5 Things Your Friend With Depression Does Not Want to Hear From You
Depression is an illness that is very difficult to understand. It can be especially difficult to be understood from the outside. This is why people often mistake it to be sadness. However, medical depression is a something much more.
Depression- Unusual Kind of Darkness
Most of the time when people are depressed, we try to explain it and associate it with feelings we have had and we say that it is just the feeling of sadness. However, what you should know is that this is rarely helpful to a person suffering from depression, even though our intentions are good.
Do Not Say the Following Things to Depressed People
1. Happiness is a Choice
Telling a person that happiness is a choice is the same as a rich person telling a poor person that poverty was a choice. This is wrong and offensive. Naturally, there are some choices that you can make that can either increase or decrease our happiness. We all start from a different place, due to genetics and life events. So, a person that struggles with medical depression cannot think of happiness. This is much more difficult for them. They also might need cognitive behavioral therapy or medication. Thus, it is very unfair to compare a depressed person’s journey of happiness to the one of a typical person’s.
2. Life is Hard for Everyone. Look at Him, He Has It Way Worse and He is Handling It Just Fine
The clear implication about this person here is that he must be working harder, caring more or is just better. But, this is not helpful to a person who is already having problems with their self-esteem. Moreover, it also ignores the fact that life is more complicated than what it seems. Thus, you should not compare the difficulty of two lives when we are missing important biological and situational information. This is also not very productive.
3. Get Out of Bed and Smile. Be Strong for Your Partner/Kids/Parents
Saying this to someone is very unkind and dismissive. It means that this person’s mental health is not as important as the comfort of the people around this person. This will only make this person keep and bottle up their feelings in themselves and this can cause physical harm as well. Instead, empathy runs much deeper.
4. This Depression is In Your Head Only. You Need to Think More Positively
Positive thinking is always good for improving self-esteem and worldview. However, it is not a cure for depression. In fact, depression is an imbalance in the brain. Of course, tools like mindfulness, self-care, and spirituality can really help people suffering from depression, but they are not a cure. This is really dangerous due to the fact that the patient will feel worse for something that they did not choose.
5. This Has Gone On Long Enough. It is Time For You to Snap Out of It
This would, of course, be perfect if things worked like this. However, they do not. Depression is a medical illness. You cannot just snap out of it. It is not something that you choose and people need to accept it.
What Does a Person With Depression Need to Hear?
It is much simpler than you would believe. People just want to hear that you love them and you would be there for them. That is all. Just have some nice words, a smile, a compliment, or just a small act of kindness. This can change a person’s life.