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54 Things You Should Not Say To Someone With Depression

54 Things You Should Not Say To Someone With Depression

People in depression can be wary and unpredictable, as they undergo myriad emotions all at once. They need to be dealt with very cautiously. This Buzzle article has enlisted 54 things you should not say to someone with depression.
PsycholoGenie Staff
Did You Know?
Cognitive therapy is believed to be one of the most effective treatments for depression. The focus here is to help alleviate the symptoms of depression by perspective change, i.e., to change the negative thoughts in the depressed minds to positive ones, in a slow and steady manner.
Nothing seems right when one is depressed. The world seems to be clouded with anxiety, sadness becomes a constant companion, like a black cloud hanging over one's head. These individuals are always in a state of melancholy, undergoing innumerable emotions all at once―they tend to experience helplessness, anger, irritability, diffidence, worthlessness, and what not.
At such times, it is of vital importance that their near and dear ones provide them with utmost support so that they can get out of the state as soon as possible. Sometimes though, the people around them utter or mention something that may sound rather rude and biased and insensitive. If someone in your family or someone you know is suffering from depression, you should be empathetic towards him or her and should be aware of what to say and what not, to rouse the depressed soul from his/her state. These article explains the things not to say to someone with depression and anxiety.
1. Life's not fair.
Of course, it isn't fair. No one said life has to be fair. But do not rub it in and make them feel worse.

2. Get over it.
You may not really know the extent to which the person is in depression. There is a difference between being sad for a while and actual clinical depression; the latter could have serious repercussions. So, the next time you say 'Get over it', think twice. It's not easy.

3. Stop whining. There are people who have been in even more worse situations than you.
This is one sentence that people with depression would hate to hear. I mean, who are you to decide how worse the situation is? Everybody has a different way of handling things. You may not really know how many worse situations people have gone through, so this advice is a strict no-no. And, if you cannot put up with the whining, get away. Let the poor soul at least cry in peace, may be it might help.

4. Try not to be so depressed.
Wonderful. That's just an absolutely wonderful piece of advice, if I may say so. The person 'IS' depressed. He is upset. Sad. Frustrated. This is a kind of shallow thing to say. He is not depressed out of choice; his experiences and circumstances have caused him to face this monster. Asking him to try not to be depressed is just like ... oh, well ... never mind.

5. You just need to give yourself a kick in the rear.
The person is not in a condition to give anyone a kick, so will you stop with the 'it's all cool' attitude, for God's sake? How about saying something, like 'We'll handle it together buddy'?

6. You're weak. It's not that bad, I got over it.
This kind of advice is rather common when people undergo general clinical treatments or perhaps, postpartum depression. Are you the mentally strongest person alive? No, right? Then, how on earth can you give this advice? Even if you have been through a similar situation and emerged strong and unscathed, remember that everyone is not the same. People take time to deal with certain issues, so keep that in mind before dishing out advice like this.

7. Believe me, I know how you feel. I was depressed once for several days.
Believe me, you may not really know how the person feels. There are different forms of depression, the situations, people, feelings, are all different. While you may say it with good intent, it can be really irritating to hear this at the time.

8. Do you feel better now?
This sentence is generally uttered after some small talk―after you have expressed concern about the person and have spoken to him for a while. See, the person is depressed for a particularly strong reason, a 5-minute conversation is not going to rouse him out of his state. You need to know better, even if your intentions are good.

9. You are selfish. You are pretending to be in depression so that you can make us feel guilty and punish us.
Whoever says this certainly takes the cake for being insensitive. When a person is depressed, he does not really think straight. If you cannot say something encouraging and supportive, at least do not pass such outright rude comments. Do you realize that a small statement from your side can push the person further into depression.

10. Depression is a symptom of your sin.
Please cut out this crap. No one needs a sermon at this stage. Do you really need to talk about the person's ill-doings at this time when he may not even understand the gravity of the same.

11. It's your own fault, you brought this upon yourself.
Yeah. Thank you. Nothing more to be said. Do everybody a favor and refrain from being a counselor.

12. At this age, you age should be having the time of your life.
Of course, he should be having the time of his life. But he isn't, because he has some serious issues that need to be dealt with. And please, cut out the age factor.

13. What are you depressed about? You have so many things to be grateful for.
This is a rather sane advice, except that the person isn't in the right frame of mind. The statement should be put differently, trying to eliminate the negative aspects and then help the person identify the positive points in his life that he has to be grateful for.

14. What you need is a hot bath and some cookies.
Great. Really great. In that case, all the psychologists would probably need a sauna in their clinics.

15. You're only hurting yourself.
This one is true, and hurts, rather heavily. So avoid saying so. The person is definitely hurting himself, but do not make him feel like a self-destroyer and self-pitying soul. If you are giving this advice, make sure it sounds empathizing.

Well, no matter how noble and good-hearted your intentions may be, a person dealing with depression is already struggling with his mental illness and then dealing with your responses or statements is not really enjoyable. Here are some more insensitive responses to depression by normal people.

And then some more ...

16. It's probably in your mind.
17. I thought you were stronger than that.
18. As you get stronger you'll realize that it was nothing.
19. Common, pull yourself up instead of moping around.
20. Just grow up already.
21. You have it all, don't you? Why are you depressed?
22. Happiness is a choice.
23. You are what you think.
24. Cheer up! Just chill!
25. You are always depressed, aren't you?
26. Why can't you just be normal?
27. Have you been reading spiritual books?
28. You need to get out more, get a life!
29. We have to get together some time.
30. Everyone gets depressed sometimes.
31. Maybe you need a new job.
32. Go get some shopping done, you'll feel rejuvenated.
33. You never think of anyone but yourself.
34. You're just looking for attention.
35. Have you got PMS?
36. You'll be a better person now.
37. You can do anything you want if you just set your mind to it.
38. Why should I care?"
39. You have no reason to feel this way.
40. Your problems aren't that big.
41. Just don't think about it.
42. Just wait a while, it'll be over soon.
43. I just want to help you.
44. You're making me depressed as well
45. You need a boy-friend.
46. You haven't been through severe tragedies yet.
47. Go out and do some social work. It'll make you feel better.
48. You're useless.
49. Nobody is responsible for your depression.
50. You just have to deal with it.
51. So depression is just being really sad, right?
52. You're on medication, right? I thought you would be better by now.
53. You're just being dramatic.
54. Get a new hobby, meet new friends.

It can be unbelievably painful to be depressed, with all negative thoughts and emotions swirling around the mind. In a scenario like this, always make sure to say the right sentence/advice to help the person overcome his brooding state. Or, the best option is to stay quiet and offer silent moral support to the person, rather than saying something that might push the person further into an abyss instead of uplifting him.