"Snap out of it"
If they could, I promise you they would.
"You’ll feel better if you just exercised more/ eat better"
Clinical depression is a real illness that needs proper medical attention. So don’t be a patronizing twat.
"But you have so much to be thankful for!"
This just adds to the guilt. And somehow, when you can’t get out of bed in the morning because you feel so apathetic and sad, the fact that you’re laying on Egyptian cotton sheets doesn’t really help.
"How can you be depressed if I love you so much?"
It’s difficult and boring to be a depressed person’s friend or partner. But you can’t save them. It’s not how the illness works. And just because someone is unhappy doesn’t mean they don’t appreciate your love.
"Oh my God. Not you too!"
Don’t make your friend feel that she’s part of a statistic. Although the syndrome is widespread, everyone’s experience is unique and everyone’s pain is very real.
"But I thought you were normal?"
Let’s not add to the stigma of depression, okay? It’s a medical condition and should be treated with as much respect as something more physical. Depressed people aren’t crazy. At least not all of the time.
And some dos:
"You get to be sad because it’s part of you"
I’ve never met a boring, stupid or dull person who suffers from depression. If you like the upside, you must accept the downside too.
"I’m here when you need to talk"
You don’t have to be pushy, just listen. Don’t give advice if you’re unable and don’t try to “fix” things. This might just make the person feel more hopeless.
"Get your ass to a professional!"
Sometimes this intervention is the only thing that works. And manic and clinical depression should be medicated.
Do you know someone who lives with depression? Ever said any of the above to them? Share with us in the box below.
Lili Radloff suffers from depression, but she manages it with medication and is surprisingly cheerful. You can follow her on Twitter here.