16 Messages to People With Depression, From Their Friends
Article updated Feb. 25, 2020.
When a friend is deep in depression, words often aren’t enough to pull them out. But, words can offer hope, remind someone it’s OK to speak up and help make sure nobody feels like they’re completely alone.
Sometimes, though it’s hard to know what to say. You want your friend to feel supported but not guilty if they’re not up for chatting. You want to give them strength without invalidating that depression is hard. According to Daniela Paolone, LMFT, a Mighty contributor and therapist, you should avoid sending any message to your friend that could be interpreted as “get over it” or “snap out of it.”
“Language like this … usually leaves the depressed person feeling even more isolated and unsupported,” Paolone told The Mighty. “The pain of being judged and misunderstood is so strong that they will avoid the people in their lives, avoid sharing their feelings and pretend that everything is fine when in reality their pain grows as they continue to suffer in silence.”
As for the best kind of messages to send a friend who is struggling with depression, Paolone suggested simple messages that let your friend know “they are not alone in the struggle, even though it might feel that way.” Paolone added:
I want them to know that they deserve to be seen, heard and supported by those they love. After all, if someone they love was depressed and hurting, wouldn’t they do all that they could to help them? Another message that is so important is that when the temptation to isolate and keep feelings to themselves runs strong, that is the exact time when reaching out and talking to people they trust is needed.
So, to give you some ideas of messages to send, we asked people in our Mighty community to share a message to someone they love who has depression.
You or a friend might need to hear this today:
1. “I would never ask you to wear a mask for me in order to hide what you’re going through. I love you, no matter what.”
2. “I know today may seem insurmountable, but never forget the friendship we share is vital to me. I’m always going to try my best to help you find some semblance of normalcy, but I know depression can be draining, and ‘normal’ may not be possible right now.”
3. “Just remember the sunshine when the storm seems unending.”
4. “I love you. Nothing you do is going to change that. I’m always here with anything you need. I know it doesn’t feel like you deserve it, but believe me you do!”
5. “Depression is telling you a boldface lie and dressing it as truth.”
6. “You are stronger than you believe or feel in this moment. Keep fighting.”
7. “I’m always here for you. No matter what.”
8. “There’s a dark cloud covering the great sun you are. After it lifts, you’ll be shining.”
9. “I still love you. Depression will never change that.”
10. “As someone who suffers from depression myself, I would tell them: ‘It’s OK. It’s OK to feel what you’re feeling. It’s OK to ask for help. It’s OK to want to be alone. It’s OK to scream and cry and it’s OK to laugh.’ True friends will be there to talk, to help and sometimes just to sit with you and not say anything.”
11. “You’re not alone. Hang on!”
12. “I have been, and still am at times, where you are at right now. I understand. You are loved. Your pain and sorrow will pass, even though it feels like it won’t.”
13. “Call me any time, day or night.”
14. “I will always be your friend and love you. Your life is important to me. I know it’s hard to believe that during the dark times, but I’m right here to help you through.”
15. “I can see you struggling. Sometimes I don’t know what to say or do to help, but know I will always do whatever I can to support you. You’re my friend; you matter so much to me.”
16. “We will get through this together.”
*Answers have been edited and shortened.
If you’re struggling with depression, know you’re not alone. To connect with a community that cares, head to our #CheckInWithMe page. There you can read stories and post a Mighty Thought or Question to give and get support.