Depression can feel like it is consuming you from the inside out for those who suffer from it. It is difficult to focus on anything else. Many people struggle with knowing what to say to someone who suffers from depression, especially if they have never been affected by it.

Ultimately, the recovery process can seem like a solitary one. But there are a many things you can do and say that may help to make them feel that they are valued, loved and supported:

“I’ll be there for you”
It’s so simple, but it means so much. Tell them that you are there for them and follow that up. Don’t just walk away. Be there for them, don’t just say it. Live it. This is sometimes the most important thing that you can say and do.

“You’re not alone in this”
Depression can feel so lonely, you’re unable to get past the depression and see beyond it. Telling them “You’re not alone” is a way to demonstrate that they will have support. They don’t have to do this alone. Things may seem bleak to them, but they’ll walk through it with you by their side.

“Let’s go together”
Sometimes getting help can be the most difficult thing to do. There are so many people who avoid taking the steps they need to, having someone who will support them can mean so much. Never push, just offer support if they’re comfortable.

“I’ve been there myself…”
If you have experienced depression yourself, tell them of your own experiences. Speaking to someone who has been in their position can show them that there is hope and offer them insights into their own recovery.

“What kind of thoughts are you having?”
You may not understand what’s going on in their head, but trying to understand will make a big difference. It is also important to understand if they are having thoughts of harming themselves. Encourage them to talk about how they feel, let them know that they can trust you.

“This is not your fault”
It’s not their fault. They’ve been strong for so long and it has become too much for them. Blame and guilt can be two of the most difficult parts of depression, letting them know that they shouldn’t blame themselves is very important.

 “What can I do to help?”
Offer to help them do something. If they’re struggling to keep on top of things, offer to help them with their everyday life. Perhaps they need help cleaning their house, managing their finances or cooking a healthy meal. Don’t do it all for them, but offering to help can make a big difference.

 “When all this is over, I’ll still be here and so will you”
Let them know that there is a future, you can see it even if they do not. Offer them hope comfort and support.

…say nothing at all
Sometimes your presence makes all the difference. Show that you haven’t given up on them. Being there will often be all the support you need to offer. Show with your actions and words that you’re always there for them.

Need help? If this story has affected you in any way please call us on 01686 621586.

Ponthafren Association is a Mental Health Charity in Mid Wales. Please email [email protected] or visit