12 Things You Should NEVER Say To Someone Who Is Depressed
Please remember this: Someone who is depressed doesn't need your advice, but your love and support. Find out here what you can do to help, and what are the things they wish you wouldn't say.
In our attempt to help, we may sometimes say the wrong things, even with the best intentions. But if you've never dealt with depression, it is impossible to imagine what someone who does is going through. Here are some of the things you should never say to those who are struggling.
1. Get over it!
Please acknowledge that depression is an illness, like diabetes, for example. Can you just snap out of diabetes? No, you can't. You need doctors and medication, and the same goes for depression.
2. You have no real reason to be depressed!
This will only make them feel ashamed and guilty for the way they are feeling. They can't control it, you know. They can't just put happy thoughts in their brain, because you believe what they are feeling is not justified. And it will not cheer them up, that's for sure.
3. It's all in your head.
Depression is a serious condition and it can't be fixed just by changing your thoughts. It won't go away. What a person is feeling is within them and the pain is real, regardless of what an outsider may think.
4. Your life isn't that bad!
You see, depression is not about how good or bad your life is. An event that wouldn't bother you at all, could be a huge obstacle for someone who is struggling with depression, as they don't have the resources to cope with stress.
5. You're overreacting.
Remember, they don't choose to feel this way. No one ever wants to feel depressed. If someone chooses to open up to you, don't ever tell them they're overreacting. They'll avoid talking about it, and closing off only makes things even worse.
6. Others have it worse than you.
While it may be true, this doesn't help. It doesn't change how they feel, and it only makes them feel ashamed about their condition.
7. You should get out more.
Depression has many symptoms like insomnia, exhaustion, fatigue, or the lack of motivation. There are days when getting out of bed is almost impossible, so this may be the reason why they don't get out that much. If they could, they would.
8. You don't look depressed.
People with depression have no desire to make others sad or worsen your day. That's why, they'll try their best to put on a fake smile and act like everything's fine, even though they're falling apart.
9. This too shall pass.
You're right, hopefully. While it may pass, this statement brings no comfort to someone who is depressed. We often say this to people who are hurting, and our intentions are the best, but to someone who has no idea if or when they will even begin to feel better, this is just an empty sentence.
10. I understand.
Unless you've struggled yourself with the demons of depression, then you probably don't. Being sad and clinical depression can't be compared, so don't make it seem like you've been in their shoes if you haven't. It will seem like you are minimizing their condition, while they simply can't see the end of their suffering.
What can you say to help someone who is depressed?
Here are some things you can say, that might help:
"Whatever you need, I am here for you."
"Please tell what I can do to help you."
"You are important to me and I am by your side."
"While I may not truly understand what you are going through, I care, and I want to help."
"You are not alone."
"I'm proud of you for pushing through this."
"This is not your fault."
"What you're going through is real, and you shouldn't feel bad about it."
What can you do to help someone who is depressed?
Keep them company and listen to them. Even if you say nothing, just being there for them helps. Be patient, and don't abandon them, no matter what they say or do. They may say things they don't really mean.
Encourage activity, by inviting them for walks, watching a funny movie with them, or taking them out for dinner. Help them with whatever they need and are willing to accept.
Even the easiest tasks could seem impossible for people who are dealing with depression, so pitch in when you can. Help them with some of the chores and household responsibilities.