Monday, 26 August 2019

6 Things to not say to someone who is depressed

Whether you are one who actually see how difficult it is for people suffering depression or any other mental illness or you are one of those people who feels ''it’s not that big of a deal''.
Here are a few tips on what NOT to say to someone who is depressed.

  1. Cheer up: Unless you are naturally insensitive and devoid of all human emotions never say ''cheer up'' like it’s not a big deal or its some kind of switch you can easily turn on and off.
  2. Get over it/Snap out of it/It’s all in your head:  Just one question. Do you tell someone with Cancer, sickle cell or even headache to ''snap out of it?'' Right. So be guided. People experiencing depression can often feel irritable, frustrated and just generally unhappy so treating someone like they are at fault will not only anger them but could make them feel guilty for not being a good friend or for bringing down the mood something they often can’t control. This could lead to them isolating themselves from people even more and becoming more miserable.
  3. It’s just one of those things:  Even if the person says it them self, don't even think about it, because you truly cannot fathom what/how they are feeling. Stop invalidating how they feel.
  4. Have a drink, you'll feel better: - It has become some type of norm in our society to offer someone a drink when they are sad, angry, tensed or tired standard practice in our culture to offer somebody an alcoholic beverage when they are sad, or tired, or angry, or some other negative emotion. And I will admit, sometimes it works quite well in the short-term. But anxiety is not a short-term variation in mood. It is constant and unrelenting, and trying to quiet somebody’s anxiety with alcohol will only work for a few hours before they are sober, the hangover is gone, and they are feeling anxious again. There are better, healthier, and longer-lasting ways to treat anxiety, and trying to solve the problem with alcohol invites the risk of addiction and/or dependency.
  5. Oh, Here We Go Again! I get it, sometimes it is weird when you experience a friend/loved one in a depressed state. It’s tempting to try and make the individual feel better or lighten the mood with a bit of humor. Yes, some people experiencing depression may like it when a little humour is applied. But I cannot stress enough how important it is to not treat a sufferer’s situation lightly unless you are absolutely sure they will be okay with you doing it. Because for many, this kind of humour implies that you think his/her fears, feelings, and illness are silly. You invalidate things that are very real and very serious, and you make it highly unlikely to ever trust you with their troubles again.
  6. You don’t look depressed: I have heard people who just got to know that a certain person is suffering depression or one mental illness or another say ''You don't look depressed; you don't look like this or that''.  How do you feel when you complain about being broke (not having money) and someone says "You don't even look like you are broke'' or the famous "fine girl/boy like you cannot be broke?''. Anyone can experience depression and there’s nothing out there saying that you have to look depressed to be living with it. Sometimes it can be when things are going really well in your life and someone making comments about how they look fine or have ‘no reason’ to be depressed is not going to encourage them to seek support if people ‘won’t believe them.
Instead You Can Try:

  • Ø  That sounds like it’s really hard. How are you coping? This way you acknowledge that you realize how hard it is for them, even encouraging them to speak up more about it. It is also a good reminder that you’re listening, you see them, and you’re here to help them cope.
  • Ø  Do you want some space? It is important to show support by being present in someone’s life and ensure that they are not isolating themselves, some time alone is also important and needed so they can digest and understand how they’re feeling or just get their recharge and get themselves back.
  • Ø  I am really sorry you are going through this. I am here for you if you need me. Just knowing someone is there when we need them can be a great comfort. Many people with mental health problems are reluctant to ask for help, because they don’t want to bother people with their issues. Expressing to a loved one that you are there whenever they are ready to talk is a good start to opening up lines of communication.