What You Should And Should Never Say To Someone Who Is Depressed

The Bad

It isn’t even a real illness”. That is ignorant and downright rude. You need to brush up your knowledge about mental illness and not speak until you know.

“Just be over it”. Well if it were that easy, you’d think they would have just hopped on the happy train. It is not as simple as that and you thinking so just adds to their suffering.

“Mental Illness! That means you are crazy.” Crazy is not an umbrella term you can use for all mental illness. Mental Illness is as much a reality as physical ailments.

“Everyone has bad days now and again.” It is a genuine, sometime life threatening illness. It cannot be brushed away like that.

“Why are you depressed, there are people who have much bigger problems than yours?” You cannot decide what might cause pain to someone. This isn’t a competition.

“It is just in your head.” This is ignorant, dismissive and rude. All at the same time. This is not something that can be shrugged off at will.

“You have so much, you are really lucky.” Depression is a serious illness. It doesn’t come after checking your mortgage situation. It can happen to anyone regardless of their social and economic stature.

“You just have to be positive.” Again, it is an illness that needs to be treated. It cannot be done away with just by being positive.

“You just need to stop being sorry for yourself.” The sufferer isn’t enjoying being the victim. They need professional help not this.


The Good

“I love you.” For someone suffering from depression it can be hard to believe that anyone loves them because they can’t love even themselves. Saying it loud can help them realize that this is not true and they are worthy of being loved.

“I’m here when you need me.” They don’t need you to make everything alright for them. They just need your support.

“Is there any way I can make it better for you, anything I can do?” Don’t tell them what you think is best for them, ask what they need.

“Would you like to talk about it?” Sometimes all they need is a willing ear who’d listen to them without any judgement. Don’t pressurize them into anything but be there for them

“I might not quite know exactly what you are going through, but I’m here for you nonetheless.” Acting like you understand when you clearly don’t is not going to help them. This would.

“I’m sorry that you have to suffer like this.” Obviously it won’t take away their pain. But having someone acknowledge their pain is sometimes enough to give them the strength to fight it.

“I have been through this too.” If you have suffered from depression yourself and are open to share it with them, it can help them a great deal because they’d not feel alone anymore.

“Have you seen any doctor or made appointments yet?” Not only does this acknowledge that they are in pain, it also encourages them to get help as many people feel it’s a taboo. By saying this you are reassuring them that this is the right thing to do.

“It is very hard right now, but you will pull through.” It will give them much needed hope.

“Can you think of anything that will take your mind off it?” This will encourage them to try and be happy and show your support.