Like i promised,
- You don’t look depressed- Anyone can experience depression and there’s nothing out there saying that you have to look depressed to be living with it. Sometimes it can be when things are going really well in your life and someone making comments about how they look fine or have ‘no reason’ to be depressed is not going to encourage them to seek support if people ‘won’t believe them’.
- Try to “one-up” them. Telling a person with depression they have not had it as bad as you have accomplishes nothing. It only makes the depressed person feel worse. It makes them feel like their problems aren’t legitimate and nothing could be further from the truth. You don’t get to decide whether their feelings are legitimate or not.
- Bring religion into the conversation. Unless you are 100% certain the person you are speaking with is religious, don’t bring it up. Telling someone who is not religious to give all your problems to God is like telling an atheist he/she is going to hell. It doesn’t mean anything to that person. It also doesn’t help solve their problems.
- Tell them to focus on the positive. Unfortunately, people who have depression are unable to do this. When you suffer from this disease, the negative in life is at the forefront of everything we do and think about. During a depression, the negatives far outweigh the positives. Depression is not a way of thinking. It is an illness based on many factors. Per Harvard Health Publications, brain chemistry, nerve connections, nerve cell growth and the functioning of nerve circuits all play a part in a person’s depression.
- Ignore them. If a friend or a family member confides in you about their depression, it is a cry for help. For a lot of people, it is very difficult to reach out and tell people about their feelings. One of the results of depression is isolation. They are interrelated for those who suffer. Depression can cause isolation and isolation can cause depression. It is a vicious cycle. Don’t ignore them as this can cause them to feel even more isolated and unsupported. Instead, contact them as often as possible (as long as they are open to it) and make sure they know you are there for them.