If you’re someone who is trying to help a person, friend or family member with depression there are certain phrases or keywords that should never be used.
They can often be not only ineffective but also destructive to the person with depression, meaning that you make the problem worse.
This article will discuss the 9 worst things you can possibly say to someone suffering from depression.
“Go outside more often, it’ll do you good!”
Whilst this is true, being out and active amongst society whilst suffering from depression has its benefits, saying this phrase to someone will be counterproductive.
Someone suffering from depression more than likely knows that they need to get more exercise, be outside of their house/room more often but doesn’t have the help needed to take the step.
Instead of commanding the person you’re trying to support, invite them out somewhere and give them some motivation to come with you.
“You need to work out more”
Exercise, as previously mentioned, is beneficial to someone suffering from depression, but outright saying it like this can prove to be destructive.
Instead of telling them what they need to do, when they more than likely realise they’re getting out of shape, offer to join them on a run or invite them out to the gym on a guest pass to see if they enjoy it.
“Think of the good things you have!”
This may prove to be worse than it sounds, as someone with depression may struggle with focusing on positive thoughts, meaning that saying this can only lead to frustration and a worsening of their depression.
Sit down with the depressed person and help them write a list of the positive aspects of their life. This may be their health, a pet that keeps them company, the fact that they have a house to live in, even simple things like beating their high score last week on their favourite video games.
This may be a good chance to bring up happy memories that both of you share, if any, to help give them a small boost in happiness.
“Do something that makes you happy”
The problem that people with depression suffer from is that the simplest tasks that may not take any effort to perform can become too much to handle, meaning that something that may have brought joy at one point may only give frustration and then worsen their depression.
Instead of telling them to do something that makes them happy, join them in a fun activity that you can both enjoy and create some good memories which can then be reflected in the future.
“Medication won’t help you, it’s only destroying you even more”
This is a real corker and should never be used. You don’t personally know how someone felt before and after their use of medication, so why feel compelling to comment on it?
Medication wouldn’t be around if it wasn’t helpful, it wouldn’t have passed human trials if it wasn’t proven to be effective, so if your friend takes medication such as beta blockers to help with their illness.
The best way to go about helping a friend with depression if they’re medicating is to spend some time with them understanding the illness.
This will allow you to not only learn about it, but also let the person know that someone cares about them enough to ask.
“People have it worse than you”
Never undermine the problems that other people have, not only with someone suffering from depression but in general.
Try to understand the problems and contribute towards the resolution instead of insulting it. Their problems are significant regardless if other people have it worse, so take that into consideration.
“You can’t be sad constantly”
According to the illness, you can. Depression has been around for hundreds of years and the symptoms are often consistent from person to person, help the depressed person with their depression instead of undermining its existence.
“Why don’t you ever leave your house?”
Instead of asking this, invite them out the house. They may struggle to have the motivation to leave the house, not really seeing the point in leaving so why should they?
Inviting someone with depression out of the house will give them a sense of belonging and friendship whilst also improving their mental state considerably.
“It’s all in your head”
Indeed, it is. Instead of saying this, offer some support to them, forward them to a counsellor or ask them what would help with their depression.