Depression is a debilitating illness that affects both mind and body. It messes with emotions, decision making skills, and thought and body functions. People who suffer from depression need all the support, help, and understanding they can get. If you know someone who suffers from some form of depression, then you probably feel like you should at least say something to show that you care. Before you make a sound, you need to know that there will some things that you shouldn’t say to people who suffer from depression.
1. “You Need to Be Stronger.” or “You Are Stronger than This.”
Depression is not about strengths and weaknesses. It is a chemical imbalance in the brain. Saying this to people with depression can make them feel guilty about not being able to fight the depression.
2. “What’s Wrong?” or “What’s Your Problem?”
People with depression don’t essentially have anything wrong with them. The depression is not even caused by one specific problem. Sometimes depression is the result of a number of problems and life events. In other cases, people are not even able to identify exactly what caused the depression because, more than anything else, it is a chemical imbalance.
3. “Lighten up.” or “You Should Try to Enjoy Life.”
Don’t jump to the conclusion that people with depression do not want to enjoy life. They do but their brain will not allow them. They really do want to enjoy life and be happy; that is why they suffer so much from the disease.
4. “Snap out of It.” or “Get over It.”
Depression is not something you can get over with sheer willpower. Usually, the chemical imbalance makes it hard to just “snap out of it”. Saying this to someone with depression can actually make them feel guilty and more depressed.
5. “It’s All in Your Head.”
Depression is a real medical condition. It is not something people imagine. You cannot wish it away or forget about it as if you are forgetting an insult or a bad encounter. If depression were as simple as this, a lot of people would have wished themselves happy.
6. “do You Feel Better Now?”
Even though people can feel uplifted for several hours, that doesn’t mean that the depression has gone away or has been cured. Even with medication and therapy, depression is not something that can be cured overnight. It takes time. Talking to friends or family can ease the pain but that doesn’t really make things medically better.
7. “You Need to Get out More.” or “do Things That Make You Happy.”
Depression usually takes away people’s interest or energy to do things. It doesn’t matter how many times to tell someone to get out and hang out with their friends or to do things that are supposed to lift their spirits. They won’t do it if they have lost the desire to even get out of bed.
As someone who suffers from depression, I can say that these things, as well as many other similar platitudes, don’t really help the situation. Before you can truly help someone with depression, you need to understand the nature of the illness. Usually, people’s insensitivity stems from the lack of education and information. I hope that somehow, this short post has enlightened you.
Tpo image source: itwasjustadreamyeah.tumblr.com