Speaking with a Depressed Friend

Let me not try to give an ambiguous definition of Depression, because you might have seen plenty of that. Depression is simply man in his lowest form, in his lowest form of belief in the world and in himself.

Depression knows no gender

Understanding the inner feelings of your depressed friend.

In talking to someone who is depressed, whether they are our friend or not, it is important we understand how they feel, so, we can relate to them in a way that is most appealing to their mood. Meanwhile, understanding depression or identifying a depressed person can be tedious especially if you have never been in that state. So, a great deal of patience and genuine interest is important in achieving this feat.

Symptoms and causes of depression vary widely from person to person, therefore never make the mistake of assuming every depressed person feels the same way. This assumption in itself can be a repelling factor for a depressed person to open up, they are prone to feel you do not respect their emotions or you take them for every other person. 

Common Indicators

Life seems not to be pleasurable and to them, there is no way out of their situation.

Concentration or focus becomes harder cause their mind is preoccupied by something life-threatening.

Self-esteem is often absent. People with depression may feel like they are worthless or a failure at everything.

Sleeping may be problematic. Still, because their mind is largely occupied by a sole cause. 

Food may be used as a comfort or coping tool. Although some people with depression don’t want to eat, others can overeat (abnormal of their usual food urge) and crave unhealthy or comfort foods. This can lead to weight gain.

These are just a few of the symptoms that could give a lead into the inner condition of a depressed person.

How to speak with them

Now that we know how our friend might be feeling, we need to be clear, compassionate and sensitive in the way we communicate with them and our choice of words.

1. Availability

Funny that the type of communication that the human mind tends to interpret and resonate with the most is, non-vocal communication. Hence, it plays a vital role in communicating with a depressed friend that we make ourself available, not only to act like, “Mr/Mrs Advicer” but also to resonate with their feelings and most of their unspoken thoughts.

The saying that, “Nobody cares how much you know, until they know how much you care.”, is no miss at all. A depressed person needs to trust you with their feelings before they can relate with you at all.

The shocker about spewing out advice to people is that, 50% of the time, they are familiar with the advice, they just need the emotional support to go in line of the advice.

So, the important thing to note about this point and talking to any depressed person is that, if you don’t have the time and genuine interest, do not try to open up their wounds or gory story.

Pressuring a depressed person to talk to you or giving them an ultimatum can be the worst thing and further heartbreak to a depressed friend.

I cry but you can’t see tears…

2. Listen

When they finally get to make one or two sentences about their current state, listen and listen again.

Beyond that, try to make sense out of the “not-sense” that might be spilling out of their mouth. Often, a depressed person can  be secretive with their words, especially if they got into that state for a guilt doing.

Here is your game; try to not judge (you can revisit that when they are in better state to receive constructive criticism), listen like you are trying to listen to your own mind for answers to a difficult exam question, lol, then make coherent points of their words.

Take your time and do not jump into conclusion, especially if you do not fully understand their point at the moment. You can make notes (mentally or scribble down things), to revisit at a private time. But when you are around him/her, try to make them comfortable, and show to them that you care about them and desire that they overcome whatever it is they are going through.

For a close friend, you can use the moment to share past victories in the victim’s life that you had experienced in your relationship with them. Remind them of their small wins, goals achieved and the beauty of their personality. All of these are ways to lighten up their mood and keep their mind off a wrong focus.

3. Research

From the point we discussed above, you might have found out information that is not clear or familiar to it. It’s time to research, personally and deep into your friend’s condition.

You can seek for this online, medically and from individuals who have had similar experiences or have someone who had.

This would give you deeper understanding of how you can relate and help your friend out of their state.

4. Prayer

If someone is truly your friend, you would remember them in prayer, not to mention if they are in a depressed state.

The word of God says, ” The hearts of Kings are in God’s hands and He directs it wherever He wills.” It also says that, ” God has not given us the Spirit of fear, but of Love, Power and a Sound mind.” These are scriptures that you can use to redirect and strengthen the heart of your friend. 

Until your friend’s burden becomes your burden, there is no friendship. Hence, Prayer remains an active key for turning hopeless situations around.

5. Medical Help

Naturally, a depressed person would not want to visit the hospital willingly for that cause. But that is where your best interest as a friend comes in because you are expected to be acting in their best interest whether they know it at the moment or not. 

Usually, not all depression cases need medical attention. But if a person’s depression symptoms last for weeks or closely a month, it is advisable to seek medical help.

People at times find solace in speaking to strangers in situations like this, a doctor may be a perfect one.

What if….

What if all your attempt to speak to and help your friend falls on deaf ears? Is it game over?

At times, even if our best intentions are not enough. But it doesn’t mean we should give up on a friend. 

If you truly want to help someone and you find out you can’t, then find someone who can and you, continue on your knees behind closed doors till victory is won and your friend is back 😊.


Staying Safe is beyond the physical, let’s all try to Stay Safe Mentally and help those who are not.


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