Do you have a hard time finding what to say to someone depressed? Don’t worry; we are here to help.
Knowing how to talk to someone who is depressed can be extremely helpful to them. So, don’t feel afraid that you might say the wrong words to them.
If you’re at a loss for words, just be honest with them and tell them you are always here for them.
It may be difficult for them to believe when you say that, but it can make them feel supported, especially when they feel down.
In this article, we will dive into why we need to help someone who is depressed. You’ll also find out about the things that you can and can not say to someone with depression.
We have also included a few motivational quotes for you as a bonus.
Why Is It Important To Help Someone Who Is Depressed and Grieving
Depression is one of the world’s most widespread mental illnesses.
Most people who suffer from severe depression tend to feel lonely, worsening their illness. It is a severe medical condition that affects millions of people of all ages and backgrounds.
Depression impairs a person’s daily functioning. It can also cause a lot of misery and agony for the sufferer.
Depression affects the person suffering from it and others around them.
A person with depression can experience a range of unpleasant emotions, such as feelings of powerlessness, frustration, dread, guilt, or sadness.
Don’t feel bad about experiencing all these emotions. All these emotions are natural and what ordinary folks will feel.
It’s challenging to cope with a close friend or family member who is depressed. And it can get overwhelming if you don’t take care of your mental well-being.
A bereaved individual requires a great deal of emotional support throughout the grieving process.
Seeking help and emotional support can help the bereaved individual recover and accept the loss.
Family members, close friends, the local community, and mental health experts (psychiatrists or counselors) can support and comfort grieving individuals during this difficult time.
Every bereaved individual has to go through the grief process. And they should be given the space and time to do it at their own pace.
The mourning process might continue for a prolonged period for some, especially if the person was close to the deceased.
Individuals who go through a long grieving process can sometimes result in them experiencing complicated grief.
7 benefits to helping a person who’s depressed & griefing
Here are several benefits for helping someone who is experiencing grief or depression:
- It is crucial in their recovery journey to reach the end of this dark tunnel
- It helps them cope with depressive symptoms that they are experiencing, such as feeling sad or hopeless, feeling guilty, anxiety disorder, etc.
- It allows them to identify and become aware of their negative thoughts. More importantly, your presence and support are a way to help them cope with their negative thoughts
- It helps them gradually regain their energy to move on with their daily routines
- It helps them become more optimistic and start gaining interest and enjoyment in things they once enjoyed
- It helps them identify and deal with trauma
- It helps them experience and expresses emotions
10 Things to Say to Someone with Depression
Tell Them You Care
Do not underestimate the positive impact a simple sentence, “I care about you,” can mean on a person. This simple sentence can mean a great deal to individuals who feel alone and depressed.
You can even communicate this message through a hug or a giving their hand a tight squeeze. A quick tip is to let the person know that they mean a lot to you and you care about them.
It’s normal to feel uneasy and hesitant at first. Remember that your words do not have to be deep or insightful. It should come from the bottom of your heart, filled with love and understanding.
Remind Them You’re There for Them
Depressed individuals tend to move away from their surroundings. So taking the initiative to reach out to your friends or family in need is a great move.
It’s okay if they are not prepared to talk to you yet. You can continue to spend or check in on them from time to time, be it face-to-face or virtually.
Your friends or family members will feel reassured when they know there is someone there for them at every step of their journey.
You may not know what this looks like or feel initially. A simple reminder or letting your loved ones know that they can count on you will mean the whole world to them.
Ask How You Can Help
Depression puts a lot of mental and physical pressure on individuals suffering from it. Many bereaved individuals find it tough to seek assistance from others.
They may feel ashamed for getting a lot of care and attention because of what happened to them. They could also be afraid of becoming a burden to others or are just too depressed to seek help.
Be clear upfront with them that you are willing to help and if you’re in the same situation, they will do the same for you. It’s good to be precise and clear about the time and the activity when you offer help.
Keep in mind that the help you feel your loved ones need may not be what they actually need. So, remember to pay close attention to their needs and suggest how you might help them.
Urge Them to Talk With a Doctor
Depression interventions are a crucial component for someone to recover from depression and symptoms of depression.
However, people are embarrassed by their condition or skeptical that therapy would help.
If your loved ones have not seen a doctor, urge them to do so. Tell them that there is nothing wrong with seeking help.
You can offer to assist your loved ones in booking a visit to a doctor or mental health professional and accompanying them to the appointment.
If they don’t feel comfortable meeting a mental health provider about your mental health conditions, you can suggest that they go for a regular check-up with a doctor first.
A regular check-up with a doctor can be a good alternative because they can rule out any possible medical causes of depression.
If the doctor suspects signs of depression, they will recommend your loved one to a mental health professional.
Ask Them If They Want to Talk
Sometimes listening attentively while your depressed loved ones share their painful feelings can help them release their pent-up feelings or anxieties.
Make an effort to listen attentively to them without interfering.
We all want to help our loved ones solve the problems they are facing. And we will usually propose a quick solution to make ourselves feel better.
But, depressed individuals may merely need you to listen and not be interrupted by your suggestions on how to solve the issue.
When talking with your loved one, learn to accept any bad feelings they express without judgment.
Even if you can’t fully understand how they feel, you should not advise them how they should or shouldn’t feel.
Remind Them That They Matter
Depressed individuals tend to believe that their lives are meaningless. They think that no one would miss them if they disappeared.
Try to express to your loved ones how much they mean to you and others.
When they feel the sincerity in your words, they will realize that they are important and have value in the world.
When someone is battling with self-doubt, loneliness, and sadness, letting them know they are important to you will make a big difference to them.
Tell Them You Understand, Only If You Do
Before you say “I understand how you are feeling” to someone, make sure you really do.
Have you ever been diagnosed with depression or experienced losing someone close to you?
If yes, it may be comforting to know that you experienced what they are going through now and that things will improve.
Remember that even if you have experienced depression before, it can be different from what others are experiencing.
Be careful not to make them feel like you dismiss their feelings by comparing them to yours.
In such a situation, it’s better to confess that you don’t know what they’re going through. Let them know that you care about them and want to help.
You may use words like “I don’t understand what you are going through, but I really want to.”
Remind Them It’s OK to Feel The Way They Feel
Even if your loved ones’ troubles appear insignificant or trivial to you, avoid the inclination to pass judgment or provide superficial responses.
Instead, express your empathy and let them know you feel sorry for experiencing such distress. Be tolerant and accept how depression is affecting your loved ones negatively.
It might take some time for your loved ones to get better if they begin taking medications or receiving therapy sessions.
Assure Them They’re Not Weak or Defective
Those suffering from depression may feel worthless and vulnerable. They may feel as if there is a problem within themselves.
While depression is a treatable medical condition, individuals suffering from it may think it is their flaw personality weakness.
In this situation, you can let your loved ones know that depression is caused by a biochemical imbalance in the brain.
Assure them that depression is treatable and does not imply that they are inadequate or flawed.
In reality, overcoming major depression requires a lot of effort and resilience. That means they are actually a lot stronger than they think.
Emphasize That There’s Hope
Although your loved ones are experiencing feelings of depression, you can comfort them. Tell them that there is hope and look at the bright side.
Depression, like any other medical condition, is curable. With the combination of medications, therapy, and support from loved ones, they will feel better and normal again in no time.
Quotes That Helps With Depression & When Feeling Unmotivated
- “You say you’re ‘depressed’ – all I see is resilience. You are allowed to feel messed up and inside out. It doesn’t mean you’re defective – it just means you’re human.” — David Mitchell
- “Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” — Confucius
- I’ve learned that everything happens for a reason, every event has a why and all adversity teaches us a lesson. Never regret your past. Accept it as the teacher that it is.” — Robin Sharma
- “When you forgive, you in no way change the past – but you sure do change the future.” — Bernard Meltzer
- “In times of great stress or adversity, it’s always best to keep busy, to plow your anger and your energy into something positive.” — Lee Iacocca
- “Never let your head hang down. Never give up and sit down and grieve. Find another way.” — Leroy Satchel Paige
- “We are not to blame for our illness, but we are responsible for our health.” — Victoria Maxwell
Bonus: What Not To Say To Someone Who Is Depressed
Don’t Try to Fix Them
Your bereaved friend or family member doesn’t need you to solve their problem for them. They simply need your presence and emotional support.
Attempting to resolve the situation by doing or saying something will only worsen the matter.
Remember that nothing can heal grief or clinical depression except time, acceptance, and love.
If they realize that you are trying to alter their feelings, they may see themselves as burdens. As a result, they will be hesitant to share their feelings and distance themselves from you.
Don’t Diminish Their Feelings
Acknowledging what they are currently going through is the easiest yet most impactful way to express your support.
We may sometimes inadvertently trivialize a loved one’s pain by saying words like, “You will get better soon,” or “Everything is fine.”
Ask them how they feel and listen to their sharing in times like this. Hoping to alleviate their misery by diminishing it will only make them feel more depressed.
Don’t Draw Comparisons to Your Experience Unless Appropriate
You may compare what your loved ones are experiencing with your previous experience to offer comfort and encouragement.
However, such a comparison may not be necessary and may make them feel frustrated.
Only share your past experiences with your loved ones if they are very similar or relevant to what your loved ones are experiencing.
Making unsuitable comparisons with what your loved ones are going through can make them feel more distressed.
Don’t Comment on Their Appearance
Remind yourself not to comment on a depressed person’s physical appearance. Avoid telling your bereaved loved ones that they appear tired or sad.
Sometimes, compliments like “You are looking great.” might make them feel judged.
Commenting on someone’s appearance is acceptable in normal circumstances, but not when your loved ones are depressed.
Even words said with good intentions can be hurtful.
You should avoid saying empty words like “You will get better soon” to a depressed person.
While you may say such things with good intentions, your depressed loved ones may feel like you are trying to appease and downplay their feelings.
Frequently Asked Questions About Depression
What do you say to someone who is sad?
Tell your loved ones that you care about them and ask how you can help.
Remind them that you will always be there for them.
Tell your loved ones you understand what they are sharing, only if you really do. If you don’t, just confess that you don’t know what they’re going through.
Instead, let them know you care about them and want to help.
Remind your loved ones that it’s okay to feel what they feel. Be patient and accept their feelings.
What is the best response to someone who is experiencing depression?
Urge them to talk with a doctor. Tell them that there is nothing wrong with seeking help.
If they don’t feel comfortable meeting a mental health practitioner, you can suggest that they go for a regular check-up with a doctor first.
Tell your loved ones how much they mean to you and others. Letting them know they are important to you can make a big difference in their day life.
How do you encourage someone who is sad?
Assure them that they are not weak for feeling sad or depressed. Let them know that there are many ways that they can take to make themselves feel better.
You can make them realize that they are stronger than they imagine.
Comfort them, tell them that there is hope, and always look at the bright side.
By seeking expert help and support from loved ones, they will slowly begin to feel better.
What can I say to support someone?
You can tell the person how much you care about them and how much they mean to you. Let them know you’re always there for them whenever they need you.
Simply being present by their side is a way you offer support.