It can be incredible to recognize how many people love to help others. This reality is reaffirming and comforting. However, it does not mean we always get it right when it comes to help and support. In many cases, it is far more complex than a donation or an encouraging word. Take, for example, depression.
Helping someone who is struggling with this common mental health disorder involves general awareness and self-awareness. Therefore, in the name of nurturing our inherent desire to help, let’s explore this dynamic. What do you say and not say to someone who is struggling with depression?
4 Things to Say to Someone Struggling With Depression
1. “I care, and I’m here for you.”
This is the most basic way to begin. You’re letting them know they matter. They are not alone. You are reminding them that they are not being judged. Someone with depression can feel like no one understands. Your task is to help them feel less isolated.
2. “How can I help you?”
When seeking to support anyone, it’s almost always best to ask for guidance. Find out what is needed and when. The goal is to match their needs. It’s not about making yourself feel good, though you might. Be clear about what you can provide in terms of time frame, your skills and resources, and how much you understand about depression.
3. “Do you want to talk to me about it? I’d be happy to listen.”
Quite often, the greatest gift you can offer is a compassionate, non-judgmental ear. Someone struggling with depression can have so much built up inside them. They don’t need you to “fix” anything, but they crave your attention, patience, and presence.
4. “Depression can affect anyone.”
It’s not their fault and you are not assigning blame. You understand that they feel what they feel and it’s not your place to judge it. It’s an illness like any other and they need time and treatment to heal. Being depressed is not a sign of weakness. On the contrary, it requires great strength to fight this disorder. Remind them of this.
A Few Things Not to Say to Someone Struggling With Depression
“I know exactly what you’re feeling”
Or it could be: “I get it” or “It’ll pass” or “We all get down at times” or any number of variations on this theme. Keep in mind that no person can ever know what another is exactly feeling. Also, while we all feel blue at times, depression is a diagnosable condition. Telling a person with depression to “hang in there” sounds dismissive.
“But you have so much going for you!”
People don’t need a specific reason to feel depressed. Reading off a litany of their blessings and strong points will probably just make them feel worse.
“Try to be more positive.”
Depression is not a choice. You can’t chase it away with happy thoughts. Those struggling with depression will be left feeling guilty or ashamed if it is implied that they’re “too negative.”
Remind Them That There is Hope after Depression
- Reminds them to ask for the help they need
- Reminds them that depression can be effectively treated
It can be difficult to access the need for help. Make it clear that you can help in this process. Help them find a qualified therapist. Encourage them to embrace the treatment. Be available to all about their sessions and their progress. If you need help in offering help, let’s connect and talk soon.
Begin Working With a Depression Counselor in Columbus, OH
Finding the right way to support someone going through depression can be much easier said than done. Our team of caring therapists would be happy to offer help for them and remind them of the hope that can be found after depression. To start your therapy journey with Blue Boat Counseling, please follow these steps:
- Contact Blue Boat Counseling.
- Get connected with a caring therapist.
- Start addressing the depression symptoms that affect you most
Other Services Offered With Blue Boat Counseling
Our team understands there are a variety of mental health concerns individuals may face. This is why we are happy to offer support with a variety of mental health services in addition to depression therapy. Other mental health services offered include anxiety therapy, couples therapy, teen and family therapy, and veteran therapy. We also offer online therapy in addition to in-person services as well. Learn more by visiting our blog today.