Like most mental disorders, depression is actually difficult to understand from the outside. In most cases, you do not know what to tell a person with depression. Therefore, you try to relate from your own experiences with feeling sad. Even though your intentions are good, the effect on the person suffering from depression is rarely useful.
– Happiness Is a Choice.
Some choices you make can decrease or increase your happiness. But, you start out at wildly different places, because of uncontrollable life events and genetics. Someone suffering from depression isn’t able to think their way into happiness. This means that the road will be more difficult and much longer for these people. In addition, they may also require medication or cognitive behavioral therapy. So, you should not compare the journey of someone suffering from depression to happiness with that of someone else, because it’s unfair.
– Your Depression Has Gone on Long Enough.
You shouldn’t tell a person with depression that their depression has gone on long enough. Of course, it would be a fantastic method if it worked. Unluckily, this doesn’t make sense. Depression is actually a medical health problem. So, anyone cannot “snap out of it” any more than they could snap out of heart disease. Therefore, you should never say that this mental disorder is a lifestyle decision.
– It’s All in Your Head. You Should Think More Positively.
For depression sufferers, positive thinking is an excellent method for enhancing their world view and self-esteem. But, it isn’t a cure for this mental disorder. Depression is commonly triggered by a chemical imbalance in the brain. Even though spirituality, mindfulness, and self-care are helpful, they aren’t a cure for depression.
– Put a Smile on Your Face. You Should Be Strong for Parents, Children or Partner.
Telling a person with depression to be strong for their parents, children or partner is dismissive and unkind. This means that the mental health of that person isn’t as important as the comfort of people around them.
– Look at Others Who Are Handling Things Great.
Telling someone with depression to look at someone else who is handling things great isn’t useful. It isn’t helpful to someone that already struggles with their self-worth. You shouldn’t compare the difficulty of 2 lives when you are probably missing decades of complex situational and biological information.
But, What Does Someone with Depression Want to Hear From You?
Those suffering from this mental disorder simply want to know that you are around in case they need you as well as that you love them.
According to Leo Buscaglia, motivational speaker and author, we often underestimate the power of the smallest act of caring, an honest compliment, a listening ear, a kind word, a smile, or a touch, all of which can turn a life around.