Living with depression is exhausting and constantly a battle. What most people who don’t struggle with it seem to forget is that depression isn’t a condition that magically goes away. Even though when people ask you if you’re alright they mean well, chances are they don’t understand that depression is something that is unique to everyone.
Depression is a lot like a fingerprint – no one else will ever have your specific type. Most of all, sometimes people who struggle with sadness are like an exposed nerve, the smallest things can make them feel like they’re making the opposite of progress.
As good intentioned as your questions and comments can be at times, there’s always a chance that they can be taken the wrong way. Between feeling intense anxiety and overwhelming sadness, when it’s coupled with the general public’s lack of understanding of it can be an even more maddening experience.
In order to quell any potential altercations with someone you love who’s going through a difficult time I’ve compiled 21 things you should probably never say to someone living with depression.
1. “Maybe should go see a therapist.”
2. “Just think positively.”
3. “You just have to stay busy.”
4. “You know, you can choose to be happy.”
5. “Maybe you should go on vacation to clear your mind.”
6. “Are you sure you shouldn’t be taking meds?”
7. “Is it just like being sad…for a while?
8. “Do you rarely leave the house?”
9. “Are you sure you’re not just have a bad week? Maybe it is a phase”
10. “Stop wallowing!”
11. “You need to go out tonight and have fun.”
12. “Lets go out and get shit-faced! That will cheer you up.”
13. “You’re not going to kill yourself, right?”
14. “But you’re always so happy!”
15. “You have X, Y, and Z–what do you have to feel sad about?”
16. “Get over it already! It has been months.”
17. “You’re being really selfish. A lot of people care about you and you can’t even see that.”
18. “I miss who you used to be.”
19. “There are people out there who have it a lot worse than you do, remember that.”
20. “You need to learn to love yourself before someone else can learn to love you.”
Although the above seems like a lot, talking to someone with depression doesn’t need to feel overwhelming. The most people need with depression is the knowledge that you’re there for them with open arms, willing to listen whenever they’re ready.