As someone who personally suffers from depression, this article will undoubtedly have a personal touch to it. That being said, if you ask any expert about the things that you shouldn’t say to someone with depression, you’ll receive the same answers that this article will provide.
Depression is a serious illness. Since it is a mental illness, it affects people in different, subjective ways. There are some things that you should never say to someone with depression because you never know which thing might trigger which underlying symptoms.
Sometimes, even a single remark may make people suicidal and drive them to death. People still have little or no awareness regarding depression, so they often end up saying things which hurt the depressed. Mostly, these remarks are either unintentional or they come from a place of ignorance. In this article, we will discuss 11 things to never say to someone with depression. Please read on to find out what those things are:
Top 11 Things to Never Say to Depressed
‘Get over it.’
No one expects a friend or loved one to “get over” diabetes or heart disease, but that is often the response when someone with depression expresses his or her feelings and emotions. Indeed, “get over it” may be the worst thing anyone can say to someone with depression. Clinical depression is not a choice. Nobody chooses to be depressed. Neither is depression a moral failing, a weakness of will or a phantom of the imagination. Depression is a medical disorder, a biological disruption of brain chemistry linked to and triggered by some combination of genetics, family history, past trauma, stress and other factors.
‘A lot of people have it worse than you.’
People with depression often know this, too, and feel guilty about their condition. They don’t need more guilt piled on.
People know they shouldn’t be eating another half-gallon of ice cream. The problem with depression is each person who has it knows the right thing to do but can’t find a way to bring themselves to do it. Telling someone how they should feel or act doesn’t tell them how to do it.
Words such as psycho and crazy are not helpful. Neither are words like “suffering” or “victim.” Someone “has” depression; she doesn’t “suffer” from it.
‘Just do something about it.’
Depression is so insidious because it makes it very hard to do anything about it. Depressed people make depressed decisions. When you use your feelings as an indicator of what to do, you make bad decisions. That is often behind the battles people with depression get into with those around them. They are responding to feelings instead of the larger goal.
‘You don’t need medication, you need meditation.’
That is for a mental health professional to decide. While it is very true that many cases of depression do respond to treatments other than antidepressants, like psychotherapy and exercise, some people do need medication. And those who are already on antidepressants should not stop taking their medication without speaking to their doctor first.
‘Everything will be okay.’
Someone with depression can’t see that. It’s important to stay positive and encouraging, but it takes action to feel better.
‘Why do you need to be depressed?’
People who are depressed wish they know why they are depressed. Unfortunately, it’s different for everyone. They are accused of committing a heinous crime of being depressed. They are confused because they don’t know what happened to make them depressed and how it all happened. Saying this will add to their confusion.
‘Be thankful for what you have.’
Depressed people are thankful for what they have. But what does that have to do with depression? Doctors and every website you will read will say that depression is an illness and has biological factors. Depression needs to be treated as any other sickness. Stop belittling their illness.
‘Do something to lighten your mood up.’
Go do what? Depressed people can’t be bothered. They are usually left with little or no energy and don’t have the will to do anything. They either stay awake or stare into blank space for hours, or they oversleep. There is no in-between. Instead of asking them to do something, maybe drag them into doing something? Maybe take the initiative to sort out their lives?
‘What’s wrong with you?’
Trust me when i say that depressed people wished they knew what was wrong with them. You are saying that to them, that will only make things worse. If you can, take them out for therapy. Try to make things easier for them.
By now, you must have found out that either you understand about depression or you don’t. If you don’t, then we hope this article has made it clear about what to do if you talk to someone with depression. Life is already difficult for your depressed loved ones; don’t make it too difficult for them.