People living with a family member may have noticed that their son, daughter, partner, mother, father, brother, sister, best friend, etc. may have lost their sparkle; their oomph; their desire to do things that may them happy.
If this sounds familiar to you – then you are living with someone who is suffering with Depression. If Depression is not addressed through Counselling or another form of Talk Therapy it could lead to self-harming or suicidal ideations, or worse.
So what can you do to help? What not to say to someone who is depressed?
- Don’t point out how lovely the weather is
- Don’t tell someone “just snap out of it!”, or “it’s all just in your head”. Do you think a depressed person likes feeling the way they do?
- Remember Depression is an ILLNESS it is definitely not a sign of weakness. If someone broke their leg – would they be defined as weak? NO! Of course, not!
- Depressed people don’t want others giving them advice or told to Cheer up!
- Most important of all, do not keep reminding them that there are people in the world who are a lot worse off. This will definitely not help them, in fact it could tip them over the edge even further.
It is so important that depressed people are not forced or coerced into doing things they simply do not want to do. This will not help in any way, in fact it will simply add to their feelings of guilt, helplessness, hopelessness, shame, despair, denial and utter sadness.
So what instead can you say and do that will actually help?
- Leave self help books subtly
- Listen – without judgement, without giving advice, without trying to solve the problem for them
- Encourage them to seek Counselling or another form of Talking Therapy – EMDR, etc.
- Inspire them to engage in some form of exercise
- Help them participate in hobbies, or social activities that will slowly bring about positive change
- Help them accept that they are suffering with depression and together you will help them overcome this condition through love and support
I hope this post has helped with ‘What not to say to someone who is depressed?’
Above all explain to them that Depression is a condition that is manageable and that people can learn to overcome it!