When I was at my sickest (which lasted for about two years) and even on my way to wellness, there were a few lies I thought over and over again on repeat. Things like: you weren’t made for happiness, everyone else can find it but you never will. Those kinds of negative self-talk can eat away at your soul, and rarely get voiced out loud.

Everyobody’s brain is different, so everyone’s depression is different. But as someone who is well and has been through it, I wanted to give those of you who are trying to help your loved ones with a few things I wished I had heard more often. Here are five things that I think are universally important for a depressed person to hear:

  • Depression isn’t a character flaw. The depressed brain may want to tell you that there is never a way out, that you’ve done this to yourself because you’re broken. Speak the truth. Depression is a brain issue, not a character issue.
  • People do not see you as weak for fighting for your health. Living with depression is much more miserable, but infinitely easier than fixing your life and your health. You’re a strong person for acknowledging your pain.
  • Your pain is not a burden to me. When your depressed, it can feel like you’re outside of the rest of the world, and by telling the truth you are forcing other people into your sad little bubble. The truth is, being known means honesty that isn’t always pretty. You deserve to be known.
  • Your life does not have to look one way or the other. When a person begins recovering, it can be tempting to try and find an old structure to fall back into – even though most of the time that structure is the original problem. We all function completely differently. Our lives are aloud to reflect those encoded differences.
  • You are not on a time crunch. The rest of your life is much longer than the time it is going to take to get healthy. If you’re working to build a life that keeps you happy and healthy – there will be surprises along the way. No one expects you to rebuild a lifetime of half truths on your first time.

Do you have any other things you think helped your recovery? Are there things you wish you could hear? Comment below or send me an email.