In many countries, depression is still considered taboo. Depression is a serious mental disorder and should not be underestimated. Some people think d
In many countries, depression is still considered taboo. Depression is a serious mental disorder and should not be underestimated. Some people think depression is no different from feeling sad. Yes, people with depression will likely feel very down and lethargic, but it is different from normal sadness. Depression lasts for two weeks or more, and the sufferer will feel hopeless and worthless.
Because knowledge about these disorders is still quite minimal, mistakes often occur in dealing with depressed individuals. If you have a friend who has symptoms of depression, or has told you that he or she is depressed, you should treat it with caution. Maybe you want to be a good friend and give advice, but often the advice given gets in the way and makes your friend feel worse. To keep you from saying the wrong words, here are 15 things to say to a person with depression.
1. “It is not a big problem.”
Depressed people actually have a hard time reaching out to other people and getting help. So do not underestimate their problems when they come to you to get your help. If you say that their problem is trivial, it means you belittle their feelings and conditions.
2. “You are less grateful.”
Depression is a serious mental disorder that cannot be overcome with gratitude. Sentences like this aren’t unhelpful, they can also make your friend feel guilty. Everyone’s feelings are valid and don’t deserve to be compared because everyone’s problems are different.
3. “Stop complaining.”
Sentences like this also show that we take the problems our friends face lightly. As if the problem he is facing should be able to be resolved easily, namely with a positive mind and stop complaining.
Everyone also wants to think positively, but not everyone has that privilege. Don’t forget that a depressed person does have a tendency to overthink everything and have negative thoughts, and this is not on their own.
Besides, the fact that our friend is contacting us, it means that he believes we will understand his feelings. Would it be appropriate for us to retaliate by simplifying the matter that they were just complaining?
4. “You are lack of faith.”
Maybe for some people, praying and worshiping will help them feel calmer about their feelings. But a person with depression cannot heal with prayer alone. It would be better to suggest your friend to get a medical attention rather than saying those painful sentences.
5. “Do not be sad, I want you to look happy.”
Why is this sentence dangerous?
According to Debbie Plotnick, vice president for mental health and systems advocacy at Mental Health America, says that when you tell someone to let go of their depression, you’re inadvertently underestimating their condition and denying their pain.
For people with depression, “comforting” is no easy task, and it’s important to know that they probably wish they could too.
So, what to say to those who are depressed? Here are a better way to say it:
“Sorry, are you not feeling well? Is there anything I can do to help and make you feel better?”
6. “You should go out more often.”
It is true that isolating oneself can increase a person’s risk of feeling depressed, but everyone has their own way of dealing with their depression. What works for some people may not work for others.
Plotnick says it’s generally best to avoid “should” statements as well. You may feel like you are offering a helpful solution, telling people with depression what they need to do to feel better isn’t always productive. Instead, offer them to go out with you. Saying, “would you like to hang out with me?” is way better.