If you’ve never actually been depressed yourself, it can be hard to know the right thing to say to someone else who’s going through it. But that doesn’t mean you can’t help.
Sometimes when I go through periods of depression everything just feels so hard. It can be a struggle to do little things, like going to the grocery store to buy a carton of milk. Every little thing can feel so overwhelming and huge. Sometimes when my depression gets really bad, all I want to do is sleep. This can go on for days. Fortunately though, or maybe unfortunately- when I get like this I know it’s going to get better, because I’ve been through it before.
Hope Shines Brightest In The Darkness
It’s not always easy, but I can usually see the light at the end of the tunnel. Sometimes it feels so far away and sometimes it does take time to get there. I’m not sure how much easier that really makes it, but it does give me a small amount of hope. And when my depression gets really bad, any tiny little bit of hope is enough to get me through to the next day.
I was going through a dark period like this last week. I’m not sure what exactly it was that helped me climb out of it, but I did. Maybe it was buying myself a really expensive pillow, or maybe it was going for a run on a beautiful day by the river. It could have been the friend I reached out to who said what I really needed to hear. Maybe it was the fact that I was able to get an appointment to see a psychiatrist so that I can hopefully get on the right medication. I’m sure it was actually a combination of all these things, but after I reached out to that one friend it felt like a turning point for me.
She was the cheerleader that I needed to get me out of my funk.
I’ve noticed how hard these episodes of depression can be on my family. And I can see how helpless they feel when they don’t know what else to do to help and they don’t feel like they know the right words to say. I’m sure other people feel the same, so I wanted to share some things that people have said that helped me. So that you can be the cheerleader that your loved one needs the next time they’re struggling.
8 THINGS TO SAY TO HELP WHEN SOMEONE IS DEPRESSED
1. It’s going to be ok.
2. I may not understand, but I’m here for you.
3. You are not alone.
Depression can feel SO isolating, but knowing that you don’t have to go through it alone can make a huge difference.
4. You matter to me.
5. Let’s go for a walk.
Get them out of the house. Being stuck inside is not good for someone who is depressed.
6. You are strong enough to get through this.
7. Even though you’re going through this, you are still a good mom.
Mom guilt is bad enough on a regular day, but when you’re depressed you feel like you’re not good enough. You get into a spiral of negative thinking and then of course you feel like a horrible mom. Check out my previous post here for some tips on getting through mom guilt.
8. It’s ok to not be ok.
These are some of the things you can say to help someone who is depressed. But in the end, showing that you care is what matters most.
If someone you know is struggling with depression, help them get the help they need. They don’t have to suffer! Psychology Today is a great resource for finding therapists in your area or they can always talk to their primary care doctor.
Maybe there’s someone you know who you think might be depressed, but you’re not really sure. Here are a few signs and symptoms of depression that might help you decide whether or not you should talk to them about it.
COMMON SIGNS & SYMPTOMS OF DEPRESSION
- They stop wanting to hang out as much as usual.
- Avoiding your calls or texts.
- Frequently canceling plans.
- Their mind seems to be somewhere else.
- Constantly focusing on the negative.
- Having a hard time getting things done at work, school, or around the house.
- Has lost interest in doing things they normally do.
- Doesn’t want to get out of bed and/or thinks about going back to bed when they wake up in the morning.
- Headaches and muscle pain or other physical symptoms without a medical reason.
- Sudden weight loss or gain.
Here’s an anxiety and depression checklist that might help you decide if you should be concerned. The National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI) also has great resources including free online support groups.
If you’ve ever struggled with depression, what’s something that someone said that helped you?