“Mental pain is less dramatic than physical pain, but it is more common and also more hard to bear. The frequent attempt to conceal mental pain increases the burden: it is easier to say My tooth is aching than to say My heart is broken.”— C. S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain
9. What is the problem? What is wrong?
There could be many things wrong. Or there could be nothing wrong. We urge you to accept this concrete piece of advice: a depressed person has no fixed explanation for their feelings. Don’t demand answers. Just be there. Listen.
What to say: Do you want a hug?
“It’s so difficult to describe depression to someone who’s never been there, because it’s not sadness. I know sadness. Sadness is to cry and to feel. But it’s that cold absence of feeling— that really hollowed-out feeling.” — J.K. Rowling
10. You are bringing me down.
This response is unacceptable. People, who usually suffer from depression, endure it in silence. Don’t violate their trust. Depression is not a choice. A depressed person feels helpless. They don’t have the means to help themselves, and they don’t need the burden of these heavy words.
What to say: I care about you.
Lastly, we remind you to be compassionate, motivating and thoughtful. Do not criticize something you don’t understand. Depression is a biological illness, which affects an individual psychologically and socially. Although research hasn’t yet proven the reasons why some people are naturally inclined to acquiring depression, we do know it needs to be studied and taken seriously.
Although this is not a complete list of things you should never say, it is a list of the most hurtful things you should not say. Please comment below and share your thoughts.