10 Things You Should Never Say to a Person With Depression
I hope people change their vision towards those fighting depression, including me
Sometimes people have the best intentions to help their friends and family members during their struggle with depression. However, they may tend to say some things to us that can break us more than anything else. The following sentences should be avoided at any cost, as they will hurt a lot.
1. Is it painful?
When you tell us to just shake off our depression, you deny our pain, which makes it even worse for us. Depression never comes alone, it often has its physical pain such as headache, poor eating habits, extreme tiredness, and other physical symptoms, so yes it is very painful both mentally and physically and please avoid this question.
2. You do not seem depressed
Do you expect me to cry in front of you to prove my depression? I have been given this remark several times, what other people do not know is that it takes a lot of energy and courage to draw a fake smile on our face. Depression is a monster that is always hidden in the darkness, and we are the only person who can see it, unfortunately. Depression doesn’t have a specific look and it hurts when you hear a similar thing because it makes you feel discouraged and question yourself, as often people with depression tend to hear voices in their heads telling them that it is not depression but it is laziness and lack of discipline instead, which is very damaging to the self-worth of the person.
3. Labeling us as ‘depressed people’
We are people suffering from depression we are never our disease, so stop identifying us by our disease, we are more than that, we are friends, brothers and sisters, neighbors, classmates and way more than just a disease, please think about it.
4. Telling people with suicidal thoughts that they would cause pain for others if they commit suicide
People fighting suicidal thoughts deserve better than making them feel guilty, they deserve understanding of their emotions, people to validate them and the right support. They are at the edge of hell and the last they need is someone to push them a little further. Of course, suicide affects everyone surrounding the person who commits the act, but maybe you would like to take a moment and care about the person attempting instead as their pain can never be explained or shared.
5. Asking a man with depression to man up and to be strong
Seriously, as a guy, I suffered a lot to express my emotions or to cry when needed in front of people I know because I was always afraid of their judgment. Men have emotions, and they can also be affected by depression just as women and depression has nothing to do with the strength of the person. Do you ever ask a person who has cancer to man up? The same thing applies to depression then.
6. Some people have a worse disease
Telling us that makes me feel more ashamed of our situation, it makes us feel guilty just because we have depression, it is like our life is falling apart just because of a disease that according to many is not that serious, which is wrong because depression can destroy the person and takes some much things from them that are hard to make up for.
7. You should do X, Y, and Z and you will feel better
How do you expect me to go read books if my cognitive functions are heavily affected by my depression? How do you expect me to go to the gym if I barely have the energy to leave my bed?
Seeing that we are not able of doing these normal things that everyone does makes us feel broken, sad, less than enough and we eventually end up feeling more depressed.
8. Get over it
Depression is a serious health issue, telling us to just pretend the disease doesn’t exist is not going to cure us. We wish it was that simple, we wish we could sleep and by tomorrow the disease would be gone, the tears would be turned into joy, and we would be able to function properly as you. We wish it was that simple, but it isn’t.
9. You have everything, why are you depressed
Depression doesn’t choose people based on what they have in life, depression isn’t that picky, it chooses its victim randomly, so even if I have everything stable in my life I would still be feeling so down and severely depressed, this is not a choice I made, it is something I have no power over. Depression is so serious and it has biological mechanisms behind it that can not be controlled easily, so please stop telling us that our life is great and we shouldn’t be depressed because this is not true.
10. Why too serious?
I am not being serious, I just feel so exhausted of forcing my self to smile all the time. I can not smile more, I am not able to draw that fake smile anymore. Please understand us.
I hope people change their vision towards those fighting depression, including me. I hope the world becomes a better place for everyone, a world free of stigma, a world full of joy, understanding, and empathy towards people fighting mental illness and more specifically depression because it is a very serious disease that should never be taken for granted. We deserve our feelings to be validated and that we are supported by those we value the most in our life.