Clinically Depressed, Counseling, Melancholy, Sad
Curated By
Keiko McCullough

Keiko McCullough is a doctoral student at Indiana University Bloomington studying Counseling Psychology. Keiko graduated summa cum laude from the University of Akron with her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology in 2015. Her research interests, broadly, focus on the intersections of race, gender, and new media. She additionally studies men of color and masculinities, Asian American mental health, positive psychology, and feminist issues.

They Might Be Thinking:

  • It’s so hard for me to get out of bed. I have nothing to look forward to.
  • I feel numb and empty.
  • I wish it would all end, but I am too tired to do anything about it. 
  • I never have energy anymore. 
  • I can’t do anything right, or at all.
  • I’ve really messed up. I’ll never come back from my mistakes. 
  • I want things to get better, but I really think they won’t. 
  • I wish I could have a normal/regular sleep schedule. 
  • I can never fall asleep no matter how hard I try. 
  • I think about death and dying more often than most people. 
  • I hate myself. I feel so worthless. 
  • Sometimes, I try to make things better… but nothing works.

Words That Might Be Encouraging:

  • If you are feeling suicidal and need to talk to a professional, you can call this number: 1-800-273-8255.
  • It sounds like you’re going through a really difficult time. I am so sorry to hear you have been struggling with this. 
  • I think you are more resilient and persistent than you might think. I have hope for you, even if you don’t have hope for yourself. 
  • [If you’ve also struggled with depression] I know it might feel like you’re the only one dealing with this sort of thing, but I have also felt similarly before. 
  • When I think about you, I think about your many strengths such as X, Y, and Z. 
  • I appreciate you sharing this with me. I want you to know that I am always here to listen to what you have to say. I value you and your experience. 
  • You really feel like things won’t get better. That must be so hard to deal with every day. 
  • I know it might not feel like it, but I can see that you really are trying your best. 
  • Your bravery and ability to share this with me is remarkable. I think if I were you, I might not have the courage to share this with someone else. 
  • I know some people might encourage you to try certain things to “fix” the problem. But you are enough, just as you are. 
  • You’re at an incredibly difficult time in your life right now. I believe you will weather this storm, because of X, Y, and Z. 

Words That Might Be Discouraging:

  • I don’t think we should hang out anymore if you’re going to be like this. 
  • Hmmm…I can’t really relate. 
  • Does this mean you’re crazy? 
  • I had no idea you were so emotional. 
  • Cheer up! Things aren’t so bad for you. 
  • You should really do something about this.
  • I’m sure eventually you’ll get over it.
  • There’s no use beating yourself up all the time. 
  • Well, what do you want me to do about this? I can’t help you. 
  • That sucks. 
  • Tomorrow’s another day. Try not to take life so seriously. 
See Personalized Encouragement Recommendations for Someone You Care About
Personalize: Name & Relationship (sign-in/up to complete personal profile information to improve encouragement recommendations)
Select relationship type
Was this guide helpful?
Your rating will help us improve this encouragement guide.