Child, Adolescent and Adult Psychiatry


What to Avoid Saying to People Who Show Signs of Depression

People who are depressed may often feel alone and frustrated. We won’t know exactly
what they are going through. So, if there’s someone close to you who seems to be
combatting depression, you should always be mindful of the things to say around them.

Words can be really powerful. As the saying goes, “Better to trip with the feet than with
the tongue.” Unlike when we trip with our feet, we always have the chance to get back
up and continue moving forward. However, it’s different with tripping with the tongue.

Aside from unleashing words, you also share what your stand is on things. And most
people, are very sensitive of what others are saying to them.

“Don’t overthink.”

People with depression have high tendencies to go over a problem repetitively without
resolution making them feel more helpless. So, don’t expect them to be able to force
themselves to stop overthinking. Let them be.

“Just cheer up!”

Telling someone who’s feeling down to ‘cheer up’ is very unhelpful. Even if you have
said it with the best intentions, these two words would only make matters worse. When
you tell a person who’s depressed to cheer up, you are actually adding to their burden,
making them feel that they are to blame for their own condition. Don’t make it harder for
them, will you?

“Stay positive and count your blessings.”

One of the treatments for depression is by using cognitive reframing in the attempt to
replace the negative thoughts with positive ones. But, it’s a long process and it takes a
lot of time. Statements like this will only add to their guilt or shame.

“It’s all in your head.”

Although it’s true that depression is a result of chemical imbalances in the brain, you
have to know that it’s not just as simple as that. There are a lot of factors linked to
depression. So it’s incorrect to tell a depressed person that it’s just in their mind.

Leave a Comment