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depression, mental disorders

If you know someone who is suffering from depression or similar mental disorders there are some things that you should always avoid saying. These phrases and responses can be very harmful and cause your loved one to suffer even more pain and other negative emotions.

1. All you need is ……. This response can be especially harmful and damaging because you are minimizing the experience that the person is having. Someone who is depressed does not want to be that way, but they can not change their emotions and thoughts. Refusing to acknowledge the seriousness of the situation can make things worse instead of better.

2. Think about people who have it worse than you do. This is a response that basically says the person with mental disorders like depression chooses to feel and think the way that they do. If this condition was voluntary no one would ever be depressed. Wealth, material things, and even love from friends and family alone can not make depression go away.

3. I know what you are feeling because one time I was depressed too. Just because you felt sad when a favorite pet died or you had a rough patch when things didn’t go your way this is not the same as being clinically depressed. Comparing a brief period of sadness to profound depression is like comparing apples and cars, it is not possible because they are two completely different things.

Someone who is depressed needs professional help, not tough talk or fake sympathy. If you can not say something supportive it may be better to say nothing at all.