Depression and being suicidal are two mental health problems that are still surrounded by a lot of stigma and misconceptions. We all know, even without completely understanding, that depression or being suicidal is hard on the sufferer. However, we cannot deny that friends and family of the sufferer also have a hard time dealing with these problems. If you ever had a friend who was depressed or suicidal, you know that you sometimes have to walk on eggshells. You don’t know the right thing to say or do and it can be stressful on your part. Now don’t fret. I suffer from depression and being suicidal so I thought I would share some statements that we wouldn’t mind hearing from our loved ones. Here are some things that you can say to someone who is depressed or suicidal without aggravating the situation.
1. I Love You
Many people throw around this statement so carelessly that sometimes it loses its meaning. However, for someone depressed or suicidal, this statement, when uttered with sincerity, can help reassure that he/she is still valued.
2. You Are Not Alone
People who are suicidal or depressed often feel alone in their pain and suffering. If you say this statement to them, you give them even a bit of comfort. You are letting them know that the people in their lives are not deserting them.
3. I’m Here for You
This is another way of letting someone know that he/she is not alone. The only difference with this statement and the previous one is that now, you are committing yourself to be part of the person’s support system. Only say this if you will really be there for him/her.
4. We Can Get through This Together
Before you utter this statement, make sure that you believe it. You have to let the person know that you trust him/her to make it through the pain and suffering. You should also emphasize that he/she is not going to be alone in recovery.
5. Let Me Help You Feel Better
This statement is a very general thing to say to someone who is suffering from depression or suicidal feelings. You can say it as it is to let them know that you want to help ease even a little of their pain. You can also attach other statements such as:
• Do you need a hug?
• I can listen to you.
• I will keep you company.
6. I Believe Your Pain is Real
The pain these people feel are not just in their heads; they are not crazy. But because of the lack of education, observers, friends, and family may think that the pain is made up. If you truly believe that someone you know is experiencing real pain, then let him/her know. Hopefully, the person will feel more secure with you and will open up about his/her problems.
7. You Are Not Crazy or Stupid!
It is safe to assume, that even if it is a false notion, depressed or suicidal people can’t help but question their sanity. They may even sometimes wonder if their brain still works. You can help put a rest to these questions by telling them that you believe that they are not crazy or stupid.
8. We Can Find Help for You
In many cases, being depressed or suicidal is a case of mental and emotional overload. This just means that the coping mechanism of a person can no longer handle the problems or stressors in life. You, as someone who is detached from the person’s problems and emotions, can help look for professional help or create a more effective support system. Let the person know you want to help so he/she won’t feel so helpless.
9. I Don’t Understand What You’re Going through but I Want to Understand
Unless you have been depressed or have felt suicidal, there is no use in telling someone that you understand what they are going through. The person will know that you have little to no idea about what he/she is feeling. Instead, be honest. Let the person know that you don’t understand but that you want and will try to.
10. Take Time to Take Care of Yourself
People who are depressed or suicidal will sometimes try to fulfill obligations even when they are emotionally and mentally drained. There comes a time when they just have to stop and take time to take care of themselves. If you notice that it takes someone more effort than usual to get through life, maybe it’s time you remind him/her of the obligation to care for him/herself.
11. Take as Much Time as You Need to Heal
Recovering from depression or suicidal thoughts does not happen in a snap. It takes time and it cannot be rushed. You should let the person know that he/she doesn’t have to rush getting better. That way, he/she won’t feel guilty about taking on fewer responsibilities.
12. Don’t Worry about Your Pain Hurting Me
Sometimes, someone with depression or suicidal feelings will be hesitant to talk about his/her pain. He/she is afraid that you will get hurt or affected by his/her problems or troubled thoughts. Let the person know that you can handle it, but only if you are absolutely sure that you can.
These statements are just examples of the things you can tell someone depressed or suicidal. You don’t have to use the exact words. You can use these statements as guidelines for composing the things you want to say. Just remember that when you talk to someone with depression or suicidal feelings, you shouldn’t be judgmental in any way. It is my sincere hope that this post will help you communicate better with anyone who depressed or suicidal.
Top Photo Credit: Amanda♫