When you just knew that you’re talking to someone with depression, what do you do? What do you say and how do you talk to them? It’s probably much harder than talking to someone without because we have to be extra extra careful and sensitive. Some other people say that being around people suffering from depression is like walking around on eggshells so that they they don’t stir up unwanted emotions.
Whatever their depression is stemmed from — may it be a result from chemical imbalance, traumatic or heartbreaking life events, genetics, medications, faulty mood regulation, etc. It’s still the same illness that generates feelings of sadness, isolation, and loss of interest in certain activities. Depression is still depression and it hits anyone at any point in their lives.
In an outsider’s perspective, it’s quite challenging to interact with people with this mental health issue. I’m not sure about you but I’d probably be constantly asking myself if it’s okay to say this and that before I actually say it out loud. Just to be sure, here are some tips on how to talk to people with depression.
Simply be there.
The first thing you should keep in mind is that just being there for them is already a great gift. It implies that they are not alone and that you are supporting them. However, you also should keep in mind that you don’t have to “fix” them. Just be there to listen and support. Encourage them to talk about their feelings, hear them out, understand them.
Be patient, gentle and persistent.
Because people with depression tend to be a bit distant, they might not believe that you are genuinely concerned. They might not be very open to you right away so be patient. Also be gentle with your approach and don’t give up showing how much you care for them because deep down, that’s what they need and want. You don’t want to come off too strong and arrogant when you’re with them as this might just push them away further.
Avoid being judgmental.
When they finally open up to you, don’t waste it by judging them. Words are very powerful and can bring a massive impact to one’s life without you knowing it. As much as possible, try not to say cliche things such as “just look on the bright side” or “you’re just overthinking, it’s just all in your head’ or anything generic. It really doesn’t help and it’s as if they chose to be depressed.
What you can do instead is to dig deeper inside your heart and say something that is sincere and heart warming for them. Speak out words that doesn’t sound like you found it online. Tell them why you love them, express how much they are important to you, and let them know that you will stay by their side always.
Offer help, not advice.
Sometimes, we tend to automatically give advice when we’re talking to our friends even though they don’t want or need it. It’s an unconscious act for some people and that’s okay, but it’s quite different when it comes to people with depression. Be mindful and try not to give advice or make comparisons because this might come off as you insulting them or minimizing their pain. Don’t assume that everyone needs it, maybe it’s best if you wait for them to ask you for help or advice.
Research and understand.
Try to put yourself in their shoes by researching thoroughly what depression is and how it feels to deal with it. Those who don’t have depression will never understand what they’re going through and that’s why we should never ever judge, belittle or dismiss what they say or do.
Another way to interact with them is to always remind yourself and your loved ones how beautiful life is everyday. Get them this Semicolon Ring for only $20.99 from Sattaj Collections! It’s a 925 sterling silver ring that’s made of high-quality and allergy free material. It’s stylish, adjustable, and very symbolic — perfect for you and your loved ones!
Keep these things in mind and hopefully every interaction you have with someone with depression would be very memorable and maybe even helpful. Be sincerely there for them and you’re good to go. Always remember that life is beautiful so always try your best to live it!