Supporting someone suffering from depression can be difficult. Sometimes it is tempting to distance yourself from that person instead of risking saying or doing something that could aggravate the situation.
Do not do this: your friend or relative living with this disorder needs your help more than ever.
You need to keep in mind that some of the most well-meaning phrases may have a different meaning for someone suffering from depression. The last thing a person in this situation needs is to feel as if their emotional state is being misunderstood.
Things you should never say to someone with depression:
“Why can’t you just be happy?”
Depression means that a person has a distorted view of the world, that they see everything from a negative or sad point of view. Talking about happiness can be frightening and make them feel that things are even more hopeless.
There is no quick fix for depression, and insisting on or expecting an abrupt shift can reinforce feelings of discouragement and failure.
“There are medications and therapies for people with depression”
Some people are afraid to ask for help because of the stigma that is often associated with mental illness. They may not want to reveal how they feel, because we live in a culture where only those who are highly productive are valued.
Medications can be a major cause of stress due to preconceived notions or perceptions about addiction or side effects. All this is combined to create a general fear of changing the fundamental psyche or of “losing” oneself.
It is okay to mention the possibility of going through therapy, but one should never force anyone to follow this path.
Most of the time it is just that it takes some time before they are willing to take that step.
“Just focus on getting past it”
People who are not depressed do not experience a reduction in their physical or mental energies, but these two symptoms are very common in patients who are depressed.
You can have the best of intentions when you tell someone who is depressed that they need to get up and do something to make them feel better. For example, go out, travel, or try to have some fun.
While this is understandable, it can actually increase the degree of despair for those suffering from depression. No one wants to overcome these feelings more than they do, but they do not know how.
Their moods, thoughts and behaviors are beyond their control. And it gets worse if they have a severe depression.
“It’s not that bad, other people go through things that are much worse”
No one wants to be compared to starving children living in a war zone. Nor with people living in the final stages of an illness. Why would you force a depressed person to think about it? Do you really think that would make them feel better?
People who suffer from depression often have thoughts that become psychotic or are delusions. When you insist on using them as an example against the lives of others, they will usually feel even worse.
Even if you mean well, you will not achieve anything by saying this to them.
“You will feel better tomorrow”
This condition is not the kind of thing that goes away overnight. That kind of false expectation will only further discourage someone with depression. Only people who have experienced depression themselves really know how deep this pain, suffering and hopelessness can be.
With the right medical approach, it is possible to overcome depression, but it takes time. Saying this kind of thing just makes them feel more uncomfortable and paralyzed.
“You did this to yourself”
People judge all the time, which can be a serious mistake when you only trust your personal values, lack information, or are generally unaware of the subject.
Mankind has associated depression with sin for centuries.
It was believed that this condition was a punishment for one who violated the laws of the “gods”. And there are still people who, when talking about depression, refer to issues related to sin and punishment.
This attitude has dramatic negative consequences, which only aggravates the condition of the person suffering from depression.
“Do not be so negative”
It is difficult to be around someone with depression. Their low energy and gloomy mood can “pull you down”, and many people instinctively turn away. Sometimes people get to the point where they openly express how anxious they have become because of a person with depression.
Yes, their mood will not improve your mood, there is no doubt about it. But saying such a thing to someone suffering from depression makes them feel lonely and only increases their negative emotions.
The best way you can help is by being supportive and doing everything you can to find the right resources to solve this problem.
Depression is a serious problem
No, depression is not purely psychological, nor is it a specific time when it can be cured. There does not even have to be an exact reason for that.
Finally; To be depressed is to stop being able to see the meaning of life due to a million different factors: family problems, the loss of a loved one, failing at work, and more.
Yet, without exception, having depression means facing a daily struggle to survive. Keep this in mind when you hear these words. Now you know that they will not help anyone suffering from this disorder.