Talking About Depression
Unfortunately, depression seems to be lurking everywhere. It’s become more common among teens and the elderly and remains a problem for many adults. Talking to those you love about their depression can be difficult. Individuals may become defensive, angry, or even more depressed. The website helpguide.org gives guidelines concerning the discussion about depression. Most individuals want to help those they love to overcome or lessen their depression and the following ideas and suggestions can be very helpful. However, it is key to remember that giving advice won’t go as far as simply being a compassionate listener. Usually, individuals with depression need someone to listen to their concerns and feelings without judgment. As a good friend or loved one, the simple act of listening, maybe over and over, can really help those who are struggling with depression.
The following is taken directly from helpguide.org and can significantly benefit the process of opening up a conversation with someone dealing with depression:
Ways to start the conversation:
- “I have been feeling concerned about you lately.”
- “Recently, I have noticed some differences in you and wondered how you are doing.”
- “I wanted to check in with you because you have seemed pretty down lately.”
- Questions you can ask:
- “When did you begin feeling like this?”
- “Did something happen that made you start feeling this way?”
- “How can I best support you right now?”
- “Have you thought about getting help?”
- “You are not alone in this. I am here for you.”
- “You may not believe it now, but the way you’re feeling will change.”
- “You are important to me.”
Being supportive of a loved one with depression will go a long way. This can take patience and extra compassion, but allowing that person to feel loved is key to them overcoming depression.