Psychological health

3 Things You Should Never Say To Someone Suffering from Depression

When a loved one is depressed, it is often difficult to know what to say. Even with good intentions, friends and family can often say the wrong thing, which can make a person depressed feel misunderstood Even more isolated.

If you’ve never experienced depression, you may simply not know what’s appropriate and what isn’t when talking to someone who is struggling.

3 things you should never say to someone with depression

Here are three things you should never say to someone with depression.

1. Pretend you understand when you don’t

Perhaps the worst thing you can say to someone with depression is, “I totally understand. After, after [insert specific event] I’ve been depressed for weeks.”

The truth is that sadness and depression are two completely different things. You can expect to feel sad after losing a pet or being laid off from your job. These feelings are not chronic but expected after an isolated incident.

Depression is chronic and often not associated with a single specific event. Clinical depression can last for years, and people with it are unable to determine why they are feeling the way they are.

Unless you’ve really struggled with depression, don’t tell your loved one that you understand. Even though you might like it, you simply don’t.

Read the difference between sadness and depression

2. Share information from an article you’re reading

Even well-researched and thoughtful articles on the topic of depression cannot paint the full picture or provide the best course of treatment or procedure. Since each person is individual, all treatments must also be individualized.

You may have read that exercise can help learn some symptoms of depression. And during exercise Can Secretion of strong “feel good” hormones, exercise alone will not provide sufficient complete relief from illness. Also, by offering this type of ‘quick fix’ advice, you risk appearing to be condescending and may make the affected person feel like they are not making enough effort to ‘get better’.

Read Escape the Depression Matrix: The Hidden Antidote That Will Set You Free

3. Why don’t you take a vacation?

If you’ve never been depressed, it’s easy to confuse it with stress, but they can’t be different. Telling a depressed person that they just need to relax more is like telling a paraplegic that they just need a new pair of shoes. Neither solution gets to the root cause of the problem.

When you love someone who is depressed, you want to help them in any way you can. But giving advice or suggestions when you are not clear what they are facing is not helpful. The best thing you can do is educate yourself about depression so that you better understand what your loved one is really going through.

Read 5 ways to help someone deal with depression

3 things you should never say to someone with depression

It is also advisable to talk to them about seeking treatment. The therapist will be able to help your loved one understand what is happening to them and guide them through the journey back to health. If you or a loved one is interested in exploring treatment, please contact me today. I would be happy to talk to you about how I can help you.

Written by:  Jacqueline D. Pearce, LMHC
Originally appeared on: Pearcecounseling.com
Republished with permission. 
3 things you should never say to someone with depression

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