10 helpful things to say to someone with depression

what to say to someone with depression make them feel better

I recently posted about my Self-care tips for when you’re depressed and whilst writing it I realised that it’s always with the help of my other half that I feel better. I’m not saying that you need a partner to feel good – not at all – but over the years he has managed to figure out through trial and error how to handle me when I’m at my lowest. There are no magic words that will make someone feel better when they are depressed, but it can be terrifying and somewhat lonely for friends and families to talk to people suffering – so much so that they might avoid talking to them altogether. Avoiding the subject is the worst tactic in my opinion. It breeds guilt within the sufferer and makes them feel like an outsider, like they are making things difficult and can end up pushing them further away.

This is by no means a completed list of what to say – it’s just a few things that have worked for me. When I feel helpless and upset for no reason it’s important that I feel comforted, even when I can’t explain what exactly the problem is. I hope that if you know someone who deals with depression that you take the time to ask them if they are OK, and tell them that you’re there for them. Even these few simple words can make them feel less alone.

Have you comforted someone with depression? I’d love to read your comments below.

9 thoughts on “10 helpful things to say to someone with depression

  1. That was a really great list. I think that when people so obviously give the impression that they don’t understand how you’re feeling, it just makes you feel even more helpless and down. A simple ‘It’s not your fault’ offers understanding and really can do the world of good. I’ll share this list! X

  2. Thank you for posting this – I can fully appreciate how avoiding conversation about mental health can be so damaging to relationships, but haven’t seen it spoken about before. I’ve been figuring out what helps me over the last few months, and have found that pure honesty is what gets me through. Even though I may struggle to complete daily tasks or feel overly anxious, friends telling me how it is yet sticking by me has made me see how much they care about what is best for me. ‘You are not your mental illness’ and ‘Your mental illness does not define you’ have been powerful sentiments for me 🙂

    1. I’m glad you’re getting the support you need. There are some people I know who just avoid talking about it altogether because they just don’t know what to say, I imagine they are just scared of saying the wrong thing which is totally understandable. It’s really difficult for everyone involved 😩

  3. Thank you. It’s hard particularly when the person you love is struggling, and you just don’t know how to help them, reach them and feel ill equipped yourself to know how. My sister, my husband and now my teenage nephew have had depression and it’s heartbreaking to see their struggles. You feel helpless and that you are not helping enough or saying/doing the right things. Thank you 💖 X

    1. Hi Sue, I’m so sorry to hear that so many people close to you have been affected by depression. Unfortunately that’s all to common these days. I think the most important thing you can do is just be there for them. They’re not expecting you to have all the answers, but being available even just to sit in silence when they are feeling low can be a great comfort. Thanks for reading and sending you all the best x

      1. Thank you Fiona, that really helps. I love everything about your blog and keep dipping in and out of it. You are very kind and generous to help
        others by writing about your experiences. Wishing you much happiness. Thank you again 💖 x

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