How to Talk to Someone with Depression

is something that has always been around and most people will experience it at
some point in their lives, often without even realising it. If you are lucky
enough to have never experienced it then it’s can be difficult to understand
how it feels.

more than just having a bad day, or going through a ‘rough patch’, depression
is very serious and can have far-reaching consequences if left unchecked.
Depression is a common mood disorder that can affect everything from social
interactions and family life to the workplace.

are ways of speaking to those suffering from depression that avoid belittling
them or making them feel worse, as there is still an unacceptable stigma
associated with the disorder. Equally, there are ways of speaking that should
be avoided. In their guide
to depression
Psychology Tools explain that some of the most unhelpful things to say are
things like “come on, it’s not that bad” or telling someone they need to “get
over it”.
As well as being disrespectful, this approach can only serve to
reinforce the negative thoughts they are already having about themselves and
their situation. This is why understanding is important when speaking to
somebody suffering from depression.

How Should We Talk To Someone With Depression?

is important to let the person know that you are there
for them
and want to help them. It’s tempting to want to try and console them but this should
be avoided, despite your positive intentions this is actually dismissive of how
they feel and can make them feel worse.

Equally important is to let them know how unique they are and how special they are to you. This kind of thing is much more meaningful and beneficial than saying something like “this happens to everybody at some point”. Again, this is dismissive and unhelpful.

powerful as positive words can be, sometimes a hug can be just as important.
Depending on your relationship with them, simply grabbing them may not be
entirely appropriate, but there’s certainly no harm in asking. Offering a hug
is another way to show you understand how they are feeling and care about them,
which can help reduce their feelings of negativity or low self-worth.

can also be beneficial to remind them that depression is a mood and may pass.
It might be difficult or even impossible for them to remember a time when they
didn’t feel depressed, so reminding them that it will pass, even if it means
with help, can give them a much-needed boost.

suggestions are welcome also. Offering to go on a walk or helping them make a
list of the things they want to achieve that day. These small suggestions can
help a person feel as though they’re not alone and reminds them that they don’t
have to face depression by themselves.
Whichever approach you take, remember that empathy is welcome, pity is
not. Depression can be life-altering and should always be treated with care and
understanding, try to imagine what it must feel like to have your feelings
dismissed and try to avoid doing the same.

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