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5 Best Things You Should Say To A Depressed Friend (And Things You Should NEVER Say)

5 Best Things You Should Say To A Depressed Friend
I encountered a psychiatrist's article on the best things to tell a friend suffering from depression or other mental health issues and I think it's worth sharing.
Depression is a mental health disorder characterised by a persistent feeling of sadness or loss of interest in activities, causing significant impairment in daily life.

Symptoms of Depression in Men, Women and Children

Depression is common in both men, women and children but affects them differently. 
Symptoms of depression in men can include anger, irritability, aggressiveness, restlessness and anxiousness. It can also include a feeling of emptiness and loss of interest in favourite activities.
Other symptoms in men can include reduced sexual desire, insomnia, fatigue, delayed responses during conversations and excessive sleepiness.

In women, signs of depression can include changes in appetite, thinking or talking more slowly, sleeping too much, waking early, decreased energy, pains, headaches, increased cramps and irritability.

When a child is depressed, he or she might start displaying signs like mood swings, anger, irritability, crying, feelings of incompetence (e.g. “I can’t do anything right”) and intense sadness.
Other signs of depression in children can include avoidance of friends or siblings, suicidal thoughts, refusing to go to school or getting into trouble in school. The child can also display signs like difficulties in concentrating during classes.

Things You Can Say To A Depressed Friend

You should say the following things when your friend or loved one is suffering from depression:

• “I’m here for you.” 

Depression is very isolating and alienating. Depressed people feel a sense of relief when they don’t feel so alone in their pain.

• “I see that you’re having a hard time.” 

People feel better when they’re understood and not judged or analyzed.

• “You don’t have to figure this out on your own.” 

Depressed people often believe that they have to figure out on their own how to fix themselves. Then they feel guilty when inevitably, they can’t. They feel a lot less guilty and a lot less overwhelmed when they’re reassured that they don’t have to fix things all by themselves.

• “Let’s get you some professional help.” 

Depression is a mental illness and it needs to be treated by qualified mental health professionals. Just like any illness, it won’t go away by thinking different thoughts or going for a brisk walk.

• “Are you thinking of hurting yourself?” 

You should always ask a depressed person if they’re having suicidal thought or plans, because you could prevent a tragedy by getting them immediate help.

Things You Shouldn't Say To A Depressed Friend

Avoid telling any of the five things listed below to a depressed friend or loved ones, it can lead them into taking more harmful actions:

• “You brought this on yourself.” 

People don’t make themselves depressed with a bad attitude. They become depressed because of a profound loss they’ve experienced and/or because they’re genetically prone to depression. This type of statement only makes them feel bad about themselves and more depressed.

• “Snap out of it.” 

This is an illness. They can’t just snap out of it. They need mental health help in the form of psychotherapy and often they’ll need medication as well to alleviate their symptoms and their suffering.

• “It’s going to be okay.” 

You have no idea how it’s going to be. Telling a depressed person something like this will only make them lose their trust in you, because they’re not sure if it’s going to be okay at all. They don’t need your cheer-leading; they need your empathy right now.

• “It’s not so bad.” 

To the depressed person who feels helpless, hopeless and unable to see the light at the end of the tunnel, it really is that bad. When you minimize their experience you only make them feel worse.

What more? Don't forget to drop us a comment and share with your friends. Also check out our previous article on how to calm down stress, anxiety and nervousness.
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