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I’ve previously written about things you should never say to a twin mum, and today I want to talk about
Things you should never say to someone with depression.
Sometimes, people say things without thinking, with the best of intentions, without realising how they’re making someone feel. If you’re living with depression, I’m pretty sure you will be able to relate to the things on this list. And, if you’re not, just remember them next time you’re talking to someone who is. These are the 10 cliches I’ve heard (and hate) the most.
Your life isn’t that bad! / What do you have to be depressed about?
I know it isn’t. And, most of the time, I don’t have anything to be depressed about. My life, on the face of it, is pretty awesome. And yet, here I am. Depression just isn’t that simple.
Just try to be positive
Do you think I haven’t tried that? Really? My entire life is spent trying to be positive. Saying this makes it seem like the person is choosing to be negative and, therefore, choosing to be depressed. They’re not.
You think you’ve got it bad?? Try having my problems
*sigh* Way to make someone feel worse. Now, not only do we have to be depressed, but we have to feel guilty about it, too. I’m sorry if you’re having a hard time. But that doesn’t make our depression disappear.
Other people are worse off than you
Yes. They are. I’m well aware of that and would never suggest otherwise. But that doesn’t make my feelings any less valid.
Cheer up / snap out of it
OK. Sure. How, exactly, do I do that? If it was that easy, I would have done it already. Trust me. No one wants to be depressed.
You need to stop being so negative all the time/stop feeling sorry for yourself
Again… please tell me how? And, while you’re at it, please stop telling me how to feel, when you have no idea what you’re talking about.
You’re so lucky, you should be grateful
I am grateful for a great many things. My children, my husband, the roof over my head, the food in my cupboards, the clothes on my back. I am aware that life has been kind to me – I don’t have to worry about where my next meal is going to come from, or whether we’ll be able to pay our bills next month. I have family and friends who love me. We live in a nice house in a nice area, full of nice things. And yet… here I am. Depression is not a choice. It doesn’t care whether you’ve got everything or nothing. I can be grateful for what I have and depressed at the same time. I’d rather not be depressed… but, que sera sera. I’m doing my best.
Well, life isnt fair. Get used to it
*rolls eyes* OK then. So… should I be grateful? Or should I get used to life not being fair? It’s so confusing, isn’t it?
You should get out more
What a great idea! I’d love to. Except I’m exhausted and can’t be bothered and really don’t want to do anything. I know that excercise or fresh air might help and that spending all day probably won’t. But I don’t care. Instead of telling me what I should do, maybe just help me do it? I’m not saying that will be easy, but it’s better than talking about it in theory and expecting me to do it on my own.
Everyone gets depressed sometimes
This is not the same as depression. Anyone who says this, is proving how little they understand depression and, therefore, how little they should be saying about it. Depression is not the same as feeling a bit down or having a bad day. It’s not helpful to act like it is.
And a little bonus – my favourite…
You don’t look depressed
Of all the things you should never say to someone with depression, this is the one that confuses me the most. What does depressed look like? People with depression smile sometimes. They’re even happy sometimes. Other times, they’re putting on a mask to high how they’re really feeling. That doesn’t mean they don’t have depression.
Reading these back, I know I sound a bit harsh. I know that the people who say these things don’t mean to upset anyone. Most of the time, they’re actually trying to help. But if you hear these things often enough, they start to grate on you!
Have I missed anything? If I have, let me know!