5 Phrases to Avoid Saying To Someone Suffering From Depression
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Health and Wellness

5 Phrases to Avoid Saying To Someone Suffering From Depression

The "don'ts" of mental illness talk

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5 Phrases to Avoid Saying To Someone Suffering From Depression
Nicole D'Aloisio

One of the hardest parts of living with a mental illness is the lack of understanding amongst one's peers. It's not that they don't want to help their loved one overcome this monster, it's that they are unsure how. They try to make it right by saying all of the wrong things. But how should one expect their family and friends to be better educated on this topic when one fails to explain how to help? Change starts with informing.

Here are five phrases you should never say to someone you love who is suffering from depression:

1. "It's all in your head."

Let me put this into perspective for you: Do you tell a cancer patient that their sickness is just a figment of their imagination? Depression is a real illness. Telling someone that the side effects they are feeling do not really exist devalues their suffering. You have no idea what they are going through on a daily basis, so don't try to assume and mistakenly downplay their hurt.

2. "Stop thinking like that."

If they could, they would have by now. They are constantly trying to release the dark thoughts occupying their mind. Their mental illness is making it hard to do so. Depression is a switch they cannot shut off, as much as they hope and pray they could. You can't ask a cut to stop bleeding and expect immediate results. Why is depression any different?

3. "Be positive."

This one is said so effortlessly. It's like telling someone with asthma to breathe smoothly through clouds of smoke. Depression weighs one down, making it almost impossible to maintain a positive attitude. They try so hard to see the good, but depression leaves a constant reminder of the bad. Optimism is far from easy for them.

4. "Some people have it so much worse."

By saying this, you are once again belittling their sickness. Who are you to make such a statement? Just because someone appears to be healthier than a physically ill patient, this should not hide the fact that they are battling a tough internal struggle. One's pain is incomparable to another's. Making theirs seem insignificant will only increase the hurt.

5. "I know how you feel."

If you knew how they felt, you would avoid saying the phrases that do more damage than good. You would listen when they need someone to vent to. You would take their condition seriously, and respond sympathetically. You would assure them that although you may not entirely understand, they don't have to go through this alone.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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