Depression is a crippling mood disorder that can convert the beauty of life into a pain not only for the person affected by the problem, but also for his or her loved ones. An individual affected by depression commonly feels like “living in a black hole,” enveloped by darkness, sadness and hopelessness. In such a situation, it is essential for the loved ones to understand the plight of the sufferer and not say or behave in a manner that would hurt his or her sentiments, as this might just exacerbate the symptoms of depression.
Some of the common things that one should avoid saying to someone affected by depression are mentioned below:
The most important thing to remember when talking to someone with depression is not asking straight questions. Hitting a direct question like “what’s your problem” might make a depressed person feel low and sad that you don’t care about him/her. Instead, stay calm and ask questions like “have you read about depression,” or “would you like to get some help,” etc.
This is one of those statements that are sure to hurt the sentiments of a person who is depressed. Depression is never a choice and therefore, those constant episodes of whining and sadness should not be interpreted as intentional. Asking him/her to stop whining is disrespectful and might hurt his/her sentiments.
Cribbing and expressing feelings about certain incidents/situations are a part of normal day-to-day life. Therefore, one must understand that it is important to hear the person calmly and not make him/her feel low by using statements like “hope you are tired of ‘me-me-me’ stuff,” etc.
To a person who is depressed, one must never say things like “his/her ailments are not real and it is just a state of mind.” The effects of depression are not just limited to a person’s brain. In fact, it also affects him/her physically by leading to problems like causing fatigue, insomnia, unusual changes in appetite, chronic muscle aches and chest pains.
Don’t judge a person’s ability to deal with different situations in life on the basis of depression or any other mental illness that has affected him/her. Doing so might undermine his/her ability to stay strong and fight against the toughest situations in life.
If a loved one or a friend finds the one affected by depression complaining about life or saying that life has been unfair toward him/her, it is better not to utter logical statements at that point of time. It is, rather, better to use positive statements and help him/her feel good about life.
Saying such a statement to the one affected by depression might make him/her feel small. Interpreting it in your way would demean him/her and he/she might begin to distance himself/herself from you and prefer to stay alone.
This statement is often used by people who have the least understanding of depression. Even though they have no intention of hurting anyone’s sentiments, they end up doing so by interpreting the symptoms of depression as sadness and asking him/her if he/she is feeling better after some time.
Depression is not a childish act. It is a state of one’s mental health that makes a person act in an unusual way. Asking a person about the time he/she would need to grow can be interpreted as an indirect way to say that his/her emotions don’t matter and that he/she should stop sharing the same.
Out of the multiple things not to say to a person who is depressed, this is the most important one – depression should not make you feel sorry for yourself, instead you should stand strong and fight against it. Such statements do not do any good. In fact, such an act might worsen his/her condition.
The mental state of an individual dealing with depression should not be compared with the condition of any other person. Doing so might not help the person in any way but can actually make him/her feel guilty and worthless.
Remember, depression does not affect an individual on the basis of current scenarios and situations. It can actually be an outcome of some past experiences or happenings. Therefore, one must remember that saying the above statement might lead to an outburst.
When a person is putting up a tough fight against depression, it is very difficult to make him/her feel better or calm him/her down. Moreover, using such statements might not help in any way, instead it might worsen the condition.
No one can ever know someone else’s life completely. Only those chapters of life that are disclosed by the person himself/herself are known to others. Therefore, no one has the right to comment without gauging the real scenario. Moreover, saying it to the one affected by depression might actually irritate the person and lead to an outburst.
Truly said, happiness is a choice but this does not hold true for those who are affected by some or the other form of depression. It is such an illness that can turn even the happiest person into the gloomiest without any reason.
Undoubtedly, depression and health go hand-in-hand. While staying healthy can be a great way to fight against the condition, it is important to remember that giving unnecessary advice, especially when he/she has not asked for it, might irritate the person.
If doing this was that easy, they would have loved to do it just the way you enjoy and stay happy. But the sad part is that these people don’t even know what it means to lighten up and how to do it. So suggesting this won’t really make any difference to them.
In the list of things mentioned under ‘what you should not say to a depressed person’, this is an important one. Remember that taking medications is never a choice and hence, giving someone the advice to stop taking pills is irrelevant. Moreover, one must understand that quitting any type of medication without consulting a doctor can be life-threatening and even trigger relapse and withdrawal symptoms.
Though an individual’s thought process plays a major role in ensuring a good mental health, this point will not work here, as it will in no way help prevent the risk of developing any mental disorders. So such statements cannot help the person but can actually irritate the person.
Giving this suggestion won’t do any good to the affected person, instead, it would only worsen his/her condition. Listening to such statements makes one feel guilty about his/her condition for which he/she is not at all responsible.
When a person is suffering from depression, feeling sorry for oneself is normal. But it is important to remember that others should not say this to him or her. This can generate a feeling that the affected person is ignored or unwanted.
It would be rude to use such a statement with a person who is already going through a tough phase. Being normal and happy is not something they don’t wish for. It is just their state of mental health that does not allow them to be so.
Before giving an advice, one must try and understand the situation of the other person. Doing so will help them understand what he/she is actually dealing with and how difficult it is to come out of it. Using statements like ‘things aren’t that bad, are they’ might irritate the person and make him/her think that you are making their fun.
It is true that staying alone might make depression worse. Therefore, it is always better to move out of one’s home, meet people and make new friends. Socializing can serve as a great help to curb depression. But saying so cannot help every time as it is possible that the person might already be making an effort in this direction.
A hot bath is surely a great way to relieve the symptoms of depression. But giving it as an advice by comparing with one’s own situation can make one feel annoyed. And in such a scenario, it is also possible that the affected person might ignore the tip and deliberately let the condition worsen.
Everyone knows that depression can severely affect a person’s life. Beginning with spoiling personal relationships to creating troubles at work, the situation might worsen to an extent of snatching away one’s job. Therefore, advising them to get a job is not right as they are jobless not at their own will but due to circumstances.
This statement is sure to make the person affected by depression wonder if it is something that needs to be shown. Moreover, it can make the person feel that his/her illness is not being taken seriously and instead, is being mocked.
Since a person who is depressed is very likely to stay alone and prefer distancing himself/herself from others, it is very likely that he/she will be considered to be selfish. But saying this to the person affected by depression might make him feel that his condition is being taken for granted and others are instead, doubting his/her intentions.
Drawing a conclusion like this, without looking at the other side of the situation, can make a person with depression feel lonely. It is like saying that the person is not affected by depression but is actually trying to garner attention.
One must never try and give credit to an individual’s depression for his/her better future. Saying such statements can make the sufferer feel uncomfortable with his/her present condition and even spoil his/her relationship with you.
One must understand that depression is not a day’s problem. It is actually a long-lasting devastating condition. Therefore, saying such statements might irritate the one dealing with it as these shows how the condition is underestimated by others.
Suggesting an individual to go out and socialize is a different from saying that he/she needs to wear nice clothes. Using such a statement is at a high risk of misinterpretation and can be interpreted as an insult to the other person.
This might make one feel that he/she is not loved by anyone around him/her. Express your love and concern for the affected person but don’t make him/her feel as unimportant or useless.
This is a common response given by a majority of employers in case an employee talks about his/her depression But, they must remember that saying such things might not improve their productivity or help them in any way. Instead, these would actually demotivate them and instigate them to quit the job.
Depression is a scientifically proven mental health issue that has nothing to do with God and sin. Therefore, trying to connect two different worlds just reflects the person’s lack of knowledge and awareness.
Depression can never be anyone’s choice. Therefore, blaming an individual for his/her own condition is incorrect and is also very likely to attract dangerous repercussions.
It might be true that you don’t care about the other person’s health, but it is not always necessary to be vocal about it. Saying it directly on his/her face might make him/her feel bad that would only worsen the condition.
This is one of the most insensitive statements uttered to the individuals dealing with depression. One must understand that depression is not just a sadness or weakness. It is actually a serious mental health disorder that needs proper diagnosis and treatment.
Blaming someone for his/her condition is easy but one must realize that there is no one in this world who prefers to stay sad or unhappy. Saying such statements may severely hurt an individual’s emotions and might even spoil the relationships.
Everyone knows that depression is killing. The above statement can be considered to be true if the person has successfully recovered from his/her condition. Therefore, saying such statements to motivate the other person may not work all the time.
It is incorrect to tell someone that constantly thinking about his/her problems is triggering the depression. It is very likely that if a person thinks a lot, he/she is busy in planning for future or scheduling a meeting. Remember not to comment on anyone’s problems or his/her level of concern for the same.
Defining the level of problem that one has in his/her life is incorrect. You, as a loved one or a friend, are no one to tell him/her the extent to which a problem can affect his/her life.
If it was so easy, no one would ever be depressed. Telling someone not to think about the condition is illogical, as depression is not something to be thought about intentionally.
Asking someone to go away from a particular situation is like making him/her run away from the problem without even making an effort to change. Therefore, one must never recommend anyone to run away but advise him/her to seek an expert’s advice or consultation.
This might be interpreted as a disgrace by the other person as this is as bad as blaming an individual for his/her condition.
Depression is not sadness that will get over on its own. Recommending someone to wait for some time to recover from depression instead of advising him/her to seek help is just another way of letting the condition worsen over time.
Depression is debilitating that makes a person feel sad and low. For an individual dealing with it, it is really difficult to stay happy and have fun. Therefore, advising him/her to move on and have fun is irrelevant and might actually irritate the person.
Using this statement even hypothetically is as bad as blaming someone else for one’s bad condition. Therefore, it is recommended to stay cautious and use such statements that do not hurt anyone’s sentiments or emotions.
Being helpful is good but telling someone straight about your intentions does not help. It, rather, would make the other person feel guilty, sad and realize that he/she is having a serious trouble in life.
Instead, advice the person concerned to seek help from an expert as doing so might help him/her feel better. In case you know someone who doesn’t want to seek help, you may read: Tips to help people with depression who doesn’t want help.
A depressed person is sensible enough to understand the reality of the external world. Therefore, trying to comfort him/her by saying such statements might not prove to be helpful but can actually irritate the person.
Though this might sound to be a sensible statement to make, this actually won’t help a person dealing with depression. It might actually make them feel that you are underestimating their abilities do not recognize their potential to lead a better life.
Saying such statements might actually irritate the one who is undergoing a bad phase. Having a companion who can understand your pain can be in any form like a friend, loved one, relative or any other. It is not necessary that he/she should be a boy/girl-friend. Apart from this, it is very likely that he/she is already involved in a happy relationship and hence, might feel offended.
Saying this to a person dealing with depression is like doubting the presence of mental illness. Therefore, it is always better to stay extra cautious and choose the right words when talking to a person dealing with this mental illness.
Natural remedies work but not always. Therefore, there is no point in cross-checking whether the person affected by depression has tried them or not. It is very likely that he/she would have tried but have not gained any benefit and vice-versa.
Breathing in the fresh air is sure to make one feel refreshed and soothe one’s senses. But, recommending it as a tactic to overcome depression is wrong. This statement can be said in a better way like ‘get some fresh air to feel better’. Doing so will make the person realize that you care and are not concluding it as a final remedy for depression.
Though this statement symbolizes the importance of self-help, the message should be conveyed in a polite way. One should not be told to implement self-help tips to overcome depression and carry on with your routine life. A better way is to share some self-help tips like exercising regularly and practicing meditation and motivating the person concerned to implement those in their life.
This is one of the worst statements to be uttered ever to the one dealing with depression. Saying so won’t only make him/her feel sad but also demotivate him/her from seeking help.
This may be true to an extent, but telling a person directly that there is no one to cause him/her depression is incorrect. The statement can even be more harmful if it is said to the one who got affected by the condition due to spoiled relationships or loss of a loved one.
One must remember that saying any of the above things might actually worsen one’s mental health. There are many things that a person dealing with depression wants others to know.
Therefore, one must not say anything if he/she doesn’t know what to say or the right words that might help improve the condition of the person concerned.