Hey Guys! How are you doing? At the risk of sounding like a broken record, it’s been a while since I’ve written for me blog. 2020 really just keeps swinging doesn’t it? Every time I think I’ve gotten things under control & I’m ready to start blogging again, another tidal wave knocks me over. In today’s post, I want to speak about depression again. I’ve been very open about my mental health struggles but if you’re new here, i’ve had chronic depression for the past 3-4 years.
The stigma around mental health has thankfully subsided a bit, however there are always going to be those people who don’t understand it. Whether that’s because they don’t want to understand it, haven’t experienced it or have only experienced it situationally there are a lot of misconceptions about mental health. Specifically for the purpose of this post, depression. We’re gonna talk about a few things you SHOULDN’T say or do to someone suffering from depression.
Don’t Assume They’re Okay
One of the biggest misconceptions about depression is that there is a certain “look” to someone who is suffering. While this can be true for some people, others are able to function at a very high level and still be cripplingly depressed.
It’s important to remember when trying to offer support to your loved ones that, depression isn’t linear. I’ve had days, or weeks where I’ve been happy and then out of no where I plummet. Sometimes due to an underlying trigger other times not. It’s important to still check on those you love even when they seem “okay”.
This may be triggering for some but I feel that it’s important for me to point out that committing suicide takes a lot of energy. Those suffering are more likely to be successful in their attempt when they appear to be “doing okay.”
Don’t Say “You have nothing to be so sad about.”
I’m gonna be really honest for a second, this is probably one of the worst things you can say to someone suffering from depression. Not only is it something they’ve already shamed themselves for but, it’s incredibly insensitive to their suffering.
One of the reasons it took me so long to accept my depression and seek help was because I KNEW people had it so much worse than I did. I live a fairly comfortable life. Depression doesn’t care how comfortable your life is, it can affect anyone.
Whether you’re dealing with chronic depression or situational depression or any other form of depression, no one NEEDS a reason to be feeling depressed. I’ve been through so many depressive episodes where I can’t tell you what triggered me, I’m just sad. I’ve already told myself to “get over it” or that “i have no reason to be sad” having someone I care about say it to me as well isn’t productive and just causes me to shame myself more.
Don’t Rush Them Out of A Depressive Episode
I get it, dealing with someone suffering from depression is challenging. You want the old them, the happy version of them to come back. The happy version was a lot easier to deal with, that version was a lot more fun…….We know, we wish all that too. We feel the stress and worry it puts on you, we see how it drains you. It does all of that times 10 to us, and we can never shut it off.
I can guarantee your loved one has tried to rush their process of recovering from depression. I can also guarantee it probably didn’t work, because you can’t rush healing. As tough, frustrating or boring it might be you have to just let your loved one ride the wave. No one knows their depression better than they do, trust that they will come out of the low period.
Don’t Say “You don’t need medicine just workout & eat better”
This is another phrase that really gets under my skin. Yes, it’s a known fact that eating well and exercising will help improve every aspect of your life. That doesn’t mean it’s the cure all and that medication isn’t needed. One of the most difficult things for people with depression is finding the energy to do everyday tasks. For some, medication brings the serotonin in their brain to a functioning level and for someone to dismiss that and say that some broccoli is going to fix it, is ￼ignorant.
I feel the need to also mention that, antidepressants aren’t a magic pill. If you’re considering going on them to get rid of your depression, you’re gonna be let down. Like I said, they help bring the serotonin levels to a “normal” level so that you have the energy, desire, and stability to do the other work needed in overcoming your depression. Over quarantine I started to get into a workout routine, that isn’t something I would have done without my antidepressants. Simply because without them, I wouldn’t have the desire to better myself.
Just Be Mindful
It’s so important to be mindful when speaking to someone who has let you in on their depression. If they feel they can be that vulnerable with you, it’s because they trust you. They’ll remember what you said and how you belittled the war that goes on inside their head.
I hope that this post has opened your eyes to some phrases that are more hurtful than helpful to someone struggling with depression. I struggle with depression and i’ve even found myself saying these things to people. The best thing we can do for someone is, listen and be mindful of what we are saying.
What’s a phrase you don’t like hearing? Have you said any of these phrases to someone before? Let me know in the comments. Thanks for stopping by, until next time…
Be Nice. Be Good.
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