There are about 19 million Americans that are affected by depression. There are one in five American adults and one in 10 young adults have experience a mental health issue. Meaning, that majority of the nation are linked to be depressed and also suffering in anxiety disorder. As there are no exact explanation of what causes depression, it is believed that depression is caused by the combination of recent stressful events and long-term events or personal factors. It is also said that depression is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain.
People who are facing this kind of issue have had some fair shares of receiving triggering thoughts and unsolicited advice from other people. But sometimes, you can’t really blame someone if they aren’t saying the right things; they may be really trying to help the person but they have no idea that they are already doing much more harm than good.
If you are someone who wants to help out and want to make sure you are not offending them, then these are just some of the thirteen things to say that you might want to avoid:
1. You need to stop thinking so negatively.
2. Stop overthinking things so much.
3. It’s All in Your Head.
Nope, just nope. People with depression are not thinking negatively on purpose. Sometimes, they can’t even stop the negative thoughts and the overthinking is shadowing them to the point where it is affecting their daily activities. They just can’t switch off their thoughts, and there may be people who can control and be positive immediately but there are just some who can’t. They just can’t control what’s happening in their brain. They can’t stop overthinking and when you say it, their anxiety is just going to get worse. Why? Because they will be thinking more on how to stop overthinking.
Instead, don’t tell them what they should do. Encourage them that you are someone that they can trust and you are ready for them to open up.
“You can open up to me, I will listen to everything that is troubling you.”
“I am here for you, always.”
“Your thoughts are valid, and whatever you are thinking and going through right now, I will always be with you.”
“Talk your thoughts through, I will listen.”
4. You don’t look depressed.
‘I thought you were a strong person’ or ‘I just never expected that from you’, these phrases are just some of the reasons why people with depression don’t want to talk their problems with others. It is true that sometimes the happiest people are those who are hiding something, like depression. When you say this to someone, then they will assume that what they are going through is a form of weakness, which you should avoid saying because they might really believe that they are truly weak and it may even lead to something worse; them harming themselves.
Don’t feed on their negative thoughts. Inspire them and give them the compliments that they deserve even if they don’t believe in it.
“You are a strong person.”
“I believe in you.”
5. Come on, just cheer up!
6. You’re bringing down my mood.
7. It’s a good day! Stop being so grumpy
8. Snap out of it.
Well what if they can’t cheer up immediately? You should always have the patience to dwell on someone else. If they are bringing down your mood then figure out why they are in that mood. You don’t want to force them to be happy because you are happy. What if that person is really having a hard time? You should really consider her feelings besides your own.
“You seem to be down today, do you want to talk about it?”
If he or she hesitates and is shy that they might change the atmosphere, comfort them by saying that you don’t mind and that it’s okay for the both of you to take a moment, pause, and talk about it.
9. Have you tried…
…and then give them advice on what to do…? Don’t. Just don’t.
10. You should try meditating
If you know someone who is depressed, it is not your task to advise them what they should do, remember that. Just because yoga makes you feel happier doesn’t mean that yoga will imply to someone else. Don’t tell them to try a happy tea, or go out for some fresh air and read a self-help book. You might feel like you are fixing them by things that may feel like will help them, but most of the times it’s not the case. It’s not your role to apply your belief to someone else, it is your role to be there for them and make them feel that they are not alone.
11. You should be thankful for what you have.
12. Other people have it so much worse than you.
These phrases will make a depressed person feel guilty for their feelings. Yes you might be true, there are people who have it worse than them but that is not a reason there should be a comparison. If you say that to someone, you’ll just make them feel like that they don’t deserve to feel sad or in a bad mood. Let them feel what they feel and just don’t compare other people’s problem with theirs.
“I believe in you and you deserve to own up to your emotions.”
13. I was depressed once.
Okay, you are trying to relate to them but if someone is trying to talk to you about what’s bugging them, don’t take away their moment or take the spotlight. Let them finish what they say and understand what they are saying. If you do want to internalize your past experience to their current situation, make sure that it doesn’t hinder them from opening up. Always remember, that it’s their time to talk about it. If you are going through something, ask them if it’s okay if you open up too.
Hey! I hope this helps, if you are still confused about what to say then let me sum this up to you: just listen to them and be sincere when listening. Reaching out or just even by listening to someone will save them from the disaster that they are feeling.
And to those who have depression or you are someone who is feeling down and sad for quite some time, you should also to ask for help.