Depression is often seen in completely different lights by those who have suffered from it and those that have no. If you’re fortunate enough not to have encountered depression in your life, it can be difficult to help despite your best efforts. The advice lovingly provide are often ineffective due to the misunderstandings they contain.
If you really wish to help people with depression, you must develop a deeper understanding of the condition. This is the only way you can help guide your loved ones out of the darknesses. Avoid using these common pieces of advice which unknowingly cause more harm than good.
8 Sayings That Don’t Actually Help People With Depression
1. “Maybe you need to let yourself cry it out, you’ll feel much better after”
Depression is not simply a one-off moment of sadness, it’s a persistent feeling of blue as if life was viewing through a filter. For this reason, letting it out by crying is not going to provide any form of release.
In many cases, suffers have neither the impulse nor the ability to cry.
2. “You need to get up and get out more. Once you’ve had a good day you’ll be back to normal”
If you really want to help people with depression, you must realize it takes a long time to treat. Going out and having a good day may provide temporary relief, but it is far from being a cure-all. Many people wrongly assume having a good day means they are cured, but that’s not how it works.
As you can’t bring yourself to face these situations, you find yourself cancelling plans and leaving them hanging. They don’t always know how they can help you and rifts can grow between you. Depression can put a tremendous strain on friendships, it’s certainly not something suffers want to willing to introduce it into the relationship.
3. “Stop getting caught up with negative thoughts, focus on the positive things around you”
Sadly, it’s never quite as simple as this. Your biology is difficult, if not impossible to simply re-wire. Your core desires and ambitions may be pushing you one way but your brain chemistry seems to battle against you.
Having depression can distort your perception of reality dramatically. Those negative thoughts woven by you will in actual fact be your reality. It can be so dominating that even when observing your life it can be hard to find pride in past achievements. An outsider’s perspective on the situation will be starkly different to what’s experienced by the one who is depressed.
4. “Don’t worry, you always have us. Sharing more about how you feel will help”
While sometimes it can help to share our problems, depressed people are often reluctant to dump this weight upon others. They are very sensitive about the issue, especially since others are unlikely to truly understand how they feel. The last thing they want is someone to think they are being whiny or dramatizing how bad they feel inside.
They are very conscious of the fact most people don’t know how to react to how they are feeling. Not everyone understands well enough not to take these feelings personally.
5. “Get on with your daily routine and you’ll start to feeling better before you know it”
When you are depressed, even getting through the daily routine can be a slow, uneasy grind. Simply getting out of bed, preparing yourself for the day, eating and even sleeping becomes a grinding chore. Moreover, it’s not something that is going to dissolve depression by any means.
It becomes a terrible conundrum, you feel completely isolated, yet too depressed to socialize. Coming out and telling your friends why can almost be as hard as dealing with depression itself. Even with treatment, medication, exercise, sleep and a healthy diet, depression is not always simply gone for good.
6. “If only you could try a little harder to be positive, I know you would feel much better”
Unfortunately, the road to recovery from depression can be arduous and is not without pitfalls. Suffers of depression often ensure a bumpy ride, when they begin to feel ok they can be thrown back to square one the next day.
It’s an entirely frustrating experience, simply telling them to try harder to be positive does not demonstrate a good understanding of their struggles.
7. “Setting yourself goals and focusing on achieving them will help you out of this rut”
Depressed people don’t taste the same sweet taste of satisfaction from their achievements as we do. The dull tone of depression does not allow them to restore their happiness and energy level after success.
In actual fact, depression suffers may even be the highest performers in their fields. Success does not always alleviate their depression.
8. “Once you’ve regained control of your emotions you’ll be free from depression”
The tricky thing about depression is it becomes both an emotional and a physical battle. When you think you’ve regained control of your emotions, physical problems such as aches, fatigue, loss of appetite can flare them up again.
If you want to help people with depression, you need to understand they are constantly fighting battles on two fronts!