How To Help A Friend Who’s Struggling Emotionally
Every day we ask questions like how are you? and whats up? as a way of saying hi when passing friends in the hall, responding to emails and posting on Facebook walls. But how often do we get meaningful responses to those questions that tell us how our friends are really doing? If you have a friend who is struggling emotionally, not coping well or using drugs or alcohol to escape, its important to understand that unaddressed emotional health problems can have serious consequences. These problems can make it hard to succeed in work or school, and lead to addiction, dangerous behaviors, or thoughts of suicide. When asked who they would turn to for help if they were in emotional distress, most people list their friends as a top source of support. Are you prepared to recognize a friend in need and steer them toward help? Would you know what to do?
How to Tell if a Friend is Struggling
Balancing all lifes demands school, work, relationships can be stressful and many people get overwhelmed, anxious and overexerted so it can be tough to tell if a friend is just dealing with the everyday challenges of life or struggling with a larger problem. A friend in trouble might need professional help to develop better coping and stress management skills, or they may be dealing with illnesses like depression, bipolar disorder, and anxiety disorders that generally require attention and treatment.
What Can You Do?
What to Say to a Friend Whos Struggling
Help Your Friend Embrace Her Inner Light
Life coach Joan Marie Whelan believes that everyone has hidden untapped potential. “Girls are incredibly intuitive and it seems like sometimes theyre almost afraid of their own intuition, when they finally feel and embrace that light inside of them, theyre unstoppable.” She urges young women to grab a friend and practice embracing their inner light together: “Look in the mirror and just smile, take three deep breaths from your core, and feel your heart expanding with a waterfall of love for your own body, nourishing your body, and see that and say to yourself I am a rockstar.'”
Don’t Invalidate Their Feelings
If a person with depression opens up to you about what they’re experiencing, it’s critical that you provide a safe, non-judgemental space for them to do so. Some examples of what not to say when someone talks about their depression include:
- “You don’t seem sad”
- “I haven’t noticed a change in your attitude or behavior”
- “It’s all in your head’
- “I’ve dealt with worse”
When you dismiss a person’s depressive feelings, it may signal to them that they shouldn’t open up again, are being dramatic, or are at fault for feeling the way they do.
Instead, Gail Saltz, MD, clinical associate professor of psychiatry at the NY Presbyterian Hospital Weill-Cornell School of Medicine, says to remind them of these things:
- Depression is an illness and not their fault
- You are sorry they are experiencing it
- Treatment can help them
- You will help them through this and find treatment
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Remind Them You’re There For Them
Depression can feel as though no one understands what you are feeling or even cares enough to try to understand, which can be isolating and overwhelming.
Research has shown that people tend to withdraw when they are depressed, so reaching out to a friend in need is an important first step. If your friend isn’t ready to talk, continue to offer your support by spending time with them and try to check in regularly, either in person, on the phone, or by text.
When you reach out to a friend, letting them know that you are going to be there every step of the way can be very reassuring.
You may not quite know what this will look like at first, but know that just reminding your friend that you are someone they can lean on can mean the world.
Dont Downplay The Severity
Why its harmful: Statements like this play down the severity of a depressed persons condition and might make them feel guilty for something they cant control. When I hear this statement, it diminishes the fact that depression is a real problem and puts a personal blame and a negative spin on what already feels awful, Nguyen says.
What to say instead:What can I do to help you feel better?
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Remind Them That They Matter
A common feeling among those who are depressed is that their lives don’t matter and no one would even care if they were gone. If you can sincerely tell your friend about all the ways that they matter to you and others, this can help them realize that they have value and worth.
Letting them know that they are an important person in your life can mean a lot when someone is struggling with feelings of depression and worthlessness.
Encourage Them To Talk It Out
Talking is one of the most effective ways to cheer someone up. Encourage your friend to share their feelings! “Teenagers often say that when they are stressed that they want someone to talk to about things. Be there for them, listen to them. If they arent interested in talking, invite them to do an activity with you and more than likely, they will start talking,” says Kibler.
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Other Ways To Be Supportive
Loved ones can support people with depression in many ways, but it is not possible to cure another persons depression.
While it may help to encourage a person to seek treatment, it is not possible to force someone to see a doctor or therapist.
Instead of trying to force a specific outcome, therefore, focus on cultivating a loving environment.
Some strategies that can help include:
- inviting the other person to do things that they once enjoyed
- using humor if it usually helps that person
- avoiding spending all of the time together talking about depression
- taking care of your own needs and setting boundaries if you feel uncomfortable
Avoid saying anything that dismisses the persons symptoms, judges them for their emotions, stigmatizes depression, or makes them feel hopeless.
Some examples of what not to say include:
People who love a person with depression may also need external support from friends, family members, or a therapist.
Text Messages To Cheer Someone Up When Theyre Sick
Friends or loved ones who are sick need to be cheered up on a regular basis. This is true regardless of the severity of their illness. Plus, you can always send the text and follow up with a small get-well gift box.
If someone you care about is ill or injured, here’s how to comfort someone over text:
- “Hey, get well soon. Like, real soon. That’s not a request.
- “You’re doing a great job with a major responsibility. How can I help you make it easier?”
- Remember that time you ? Youve got this.
- I hate that youre going through this. On the other hand, I dont hate that I lost my biggest competition in the dating world.
- Hey, I havent forgotten about you or how difficult this must be. Youre showing a lot of strength.
6. Hey, get well soon. Like, real soon. Thats not a request. Its an order. We miss you.
This is the type of text message you might send to a friend or family member whose life isnt threatened by an illness, but may be struggling with a lengthy sickness. Jokingly let your friend or loved one know that he or she needs to speed up the recovery process so you can hang out again.
7. Youre doing a great job with a major responsibility. How can I help make it easier?
This actually isnt a text youd send directly to a sick friend or loved one. Instead, its a text youd send when someone has a sick family member and that person is the major caregiver.
8. Remember that time you ? Youve got this.
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Final Thoughts On Cheering Your Friend
Probably you have tried lifting up your friend and you are not successful or you even made them feel worse. You will definitely be left feeling bad. This is due to the fact that your friend will still be in that bad mood and you will now be feeling like you have lost it. It is easy to blame yourself and feel that you are not worthy to be his friend. First, you will need to realize that you did not become a loser by trying to assist a friend who was in need. Secondly, you will need to know that it is your friend who needed assistance and not you.
Take As Long As You Need
For someone in a deep depression or even just an extremely low mood, seemingly easy tasks can feel overwhelming. Everyday things, such as taking a shower or cooking might seem too much to deal with, especially early in the day. Many people with depression feel their mood lifts towards the end of the day, so allowing them extra time to do these tasks is a good plan.
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Gift Your Friend Goodness Of Online Therapy
The best gift for your depressed friend to make them feel better is Therapy! Believe it or not, nothing could be better than consulting an expert, understanding the causes, and finding solutions. Betterhelp.com is one such place to book therapies and make your friend happy.
Disclaimer: As BetterHelp Affiliate, We may receive compensation from BetterHelp or other sources if you purchase products or services through the links provided on this page.
A Personalized Jar Of Messages
Now you donât need to buy anything for this except some raw materials like a glass jar and few craft papers. It may take some extra effort but well, that counts. Write some inspiring quotes on sheets of colorful paper, fold them, and place them in the jar. Gift this jar to your friend and tell him or her to open one message each day.
This way, he will always keep in mind that you are there for him and still get inspired to do something productive. And you are also able to make your friend feel better.
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You Make My Life Better
When someone is depressed, they may convince themselves that their loved ones would be better off without them. When you tell them that they make your life better, they will know that their thoughts arent accurate. They need to hear this so they feel wanted and to know they arent making your life worse.
Gift Card For Body & Mind Relaxing Massage
Probably the best gift for someone with depression as a good massage for 30-60 minutes can do wonders not only for body muscles but also for mental health. According to a study, a deep massage helps in increased endorphins, serotonin, and dopamine and decreases cortisol levels which is overall a good combination for reducing stress.
Advice: While you purchase the gift card, consult the expert, and go for the one which releases mental stressand focuses on relaxation.
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Gifts To Cheer Up Someone Feeling Lonely
Every person sees highs and lows at some point in their life, but the support and goodness from others help everyone sail through the troubled waters.
So, choose these uplifting presents from below and make life a good place to live in for the one you adore the most.
When searching out gifts to cheer up someone feeling lonely, you need to be sure that they learn to accept and navigate accordingly through their emotions, right?
This is why here we have this umbrella that protects from the rain outside and lets a person accept and decide that no matter what, theres no way of giving up!
If your friend has pets, then these cutest slippers are what you should be adding to the cart for gifts to cheer up someone feeling lonely!
These slippers are an absolute definition of comfort and coziness at the same time.
What Not To Say And Why
I know exactly how you feel.Why? Because no one knows exactly how anyone else feels. This is not a helpful way to make someone feel understood when their depression has become overwhelming.
Everyone gets depressed sometimes.Why? Because it sounds dismissive and its not true. Everyone gets sad sometimes or has a bad day. Everyone does not get depressed.
You have no reason to be depressed.Why? Because it can make people feel guilty, ashamed, or like their feelings dont count. Life events can sometimes play a role, but depression often has no specific reason, trigger, or cause.
Hang in there. It will pass.Why? Because its unhelpful and untrue. Chances are, theyve been feeling this way for some time, and it hasnt gotten better and thats why theyre asking for support.
Dont be so negative. Think happy thoughts.Why? Because if it was that simple, depression wouldnt exist. This statement implies that depression is a choice which is false. You cant just will or wish it away.
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Remind Them Of What Theyre Grateful For
Helping a friend come up with a gratitude list when theyre struggling to see the good in the world can help improve their perspective. Yup, sometimes life sucks. But even on those dark days, theres still so much good in your life and in the world around you. Your friend or loved one mightve lost something they loved dearly, but they still have so many things that they cherish. It might be a good idea to buy them a gratitude journal. Most recommend listing between 3-5 things youre grateful for each day. This can be a good practice to help someone cheer up while helping them take ownership for their wellbeing.
Breathe In Through The Nose Out Through The Mouth
One of the first things that happens when you start to spiral or have an anxiety attack is you forget to breathe, which leads to hyperventilating, which in turn leads to strengthening the episode or attack. Getting people to concentrate on their breathing sometimes helps clear their minds of whatever sent them down the rabbit hole, and often prevents a full on panic attack.
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Poems To Cheer Her Up And Uplift Her During Down Times
Poems to Cheer Her Up and Uplift Her During Down Times.
Poems to Cheer Her Up I think sometimes we just really need a few supportive, optimistic or comforting words that say its all going to be all right.
Often to understand their suffering, individuals only need others. If they realize that someone listens or takes the time to listen to them then thats always at least half the treatment.
I observe when ever I try to comfort or cheer someone up. In a matter of seconds, their mood changes from depression or self-pity to all that will be alright.
Text Messages To Cheer Someone Up Whos Going Through Another Rough Time
People can struggle for plenty of reasons. Deaths, breakups, and illnesses arent the only reasons to cheer someone up via text. If someone is having a hard time for another reason, here’s how to comfort someone over text:
- “Losing a job is the worst. Need to vent?”
- “One failure doesn’t define anyone. You’ve already achieved .”
- “Don’t let anyone tell you how to feel. You definitely didn’t ask to feel this way.”
- “You probably want some revenge. I’d help, but I put that life behind me.”
- Send a funny video or GIF.
- This happens to everyone. Not everyone deals with it as well as you.
16. Losing a job is the worst. Need to vent?
Someone who just lost a job might have a few unpleasant things to say about his former employer. Send a text letting him know youll always happily give him the opportunity to do so.
17. One failure doesnt define anyone. Youve already achieved .
Maybe a friend or family member is feeling low because he recently failed a test, lost a big game, or failed in some other way. Cheer him up by reminding him of what he has accomplished and that everyone experiences failure at one time or another.
18. Dont let anyone tell you how to feel. You definitely didnt ask to feel this way.
A friend or loved one struggling with depression or anxiety may go through a particularly bad spell. During this time, some might dismiss his or her feelings and say Get over it. Remind your friend thats an unfair attitude.
20. Send a funny video or GIF
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Dont Talk About How They Look Or Act
Why its harmful: As is the case with any medical condition, there is no one specific way to look depressed. Not everyone will be a sobbing mess or unable to get out of bed in the morning. People who are depressed spend a lot of time trying not to look depressed, Nguyen says. It takes a long time for you to get to the point where you stop showering. Find out why nicer people are more prone to depression.
What to say instead:Tell me more about whats going on. Help me understand.
When Good Intentions Go Wrong
It’s possible that you can say all the “right” things and your friend will still become upset with you. Every person is an individual with unique thoughts and feelings, and being angry and upset is the nature of depression.
Sometimes people will lash out at those trying to help them because they are hurting and don’t know where to direct those bad feelings. Whoever is nearby becomes a convenient target.
If this happens, try not to take it personally. Stay calm and continue to do what you can to love and support your friend in whatever way they will allow.
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