I admit that yesterday I checked out some websites to get ideas of various things not to say to someone who is depressed. Today’s list I can make on my own. I am surrounded by wonderful supporters. Honestly, I hear more support than I do insensitive comments. Don’t get me wrong I have heard some insensitive things. And at times even the good comments hit me the wrong way. But mostly I am blessed enough to be surrounded with support. I do understand that not everyone is as blessed as me. I am a member of a couple of message boards for those of us with chronic illnesses and I read about a lot of people who hear negative comments – supposedly from those who love them. However, that list was yesterday.
I’m convinced if someone follows the two tips I listed yesterday then you can’t go wrong. I will repeat them for you now as a reminder.
1. Think BEFORE you speak
2. When not sure if what you are going to say will be appropriate then just give a hug and/or say I love you.
Now for a list of a few comments TO say to someone who is depressed:
1. “I’m sorry you are having to deal with this”. This is neither judgmental not confrontational. It’s disarming. In actuality there is nothing anyone else can actually physically do. But letting the sufferer know that you “feel” for them let’s them know that if you could then you would change it for them.
2. “I’m praying for you”. This is the one that actually brings me the most comfort and that I believe brings me the greatest results. A person’s spiritual life can be a great respite for them. I lean heavily on my relationship with Jesus Christ. While I can pray for myself there are times that knowing a friend or loved one cares enough to go to the throne on my behalf brings me more comfort than even a hug could.
3. “I love/care for you”. That’s simple enough! Hopefully if you are in a conversation with a depressed person then it is because you truly do love and/or care about them. That’s all they need to know. This lets them know that they are not as alone as they feel. Most of the time we feel like we are in a huge forest wandering around alone. Just hearing the words “I love you” can warm them enough so that they don’t feel as alone.
Those are a few easy things to remember. There is always a time when we feel useless when someone we know and love is suffering. We want so much to help when there really isn’t anything physically we can do. These are the comments that bring me the most comfort.