If you have someone in your life who seems sad, you might wonder what to tell someone who is depressed or even what to say to someone with depression so that you don’t say the wrong thing.
Communication with someone exhibiting signs of depression can be difficult. You don’t want to say something that makes them feel worse, and you don’t want to ignore it, but you might want to encourage them to get help.
Thankfully, you can learn what to say to someone with depression and help reach out to those who might need it.
What is Depression?
Depression is a severe mental health disorder. Clinical depression can manifest in many forms, so what one person experiences might differ from another.
Depression can be acute or chronic. Acute depression is perfectly normal, something you experience when you lose a loved one, move to a new location, or are under financial strain. But chronic depression, clinical depression, is something that remains for weeks or months at a time and causes noticeable problems in daily activities.
What Are the Signs of Depression?
The signs vary from person to person but often include the following:
- Feeling hopeless, empty, or worthless
- Having angry outbursts, even over small things
- Losing interest in activities that were once considered normal or fun
- Sleeping too much or too little
- Eating too much or too little
- Slowed thinking, reflexes, or speaking
- Problems concentrating or recalling information
- Unexplained physical pain
What to Say to Someone With Depression?
Sometimes the best things to say are the simplest.
What to tell someone who is depressed can start with “I care.” Someone who is depressed might be overwhelmed with feelings of hopelessness or worthlessness, and that feeling can make it seem (no matter how untrue it is) like no one cares. A simple reminder that you care might be all that they need to hear.
Bear in mind this exclamation doesn’t have to come with an overly emotional show of physical intimacy. In fact, many people struggling with depression might not be comfortable with forced (and length) hugs.
If you are unsure how to share this statement, it might be easier to do so online or in a text. If you have a friend or family member struggling with depression, they might not be ready to talk and isolate themselves from others. In these cases, you can send a handwritten letter, an email, or a text to let them know that someone out there cares for them, even if they don’t believe it.
“I’m With You”
Depression makes it seem like no one cares about you and no one understands you or your feelings. This leads to feelings of profound isolation. Research indicates that when people are depressed, they withdraw, so they don’t reach out, don’t talk to friends, or check in.
If you have someone close to you who is exhibiting these symptoms, you can still offer continued support by checking in on that person, emailing them, calling them, or even texting.
Again, they might not be ready to talk, but reminding them regularly that you are there with them throughout their feelings and that you won’t give up on them as a loved one just because they are struggling with depression can be incredibly reassuring.
It’s essential to be honest. When figuring out what to say to someone with depression, many people might say something to the effect of “I understand,” but this can backfire if you’ve never had depression yourself and you’re speaking to someone who has clinical depression. Even if you have experienced clinical depression, what you experienced could have been vastly different from what a friend is experiencing.
To avoid trivializing their experience, try to avoid comparing it. This might seem like you sympathize with them, but it can come off as though you are competing. Instead, don’t judge or try to come up with solutions. Just remind your loved ones that it’s perfectly okay for them to feel how they feel and that you are still there with them no matter what.
How to Get Help For Someone With Depression?
If you have someone close to you exhibiting signs of depression, they might not be aware of it or be ashamed about it. But it’s very likely to get worse without help from a professional depression treatment center.
There are things you can do to help.
- Talk to them about what you’ve noticed.
- Explain that depression has no bearing on them as a person and is a medical condition that can improve with treatment.
- Provide suggestions for psychologists, local depression treatment centers, or healthcare providers.
- Show your willingness to do with them as they set up appointments, talk to different treatment centers, and even attend family therapy.
Satori Health is a Depression Treatment Center
Satori Health is a qualified mental health treatment center in the San Fernando Valley. You can find customized depression treatment for your loved ones at our facility. You can participate in group therapy with loved ones to show your support. You can even learn more about what to say to someone with depression. Let Satori Health help your loved ones get depression treatment today. Contact our outpatient mental health treatment center in Los Angeles today.