Depression is one of the most misunderstood and mistreated conditions that someone might have. It is important to realize that depression is very different from a bad mood. A bad mood will go away over time. People in bad moods can just “feel better.” This is not the same for people with depression. They need professional treatment in order to help them regain a sense of happiness and pleasure again. While we may not all be professionals, we can still help out our depressed friends and family with compassion and direction.
“I’m here for you.” You should let them know that you can and will help them get through the depression. Even though there are many cases of depression, every case is unique and different. Avoid saying phrases such as “at least your depression is not as bad as…” or “it could always be worse…” Make it clear that you are here for him or her. Some other phrases that may help are “You matter to me” or “You are still important to me.”
“You are not crazy.” Society has made great strides in accommodating people with depression. However, there are still many places where depressed people are judged by their condition. Regular reminders that he or she deserves the same respect and dignity as the rest of us can help. Remind them that they are regular people too.
“We will get through this.” Always let them know that they are not alone in their fight against depression. Hope is the greatest gift a friend or family member can give. Continue to remind them that despite what they face on a daily basis, there will be better days in the future.
As someone who cares about close ones with depression, always remember that there are counseling services available to help with depression. Counseling can effectively supplement other treatments and play an important role in treating depression. It can help one understand their depression and push them in the right direction with new perspectives and hope.