Do you want to help someone with depression and don’t know how? The first step is not to do the wrong things that many of us can do. Discover the phrases of depression that you should avoid.
You probably don’t know how to help a depressed person. In many cases, family and friends don’t even know what not to say to someone with depression. That is why it is essential to understand what depression is and what words or actions we should not do to people who are depressed. In order to try to understand what attitudes we should not have to help someone with depression, it is vital that we understand why each of these acts affects a depressed person so much.
Phrases about depression how do we understand this disease?
There are a few phrases about depression that can help us understand why we do not understand the reasons why someone has a depressive disorder. In many cases, the key to knowing how to encourage someone who is depressed is to understand why they feel that way.
- They do not understand why they are sad
This is one of the most enlightening phrases about depression. People who suffer from depression as a psychological disorder lives without understanding why they are sad. They live these negative emotions and thoughts without anything having happened to them. Therefore, one should not say to the depressed person: “But why do you get like this?” because he does not know.
- It is not the “reason” for the depression
In cases where depression arises after the loss of a loved one, grief can act as a trigger for latent depression. Therefore, one thing not to tell someone with depression is to leave out what is causing it since it is not as simple as it may seem.
- Do not repeat the arguments
Do not repeat the arguments with the vain intention of convincing the depressed person of the disproportion of their sadness. For example, you should avoid this type of expression: “If you have a good job, a good family” “I don’t understand why you are like this if you don’t lack anything! In this way, these expressions instead of helping them become phrases of discouragement for those affected.
- Do not get angry with the depressed
Sometimes family and friends of the depressed forget that they don’t feel this way just for the fun of it. That’s why it’s common to say, “Cheer up. Sometimes family members or friends may even get angry with the depressed person and leave behind everything that can be done about the depression.
- Do not propose excessive tasks to accomplish
The depressed person feels with very little energy, so it would be antitherapeutic to propose him/her to do more activities. This will result in a blockage of activity since any routine and the insignificant task seems to him/her to be an overwhelming burden. It is best to leave him alone but to encourage him to do pleasant activities that require little effort.
- Attending work?
Some people believe that “work is the best medicine”. This may be true if the symptoms of depression are not too severe. However, if they are intense, the depressed person will have low job performance. Therefore, this may be one of the most debilitating phrases that those affected can receive.
- You could use a trip
Another mistake would be to tell the depressed person to change his ways. Again, if the symptoms are very intense, it won’t help, because they present anhedonia (inability to enjoy things). It will only be useful in cases with mild depression and of little clinical course.
These phrases of depression can help us understand why we make mistakes when treating a depressed person.
Phrases you should not say if you want to help someone with depression
There are different ways to help someone with depression, but one of the first actions we should do before we start is to avoid certain attitudes that can be harmful to the affected person. In order to do this, it is crucial to leave behind some of these discouraging phrases or phrases about depression that are very common to hear in most people who have someone with this affliction on their side.
- “I understand what’s happening to you, worse things have happened to me”
This is one of the most commonly used phrases to encourage a depressed person. When you want to help someone with depression your first objective should be to give them a space to let off steam. When someone is feeling bad, either because something has happened to them or because it is their nature, knowing that others have gone through something worse does not make them feel good or make their pain go away. In explaining how much worse our story is, we do not allow the person to talk about their own pain because we focus the story on ourselves and not on the other. In addition, it may make the person feel guilty and think their pain is not legitimate. We have all suffered in our lives, but we need to know that the reasons for the suffering, the way we feel it and the resources we have to deal with it are different for everyone. That is why it is better to tell the depressed person that we are there to listen to them and help them find a way to solve what makes them suffer, by understanding the problem and analyzing possible solutions.
- “I don’t understand why you are depressed; we all have problems, why don’t you fight?
Depression is not something you choose to have. Depression is a real illness, a psychological disorder that has a great impact on the life of the person who suffers it. How you learn about a disorder and how it affects everyone differs for each individual. Saying these kinds of phrases about depression only creates pressure and frustration in the person to whom it is addressed because, you think, if it were only a matter of attitude, who would choose to be depressed? On the contrary, participating with the person seeking help by making them aware of their problem and reminding them that if they do not have the personal resources to overcome it, the help of a professional can be useful and will allow them to not feel judged, will offer them a ray of hope to get out of their current state.
- “Tomorrow you will see things differently and it will be better”
What if that doesn’t happen tomorrow? No one can be sure that tomorrow’s day will be better and, of course, if the situation or the person’s behavior remains the same, it’s virtually impossible for things to change. That’s why it’s important not to make false promises. Besides, this can only generate frustration and guilt in the person. It is better to be by their side and help them make small plans that will help them have some joy or provide them with alternative, more positive forms of support to face the situation from a different perspective.
- “I think you’re exaggerating, it’s not that bad”
To be depressed is to conceive the world, the past, the present, and especially the future, with a pessimistic and discouraging look. This way of interpreting experiences or circumstances is not chosen. It is important to insist on this: depression is a real illness, one does not choose to have it and no one takes pleasure in this state. The fact that one cannot deal with this illness does not imply that there is an unwillingness to do so.
It is important to empathize with the other person, making them understand that you are there for them, even if they do not fully understand what they are experiencing. Making them understand that what they are experiencing is negative but that you are there to help them through it as much as possible will give them hope.
- “You have to do your part to get better”
If it was that easy, I would have done it a long time ago, don’t you think? The feeling of helplessness that this phrase generates in the person who suffers is immense and obviously denotes a great lack of understanding. The person simply cannot do it and, even if he could, he would not know where to start.
So remember, let that person know that you are there for them and offer them the possibility of having a professional help them to have tools to deal with depression.
The causes of depression depend on each person: we know that it has biological (genetic, neurochemical, physical health), psychological (cognitive style, behavior, confrontation with reality) and social (discomfort with the environment) origins, stress, cultural influences. It is obvious that although antidepressant medications are useful, they must be accompanied by good psychological counseling that will help the person to defend himself, solve his problems, think clearly, establish positive relationships and overcome complicated situations. When dealing with a person who is depressed, one may often want to give them advice. However, some phrases are inappropriate and will only make the other person feel guilty.