Encouraging words for people with depression
15 Encouraging Things to Say to Someone with Depression
It can be tough finding the right thing to say to someone close who has depression. We’ve put together meaningful options for support.
Depression often makes us feel we’re worthless, like there’s no point to anything, or that we’re unlovable. This is far from the truth, but that can be hard to explain to someone who’s living with depression.
If you want to comfort a friend or loved one who has depression but you feel stuck, consider using these words of encouragement to connect with and support them.
Depression can affect anyone. In fact, around 280 million people live with depression, according to the World Health Organization.
Depression doesn’t look or feel the same to everyone. There are different causes, types, and symptoms that make each person’s experience unique.
Some common characteristics of depression include:
- feelings of hopelessness
- negative thoughts about yourself and the world
- difficulty functioning and doing typical daily activities
- sleep or appetite changes
If you know someone with depression, providing them encouragement, motivation, and support can go a long way to giving them hope and helping them get through difficult times.
Here are some phrases and ideas that might help you support a person you care about who has depression.
When you’re using these, it can help to stay mindful of your context. Only say something if it feels like it makes sense in the situation, and always be genuine and keep an open mind.
Listen and be sensitive to the person’s cues. If they don’t seem receptive, consider trying at a different time or taking a different approach.
‘It’s OK to not feel OK’
Whether your friend or loved one is currently getting treatment or hasn’t received a formal diagnosis, it’s OK if they’re not OK. Everyone has good and bad days. We all deserve some grace.
Sometimes, they might feel shame if they’re experiencing difficult feelings, so it might help to remind them that it’s OK to feel that way. Making it safe for them to express and sit with their real feelings in your presence can go a long way.
And just because right now is bad doesn’t mean later will be.
‘You’re not alone’
It’s easy to feel isolated if you have depression. Due to stigma, many people still don’t talk about mental health issues, which might lead your friend or loved one to feel even more alone.
You can remind your loved one that you’re here for them, and that depression is a very common mental health condition — many people experience it and have gotten through it.
If the person you care about thinks it might help to talk with others who are going through similar things, you could even help them find a support group.
‘You can move forward in the face of your depression’
Some people believe that having depression makes them “weak” or “broken.” The truth is that every day they get out of bed, go to work, or move forward while living with depression is proof of their ability to keep going.
Depression can feel like a weight on your chest. For some people, it can be a disability.
However, every day that someone keeps going while they’re living with depression is proof they can keep going.
‘I’m here for you, no matter what’
If your friend or loved one is feeling like they’re a burden or unworthy of your love, it can help to remind them that you’re going to be there for them, always — not just when things are going well.
‘Help is available’
When someone feels hopeless, it can seem like nothing will help relieve their symptoms.
But so many depression treatments exist, so reminding the person you care about of this and helping them seek help if they need it can make a huge difference.
‘Your story isn’t over’
If your friend or loved one is having suicidal thoughts, they may feel like there’s no point to living or that their life is already over.
But every day is another page in their story. While it may feel dark and hopeless at times — not to mention hard to remember the bright moments — there are good days coming and things to look forward to.
If you believe they’re considering suicide or self-harm
- See a list of Psych Central’s suicide prevention resources.
- Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 or text 838255.
- Call 911 if you think there’s an immediate danger, but be sure to tell them it’s a mental health crisis in case they have available crisis intervention officers.
- If you’re with them, stay until help arrives. Remove any weapons or substances from your surroundings that could cause harm. If you’re not there, stay on the phone until help arrives.
- Listen but don’t judge, argue, yell, or threaten.
Whether you share these with your friend or write them on sticky notes to leave around their home, some of these uplifting quotes could bring a little hope and brightness to a loved one with depression.
There is hope, even when your brain tells you there isn’t.
One day you will tell your story of how you overcame what you went through, and it will be someone else’s survival guide.
If you could only sense how important you are to the lives of those you meet; how important you can be to the people you may never even dream of. There is something of yourself that you leave at every meeting with another person.
It doesn’t matter how slow you go as long as you don’t stop.
Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.
The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, not to worry about the future, but to live the present moment wisely and earnestly.
When one door closes another door opens; but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us.
Alexander Graham Bell
It is never too late to be what you might have been.
And if today all you did was hold yourself together, I’m proud of you.
There’s no right thing to say to someone with depression. There are a number of ways you can encourage your friend, with or without words.
Here are some other ways you can support someone living with depression:
- Listen to them. Use active listening. Do not interrupt when they tell you about what they’re going through. Only offer advice if they ask for it.
- Stay in touch. Call, text, or visit with them in person regularly if you can. They may find it hard to reach out to you or others.
- Praise them. Tasks you might find easy may feel monumental to the person you care about who’s living with depression. Recognizing their efforts and offering genuine praise can make them feel good about the work they’re doing and what they’ve accomplished.
- Use empathetic body language. Your tone, facial expressions, and body language matter just as much as your words. For example, relax your hands on your lap instead of keeping your arms folded, make eye contact, and move your eyebrows to show empathy. Avoid body language that might seem defensive, aggressive, or disapproving.
- Tell them what they mean to you. You may want to comment on ways they’ve helped you in the past, what your friendship means to them, and how they’ve made a difference in your life.
- Support them in seeking help. Whether your person chooses to see a doctor for a diagnosis or find a therapist, you can offer to make a call, go with them to their appointment, or search online for a local therapist for them.
- Avoid toxic positivity. Telling someone with depression to just think positively, using generic platitudes like “Everything will be OK,” or focusing only on the good can be more alienating than helpful. While positive thinking can have benefits, it’s a lot easier said than done.
Remember that, at the end of the day, if someone you care about is experiencing depression, you can’t control how they’ll respond to your encouragement. Even if they appreciate your words, it might take them some time to recover, so try to be patient.
Simply being there with an open mind, practicing active listening, and offering your consistent support can make a huge difference.
Positive Inspirational Quotes for People with Depression
Positive inspirational quotes are good for people with depression to have on-hand. Depression can make life so gray that you aren’t sure where the sunshine is hiding or if it will return. Depression can bring you so low that you may wonder if positivity for depression is even possible, much less such thing as a positive depression quote that could lift you up again. But there are, and they can – if only a little.
Reading some positive quotes when you’re depressed might, at the very least, distract you from depression’s pain ("Negative Thinking and Depression: How One Fuels the Other"). So, we’ve put together some positive inspirational quotes that you can read whenever you’re feeling down. We hope you find some relief in these positive inspirational quotes.
*Click the images to open a larger, shareable image.
Positive depression quote: “There is hope, even when your brain tells you there isn’t.”
See "Examples of Negative Thoughts in People with Mental Illness"
Sometimes you get better, regress, then get better again as this positive depression quote points out: “Healing is not linear.” Never underestimate the power of positivity when living with a mental illness.
Positive depression quotes remind you of your strengths: “Sometimes, life will kick you around, but sooner or later, you realize you’re not just a survivor. You’re a warrior, and you’re stronger than anything life throws your way."
Positive quotes for when you’re depressed are accepting: “And if today all you did was hold yourself together, I’m proud of you.”
You might like to read "Positive Messages for a Mental Health Crisis"
Positive depression quotes remind you that your pain has a purpose and that you can create positivity in a life currently filled with pain: “I have endured pain and loss. I have felt broken. I have known hardship, and I have felt lost and alone. But here I stand, trying to move forward, one day at a time. I will remember the lessons in my life because they are making me who I am. Stronger. A warrior.”
Here’s a positive inspirational quote for you: “On particularly rough days when I’m sure I can’t possibly endure, I like to remind myself that my track record for getting through bad days so far is 100%, and that’s pretty good.” That quote gives off positive vibes for sure!
This positive inspirational quote reminds you to keep a sense of lightness in the heaviness of depression: “Sometimes you climb out of bed in the morning and you think, I’m not going to make it, but you laugh inside – remembering all the times you’ve felt that way.”
Charles Bukowski from “Gamblers All”
The article "How to Develop a Positive Mental Attitude Despite Depression" might help you keep it lighter.
Positive depression quotes ask you to find the fire within: “In the middle of winter I at last discovered that there was in me an invincible summer. ”
Albert Camus from “Return to Tipasa”
Positive depression quotes beg you to fight suicidal thoughts: “Give yourself another day, another chance. You will find your courage eventually. Don’t give up on yourself just yet.” Need more convincing? See "10 Amazing Positivity Facts to Improve Your Outlook".
Holly, K. (2018, November 2). Positive Inspirational Quotes for People with Depression, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2022, November 4 from https://www.healthyplace.com/insight/quotes/positive-inspirational-quotes
Last Updated: April 9, 2020
Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD
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Positive Inspirational Quotes for People with Depression90,000 words to use. Politeka
January 13, 04:00
It is very important to find the right words for a person who is depressed
What words do we find for a person who is depressed? It turns out that very often we say the wrong things.
Most people still have a vague idea of what mental disorders are, psychologists say. Sometimes we say, “Oh, are you depressed? I also had depression." But depression is not just sadness or boredom.
Below is a list of helpful tips on how to communicate with someone who is depressed and what to say and what not to say.
I am with you
What to say: you are not alone, I am here to support you. What NOT to say: there are people who are even worse than you, think about them. Ani Lorak told how she was humiliated in marriage: Don't leave me
You are important
What should I say: you are an important person for me. What NOT to say: Everyone knows that there is a lot of injustice in life.
Let me help
What should I say: can I hug you? What NOT to say: Stop feeling sorry for yourself.
Depression is a real illness
What to say: no, you are quite normal, you are not crazy. What NOT to say: So you're depressed... aren't you always depressed?
There is hope
What should I say: we are close people, and it is normal to be attentive and caring, to support each other. What NOT to say: Try to deal with your depression.
You can survive this
What should I say: all this will pass, and we will still have fun and enjoy life together. What NOT to say: you yourself (s) are to blame (s).
I try very hard to understand you
What to say: I can't feel exactly how you feel, but I try very hard to understand your condition. What NOT to say: Trust me, I know how you feel. I also had depression for a few days.
You must not move away from me
What to say: I will not leave you to your fate in this state. What NOT to say: I think your depression is some kind of punishment for us.
I care about you
What to say: I love you (say this only if you truly feel love for this person). What NOT to say: or are you tired of talking only about yourself and your experiences all the time?
We'll get through this hard time together
What to say: I'm sorry you're suffering so much. I won't leave you on your own. I am in complete control of my condition, so do not worry that your depression will affect me badly. What NOT to say: Have you tried drinking chamomile tea?
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As Politeka reported, fatigue, asthenia and depression: how they differ and in which cases it is normal
Politeka also wrote about depression in men: causes, important symptoms and treatment
Tags: depression depression support psychology psychology
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What to say to a depressed person? — HealthInfo
Depression is a serious illness that can lead to death. If someone close to you is experiencing depression, it is important to find the right words that will ease their suffering and not harm them. Read our 7 recommendations on which words help and which do not.
What is depression?
Usually depression is any depressed mental state. Doctors distinguish between several types of depression, including minor depression and major depression (major depressive disorder), which is considered an illness. Relatives play a big role if they are nearby and ready to surround the patient with love and care.
Words of encouragement:
Say, "You are not alone."
Avoid the phrase: "Someone is worse off than you."
Support the treatment
If a person breaks their arm, they go to the doctor instead of waiting for the bones to heal properly. The same with depression. However, people often do not perceive it as a serious illness. Try to tell the patient about the need to visit a doctor. Explain that illness should not be left to chance.
Words of encouragement:
Say, "I will never leave you."
Avoid the phrase: "Try chamomile tea - soothes."
In no case give vent to irritation if you can no longer tolerate the eternally gloomy person next to you. Get it right on your nose: depression is a disease, not something that can just get on your nerves.
Words of encouragement:
Say, "I can't quite understand how you feel, but I really feel for you."
Avoid the phrase: "Stop feeling sorry for yourself."
Keep your finger on the pulse
You should always be available for a conversation. Suggest to the patient to find a medical specialist and discuss the visit. Only if you know what is going on in the patient's head, you can prevent a possible suicide. Feeling that "it" is approaching, dial the "hot line" or contact the ambulance staff if the patient's life is in danger.
Words of encouragement:
Repeat: "Let me hug you."
Avoid: “I know how you feel. Once I could not get out of depression for a whole month.
Go in for sports
Call the patient and invite him to a family holiday. Depressed people often remain isolated because they are afraid of "interfering" with other people. The ideal option is sports games or other types of physical exercises - they improve sleep and allow you to quickly achieve the desired results - score a goal, score points, win a tennis set. If the patient does not express a particular desire, do not insist.
Words of encouragement:
Repeat: "You are very important to me."
Avoid: "Who said life is fair?"
Step by step
A depressed person often asks, “Why should I do anything at all? Why get out of bed? Help him find the answer with a simple technique: every action should be rewarded.