What do you usually say to someone who suffers from depression? I’m sorry to break it you, but even if you have the best intentions, your bits of advice can be often useless and even harmful.
Depression is a horrible mental condition and people who are dealing with it are often misunderstood by others. Those who have never gone on this terrible journey, called depression, often believe that depressed people can get rid of their sadness if they put in the necessary effort. Yet, being depressed isn’t the same thing as being sad. Lack of hope and motivation, fatigue, and inability to perform daily responsibilities are just some of the many negative physical and mental symptoms of this disease.
One thing for sure, if someone you know or is close to you is depressed, know that they’ve already tried many options to fight this awful condition. And the last thing they need is you giving them boring and unhelpful advice.
These are the 7 things you should never say to a depressed person:
1. ”Why don’t you just cheer up? It’ll help you.”
Yeah, right! If they go to the cinema to watch a comedy movie, listen to some jokes, or catch some sunshine, this will make their depression magically go away and lighten up their world of darkness. It’s not like they chose this illness themselves. Telling to a depressed person to be cheerful and laugh more, while they’re often busy trying to stay alive, is so frustrating and a total nonsense.
2. ”I cannot imagine how you are feeling.”
Of course, you can’t. Unless you’ve been diagnosed with clinical depression or gone through the same bad sh*t a truly depressed person is experiencing, you’ll never be able to imagine how they feel like. Additionally, don’t even think about saying that you can understand what they’re going through. It’s ridiculous comparing one’s depression with a breakup, losing a job, and even grief for the death of a loved one. A comforting sentence, like: “I don’t know what to say, but you can always rely on my help” can be a lot more helpful.
3. ”It’s all in your head.”
Maybe this is true as there are many chemical reactions going on in both mind and body of a depressed person. Yet, telling them this only downplays their serious condition. It’s like suggesting that a person who suffers from depression can just snap out of it if they only try to change their thoughts. Well, they may have a lot of irrational thoughts but it’s very difficult for them to control their mind. They might even feel disappointed for not being able to do this. Making them feel like they’re responsible for their state of mind will only worsen the situation.
4. ”Your stories are dragging me down with you.”
There’s no need to repeat again that depression is not their choice. Don’t make them feel more embarrassed, sad, and humiliated than they already do. Trust me, when they share their problems with you, the last thing they want is to sap your energy, make you feel upset, or shift their depression onto you.
5. ”Have you tried taking or doing…?”
You can bet they have. They’ve tried all sorts of treatments, medications, and counseling that exist out there. Innumerable counseling sessions with doctors, pills, acupuncture, meditation, yoga exercises, relaxation massage, going to a spa- you name it. Believe me, they’ve already tried these things many times.
6.”Oh, you’re still depressed. I thought you got better by now with the medical treatment you received.”
Depression is an individual journey and different people can suffer from it for different periods of time. While some can get better by receiving adequate medical treatment, others will have to put up with it until the rest of their lives. Unfortunately, some depressed people may be on meds for quite a long time and still not be able to get cured because the treatment they receive isn’t suitable to their mental health state.
7. ”Why do you need that much therapy?”
You can’t expect a depressed person to talk about their depression and constantly answer your repetitive and invasive questions. Having to put up with this kind of questions, wears them down even more and it can even make them feel guilty for not being able to control their mind and behavior. Moreover, no matter what their answer is, if you’ve never been depressed, there’s no chance you can understand the physical and mental state of a depressed person.
Instead of telling them all these lame bits of advice, tell and show them they aren’t alone and that they’re important. Be there for them and try to make their life easier in every aspect possible.
Riley Cooper is a professional writer who writes informative and creative articles on topics related to various fields of study. Written with love and enthusiasm, her articles inspire readers to broaden their knowledge of the world, think and get ready to act. If you have a general question or comment please fill out the form and we will get back to you as soon as possible https://curiousmindmagazine.com/contact-us/