8 positive things to tell a person struggling with depression
Making conversations with people struggling with depression is important, but one must say the right things. Here are 8 positive things you can tell them that will make them feel better.
Depression can change your mind in many ways. It can make you wrongly believe in several things that are far from reality. A depressed mind is constantly in a pessimistic mode and churns out repetitive negative thoughts making you question your existence, sapping your energy to do daily chores, and depriving you of experiencing joy out of the ordinary but beautiful things of life. Suicidal or self-harming thoughts are rampant in depression considering the person doesn't see a positive future for himself or herself and is stuck in a phase where all things appear dark, humiliating and uncertain. (Also read: Mental health tips: How to avoid emotional highs and lows in post pandemic world)
Depression may be episodic but takes a huge toll on your mind and body. Seeing your family member or friends struggle with this difficult disease makes you wonder about positive changes that you could bring to their life. It is not easy to support a person with depression considering inconsiderate or carelessly crafted words could backfire and make the person even more miserable. If you are not able to convince the person suffering from depression that this phase is temporary and brighter days are waiting for them, here are some of the things that you can tell them which would give them hope.
"The most helpful action that someone can offer to another person who is struggling with depression is their presence and support. While they may experience worries, confusion and more as they feel the need to say the ‘right words’, it’s important to be aware that most people struggling with depression are not looking for any advice, instead they are seeking out to be heard, seen and understood," says Kasturi Chetia, Clinical Psychologist (Private Practitioner in Bengaluru, India).
Here are some words of support suggested by Chetia that you could use in your conversations with a person struggling with depression.
1. I know you might be scared to share what you are going through right now, but I want you to know that I’m here for you whenever you are ready.
2. I won’t always know the right thing to say but I’m here for you, always trying to understand your experience better.
3. I was wondering if we could focus on getting through today instead of figuring out how the next week or the month might look, how does one day at a time sound to you?
4. Could I sit with you for a bit if it’s okay? There’s no pressure or expectation of any conversation if you don’t want it.
5. I wish you could see yourself the way I see you, and not the way depression does.
6. I admire your strength for standing up to Depression the way you do.
7. You don’t have to sort it all out now. Rest, take a break till you feel like you can try again
8. I know it can feel like this storm will never go away but this storm is temporary, we need to take some shelter till it goes away.