Things not say to someone who is fighting depression
When someone you care about is sad, you may feel compelled to give advise or wisdom with the best of intentions. However, if you don’t grasp the nature of depression and mental illness, the words you choose may not convey the message you wish to deliver. From your perspective, the phrases you use to express your feelings may appear clear and to the point, but the person with depression on the receiving end may feel attacked, misunderstood, or deeply hurt.
Don’t disbelief what they express
“People who need help often appear to be people who don’t need help,” wrote American author Glennon Doyle, implying that how a person appears on the outside does not always reflect how they feel on the inside. This is true of many mental illnesses, as well as chronic illnesses and conditions that are sometimes deemed invisible. Just because someone who is depressed attempts to hide it doesn’t imply they want to be laughed at when they finally admit how they truly feel. It takes a lot of bravery for someone to come out about their sorrow. If someone reacts with skepticism or disbelief, it may make them feel uncomfortable discussing their melancholy.
Don’t ignore them
Be honest if you’re having trouble figuring out what they need. Explain calmly, then wait patiently, ready to listen. Even if you have personally encountered clinical depression, your experience may differ from that of others. It may be difficult for you to sympathize if you have never experienced depression. In either case, the greatest thing you can do if someone you care about is sad is to be open and eager to learn.
Don’t tell them if they should try harder
Having someone encourage you to strive harder when you are already giving it your all may be depressing and make a depressed person feel hopeless about their condition. Depression can occur for a variety of causes, and a person cannot always manage all of the risk factors. It’s not as if a person can just “talk themselves out of” a bad mood after they’ve been sad.
Don’t blame them for what they are going thru
While a lack of mood-regulating chemicals is actually occurring in the mind, the term “all in your brain” has a contemptuous connotation. Hearing the term might make people feel assaulted, as if they’re being accused of “making it up” or lying about thei9r feelings.