When we know that someone is struggling, perhaps depressed, maybe they have depression, or worse still are having suicidal thoughts, it is important to support that person as much as possible.
Encouraging them to seek expert help is very important. However, sometimes the person does not want to get that help. The reasons for this are varied - I can fix myself, I am not mad, I just need time, things will get better, I am not as bad as you think I am - all of these thoughts are going through the struggling person's head.
Previously, I have spoken on what to do and say to the person you want to help, this time I will cover what NOT to say;
"You'll be okay" - Reassure them by all means, but this statement sounds dismissive.
"I know how you feel" - You may have been through something similar yourself however each of us is different. We can make generalisations but there are always unique differences with each of us.
"Snap out of it" - Do you not think that they would have done do if it was so simple? Recovery time varies for each of us and it is often so slow that it is almost unrecognisable.
"Harden up" - This will make most people worse because they will feel like a failure. It won't work for anyone.
"This has been going on for far too long now" - Maybe it has, so what, they are still with you! It can be a swift dive down into the depths of despair but it is often a long and slow road back.
"We all have our crosses to bare (tell everyone about)" - I am embarrassed to say that I once was a supporter of this mantra, until I became unwell. Each of us does have a cross or two to bare, we should help each other to carry the burden if we can.
"I read about this cure" - While well-meaning, people can be overwhelmed by those wanting to help. Know that there is a lot going on inside the head of someone who is struggling, they don't need more information to add to their self-talk.
"Have you tried..." - Similar to the sentence above, they probably have tried whatever you are going to suggest.
What should you say - "I am here for you for whatever you want or need. You are going through a tough time, I can see that. Please let me know if I can help and how I can do so. Take your time, I'll be here whenever you need me to be. If it's alright with you I will check in with you every now and then, it's no trouble because you mean a lot to us."