are ready to speak, they will.
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