If someone you know and love is suffering from depression, whether it’s chronic or not, it can be difficult to know how to respond. You want to help and be supportive, but you might not necessarily know how. Here are seven things to say to someone who is depressed.
“Do you want to talk about it?”
Instead of offering advice, offer to listen without judgment. This can be especially helpful if the person is just coming to terms with their depression.
“We can just sit here.”
Sometimes, people are tired of talking about how bad they feel. Even just sitting in silence with someone who cares can mean the world.
“You are not alone.”
Depression can be so isolating, so letting the person know that you are there when they need you is a big help. Make sure your actions reflect your words.
“I’ve been there.”
Only say this if it’s true. If you have been through a period of real depression, it can help another person to know that you understand their struggle and have come out on the other side.
“This is not your fault.”
Many people suffering from depression blame themselves for the way they’re feeling. They didn’t choose to be depressed, the same way you can’t choose whether or not you get the flu.
“What can I do for you?”
Ask what they need instead of just assuming. Let them tell you and trust that it’s what they truly need from you.
“I love you.”
Simply letting someone know that you love them can give so much hope when someone feels very hopeless.
It’s important to mention a few things not to say to someone who is depressed. Never tell someone struggling with depression to “just get over it.” If they could, they would. Depression isn’t sadness or being bummed out. It’s a real mental health disease that can have some debilitating consequences if left untreated.