15 Things You Should Never Say To Someone Who Has Depression

By Zeest Qureshi | 30 Oct, 2017

Depression is one of those illnesses that no one fully understands. People use the word lightly when they actually mean sadness. This trivializes the gravity of how serious it is. If you think about it depression is actually a life threatening disease. No one chooses to end their life but depressives try to kill themselves in a desperate attempt to end their pain.

You can be in a bad mood for a few hours or days but depression stays for months, years and sometimes lifetimes.

depressed gif
Source: United Plankton Pictures


There is a lot of confusion between the two and you might end up making one of the following insensitive comments. Here are 15 things you should never tell a depressive person:

1. Don’t tell them to be happy

Source: Zeest Qureshi

Depression and Clinically diagnosed Depressive Disorder are a real disease. You cannot simply tell a person to stay happy when their brain isn’t making enough happy hormones. They have a medical problem the same way someone has cancer or heart disease.


2. Don’t compare their feelings to a bad day

Source: Zeest Qureshi

It’s not just about having a few bad days. It is an illness that takes over your mind and convinces you that there was never any good and never will be any good. You are forced to admit that you don’t deserve to live and It takes over your life.


3. Don’t tell them to stop complaining

Source: Zeest Qureshi

Just because someone has everything they need doesn’t automatically mean they will be happy. Depressive disorder can affect anyone.  They probably shame themselves more than your words so what they need is a little empathy and understanding.


4. Telling them that praying will cure depression is NOT helpful

Source: Zeest Qureshi

Praying may help some people but it doesn’t necessarily fix the problem. Depressives need more than just prayers. They need trustworthy friends who will listen and not trivialize their pain. They might also need medication and therapy.

5. Don’t tell them to be productive… they’re already trying

Source: Zeest Qureshi

Depressive Disorder often paralyzes its victim. The weight of the pain they feel makes it impossible for them to get out of bed. Just telling them to go to work or be productive is going to make them feel worse. Trust us, they try everyday to be productive.


6. Don’t point to other people who may be worse off

Source: Zeest Qureshi

Loads of people may have it worse but right now it’s the person in front of you who is feeling terrible and you shouldn’t make them ashamed for their feelings. They can’t help how they feel because they are victims of a serious illness. Their depression is making them feel awful as is.


7. Don’t blame them for attracting their depression

Source: Zeest Qureshi

A person who is depressed is constantly fighting their depression and by telling them its their fault you are making that monster stronger. Everyone makes mistakes but a depressive will blame themselves to the extent that they firmly believe that they don’t deserve to live or they will continue making mistakes.


8. Don’t tell them they’re crazy

Source: Zeest Qureshi

People with depression aren’t mad or insane. They are dealing with a painful ordeal and instead of ridicule you should show them a little compassion. Don’t call them crazy because they will believe you and their ability to manage their depression will diminish. Depression is a part of someone’s life but it doesn’t define their life entirely.


9. Don’t say it’s their choice

Source: Zeest Qureshi

If someone in your family or friends has depression and they behave a certain way because of it, do not make it about yourself. They already feel like a burden and by making them feel responsible for punishing you, they feel alienated. The voice of depression gets even stronger! Instead, you should make them feel like they can trust you and share their pain with you.


10. Don’t tell them that it’s all in their head

Source: Zeest Qureshi

Often mental illness begins taking a physical toll on the person and when it gets this serious they might need therapy or medication which is perfectly fine. Everybody needs help now and then to cope with their problems and there is no need to be ashamed for that.

11. Nobody has depression written on their face, don’t point it out

Source: Zeest Qureshi

Being patient needs to go along with seeking help! Just telling a person to wait for a miracle to happen just makes them feel like their pain will never end. Depression is already bringing suicidal thoughts in their brain and what they need is someone who can listen to them and give helpful suggestions.


12. Don’t call them attention seekers

Source: Zeest Qureshi

People with depression aren’t looking for attention. On the contrary they just want to become invisible but their depression makes their behavior and them more noticeable. Telling them off will just make them feel worse. Instead you could help by.


13. Don’t say that watching less TV will cure their depression

Source: Zeest Qureshi

Reading or hearing about depression doesn’t make someone depressed. They are probably on the internet desperately looking for solutions but what they really need is someone they can trust. You could be that person!

14. Don’t tell them that they can handle the weight

Source: Zeest Qureshi


15. Disregarding their depression as an evil eye is hurtful

Source: Zeest Qureshi

Depression is much more difficult to manage than an external curse. Depression is when a person’s own brain becomes toxic for them. It is unfair to expect a depressive to just treat depression like external criticism.


Try to show some compassion to your friends or family if they are fighting depression. They need someone who listens, doesn’t trivialize their pain and understands the severity of their illness.


Cover image via: filmymela.com

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