Things You Should Never Say to a Person Dealing with Depression
Your intention might be appropriate, but are your words appropriate? There are different instances when a person who has been having issues with depression finally lets out the thought. It isn’t the right time for those around to be judgmental or say mean things to the person. It is important at this point to give the person the right feedback as that can help the person dealing with depression better handle the situation.
There are certain things you shouldn’t ever say to a person dealing with depression.
Telling the person to get more exercise and let go of the sad thoughts
You probably have the right intention and obviously, think telling someone to let go of their sad thoughts is the appropriate thing to do. However, such statements reduce the significance of the person’s situation. Exercise, eating right and getting adequate sleep is no doubt important as it can have a positive effect on the cortisol levels of the depressed person. However, bringing up that suggestion so casually is like saying that is all the person needs to get over the feelings of depression. The feeling a person who is depressed has isn’t just sadness and the type of advice anyone can just get on a random wellness site article isn’t sufficient.
Cap: Never tell a person dealing with depression to get more exercise and just simply stop being sad
Telling the person depression is not real
There are some people who go ahead to tell a person who has opened up about depression that it is all in their heads. All in the name of giving advice, these people also add that they also get sad sometimes. Telling them that brings up the idea that depression is a thing they can easily overcome with a snap of a finger and that isn’t true.
Telling them to think about the situation of other people
It is totally not helpful to tell a person dealing with depression that other people have it worse or their lives are still progressing fine as compared to a lot of people.
Although your intention may be to help them remember that they are still experiencing good things, but in actual fact telling them to be grateful will more likely make them feel guilty than help them feel better. Most times, people dealing with depression do not need a reminder because they actually do know.
Cap: It isn’t helpful to tell a person dealing with depression that other people have worse problems as it brings up a feeling of guilt
Alternatively, there are some lifting statements you can say to a person dealing with depression which will definitely be of help
I love and care about you
Telling people dealing with depression that you love them and you are there for them is something they need to hear more often. It’s very easy for a person dealing with depression to hate himself or herself because they feel like they are broken and they have no hope left.
Cap: Tell people dealing with depression that you love them
Ask them how you can be of help
You should be willing to ask how you can help them. For a person dealing with depression to actually voice out, there is a high probability that they’ve been dealing with it for quite some time and they have eventually gotten enough courage to open up.
Asking how you can be of help may be a dead-end since they probably have no idea either. It is up to you to bring up some suggestions. You would need to check on them on a daily basis or get a cleaner to help them with their apartment.
In whatever way you can, endeavor that you help no matter how simple it looks. Some may not want anything but only that you listen to them. Be willing to do that attentively. Doing this is particularly powerful if you have also passed through that phase in your life and you genuinely understand how they feel. There is no need to pretend if you have not experienced it as it might have a negative effect on them which would make them feel more isolated and alone.
Cap: Some may only want you to listen to them and you should be willing to do so attentively
Tell them how much they matter to you
A person dealing with depression will often feel like they do not matter or that this world is a messed up place where nothing matters. It usually translates to them feeling that their existence is totally irrelevant. You should, therefore, try to tell the person how much he or she matters to you.
Give them genuine reasons why you think so and remind them how you consider them to be valuable gifts to you and the world in general. You should always give them these reminders. You shouldn’t get tired of repeating how much you love them, asking what you can do to help them and telling them how much they mean to you.
Everyone needs to understand that those dealing with depression do not need fixing, they primarily need to be heard and also supported.
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