Some people offer advice to depressed people without understanding how depression works. The advice usually comes from a well-meaning place, but the words used can hurt the sufferer.
Depression is a serious and common medical condition that adversely affects how you feel, think, and behave daily. Fortunately, it can also be treated. Treatments may include medication, therapy, or both.
Depression causes sadness and a loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed. It can lead to various emotional and physical problems and can decrease your ability to function at work and home.
Talking to people who have depression
It’s essential to be mindful of our words when talking to someone with depression. Even though our intentions might be good, comments like “snap out of it” or “it’s all in your head” can do more harm than good. Depression isn’t something you can snap out of.
These words can make the person feel invalidated and misunderstood. When you’re talking to someone about their depression, repeating platitudes can make someone think that you’re diminishing their illness and can affect their mental health further.
Five things you shouldn’t say to a depressed person
1. “Snap out of it.”
2. “It’s all in your head.”
3. “You’re just being lazy.”
4. “There’s nothing wrong with you.”
5. “You’re making a big deal out of nothing.”
Instead, let’s try to be more compassionate and understanding. Let’s listen to what the person has to say and try to see things from their perspective. We can offer our support and encouragement and let them know that we’re here for them.
If you’re unsure what to say, it’s okay, to be honest and say that you don’t know what to say, but you care about them and want to help. Sometimes, the best thing we can do is be there for someone. Just listening and being there for the person can make a big difference.