It’s not easy helping someone that’s depressed.
I know this firsthand. I’ve both had depression and helped others with their depression. So many people are depressed, so it’s a skill you need to know.
Unfortunately, this is an area people get wrong, even with good intensions.
People often say the wrong things to the depressed.
Here are a few things you need to avoid saying:
- #1 Suck it up and get over it
- #2 You are too weak and emotional, toughen up
- #3 Your life is great, you have no reason to be depressed
- #4 If you just had enough faith, you would not be depressed in the first place
- #5 You’ve been like this awhile, isn’t it time to stop
Maybe you have said, or thought, something like this, maybe not. How do we help our depressed friends and family?
Step 1: Don’t judge them
They are not less of a person because they’re depressed. Great leaders, inventors, writers, etc. have dealt with depression. I am a pastor, and I too have dealt with depression.
Step 2: Don’t smother them
Depression often drives one into isolation. This hurts the depressed and their loved ones. Encourage them, don’t badger them. Don’t constantly ask how they’re doing. Don’t harass them to tell you why they’re depressed. Let them know you love them and are available when they need you.
Step 3: When they do talk, listen
Maybe they just want to share their feelings, and they don’t want a lecture on how to get better. Maybe they just want to know they’re not alone. They probably don’t need you to give 5 tips to get better. They probably just need you to be with them.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-10, “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!”