1 in 4 people suffers from depression or another kind of mental illness at some point in their life. You probably know somebody who suffers from it, whether that be a friend or even a close family member. Below you can find a list of the things you should NEVER say to anymore who is suffering from the disease. It can be easy to go down the route of saying these words, but you really need to think carefully about what you say when you are around somebody who has depression.
1. “What have you got to be depressed about?”
Depression isn’t usually about one certain thing and asking the sufferer, what they are depressed about can make them feel even worse. The truth is they probably don’t know themselves whats wrong with them, so explaining to you is almost impossible. Give them the option to talk to you if they want to, but don’t push it – if they want to open up, they will.
2. “You’ll feel better tomorrow.”
Depression does not go away overnight and telling somebody that they will feel better tomorrow, could make them have false hope or feel like a failure. Instead of saying this, remind them that things CAN get better in the future and guide them in the right direction (counseling or visiting a doctor.)
3. “I know how you feel, my neighbors cat had depression.”
This is an absolutely ridiculous thing to say to someone with depression and can make them feel insignificant. No two people who suffer from depression will be going through the same thing. We are all individual and will deal with the illness in different ways. Telling them the facts about depression like how many people have it, might make them feel not so alone but you should never brush off their emotions.
4. “You’re bringing me down.”
Depression is not a choice and telling somebody that their making YOU sad, by being sad is not going to help the situation. Psychiatrist and doctors have said that people with depression feel helpless, this kind of comment could really drive them over the edge. If you are a true friend of this person in your life, you will support them no matter what. Just remember that they are not feeling this way on purpose and they need your support now, more than ever.
5. “Let’s go out, get drunk and forget about it.”
This disease is not like having a bad day, it’s like having many bad days piled on top of each other. Getting drunk isn’t going to help things, in-fact – alcohol and depression can be a horrible combination. Instead of saying something so ridiculous, suggest going for a coffee and a chat.
If you have never had depression, you have absolutely no idea what it feels like and you should think before you say things to somebody who is suffering from it. The best thing you can be is 100% totally there for them and understanding throughout this bad period in their life. When they come out the other end, they will remember your loyalty and will be so grateful.