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21 Things To Say To Someone Struggling With Depression

There's no need to panic.

Knowing what to say to people going through depression can be tough, even if you're really close to them.

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You don't have the cure and, chances are, you might not have the experience to offer any advice of value. Nine times out ten, people struggling with depression just need to know that if they want to talk, they can. But how to open up the convo?

1. "Tell me how you're feeling, I'll probably understand how you feel more than you think."

2. "Equally if you don't wanna talk about it, I'm happy just to be there and provide embarrassing stories of our day to make you laugh."

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3. "Even if it doesn't seem that way right now, this feeling won't last forever."

4. "Take your time, no-one is rushing you to feel better."

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5. "I'm still here for you and I'm not going anywhere."

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6. "Take pride in your small victories, because small victories lead to bigger ones. You got out of bed? Sometimes that deserves an inner self-five."

7. "You're not crazy or weak."

8. "Some days you'll have setbacks, but just know that tomorrow is a new day with new possibilities."

9. "Can I make you a cup of tea?"

10. "I care about you."

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11. "If you'd rather talk to someone professional and aren't already, I can help you sort that out."

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12. "I'll come with you if you need support – even if it's just to the supermarket."

It is a fact that supermarkets are among the most stressful places on earth.

13. "You're not alone in feeling like this."

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14. "You're not wrong for feeling the way you do and no one blames you for it."

15. "Depression is natural."

16. "The times when you're unwell only matter if you want them to."


They become part of some people, just like the physical scars they bear. And others just want to bin each episode and move on. Both are 100% valid and correct.

17. "What activity might help restore your equilibrium?"

18. "This must be difficult."

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19. "Just do the best you can because that's enough."

20. "I understand that it’s outside of your control."

21. ~Silence~

Listening is one of the greatest things anyone can do in times of crisis – you don't have to have anything winning or helpful to say. Your ears are enough.

If you need information and practical advice on depression, you can call the Rethink advice and information service on 0300 5000 927 (10am–2pm), if you're in the UK.

The Depression Alliance, a charity for sufferers of depression, has a network of self-help groups.

You can call the Samaritans for confidential support if you're experiencing feelings of distress or despair on 08457 90 90 90 (24-hour helpline).

And you can call the Crisis Call Center at 1-800-273-8255 at any time of the day if you're based in the US.