What to Say to Someone Who Is Depressed: 10 Things That’ll Help
Ever feel helpless when you see someone you love sad or in pain? Although we’d all like to be able to take away their suffering and make their lives happier, it’s not possible. However, letting them know that you love them and will always be there for them is a possibility.
But it can be difficult to express yourself, especially around someone who is depressed. You are always worried that the wrong words can hurt their feelings. But don’t worry, we are here to help you with what to say to someone who is depressed to calm and reassure them.
10 Things to Say to Someone Who Is Depressed
1. You are not alone.
This may seem like such a trivial thing to say, but to a depressed person, it matters a lot.
Mental health issues are stigmatized, and people choose to hide their feelings and isolate themselves. They feel that they are alone, that people think they are crazy, and that no one loves or supports them.
At such a time, a simple “You are not alone, I am there for you” can go a long way in making them feel welcome, loved, and accepted.
It exhibits your unconditional love and support. Also, the fact is that 5% of adults worldwide suffer from depression, so give them a feeling of belonging and encourage them to join support groups.
2. It’s okay to not feel okay.
Validating the feelings of someone who is depressed will help them accept themselves and what they are going through. They can often be heard saying, “I wish I wasn’t feeling this way,” when they are having a hard day. Words like, “It’s okay to feel the way you do” will make them feel safe around you, as they will not have to worry about hiding their feelings.
3. I am here for you, if you need me.
Depressed people feel like they are a burden and are not worthy of the love they receive. They often worry their close ones will get overwhelmed dealing with them and abandon them.
While your words are no cure, they will help give them the assurance that they have people who love them and will be around when needed.
While the first part of the sentence gives them assurance, the second part tells them they are not under any pressure to share anything with you. It is a portrayal of unconditional love, one that will not change with circumstances.
4. It’s okay to seek help.
Due to the stigma surrounding mental illness, many people avoid seeking professional or even friendly help. They worry about being stamped as “crazy”, which amplifies their symptoms further.
Counseling your friend or family member about seeking help and the fact that no one can define them can go a long way. You can explain to them that 1 in 5 people suffer from mental illness, and with proper care and diagnosis, they can eventually leave this chapter behind and move forward.
Help them realize that seeking help is a form of self-care and is the first form of defense against their mental issue.
5. Help me understand how you are feeling.
Sometimes, all a person wants is to be understood.
If you have gone through depression or know someone who has, it is important to remember that no two people go through the same thing. When lending a helping hand or a listening ear, keep your focus on making the person feel comfortable.
The fact that you are reaching out to them and caring for them will help them open up about their struggles and feelings. Even if they do not open up on cue, if they want to talk later, they know who to approach.
6. This isn’t the end. You can beat this.
For some, depression may feel like the end of the world. However, the fact that you get up, work, move around, do your daily chores, and more is proof that you can move forward and keep going.
While hopelessness is a block, appreciating the little things you accomplish every day will help you believe in better days ahead and give you and your loved ones hope.
7. Your story isn’t over.
If you know someone who attempted suicide or is struggling with suicidal thoughts, motivating them with the above words will help.
Help them realize that life is nothing but a book with many chapters and that soon, the chapter of depression will be over and that the pages will turn to brighter days
8. Nothing you say or do has the power to send me away.
Sometimes, our efforts to help are met with abuse, yelling, and even physical tantrums. It is just an attempt to push you away.
By saying the above words, you can assure them your loved one you are with them through thick and thin and will support them throughout their struggle.
9. I love you.
People with depression start considering themselves unworthy of love. So if you’re wondering what to say to someone who is depressed, just saying “I love you” will go a long way. It will not only make them feel better but will also improve their overall health.
You can go further and explain that their depression can never diminish your love for them and that they are the same to you.
10. Is there anything you need now?
If your attempts to make them open up, communicate, or ask for help are being met with silence or indifference, you can offer them immediate solutions. For example: Do you need a hug? Want me to run errands? Want to exercise? Shall I pick up a meal for you?
Sometimes people are shy and do not want to bother anyone. If you feel this may be the reason, you can assure them that it will be fun, and that is what friends and family are for.