When someone you deeply care about is depressed, it may be hard to figure out what to say to them to help. In this article, we listed the worst things you can say to someone who’s depressed.
We hope that this article can help you approach them with the gentleness and care they need during this difficult time.
1. “Snap out of this!”
The person who’s depressed is probably giving their best effort to be better. Hearing statements like this can be demoralizing for them because it makes it sound like their fault.
There are many reasons why depression happens and the person can’t really “snap out of it” quickly. It’s not just trying to get themselves out of a foul mood.
Telling them to stop being depressed and to be happy instead may sound encouraging to you, but it oversimplifies depression.
Instead, we can say something like: “I know you’re doing your best and I’m here to support you no matter what.”
2. “You don’t look like a depressed person.”
This statement is very invalidating. Just because someone who’s depressed tries to put on a brave face, doesn’t mean we should dismiss them when they open up to us about how they feel.
It’s important to be a safe space for them at all times.
3. “It could be way worse.”
When you’re talking to a depressed friend, do your best not to compare pain or situations. It’s not a competition after all.
This can feel like you’re minimizing what they’re going through and not listening to what they’re saying to you.
4. “It’s all in your mind.”
This is also a very dismissive thing to say. They may feel like you’re saying that they’re making everything up.
This isn’t helpful and will only make your depressed friend, relative, or colleague feel bad.
5. “Other people have problems too.”
This implies that the person with depression doesn’t really care about how other people are doing. This just adds to their feelings of shame.
People with depression still care about other people.
What can you do instead?
Now is the time to give support and listen to what they say. Don’t make assumptions.
You can be a safe space for them to talk about emotions. Sometimes you don’t even have to say much, you just have to listen and be there for them.
Other forms of support is to bring them food when they don’t feel well enough to cook. You can cook for them personally or order takeout from their favorite vegan, Thai, Vietnamese, Korean, Indian, or Mexican restaurants.
Gestures like bringing them food or offering to help them with chores can go a long way. You can also ask them how they can best feel supported.
After all, every person is different.
That concludes our list of things you shouldn’t say to someone who’s depressed. We hope we were able to help you with your situation.
Got anything to say? Don’t hesitate to let us know through the comments below!
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