Often times, your spouse, your own child, a family member or a special friend is going to become depressed and naturally you want to reach out and
offer your guidance and help. When dealing with a person suffering from depression, it is important that you say the right words and support them
in the right way.
1.) Never say to your loved one suffering with depression “We all go through this at times.” This is showing them that it is normal to feel how they feel,
and they’ll bounce back to reality soon. Rather, use this approach “I may not be able to full understand exactly how you must be feeling, but I care for you and
I am here to help in any way that I am able.” This reinforces you genuinely care and love them; it is a gentle approach that allows room for further
communication to talk about the reasons for their depression.
2.) Saying “Just snap out of it, and look on the bright side.” Again this is wrong because it is saying their feelings are not valid and they shouldn’t be feeling the way
they are. The better way to address them is “You might not realize it now, but the way you are feeling will change.” This shows them that this state of depression
won’t last forever and there happiness will return to their lives, at the same time, you aren’t denying them of their emotions that they are dealing with.
3.) When you imply “You’ll be fine, stop your constant worrying. Shouldn’t you be over this by now?” Here you aren’t showing you truly care, you rather are
showing that their depression is bothering you, and you’d rather not deal with it anymore. If we simply change our wording and say “You are not alone through
any of this. I am here with you and we will get through this together.” Again this reinforces your love and concern, while allowing them the time they need
to work through their pain.
The above is examples of how we can come across wrong, when a person is dealing with depression, they aren’t enjoying it any more than you are! They simply
can’t just turn off their emotions and “snap out of it!”
Depression truly is a process; it is healing whether from trauma, life in general, or even the result of a break up. Each person is different and each event through life affects us all differently. There is no time frame for healing. Our job is to offer our patience, our affection, and encouragement of emotional support.
Helping someone with a bout of depression doesn’t just require us talking to them about their problems. Be creative with them, get them outdoors, take them to lunch, and see a movie or what have you. Getting their mind off their troubles will help them more than you know. Stay involved with them daily as your schedule allows, and offer attending support groups together so they are able to open up in a non judgmental environment.