8 Things You Shouldn’t Say to a Depressed Person


Depression is perhaps one of the most difficult mental illnesses to deal with and also to talk about. This is why depression is too often misunderstood and not dealt with in the right way, and it can have an serious impact on someone’s mental health. Having researched the subject by talking to various friends who suffer from depression while also drawing on my own personal experience, here is what not to say to someone who is depressed.

1. Are you attention seeking?

Sometimes, a little sympathy goes a long way and sometimes they simply need to be treated the same as anyone else.

2.You don’t have anything to be sad about.

Ultimately, as is often misinterpreted, depression doesn’t necessarily need a cause. Someone may have many things to be happy about but their mind won’t be affected by external situations.

3. How are you?

This may seem odd, however, the first way to talk to someone who’s depressed would be to change the way you word things slightly. Instead of asking someone ‘how are you?’ it’d be better to ask them how their day was as that’s more likely to get a more positive response.

4. Are you depressed because you think it’s cool?

It is true that self harm and sadness have been glorified on the internet but not only will this remark decrease their self confidence, but they may also feel anger at themselves for giving into something that some people might see as ‘cool’.

5. Get over it.

Mental illness is often misunderstood as something that can be controlled by the person suffering from it. In the same way that you shouldn’t walk on a broken foot, a depressed person doesn’t need to be told that their mental illness is their fault.

6. But you don’t seem like you’re depressed…

It’s not always obvious that someone is suffering from depression. In addition, that person might be on antidepressants or may be trying incredibly hard to overcome their feelings.

7. Are you sure you want to join in?

A more important way to treat a depressed person is to treat them pretty much the same as you would in ignorance. If they feel like they’re getting special treatment they’re likely to feel left out or it’s more likely to reinforce the belief that they’re different and aren’t going to recover.

8. It’s all in your head.

The idea of telling someone that they’re imagining their mental illness may lead them to avoid seeking a GP or getting other help because they’re afraid they’ll be judged.

More articles in Students and Mental Health
  1. Sport and Wellbeing: The Importance of Exercise for Combatting Stress, Part One
  2. Sport and Wellbeing: The Importance of Exercise for Combatting Stress, Part Two
  3. Impulsivity Can Be A Side Effect of Medication, But Is It A Good Thing?
  4. Mental Health: Ways to Get Help Over the Summer Holidays
  5. 92% of Students Report Feelings of Mental Distress
  6. Eating Disorders Awareness Week: Confession of an Anorexic
  7. Eating Disorders: Realisations and Recovery
  8. Is it Me?: The Realities of Depression
  9. Lesser Known Mental Illnesses: Hypochondria
  10. Lesser Known Mental Illnesses: Bipolar Disorder
  11. Lesser Known Mental Illnesses: Dermatillomania
  12. Anxiety, Depression and the Year Abroad: Part 2
  13. Anxiety, Depression and the Year Abroad: Part 1
  14. Getting It Straight: What You Didn’t Know About OCD
  15. Mental Illness, Katie Hopkins, and Me
  16. OCD: Washing Away the Stigma
  17. The Germanwings Co-Pilot and the Stigma of Mental Illness
  18. You Say Adventure, I Say Ordeal
  19. 8 Things You Shouldn’t Say to a Depressed Person
  20. Eating Disorders and the Media: What Are ‘Real’ Women?
  21. How To Help A Panic Attack
  22. How to Survive a Mid-Year Crisis
  23. The University of Southampton Needs To Do More for Mental Health
  24. 5 Ways to Get Involved With Eating Disorders Awareness Week 2016
  25. Winter Blues: It’s A Real Thing
  26. Elephant in The Corner: Social Anxiety
  27. Victory over Vehophobia: How to Overcome a Fear of Driving
  28. Let’s Talk About Homesickness
  29. Your Guide to Managing a Fresher’s State of Mind
  30. Study Finds Exam Pressure To Be The Cause of Mental Health Problems In Pupils
  31. University’s Research into Mental Health Treatment Goes Deeper

Wessex Scene Editor 2016-17 and Features Editor 2015-2016. History Student, Blog writer (http://emeraldalice.blogspot.co.uk/) and traveller. Student Brand Ambassador for the i Paper 2015-2016. Tea lover, cat enthusiast. @Alicetotheskies

Discussion2 Comments

Leave A Reply