This Is The Most Offensive Thing You Can Say To Someone With Depression
Why You Shouldn’t Tell Someone with Depression to Just “Cheer Up”
Words are powerful. Think before you speak.
Depression is a constant, dark overcast that follows you, your every breath, your every step, and your every move. It’s similar to a shadow, only it doesn’t walk with your step; it moves against you. Gripping you, sometimes breaking down your proverbial spine, it makes you feel as if you have no backbone to shake it off.
You can’t “just shake it off,” because the chemical imbalance in your body does not work that way.
You could be in the middle of the most jubilant activity, surrounded by love, friends, and festivities, and it’ll still loom, squeezing you to a manically somber pulp, so that the only thing left dripping is the energy you don’t have to fight off these demons.
You handle it how you handle it, but people won’t always understand how to handle you.
It’s important to recognize that, if someone in your life has depression, you won’t ever truly know the inner struggles they’re going through. But you can try to understand, and you can choose your words with care when you talk them through the difficult times.
Elite Daily spoke with a few experts to help you understand exactly what not to say to someone struggling with depression, and why you shouldn’t say it.
Joshua Klapow, licensed clinical psychologist and associate professor of public health at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, says there are many “wrong” things to say to someone who is depressed.
He elaborates, “If I had to pick the one that I believe fosters the most shame among individuals with depression, [it would be], ‘You are being selfish. If you cared about yourself, you would have a more positive attitude.’ This is similar to the ‘just cheer up’ statement, but it puts the blame of depression on the person. It moves from a statement about them being weak (just cheer up) to them being intentionally depressed.”
You should never makes someone feel like they are actually choosing to be depressed. Klapow explains, “In the eyes of an individual with depression, who is already filtering everything from a negative perspective, the idea that they are purposefully and willfully doing this can be devastating.”