A friend of mine suffered a terrible breakup, became depressed, couldn't eat and lost weight, only to have people say… "You're allowed to be sad." It is one of saddest truths we have to confront in life that unless we're talking about a child with a bumped knee, a hug and kiss cannot heal, no matter how much love we pack into them. But it can be tricky to know what to say — especially if you don’t understand what it’s really like to experience depression. However, the words you use may not convey the message you want to send—especially if you don't understand the nature of depression and mental illness. It permeates the day in a negative way and may include symptoms that are both emotional and physical. Yes, this is true, but when people are depressed, they feel trapped, and they want a permanent solution, so such a statement would be futile. Asking what you can do can really help them through their day. It’s not a flaw or weakness. Would you like me to drive you to your doctor appointments. Instead, when trying to figure out what to say to someone who lost a loved one, try this. These 5 Go-To Recipes Will Comfort You, FDA-Approved Ketamine Nasal Spray Cuts Depression Symptoms in 24 Hours, First FDA-Approved Drug for Postpartum Depression Is Expected to Cost More Than $30,000, What to Know About Treating Depression During Pregnancy, Zara Risoldi Cochrane, Pharm.D., M.S., FASCP, The Importance of Mental Health While Living with an Invisible Illness, “Just think happy thoughts. But they can help. It is also possible that depression may leave your friend so tired and down that they don't even know what kind of help to ask for. But you don't have to pretend. What to say to someone who has depression, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, What to do if you think a friend is considering suicide, a toolkit for supporting people on social media, Yoga, Running, and Other Workouts Can Combat Depressive Episodes, 7 Signs That It’s Time to Revisit Your Mental Health Treatment Plan, Too Exhausted to Eat? If your friend has not yet seen a doctor, encourage them to seek help and reassure them that there is nothing wrong with asking for assistance. It can be tough to talk with a loved one who's depressed. 1. If your friend isn't ready to talk, continue to offer your support by spending time with them and try to talk regularly, either in person, on the phone, or by text. If you’ve had depression, you can share that you know what they’re going through. Dialogues Clin Neurosci. Describing depression: Congruence between patient experiences and clinical assessments, Canadian Network for Mood and Anxiety Treatments (CANMAT) 2016 Clinical Guidelines for the Management of Adults with Major Depressive Disorder: Section 3. Psychol Aging. If you don’t the person very well, ask them outright what is troubling them. Here are some suggestions for talking with a depressed person. social distancing, mask-wearing) are still possible. Steven Gans, MD is board-certified in psychiatry and is an active supervisor, teacher, and mentor at Massachusetts General Hospital. These two simple words—“I care”—can mean so much to a person who may be feeling like the entire world is against them. In my opinion, avoiding the subject is the worst tactic. However, keep the focus on them. Describing depression: Congruence between patient experiences and clinical assessments. Remember to listen first. 3. Phrases like ‘Cheer up!’ or ‘It is what it is’ or ‘Toughen up’ can sometimes spill from our lips. Br J Psychiatry. 13. There are no magic words that will make someone feel better and it can be tough to know what to say to someone that is suffering. Sometimes people who are depressed just need to talk without having the conversation taken over with well-meaning advice. This statement is a very general thing to say to someone who is suffering from depression or suicidal feelings. All rights reserved. Find out more about these issues, from death to stress to family and…, A new study suggests that an increase in physical activity can help significantly lower the risk of depression among individuals with risk or higher…. Support — both social support and professional — is important. What to say (and not say) to someone with a broken heart. Helping doesn’t have to be a huge, drastic effort. Life can have its ups and downs. 2. But they can help. when you're listening to a loved one, recognize that it might be a sign you are burnt out. Block, MD, Tell Them You Understand (If You Really Do), Assure Them They're Not Weak or Defective, How to Talk to Your Kids About Depression, What You Need to Know if Your Partner Is an Introvert, How to Be There for Someone You Care About, How to Help a Friend or Loved One With Anxiety, How to Talk to Your Doctor About Depression, Worst Things to Say to Someone Who Is Depressed, Ways to Support a Victim of Sexual Assault, Tips on Disclosing Your Depression to Friends, How to Support a Friend or Loved One With an Eating Disorder, 4 Things You Should Never Say to Someone During a Panic Attack, Daily Tips for a Healthy Mind to Your Inbox, Loneliness as a specific risk factor for depressive symptoms: Cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses, The relationship between social support networks and depression in the 2007 National Survey of Mental Health and Well-being, Seeking help for depression from family and friends: A qualitative analysis of perceived advantages and disadvantages, The link between depression and physical symptoms. If someone close to you is feeling sad, use the motivating words to help lift them back up. To a person struggling with depression, the problem has a way of feeling all-consuming. Sometimes people feel ashamed by the depth of their sadness post-breakup, especially if it was a short, intense fling or someone … Here are some useful phrases people who have experienced anxiety or depression say are most helpful to hear during difficult times. Sometimes just getting out of bed can be hard. Your friend may be reluctant to accept your offer for fear of becoming a burden on you, so make it clear that you don't mind and want to help in the same way you know they would for you in a similar situation. We can all help prevent suicide. Why it’s harmful: Blaming someone with depression for making you sad can worsen their condition by making them feel even more ashamed and humiliated than they already do, Dr. Duckworth says. Thank you, {{form.email}}, for signing up. Even science has backed up the importance of social support. Major depression is one of the most common mental health disorders in the world, so it’s likely someone you know or love has been affected. Frequently, we say the exact wrong thing even though our intentions are good. Pharmacological Treatments, Social support and protection from depression: Systematic review of current findings in Western countries. The biochemical imbalances associated with depression are what is driving how bad your friend feels about certain situations—not the situations themselves. Often the simplest way to initiate a conversation is to be direct—ask your friend if they are depressed. Phrases like ‘Cheer up!’ or ‘It is what it is’ or ‘Toughen up’ can sometimes spill from our lips. Neuropsychiatr Dis Treat. Suggest—and listen. Social support, particularly family support, has a protective factor for both depression and anxiety. Don’t ruin a good day thinking about a bad yesterday. Depression after surgery is not uncommon. 2.1 1. Reminding someone that you’re there for them whenever they need you — whether that’s in the form of help with a small task or someone to call in a crisis — can be so essential to saving a life. Whether your anxiety is particularly bad, or your stress levels are through the roof, finding the energy to eat can sometimes feel like too much to…, Esketamine nasal spray appears both effective and fast acting for treatment-resistant depression, but questions still remain about the drug’s safety…, The FDA approved the first drug developed to treat postpartum depression Tuesday. Available can really help ease the symptoms a little become upset with you but can call. Way they will allow that it 's normal — or something more findings in Western countries they feel. Good chance of returning to feeling normal again expressions like ‘ tough love ’, big., Lépine JP, Briley M. the increasing burden of depression in someone else with theirs while may. 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