5 Easy Ways to Talk to Someone Who is Depressed
Depressing affects so many people – chances are, you may know someone with depression or you may experience it yourself. Depression exists on a spectrum – many people experience some pretty low days, but others also experience a debilitating type of chronic depression that pervades their every day life. Regardless of how severe, depression is something that is extremely difficult to deal with. It makes you feel like you’re all alone and that the bad feelings – which could be in the form of sadness, irritability, or numbness – will never go away.
It can be difficult to reach out and help someone who is experiencing depression. If a loved one, friend, or family member is depressed, you may not know what to say. You may not know how to approach the situation with empathy and understanding. Talking to someone who is depressed may be a huge benefit, but there are ways to make sure things stay on the positive. Take a look at Psych Central’s top five things to say to someone who is depressed that just might make them feel better.
- You’re right. This sucks.
We often think we need to solve problems and offer advice to those in need. But when someone is depressed, they don’t want a problem solver or some grand gesture of advice. They have run through every possible problem solving scenario in their head and it simply doesn’t work for them. Chances are, they have tried your advice and got nowhere with it. So no, they don’t want to hear it.
What they are looking for instead is someone who will listen and just say, “yes, you are right – this sucks.” They aren’t looking for a miracle or words of wisdom. They are looking for mere acknowledgement that depression sucks, as well as some empathy and comfort. Sometimes forcing solutions and ideas can be off-putting to someone who is depressed – chances are, they just want to vent and have your understanding and compassion.
- You don’t walk this path alone. I am here if and when you need me.
One of the hallmark feelings of depression is feeling alone and isolated. It seems as if no one around you knows what you are going through and that you are just going through the motions of daily life. This overwhelming sense of loneliness can be one of the worse symptoms of depression. So it is your job to remind them that they are not in this alone and that you are there, no matter what.
You may need to remind this friend or loved one that you are there for them and that they are not alone. You may also need to reiterate that there are tons of people in the world who are about them, love them, and are there for them.
- I believe in you, and you are so awesome!
It may sound cheesy, but this statement can go a long way for someone who is depressed. Sometimes, when someone is depressed, they have given up hope that they will ever be anything in life. You need to remind them that they are already something in life – and that something is pretty awesome! When they have no belief in themselves, you have to be there to restore that belief. You have to show them that you believe in them, even when they don’t. Reaffirming them and making it known how awesome they are can do wonders for a self esteem that is damaged in a depressed individual.
- How can I help you? What can I do for you?
Depression strips away motivation to get things done. If you offer your support and assistance, you can help your loved one with simple tasks that they just don’t have the motivation to complete. Even something as simple as picking up a prescription for them, getting a few groceries, or getting their mail can go a long way. Remember, only offer this help if you are willing to do what they ask – you don’t want to offer and then back out if they really need your assistance.
- I’m here if you want to talk – or do anything.
Telling someone you are here if they want to talk is always a good thing, but sometimes people don’t want to sit and talk any more. Take note of the things your friend loves to do and offer to do them with him or her. Or suggest going on walks, bike rides, or taking small trips to get their minds off of things. Maybe they just need a little nudge and help to get them to do something that might make them feel better. You can be the person that provides that nudge and help; you can make that person enjoy simple things like getting a bite to eat, going shopping, or going on a nice evening stroll around the neighborhood after dinner.