It’s a question a lot of us have, but few know how to really answer it.
I’m about to (hopefully) help shed some light on the hard subject of suicide and suicide prevention. Please keep in mind that I’m purely speaking from my own experience, and that I am not a licensed doctor or therapist.
If a friend or a family member has even become depressed, or worse, suicidal, it’s hard to know what to say to that person in order to help them.
As someone who suffers from both anxiety and depression, I know it’s not easy. It has to be hard on our loved ones too. I have trouble explaining to my own husband what might help me when I’m in a funk.
What I can say, is this much… there is no one “cure-all” or “magic” phrase to make someone feel better when they’re down. Everyone that suffers from depression and anxiety has different needs.
However, I do have some suggestions of phrases or questions that might help.
- By all means, the BEST thing you can ask someone who is in a serious negative space, is “are you feeling suicidal?” When somone asked me this, I broke down in tears and was finally able to admit I needed help. The guard was down.
- “I love you, and we’ll get through this.” My husband uses a variation of this when I’m depressed, and it works! It takes pressure off of me from having to feel “perfect”, and I know I’m not alone.
- “Don’t worry about that. Just tell me what I can do for you.” Admit it – it’s nice to know someone is willing to do something for us. Show your loved one you’re willing to do the same thing with that phrase.
Would those be easy phrases to try on someone yourself?