Depression is a serious condition that can really affect a person’s well-being if it is left untreated. It is a deep, overconsuming, and crippling feeling of sadness, despair, and powerlessness. Sometimes, it could lead to suicidal thinking.
Some signs of depression include insomnia or hypersomnia, lack of concentration, fatigue, feelings of restlessness and anxiety, significant weight gain or weight loss, inability to experience pleasure from the day-to-day things, and a constant depressed mood accompanied with suicidal thoughts.
So, if someone close to you has depression here are some things that you should never ever say to them because even though you think you are helping them, you are actually making their situation worse.
1. “It is all in your head.”
This is a typical response from people when they first hear the word depression. It is as if the person could control their mental condition. There are more and more people who are suffering from some mental disorder and we should all try to be more compassionate and understanding. Depression is not a weakness and the depressed person is not imagining things. It is a serious condition and it should be treated seriously.
2. “Life is difficult for everyone, so toughen up!”
This is an insensitive and cruel statement. The person who says this statement lacks compassion and it is as if they are saying to the depressed person that they are not allowed to feel sad. That they are not allowed to have emotions and to express them.
3. “Would you pull yourself together already?”
Again, it is a total dismissal of the condition of the sufferer. It makes them feel like they are making things up so that people can feel sorry for them. And no one wants to feel like they are a burden.
4. “Grow up.”
Depression can happen to anyone at any age. This is a very inconsiderate and rude comment that dismisses the feelings of the sufferer. “Grow up” is not a good advice. Sometimes being a grown person with all the responsibilities that come with age is what has triggered the depression.
5. “I really thought you were stronger than this.”
If only saying this phrase could make them stronger and heal their depression… It is not that easy, and you should not say this phrase to someone with depression. It is bullying them into feeling better while disregarding their true emotional state.
6. “Maybe you should learn from your mistakes.”
This is not a time when you should start pointing fingers and make them feel guilty about their mistakes. We all make mistakes. But a person who is suffering from depression already feels like they are carrying the weight of the world on their shoulders. There is really no need for you to make them feel even worse than they already feel.
7. “Happiness is a state of mind.”
And sadness is also a state of mind. Everyone has happy and sad moments in their lives and you should not judge them for feeling either way.
8. “Life is not fair. Get used to it.”
This statement is like you are telling the sufferer that they are selfish for thinking only about them and their misery. No, being depressed is not selfish. Depression is very real and you should understand its power to paralyze the victim from experiencing happiness and joy.