What do you say to someone who suffers from depression? How do you know what is appropriate to say and what isn’t? Don’t worry, I am here to help you!
Before you say anything trying mentally switching places with the other person. Would you want to hear what you’re thing? If not switch gears and talk about something else.
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Things you shouldn’t say to someone with depression
- Just think positive.
- Have you tried being happy?
- What do you have to be depressed about?
- There’s always someone who is worse off than you.
- Things could always be worse
- You’re just trying to get attention.
- You don’t look depressed.
- Have you tried exercising?
- It’s all in your head
- I was depressed once
Things not to say to someone with depression
Let’s take a deeper look into these statements/questions you should never say to someone with depression.
Just think positive
I’m hoping people are trying to be helpful with this statement but it’s kind of a slap in the face. I’m sure said person who is depressed has tried “thinking positive”. If happy thoughts fixed everything the world would be a much nicer place.
Have you tried being happy?
This goes along with number 1. This is NEVER a helpful thing to say. It makes it seem like depression is just a mindset, which it’s not.
What do you have to be depressed about?
Uh, comparison. The thief of joy. This question never ends well for anyone so please, don’t ask it.
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There’s always someone who has it worse than you
For the most part people are generally well aware that people may be in “worse” situations. It doesn’t make what they are going through any less valid. Just as there are always people better off than you, there will be people worse off than you. That’s life. Still not a nice thing to say.
Things could always be worse
Well now you just triggered their anxiety if they suffer from it. This statement could easily start a waterfall of fears that said person wasn’t previously thinking about.
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You don’t look like you have depression
Fun fact: mental illness does not have a specific “look”. Yes, it can contribute to things such as poor hygiene, insomnia, paranoia. But it’s called a “invisible illness” for a reason.
You’re just trying to get attention
Okay, let’s really think about this. Would you say this to someone with a neurological condition like MS? I’m hoping you’re shaking your head no. Mental illness also has to do with the brain. So if you wouldn’t say it to someone with a neurological condition, why would you say it to someone with depression?
Have you tried exercising?
Yes, we know. Excercise creates endorphins and endorphins make you happy. Just consider that sometimes just getting out of bed seems like an impossible task.
Depression is all in your head
Well, considering depression is a mental illness and it’s caused by the brain you’re right. It doesn’t make it any better.
I was depressed once
So, let’s get this clear. Being sad and being depressed are not the same thing. Everyone gets sad at some point, not everyone is clinically depressed. A statement like this can make the depressed person feel less valid.
What should you say to someone with depression?
Here is a quick list of things that are more helpful to say to someone who has depression.
- I’m here for you
- Would you like to talk about it?
- I’m sorry this is something you have to go through
- Do you want me to just sit with you?
- You’re not in this alone
What are some things you reccomended not saying to someone with depression? If you have depression has anyone ever said anything inappropriate to you? Let me know down in the comments below.
Till next time,