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How To Comfort Someone With Depression

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Text Messages To Send To Someone With Depression


Depression is hard to deal with, and anyone who is going through it needs a supportive friend. Data from the National Institute of Mental Health shows that approximately 17.3 million people in the United States have depression. This high number means that it is highly likely that someone close to you is one of the unlucky ones.

Those who arent depressed may not be able to relate to those who are, but they can still be supportive. Frequently, those with this mental illness need to know they arent alone.

Even when it seems like they dont want to talk, an encouraging word from a supportive friend can change everything. You cant always be there physically, but you can let them know you are thinking of them. These text message ideas will help you send something meaningful and encouraging.

What Is Depression What Are The Signs And Symptoms

Major depression is a mood disorder that causes someone to feel persistently sad for a long time , and of the many symptoms, the most common signs youll recognize in friends are their being less social or less interested in things they usually like to do. A depressed friend might decline your invitations to meet up, cancel plans again and again, or ignore calls or texts. In person, that friend might snap at you, drink excessively, get upset about the smallest things, or seem more anxious, irritable, flat, and just really negative and down.

Friends can sometimes take that personally and feel very impatient and frustrated, like, I dont want to hang out with this person so much anymore, says Dr. Laura Rosen, a clinical psychologist and the author of When Someone You Love Is Depressed. Thats something people need to notice. If you feel different when youre with them, depression might be going on.

Offer To Help With Everyday Tasks

With depression, day-to-day tasks can feel overwhelming. Things like laundry, grocery shopping, or paying bills can begin to pile up, making it hard to know where to start.

Your friend may appreciate an offer of help, but they also might not be able to clearly say what they need help with.

So, instead of saying Let me know if theres anything I can do, consider saying, What do you most need help with today?

If you notice their refrigerator is empty, say Can I take you grocery shopping, or pick up what you need if you write me a list? or Lets go get some groceries and cook dinner together.

If your friend is behind on dishes, laundry, or other household chores, offer to come over, put some music on, and tackle a specific task together. Simply having company can make the work seem less daunting.

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Two Easy Ways To Stay In A Depressed Persons Life

  • Text them regularly to remind them that you love them and that you are around if they need anything.
  • Send a handwritten note or card to your friend. Nobody sends mail anymore, take the time to send them some physical evidence that they are loved and that youre there.
  • My depressions lies arent always believable when my phone gets packed with texts from people praying for me and telling me they love me, or when I walk past the stack of cards from those who thought enough of me to send a note.

    I Want To Be Here For You I Wont Leave You Behind

    Helping Someone Who

    I cant say this enough, do NOT again do NOT, tell someone with depression that you will be there for them if you wont commit to it.

    I still see the faces of every person who said they would be there for me and bailed. My depression reminds me of them almost daily. Every therapist who let me down, every doctor who didnt believe me, every friend who said they were going to be there for me and then walked away.

    I get it; life happens, and you have yours to deal with in addition to me and my depression. But you dont understand, when you stand up and say that youll be there, and you arent, thats more evidence my depression uses to prove that Im not worthy of love or care or even my next breath. My depression slams your photo down on my desk saying, This person thinks youre crap, this one too.

    If you dont believe that you can be there for me in the hurricane, thats fine. But then dont offer to be there. Because when its time to board up the windows and brace for the storm thats coming, Ill be counting on you and its going to hurt me more when you let me down.

    But, if you want to be the go-to for your loved one, if you want to be the rock they cling to so that they survive this period in their life, then you must let them know that youre there for them, and you must remind them on a regular basis. Assume they didnt hear you the first time and tell them again that youre there and that you want to be involved in their fight.

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    Take As Long As You Need

    For someone in a deep depression or even just an extremely low mood, seemingly easy tasks can feel overwhelming. Everyday things, such as;taking a shower or cooking might seem too much to deal with, especially early in the day. Many people with depression feel their mood lifts towards the end of the day, so allowing them extra time to do these tasks is a good plan.

    Youre Not Alone I May Not Understand Exactly How You Feel But Youre Not Alone

    Depression is incredibly common. Its estimated that from 2013 to 2016, of U.S. adults experienced depression at least once.

    This is from the data we have. Many people dont seek help.

    Depression can make many people feel alone and like they should isolate. Tell them theyre not alone. Be there for them, even if you dont have a similar personal experience.

    If youve had depression, you can share that you know what theyre going through. This can help them relate. However, keep the focus on them. Remember to listen first.

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    What Not To Do

    A friend who is suffering from depression needs a safe space where they can vent and express their true emotions. Dont make a friend feel that you fear their emotions or that they need to put on a brave face so you will stick around. Bernat states, In my experience, most folks dont want to talk to depressed people unless we pretend to be happy. So, we learn to put on a cheerful façade for casual interactions, like buying a pumpkin spice latte. The average barista doesnt want to know that a customer is trapped in the infinite darkness of their soul.

    Avoid giving advice or saying, I understand what youre going throughbecause it may sound hollow. Dr. Leaf says, Dont just bring up comparisons from your own life or talk about how you feel. If you do feel the need to talk, frame everything as I may be wrong but or I could be reading you wrong and so on. If they react negatively, remain calm and just listen.

    Dr. Leaf says, If you suspect your friend is going through something, take the time to hang out with them and just be present. Go into an interaction wanting to engage with that person on topics that interest them, which builds up trust. Doing this will actually help facilitate deep and meaningful conversations in the future, and can make the person more receptive to reaching out to you.

  • Bill Bernat, TED Talk. How to Connect With Depressed Friends. November 2017. Available at: Accessed August 27, 2019.
  • Take Their Feelings Seriously

    How To Comfort A Depressed Person

    If someone is living with a mental health concern, it isnt possible for them just to snap out of it, cheer up or forget about it. Acknowledge that what’s happening must be difficult to handle; don’t tell them that their feelings are weird or unfounded.

    Try not to approach your friend like theyre a patient or someone who needs to be fixed…this might make them feel embarrassed and belittled, and can make them close themselves off to you.; Anzelmo

    If youre not sure how to help someone with depression or anxiety, ask them. You could also offer them some options and let them choose what suits them best. For example, you could offer to listen and let them express their thoughts, or just to hang out, without serious conversation.

    Try to be caring, compassionate and curious, and let them know that they matter to you and you are taking them seriously.

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    What To Do If You Think A Friend Is Considering Suicide

    If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, help is out there. Reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 800-273-8255 for free, confidential support 24/7.

    Suicide isnt inevitable. We can all help prevent suicide.

    The National Suicide Prevention Hotline offers you a toolkit for supporting people on social media, down to specific platforms like Facebook and Twitter. They help you determine how to identify someone in need of support and who to contact within the social media community if youre worried about their safety.

    The Risk Of Suicide Is Real

    What to do in a crisis situation

    If you believe your loved one is at an immediate risk for suicide, do NOT leave them alone.

    In the U.S., dial 911 or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK.

    In other countries, call your countrys emergency services number or visit IASP to find a suicide prevention helpline.

    It may be hard to believe that the person you know and love would ever consider something as drastic as suicide, but a depressed person may not see any other way out. Depression clouds judgment and distorts thinking, causing a normally rational person to believe that death is the only way to end the pain theyre feeling.

    Since suicide is a very real danger when someone is depressed, its important to know the warning signs:

    • Talking about suicide, dying, or harming oneself; a preoccupation with death
    • Expressing feelings of hopelessness or self-hate
    • Acting in dangerous or self-destructive ways
    • Getting affairs in order and saying goodbye
    • Seeking out pills, weapons, or other lethal objects
    • A sudden sense of calm after depression

    If you think a friend or family member might be considering suicide, dont wait, talk to them about your concerns. Many people feel uncomfortable bringing up the topic but it is one of the best things you can do for someone who is thinking about suicide. Talking openly about suicidal thoughts and feelings can save a persons life, so speak up if youre concerned and seek professional help immediately!

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    Depression Affects People Of All Genders Backgrounds And Cultures

    Some people believe that;only certain groups of people, like women or Caucasian people, can get depression. While it is often considered less common and acceptable to discuss depression in some cultures and groups, depression strikes people of every gender, background, race, and orientation. Often people will struggle silently in the shadows when they come from backgrounds where depression diagnoses are not as widely accepted.

    Youre Important To Me

    If a friend with depression is isolating herself, here are ...

    Its always nice to know youre loved or wanted. When someones depressed, they may feel the exact opposite.

    Thats why telling someone that theyre important to you, that you need them in their life, and that they matter can be so comforting. You can also be more specific to what you love about them or how you appreciate them for something they do.

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    Make Sure Youre Not The Only Person Who Knows

    If your friend is depressed or suicidal, however the conversation goes, there can be great pressure if you thinkyoure alone in supporting the person. Cordero says its important to help the person identify a support network by asking questions like:

    Who else have you talked to about this?Have you talked to your mom or X or Y person?Who else do you think could also be involved in helping to support you?

    If they can name other people, great, she says. Otherwise, you can make suggestions. Parents, a significant other, another friend, or a therapist are all good contacts. If youre asked not to tell anyone, keep your word unless you think theyre suicidal. The one time its okay to break that confidentiality is when you feel like theyre going to be of harm to themselves or to someone else, right? says Rosen.

    If your friend already has a therapist, and you know the persons name,another thing you can do is call the therapists office and leave a message. The therapist cant share any information with youdue to HIPAA privacy laws, but nothing prevents the therapist from listening to you and incorporating your thoughts into your friends care. The therapist may not call you back, but at least you know that the therapist knows.

    Head of a Woman,

    In The End Remember Your Goal

    Westbrook reminds you of this very important note: “The goal is to get them back to being them,” she explains. “When they’re depressed, they’re no longer who they are; they’re not doing the things they love, they’re not spending time with their loved ones. We want to remove the depression so they can get back to who they are.” Enter this conversation from a place of genuine love and compassion, educate yourself as much as possible, and be consistent with check in’s. Even if you’re met with resistance, they need you more than ever right now.

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    I Dont Think Youre Crazy

    There is still so much stigma around mental health that sufferers often feel marginalised for having a problem. Feeling alone and different from everyone else will only exacerbate the problem, so remind your loved one that although their illness is real, its treatable and doesnt make them any less of a person.

    Part 2 Of 3: Providing Emotional Support

    How to Help Someone With Depression: 32 Tips for When They Don’t Want to Talk: Depression Skills #2
  • 1Offer phrases to give hope. You do not want to negate what someone is going through. However, it can be helpful to give the person hope via supportive phrases. Let them know their feelings will change eventually, but do so in a manner that does not negate their present thought patterns.XTrustworthy SourceHelpGuideNonprofit organization dedicated to providing free, evidence-based mental health and wellness resources.Go to source
  • For example, say, “I understand this may be hard to believe now, but I know you’ll feel better someday. This will pass. I promise.”
  • After stating as much, remind them you’ll see it through with them. For example, say, “Until then, I’m here whenever you need me.”
  • 2Encourage them. People with depression often feel hopeless. Their lack of ability to keep up with daily tasks can also damage self-esteem. A person may feel mad at themselves for failing to keep up with daily tasks. Letting them know you believe in them can mean a lot.
  • For example, someone says, “I feel like I’m failing at everything right now. I’m so mad at myself.” Respond with, “I know it feels that way, but I think you’re amazing. I believe that you can get through this and I’ll be there to help.”
  • 3Ask what you can do to help. There may not be much you can do to help a depressed other than just be there. However, depression can interfere with a person’s ability to handle daily tasks. Let the person know you’re there to help, and ask them for any specific things you can do.
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    Other Sites That Can Help;-;Support, education and information for family and whnau.Carers New Zealand;-;Information and support for people in caregiver roles.Mental Health Foundation;-;Information about mental health covering a range of topics.Small Steps – A range of simple tools you can use to manage your stress, anxiety and low mood.;

    How To Show You Care

    What do you say to someone whos depressed? All too often, its the wrong thing.

    People still have such a cloudy idea of what mental illness is, Kathleen Brannon, of Herndon, Virginia, tells Health.

    Sometimes people will say, Oh, youre depressed? Yeah, Ive been depressed, and you realize just the way they say it that, nooo, its not quite the same thing. Its not just that Im feeling sad or blue.

    Below is a list of helpful things to tell someone battling depression, followed by what not to saycourtesy of the Depression Alliance, a national organization that campaigns to end the stigma of depression, provides information on depression treatment options, and raises awareness of what it means to live with the depression.

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    Show Care And Concern

    Try saying: “I wanted to drop by because I’m concerned. You seem depressed . Is there anything I can do to help?'” The exact word be it the big D or “not yourself” is not incredibly important, says Talley. What matters is that youre taking a direct approach and expressing concern and care, he explains.

    If A Person Says Theyre Suicidal What Should You Do

    How to Help Someone With Depression

    This is when it goes from an optional good idea of talking about depression to something that can be lifesaving, says Dr. Ken Duckworth, a psychiatrist and the medical director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness. There are two kinds of suicidal thoughts you should listen for: passive or active. A person with passive suicidal thoughts might say, Sometimes I wish I wasnt here anymore or I wish I didnt have to wake up in the morning. A person with active suicidal thoughts is plotting an actual, specific plan.

    If someone is passively suicidal:Its still important to act, but its not like you have to get to the emergency room immediately, says Cordero. Again, ask: Have you been clinically evaluated? Are you in treatment right now? Who else can I call that we should talk about it with? ;The next step is making sure they see a doctor and have a support system of people to reach out to for help beyond just you.

    If theyre actively suicidal, but it doesnt seem like theyll act on it:Make a safety contract with your friend before you let them leave you. The first part of the contract, according to Rosen, is: Can you be safe now? Followed by: If you cant be safe, whats your plan? Will you call me? Will you call your mom? Will you call 911? I need to know that if you get to that point, you have a game plan.

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