1. Be there for them
Often depression doesn’t make sense. People struggling with depression may voice self-depreciating thoughts when you may think their life seems pretty perfect. But now would not be the time to say that. Sit with them while they cry, hold their hand, tell them how much they mean to you, ask how you can help them.
· It’s all in your head.
· We all go through times like this.
· Look on the bright side.
· You have so much to live for.
· Just snap out of it.
· What’s wrong with you?
· You are not alone in this. I am here for you.
· You may not believe this now, but the way you are feeling will change.
· I may not be able to understand exactly how you feel, but I care about you and want to help.
· When you want to give up, tell yourself you will hold on for just one more day, hour, minute – whatever you can manage.
· You are important to me.
· Tell me what I can do now to help you.
2. Don’t Judge or Criticize
Telling someone with depression how they need to think or feel will only alienate them. What you say can have a huge impact on your loved one. Don’t assume they can just snap out of it. If this were the case,
3. Learn as much as you can about depression.
The more you understand depression’s symptoms, the better you can support your loved one.
4. Be Patient.
When you are patient with a loved one struggling with depression, you are communicating that it doesn’t matter how long it takes or how involved the treatments will be, because you will be there with them.
5. Don’t minimize their pain.
Comments such as “Why do you let every little thing bother you?” shame a person with depression. It invalidates what they may be experiencing and glosses over the fact that they are struggling.
Sometimes it feels like supporting someone with depression is a little bit like walking a tight rope. It’s hard to know the right thing to say, or not to say. But just remember that simply being there for them and asking how you can help can be an incredible gift.