Last Updated on
Depression is a dreadful illness that disables the suffering person from thinking, acting, and feeling normal. A leading cause of disability worldwide, depression is not easy to handle, especially when it engulfs your loved ones.
One of the hardest things while dealing with someone who is depressed is how to communicate with him or her. What you may think is appropriate may not be so. Words truly hold the power to heal someone. What you say to someone who is ill and in pain can cause a huge impact. Saying something completely opposite and against their feelings will hurt your loved one the most.
It's not easy to speak with someone who is depressed. You may feel awkward and confused. Understand that you do not have to be just sweet and sorry. Simply being compassionate is enough. Most people dealing with depression feel alone. Just saying that you're there is enough to show them your support and care.
If you're further feeling confused about what to say during tough times, here are 15 statements that might come handy:
You know that feeling when you're alone and just want someone to be there with you?
These two words you say to someone who feels alone in the world as if everything is against him or she can be highly impactful. Depression makes the person feel as if they're alone and no one wants to stand with them. When you re-assure your friend that you're here, listening to them, it can mean the world to him or her.back to menu ↑
“I Care About You”
How you wish that in your bad times someone just comes to you and gives you a tight hug! Saying these beautiful four words to someone dealing with awful depression is enough to make him or her feel powerful again. One of the feelings a person suffering from depression repeatedly feels is that no one understands them. As if their illness is a mystery in itself. Saying that you care is enough to restore someone's confidence.back to menu ↑
“How Can I Help You?”
Depression disables the person from enjoying their day-to-day activities. It also makes them feel extremely tired and weary. All of these combined symptoms are enough to break your loved one's morale and optimism. Occasionally, just asking them how you can help is enough to put them at ease.
Your friend might be reluctant to take any help from you for fear of becoming a burden. Reassure your friend that you genuinely care for them and want to help them out in every possible way. Soothe them by saying that they are not a burden and will never be.
Some further specific questions you can ask are:
- Can I accompany you to your doctor appointment?
- Do you need help in grocery shopping?
- May I take you out for a cup of coffee?
Be specific about how you can help and how much time you can devote. For example, instead of saying “Do you need any help?” better say, “I'm free for two hours on this Saturday and would love to join you and help you clean the house”.back to menu ↑
“You are strong”
Depression makes the person feel weak, fragile and worn out. Making them remember occasionally that they are strong and bold enough to deal with this illness is ample to cheer them up. Make them understand that dealing with a dreadful illness doesn't make them weak. Make them look at the positive side and how strong they are to go through all this.back to menu ↑
“Do you want to talk?”
Talking relieves the hidden pain and repressed feelings. One of the foremost things you can do to help someone who is depressed is offering to talk without interrupting. Let your friend speak about what is bothering him or her, what (s)he is up to, and how they are just feeling in general.
Remember to not interrupt and provide unsolicited advice. Yes, you want your friend to get well soon and want to help them, but giving them general advises and quick tips won't help. Someone who is depressed is not looking for any advice. He or she just wants to be heard.back to menu ↑
Calm down your friend by saying that It's O.K to feel a certain way. Someone who is depressed might feel a certain way due to his or her chemical imbalance and an unhealthy environment. They might feel bad, upset, and disgusted. Let your friend know that it's O.K. to feel all these emotions and slowly (s)he will be out of it.back to menu ↑
“Yeah, that's awful”
Not everything someone who is depressed goes through is due to depression. Sometimes situations are really bad and terrible. They might genuinely be stressed about something. Affirming their stresses and acknowledging their situations calms them down. It is comforting to know that they are not being misunderstood and ignored. And yeah, things are really awful!back to menu ↑
“How is your treatment going?”
Treatment for depression can anywhere go on for weeks to months to years. Recovering from depression is directly related to how good treatment are you getting and how well you are responding to it. Ask your loved one about their treatment. Ask what the doctor says, how is the therapy or counseling going, and how effective is the treatment. Ask them if they have any concerns and queries. The question of whether the treatment is able to help them or not.back to menu ↑
“I understand” (If you really do)”
If you have been through the same condition before, your experience can be of immense help to your friend. Generally, people say they understand, but they never do. It's a popular saying that only the one who has gone through depression, can understand what does it feel like. If you understand depression, help your friend coming out of it. Tell him or her, that (s)he will be okay. And that you're there to understand, always!back to menu ↑
“How do you feel today?”
Randomly asking how the person is feeling today is a good idea. Firstly, your friend is not expecting this question, so it will surely surprise her. Secondly, you'll be able to understand through their answer that how their days look like. Asking about their feelings will eventually allow you to explore what is going on their mind and how far away they are from recovery.back to menu ↑
“I like (things) about you!”
Praising your friends' strengths and talents will make him or her feel optimistic. Don't just say good words for the sake of it. Most probably, your friend will catch it that you want to make them feel good. Tell your friend that you like her hopefulness and strong faith with which she is getting through the rough times.back to menu ↑
“You're not weak”
Depression brings with itself a sense of losing out and being weak. It makes you feel as if you are out of the race. Assure your friend that he or she is not weak but ill. That they're dealing with an illness which makes them feel bad about themselves. It does not mean that they are not strong. And dealing with depression requires bravery.back to menu ↑
“You're not alone”
Vow to your friend that he or she is not alone. Never. You, other friends, family, and the doctors are all standing together with them. Tell your friend that whenever he or she thinks they are alone, think about all the people who have been supportive till now. And if no one else, you're always there for them!back to menu ↑
Easily said. But difficult to affirm. Tell your friend to remain hopeful. He or she has already gone through a lot and have traveled far enough. They should remain hopeful that soon, the sky will be blue again. “Remember, Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good things ever die.”- Stephen Kingback to menu ↑
“This too shall pass”
Depression consumes the person as if it's a black hole. There's darkness and only you.
Reassure your friend that This Too Shall Pass. That good times are just near, that their illness is about to be cured, that they will breathe positivity again, and dance on the songs of hope.back to menu ↑
Treatment for depression will take its own time to help your loved one out. Until then, it is imperative that you stay close to your friend, hand them a helping hand, reassure that everything will eventually work out, and make sure you never break their spirit by saying them the wrong things or words.