Those who aren't depressed sometimes have a difficult time understanding depression. Those who are around the depressed can aggravate depression symptoms by saying the wrong things. Alternatively, those who are depressed can be helped through their depression with kind words from others.
Letting a person know that you care about him or her can help with depression. Saying "I love you" or "I care" can remind those who are depressed that you care about them and genuinely like them.
Those who are depressed sometimes feel that they are worthless and that they will eventually be abandoned for their depression or for perceived defects in their personalities. Telling someone who is depressed, "I will be here forever," "Can I stay with you through your sadness?" and "If you need a friend..." helps that person feel that their relationship with you is stable. Be sure to spend plenty of time with depressed loved ones if they want it.
Empathy involves letting your depressed loved one know that you have felt this depression yourself. To let them know, you can tell them about how you understand and empathize with their pain. If you have not felt this kind of depression, you can be honest and tell them that you do not understand what they're going through, but that you will be there for them either way.
Compliments help with depression. Those who are depressed sometimes forget about their better qualities. Remind the person of his or her gifts and how important he or she is for others. However, make sure that the compliments are sincere. Also, do not relent with the compliments even if the depressed person does not believe them. They can still show that you care about the person even if the person does not believe your compliments.
Remind the person that you are on their side and that you are willing to help him or her through anything. Realize that those who are depressed do not have control over their depression, and they must be helped through the depression with your support.
Don't Say This
Avoid reminding the depressed person that he or she can't stop thinking about negative things. Avoid being accusatory and critical, because those who are depressed already feel negative towards themselves. Do not downplay the problem that is causing the depression, because perspective is often difficult to find when depressed. Focus on how horrible the problem seems to the depressed person, rather than how horrible you think it is.