Monday, 31 October 2016

10 Things NOT To Say To Someone With Depression



(TW/ depression, suicide)

Depression is a very serious mental illness that claims the life's of thousands each year. Despite that, many don't even believe depression exists at all. There's a lot of arrogant people in the world, who don't like to believe in things unless they have been through it themselves. 

These people aren't normally very respectful to people with mental illness, which often leaves them saying things to people with depression that number one aren't true and number two are quite frankly pretty rude. That said, some people aren't rude at all. They simply don't understand. We aren't taught about mental health in school, so it's no wonder many don't understand depression or about how to talk about it with others, especially those who suffer from the illness themselves. 

If you suffer from depression, I almost guarantee that you have had at least one of these things said to you, if not more. I know I have, on plenty of occasions. By sharing this post, I hope to educate those who don't suffer from depression about how to talk about mental illness sensitively with the depressive without triggering them or making them worse. 


1. Cheer up 
This is the worst thing to say to anyone. Period. You don't know what people are going through that they may not be sharing with you. It may seem a light hearted and friendly thing to say but someone may be going through a hard time right now and can't simply cheer up. It's the same with someone with depression. Depression isn't something which can just be cured by just trying to be happier or cheering up. Telling someone with depression to cheer up isn't going to make their life's any easier. Don't you think they would cheer up if they could? 

2. You were fine yesterday 
Yes, depression isn't just being sad or upset for a couple of days. Depression isn't normal grief or sadness. But one symptom of depression can be unpredictable mood swings. Some days are better than others and some days are just god damn terrible. Just because I may have seemed fine yesterday, it doesn't mean that I was. I may have been better at hiding it yesterday, but today not so much. Don't ever tell someone with depression that they were fine yesterday, because the chances were they weren't. Depression is an invisible illness. 

3. You have nothing to be depressed about 
God damn, don't you think I know? You see yes sometimes depression can be caused by a particularly stressful time or situation. But other times, it's brought on by nothing at all expect a chemical imbalance inside the brain. Which is why Ph.D. students get depression, multi-millionaires get depression and normal folk, get depression. Don't you think if I could choose not to have depression I would? 

4. There are people worse off than you
Thanks! Make me feel more guilty why don't you? I know that there are people worse off than me. Depression reminds me of this fact nearly every single day; I don't need you to remind me as well. People with depression know that there are people in the world who live below the poverty line, people who live in war-torn countries and those who don't have basic sanitation and health care to live safely and happily. But depression can strike anyone. People who live in these unfortunate conditions and those who live very comfortable conditions. Mental illness does not discriminate so don't discriminate people who have a mental illness. 



5. Go for a walk
If going for a walk cured depression, don't you think I would have tried that years ago? Or maybe they would prescribe them on the NHS? Umm... yes it's proven that exercise can help improve people's mental health but simply going on a walk is not a cure all. Exercise is a lifestyle change not a cure-all for mental illness. Please don't offer advice if you understand or know about mental illness. 

6. Have you tried going to bed earlier or eating healthier?
This is the same as going for a walk point I made previously. Lifestyle changes do not cure depression, yes; they can do wonders for some but there not a cure all. If you suddenly start eating five fruit and veg a day, it doesn't mean that your depression is going to automatically disappear. Active, fit and healthy people can still get depression, and they do all these things already. So please only offer advice if you know what you are on about or can go about it sensitively. 

7. I've had depression too once (when they really haven't)
Depression is NOT an adjective. It's not a personality trait. Depression is a mental illness, one which is extremely serious and can in unfortunate circumstances end people's lives. By all means, share your stories and experiences with depression or mental health in general. But don't misuse the word and throw it around like you would the words happy or sad because depression really is on a different scale altogether. 

8. It's not worth crying about 
One of the main symptoms of depression, one which I have a lot of personal experience is crying a lot and being very tearful, most of the time at nothing at all. Something could start me off, like knocking a glass of milk over. I know it's not worth crying over. I wouldn't normally cry about such a minor problem, but on a bad mental health day, it's easy to set me off. What makes it worse is other people telling you it's not worth crying over. People with depression don't want to cry in public over little things, but they can't help it, so give them a break. 

9. But you got out of bed, didn't you?
Yes, lots of people with depression don't have the energy or motivation to get out of bed in the morning. But this isn't the same for everyone with depression. Depression is very subjective and varies significantly depending on the person. The worst thing you can do is compare what you think depression is to someone with depression because although yes there are the main symptoms of the illness which present themselves in nearly all cases, there are other symptoms which are not the same for everyone. 

10. Depression isn't a real illness
Depression is real. Whether you want to believe it is or not. Just because you haven't experienced it yourself or seen others close to you go through it, that doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Depression is an invisible illness but just because it's invisible it doesn't mean it's not real. It just means it's something you can't always see. Chances are you know someone who has or has been through some form of depression. Respect everyone, because pain isn't always visible. 

I hope you guys enjoyed this very long winded post. I got a bit carried away, sorry! Actually, I'm not sorry at all because I'm passionate about the subject.

I would love to know your thoughts on the topic in the comments below! 

Thanks for reading, as always X
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26 comments

  1. This was such an interesting post on depression. It's quite creative but in the same way very informative! Love it!

    Check me out?
    Meg
    Www.simplymeggx.blogspot.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great points and I can relate to quite a lot of them - the theme is similar for a lot of mental health issues I'd say! I especially agree with 9 and 10! I think a lot of people treat people with what they think or what stereotypical depression (or other MH) symptoms are and then treat you like nothing's wrong or that it's 'not a real illness'!

    JosieVictoriaa // Travel, Fashion & Lifestyle

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  3. Definitely relate to this post! I feel that the stigma against mental illness is lessening but some people still don't comprehend mental health.

    hannahsnotebook.net

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  4. Oh girrrl I feel this. I've had most of these things said to me, some of them by people who mean well but just don't quite understand. Even my boyfriend has said rubbish things in the past, but telling him it doesn't help usually works ;) sending love and hugs xxx

    Amber Love Blog

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    Replies
    1. aw, I'm sorry to hear that! Yeah someone people are just really rude and some just don't understand but don't mean any harm

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  5. I can imagine how annoying these things are to hear! I will definitely try not to say any of these things xx
    http://blossomofhope.blogspot.com/

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  6. This post is incredible, I wish I could force every single person who's ever made one of these stupid comments to read this! 🙌
    Rebecca, libfemblog.com xo

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    Replies
    1. haha, you should print if off and stick it up in public places

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  7. This was a brilliant post to write and share, so thank you for this <3 I think one of the most common misconceptions is that you can automatically cheer yourself up, when the advice I usually offer someone I know is struggling that I wish I could hug them, be there with them, offer them someone ot talk to / cry with and hope they feel better soon, but without the pressure to 'snap out of it' as some people try to encourage. Depression is never easy and is a complex issue, but the more we discuss it and see it as an illness, where mental health is just as important as physical health, we're moving in a better direction. Hope you're doing OK lovely. - Tasha

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    Replies
    1. I couldn't agree more! We need to keep this conversation going

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  8. This is 100% true - the amount of things people have said to me that they really shouldn't have is ridiculous!

    Megan / http://www.meganmarieblogs.blogspot.com

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  9. I agree with all of these, and quite a few of them are applicable to things like heavy anxiety as well. Luckily I've never heard someone say depression isn't a real illness, I'd probably smack them.

    www.thesundaymode.com

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    Replies
    1. Yes, they can be applied to many different mental illnesses! I would likely do the same

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  10. I definitely agree with all of these. The amount of people that think it is acceptable to say these things is awful

    www.mumsbeautycave.com

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  11. Great post lovely! Unfortunately not many people are 100% sure what to say when others have depression. Great post for raising awareness.
    a life of a charlotte
    x

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  12. Love this post, sometimes I think the same things about myself and your answers are so true thanks for sharing

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  13. I always find people very flippant when I talk about my depression or what I went through. I've come to the conclusion that, no matter how education or much you try and understand, unless you've been through it you probably will never get it! It's sad! I just wish that everyone realised that person to person it's so different too - my depression is not the same as the person's sat next to me y'know?

    Sarah \\ http://fromexquisiteperspectives.com/

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