It can be difficult to figure out how to be there for someone you care about who is suffering from depression. Take some of the pressure off of yourself by remembering that what you say doesn’t have to be deeply profound or well-worded. It just has to be authentic, coming from a real place of compassion.
Many of us end up not saying anything out at all out of fear that we’ll say something wrong, but this only contributes to the feeling of ultimate loneliness that depression can induce. Sometimes it doesn’t matter exactly what you say, it just matters that you remind your loved one that you care about them and are there for them.
What to Say to Someone Who is Depressed
“I care about you.”
It’s a simple statement, but it can mean a lot to someone who feels completely cut off from the world. Depression makes you feel like you have to face everything all on your own. Knowing that you have people to rely on can make the journey easier.
“I’m here for you.”
It’s important to remind them that you are there for them, even if it is impossible for you to understand exactly what they’re going through. You may not know what this looks like at first, but it’s not about being perfect – it’s about being there.
“How can I help?”
The burden of depression is often invisible to others. Sometimes the direct path is the best one – instead of wondering how to help, just ask your loved one.
Your loved one will likely be reluctant to take you up on this because they do not want to feel like a burden, so you should remind them that you care about them and are happy to help them through this time.
They may not know what kind of help they need, so prepare a few starter suggestions – offer to help them
with grocery shopping or offer to accompany them on their appointments, for example.
“Do you want to talk?”
Maybe your loved one just needs to vent for a little while. The important part of being there for someone you care about as they vent is to remember not to give advice or try to fix everything right now. When they are venting, just listen and be sympathetic. Don’t tell them what they did wrong or what they could improve on. That can come later.
During the process of venting, just let them get their feelings out. Advice, even when well-intentioned, can be overwhelming to someone suffering from depression.
“You can get through this.”
There is hope for even the worst cases of depression. It’s easy to sound condescending when reminding your loved one of this, but there are lots of treatment options and resources available for those suffering from this mental health condition.
Maybe encourage them to see a doctor or start therapy sessions, or encourage healthier lifestyle changes, like meditation or yoga.
To learn more about how to overcome depression through treatment, schedule a free consultation with us today.