What To Say To Someone Who Is Depressed

How often do we struggle to find the right words that can help a depressed person?

There are multiple ways you can help someone who is depressed. One of the most effective and easiest ways is through speech! But what to say to someone who is depressed can be tricky! 

First, let’s back up and know what depression is and how it affects us.

As per Mayo Clinic, “Depression is a mental health disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest.”  

Depression affects how you feel and behave. This can cause a lot of problems, not just mentally but also physically. Depression, if ignored, can cause a lot of damage in the future. Being emotionally and mentally healthy should always be our top priority!

Identifying your problem is the first step toward solving it. There are some common symptoms of depression which includes:

  • constant feeling of sadness,
  • finding yourself more fatigued,
  • sleeping more often,
  • visible fluctuation in appetite,
  • visible weight fluctuation,
  • being more pessimistic,
  • lack of motivation,
  • being more reclusive,
  • emotional detachment from others,
  • losing focus more often,
  • becoming unable to manage anger and more irritable,
  • losing interest in hobbies or activities, etc.

Those mentioned above are just a fraction of the symptoms of depression that people suffer from. 

Depression plays a significant role in the development of our mental health. Once we manage depression and reduce its effects, we can lead a happy life. 

Sometimes we don’t realize how much power our words hold. You can make or mar someone’s day by just using words.

Always remember what you say resonates with the person in front of you; if you want to help someone going through mental health disorder like depression, you need to choose your words wisely. There are some things you don’t intend to say but still do, and sometimes that might affect people terribly, be more empathetic while speaking to a person undergoing depression. 

In this article, we provide you with the basics of what to say to someone who is depressed and what not to tell someone who is depressed.

what to say to someone who is depressed

What do you say to someone who is depressed

Our society is filled with various stigmas on mental health, one of which is depression. That is

one of the primary reasons why people refrain from talking about it. So it becomes difficult

for the sufferer to even ask for help! For everyone, it is essential to learn what to say to a  

depressed person or a friend.

Here, we have listed some positive things you can say to your depressed friend!

1. You are not alone

In a society where we are insulated from mental health awareness of ourselves and others, not being able to talk about topics like depression can make the sufferer feel alone and isolated in their process. 

You need to assure them by saying that you are not alone!

Try to find contacts for support groups and ask your friend to go for it. Talking to people with similar problems can heal depression and help them find positivity.

2. You are important to me

In this life, everyone wants to feel accepted and loved. A person suffering from depression might exponentially feel a lack of acceptance and love. Just saying, “You are important to me, and I care for you!” might make their day. 

When you start saying this, it resonates within them and makes them feel valued. This might not cure depression, but it makes it a hell lot easier for the person suffering from it.

3. Would you like to talk?

It is sometimes difficult to comprehend what to say to someone who is depressed. But, instead of forcing your thoughts and clearing your head by speaking, give them a chance and ask them, “Would you like to talk.” Even if they say nothing at that moment, assure them that you are there for them whenever they feel like talking to someone. 

If they start talking, be patient and hear out everything they have to say. Sometimes people just want to be heard, and being an active listener might help them feel better. 

Don’t just focus on what you have to say to someone who is depressed; try to focus on what they want to say. Sometimes people want just to be heard

4. I love you

These three words hold an important place in everyone’s heart. Conveying how you feel towards a close one who is depressed by saying I LOVE YOU, can help them bring out more positivity in their life. As per PennState, feeling loved in everyday life is linked with improved mental well-being. 

By just saying, they won’t just feel that there is someone who loves them truly, but will also help them find things in themselves that they feel worthy of love. Slowly they will find millions of things in themselves. Therefore, it is the first step towards self-love and self-care, which can help lower depression

5. How can I help?

Along with knowing what to say to a depressed friend, you should also help them out physically. As depression can cause fatigue, trouble sleeping, and lack of motivation, daily tasks also seem like a mountain to climb. 

At this time, asking your friend, “how can I help you” would mean a massive sigh of relief to them. Asking is important because sometimes people suffering from depression don’t feel like asking for help, thinking they might become a burden. So, lend a hand to people suffering from depression. It will mean the world to them!

6. I am there for you

Assuring someone you are there for them can help them fight depression. Remind them that you are with them not just in their good times but also in bad times. 

This simple act can help them in the long run, as when they feel alone and isolated, subconsciously, they will realize that there is one person who is always there for them, and that’s you! That simple moment of epiphany can help them by making them more happy and less anxious.

7. There is hope

Rome was not built in a day!

Getting over depression is not something that can be achieved in a night. Losing hope in recovering from depression is very among people. Always assure them that there is hope. All you need is to have patience and trust the process. 

Reminding a person suffering from depression that there is light at the end of the tunnel is something quite crucial to learn what to say to a depressed friend. Keeping faith in themselves and the process is necessary for proper recovery and a depression-free future.  

8. You are not broken

Often, people suffering from depression feel that they are defective and broken. Always remind them that “you are not broken.”  depression is a big thing, and most of the time takes a toll on your self-esteem and self-confidence.

Always remember that depression is not a sign of weakness, whereas getting out of bed every day and living your life even when you are depressed shows extreme courage, power, and determination. Help them realize that they are stronger than they think and can do anything in their life!

9. It’s okay to not be okay!

At the end of the day, all of us are human, and feeling depressed is entirely natural. Sometimes people don’t accept their feeling of depression and try to suppress them, but acceptance might seem hard, but it’s worth the trouble. Always tell them that “it is okay to not be okay.” If they feel like they shouldn’t have this sinking depression feeling, remind them that it is entirely normal and there is nothing to feel ashamed about. 

The more people accept their feelings, their mental health will improve. 

What not to say to someone who is depressed?

Knowing what to say to someone who is depressed is excellent, but, a lot of time, we might sound insensitive, even though that’s not what we wanted to convey. It is not just about what not to do but also how to say things to someone who is depressed.

Here, we have listed some things you must refrain from saying while talking to someone who is depressed.

1. Stop being depressed!

Always remember depression is not a switch that you can switch off; it takes time, and saying these statements might be triggering to a lot of individuals. 

2. Don’t be sad, be more happy!

Being happy is not always in our control, and saying these things can come out as disregarding the feelings of others. 

3. It’s all in your mind!

A statement like this can make a depressed person feel like depression is a hoax and not something that exists. Even if not intended in this way, it comes off negatively, and people might think they are being gaslighted.

4. Everyone has problems!

By comparing people’s feelings and situations, no one can ever grow. Saying things like these will only act as a catalyst for increasing self-hate and leading to high-graded depression. 


Now you must have a pretty good idea about what to say to someone who is depressed and what not to tell someone who is depressed. Just by focusing on what we say, we not just help people going through depression but, at the same time, make the world a kinder place. 

The above-mentioned things to say are written from a general perspective; it is possible that it can vary from person to person, but always ask yourself what do you say to someone who is depressed and try to find the answer yourself, it might seem like a lot of work at first, but slowly you will realize that it is just a mall thing that we can do for the betterment of others.

In this path of achieving better mental health by working on depression, we often forget to be grateful for the things we have in our life. Here are some gratitude apps that can help you become more grateful in life and achieve peace.

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