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8 Things You Should Never [Ever] Say to Someone Struggling With Depression (Plus 8 Things You Could Say)

8 Things You Should Never EVER Say to Someone Struggling With DepressionThe bitter part of me wanted to title this post “Sh*t People Should Never Ever EVER Say to Depressed People.” Buuuuut the better part of me decided it probably wasn’t the most approachable (or loving way) to go. #don’tjudgeme 😉

After opening up about my struggles with depression on my blog, I’ve had an overwhelming request over the past two years to post more on the subject. Thank you, thank you, thank you to those who have encouraged me to do so. You know who you are. :)

Here’s the deal: I want to blow the lid off of clinical depression. I am so over feeling alone. I am so over my friends feeling alone. And I’m mostly over society either turning a blind eye or misunderstanding what depression is altogether. This is my attempt to peel back the layers in a vulnerable and educational way, one post at a time…

For me, depression is like an anchor, a dead weight; like walking through mud. It’s a cloud that sits on the top of my shoulders, sometimes covering my head completely. It’s like a cold night with no covers – never being able to be completely comfortable. But mostly, it’s like walking around in a sort of “Numb Bubble”, watching the world from the “outside”, desperately wishing I could see the rich colors, smell the sweet aromas, and hear real laughter on the “inside”.

Some days it’s feeling like the world will cave in on me. Others, it’s the feeling that I can’t feel a thing. But it’s always, always something I wish I could just will away to be carried off with the wind and yet, when it’s “here”, it just remains.

During the times I’ve struggled with depression, I’ve had some amazing friends who have tried but failed to comfort me, with the sincerest of hearts. I’ve also had the let’s-just-get-over-it-type folks who have either ignored it or minimalized it in an attempt to not feel “uncomfortable” along with me. And then, there are the two or three friends who decided they wouldn’t fake feeling like they understood; they decided it best to just sit in the ugly with me, knowing there was no way to really say or do the right thing.

Because I’d like to spare others from some of the painful things I’ve heard  (or thought to myself) over the years, and because I want to empower folks who don’t struggle with depression to be able to truly be there for the ones they love, I’ve created this list that I hope and pray will inspire a fresh wave of empathy in the hearts that read it.

While in true “Deidre fashion” I can get a bit sarcastic, this post is not meant to make anyone feel bad for saying/thinking these things, but rather it’s a way to begin the dialogue and give the non-depressed folks an authentic peek into the hearts and minds of those suffering.

 

1. “You’re depressed again?”

Yep. I’m depressed again. Thank you so much for that sobering reminder. I’m glad I’m not the only one who remembers how annoying it is that I’m depressed… again.

What it feels like you’re communicating: Here we go again! She seriously needs to move on. This is getting old.

Instead you might say: I’m so sorry, friend. I remember how hard this has been on you in the past. How can I serve you right now?

2. “At least you’re not (fill in the blank)” or, “There are people worse off than you.”

At least you’re not homeless. At least you’re not suicidal. At least you’re not like so-and-so. At least you’ve got a great life. At least you’re not starving in a third world country.

Yes. Thank God Almighty I’m not worse off. I’m so glad you took the time to remind me how much I have. I never thought of that. Now I can feel even worse about feeling worse!

What it feels like you’re communicating: I’m not grateful enough for what I have, or that my depression pales in comparison to something else. Trust me, this is not a reminder an individual struggling with depression needs to hear. Can you imagine what it feels like to have absolutely nothing going “wrong” in your life, and yet you can’t enjoy what’s right in front of you? It’s maddening, trust me. If only we could make our brain chemistry follow our heart’s desire!

Instead you might say: I know you’re suffering and feel trapped. I want to be there for you. This matters. You matter. This is a big deal and I’m with you all the way to the bottom.

3. “Are you reading your Bible & praying enough?”

No. Most definitely not. Besides, what is “enough”, exactly? I probably should have read through the Bible 15 times by now, and should spend at least 10% of my day in prayer. Sigh. If only…

What it feels like you’re communicating: You aren’t relying on God. You don’t trust God. You don’t have enough Faith. And ultimately, God can’t heal you because you didn’t (fill in the blank).

Based upon my understanding of the Bible and through my personal relationship with Jesus, I do not believe I have to “perform” to get God to “do” anything in my life. That Performance Train is a fast and slippery one, and one I jumped on (and off of) early on in my Christianity. It’s a Train that says, “Hurry up! Jump on and get busy! If you want things to move along and head in the right direction you must do things This  Exact Way or Else.”

I am not saved by my “works”; I am saved because God first loved me. It had nothing to do with me. Likewise, I don’t believe I have to do any kind of song and dance to get God to bless me or heal me or spare me from anything. Prayer and petition are powerful, and I encourage them. They help us to communicate and receive from God; they bring us closer to Him and remind us that He’s always in tune with our every need and desire.

That being said, this side of Heaven, I only know God in part. I only know a fraction of why things happen the way they do. The one thing I know is this: God loves you and I, totally and longs for us to be healed, whole and Holy. However, I believe that while some breakthroughs happen in an instant, others need to be walked out; some struggles will be removed from us completely, and others won’t be healed until we reach Heaven. While I wish He’d take my depression away now, I trust His judgment completely. His ways are higher than mine. One day my pain will make sense. Until that day, no, I will never read or pray or (fill in the blank with something else spiritual) “enough”. Feel free to pray for me. 😉

Instead you might say: I am so sorry you’re feeling depressed. I am going to pray that God will do what only He can do to comfort and protect you during this season. He is with you at The Bottom as much as He is with you at The Top. How else can I pray for you during this time?

4. “I know exactly how you feel.”

That’s literally impossible. L I T E R A L L Y impossible. No one can know exactly how anyone feels, right? Just like there are varying degrees of “Happy”, there are varying degrees of “Depressed”. And by varying, I mean it’s a very, very, broad spectrum.

What it feels like you’re communicating: When you tell someone you know exactly how they feel about something, it removes the mystery of trying to understand how they feel about that “thing”. It halts the journey of saying, “Let me explore this with you” and instead says, “Oh, I’ve been there. It’s no big deal.” It communicates that my pain can be measured; there is a beginning, middle and end. It limits how huge it is to me.

Instead you might say: I wish I could say I know exactly how you feel, but I don’t. I wish I could understand how dark this place is for you, but I know I can’t. I want to understand what you’re going through. Will you help me to sit in this with you? Help me to understand what you’re going through?

5. “You just need to let loose & be positive.”

You’re right. I do. I need to “let loose” and “be positive”. Wait, what does that mean exactly? Am I being uptight and negative? Ohhhh that’s why I’m depressed. My uptightness and negative mindset are causing me to feel like death. I can fix myself by simply taking a girl’s trip, right? I wish!! (No really, I really wish that would fix it!)

What it feels like you’re communicating: You are doing this to yourself by not doing (fill in the blank). You can easily snap out of it if you just (fill in the blank). That means that I am at fault and need to just do better.

Instead you might say: I know you might not feel up for the girl’s trip we have planned this weekend, but what do you feel like doing? How about just you and I do something that sounds relaxing and rejuvenating to you. You name it, and I’m there!

6. “What do you even have to be depressed about?”

Nothing. Everything. I wish I knew! Sometimes an event triggers depression. However, oftentimes it’s simply the chemical imbalance in our brains that causes it.

What it feels like you’re communicating: It’s absolutely ridiculous that you’re depressed. There’s literally nothing that could be that bad to make you feel this way.

Instead you might say: Is there anything going on that triggered your depression that you’d like to talk about? Is there anything making it worse that I can help with? I am always here for you when you want to talk about it.

7.   “You don’t need medication.”

DON’T EVER SAY THIS. DON’T EVER SAY THIS. DON’T EVER SAY THIS. DON’T EVER SAY THIS. DON’T EVER SAY THIS. DON’T EVER SAY THIS. DON’T EVER SAY THIS. DON’T EVER SAY THIS. DON’T EVER SAY THIS. DON’T EVER SAY THIS. DON’T EVER SAY THIS. DON’T EVER SAY THIS. DON’T EVER SAY THIS. DON’T EVER SAY THIS. DON’T EVER SAY THIS. Don’t. Just. DON’T.

Unless you are this person’s primary health care physician, psychologist, psychiatrist or therapist, then please, do not give clinical/medicinal advice. Clinical depression is an extremely complex disease. “Depression has many possible causes, including faulty mood regulation by the brain, genetic vulnerability, stressful life events, medications, and medical problems. Many chemicals are involved, working both inside and outside nerve cells. There are millions, even billions, of chemical reactions that make up the dynamic  system that is responsible for your mood, perceptions, and how you experience life.” (Source)

Your well intentioned “advice” could very well put someone in danger. It’s always best to leave medical advice to physicians.

What it feels like you’re communicating: It doesn’t matter. Just DON’T. DO. IT. :)

Instead you might say: Make sure you talk all of this over with your doctor. I want you to have the best care possible to be safe and healthy.

8. “Happiness is a choice.”

I seriously can’t handle another person saying this. It sounds so cute and perfect and squishy and magical. But guess what, life is just too complex and so is depression to stick a “Happiness Is A Choice” sticker on it. I do agree that to a certain degree, it is better to try to keep things in a healthy, balanced perspective by “choosing happiness” over “not choosing happiness”. Duh. But what happens when your brain chemistry doesn’t want to choose happiness? Or, what happens when we don’t allow our hearts to grieve hard things in life and we just skip over The Mess so we can be “happy” again? Here’s a great article on Psychology Today, where licensed psychologist Dr. Clifford Lazarus discusses how “Cognitive Therapy” (“changing peoples thoughts from negative biases to more positive patterns”) rarely helps with depression.

What it feels like you’re communicating: You don’t want to be happy. You aren’t trying hard enough to be happy. You are choosing misery.

Instead you might say: I hate seeing your heart hurting. What baby steps can we take together to heal? I am with you every step of the way.

 

Ultimately, the most important things you can communicate to someone suffering with depression is:

Acknowledgement: I see you. I hear you. I believe you that you’re suffering.

Empathy: I sincerely want to understand, as much as I am able to, what you’re going through.

Action: How can I help? What can we do together to move towards healing?

Comfort: You are not alone.

The truth is, there isn’t much you can say to make me “feel better” when I’m depressed. However, taking the time to listen, sit, and wait with me until the storm is over, that is the best thing you could ever do for me. :)

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Like I said, I want to blow the lid off of depression, and this is Step Two (Step One was admitting it publically here and here). Would you help me spread the word?

If you’ve ever struggled with depression or you haven’t but know others that have, would you share this post everywhere you can? Perhaps include a personal message letting others know how this personally touched or inspired you? You can also re-pin it on Pinterest here. :)

Don’t forget to “like” my blog on Facebook & follow me on Instagram (WifeMomSWoman) and Pinterest

If You’re Having Thoughts of Suicide:

If you’re struggling with depression and are having thoughts of suicide, please, pick up the phone NOW and call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255. You’ll be connected to a skilled, trained counselor at a crisis center in your area, 24/7. The calls are confidential and FREE.

There’s a million reasons to live, but I know there are moments when it’s too hard to connect with that. Let others help you. You are not alone!

 A Little More Information on Clinical Depression (source):

Between 20-25% of adults may suffer an episode of major depression at some point during their lifetime, and it affects about 6.7% of the U.S. population over the age of 18 according to the National Institute of Mental Health. In fact, almost twice as many women suffer from it as men, especially due to hormonal changes during puberty, menstruation, pregnancy, miscarriage and menopause.

Some symptoms may include:

•Fatigue or loss of energy almost every day

•Feelings of worthlessness or guilt almost every day

•Loss of interest in normal activities and relationships

•Impaired concentration, indecisiveness

•Insomnia or hypersomnia (excessive sleeping) almost every day

•Markedly diminished interest or pleasure in almost all activities nearly every day (called anhedonia, this symptom can be indicated by reports from significant others)

•Restlessness or feeling slowed down

•Recurring thoughts of death or suicide

•Significant weight loss or gain (a change of more than 5% of body weight in a month)

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Posted on by WifeMomSWoman in Superwoman 114 Comments

114 Responses to 8 Things You Should Never [Ever] Say to Someone Struggling With Depression (Plus 8 Things You Could Say)

  1. Julie Durand

    BRAVO Deidre!!! So well done, honest, true, and timely for so so many!! I absolutely love how you took such an emotional topic for so many, myself included, and gave REAL information that didn’t make me emotional in a bad way but still had “feeling” in it. So many sources out there give too clinical of a vibe to really get across to a reader what depression feels like if they’ve never experienced it.

    As someone who has suffered from depression off and on for years that ranged from mild and circumstantial to full blown suicidal clinical depression at times, it was so refreshing to read things put in such a pointed direct way.

    The funny thing is that even though I’ve been on the receiving end of many of these 8 comments, I think I’ve also said a couple of them to someone a time or two. It shocks me because I KNOW what it feels like to be depressed, the cloud that doesn’t seem to leave no matter how hard you try to pull yourself out of it, yet I still am guilty of this. Just goes to show how much more so the dialogue needs to be open for those fortunate enough to not know this feeling in themselves!

    Love and xoxo’s to you friend!!

     
    • WifeMomSWoman

      I’m right there with you, Julie! I’ve said them too. The truth is, we don’t know better until we KNOW better. Now that you and I know better – we can educate people on depression! Love you friend. Thanks for reading/commenting! Xo – Deidre

       
  2. Stephanie Palmer

    I’ve struggled with depression several times and ive known, loved and lost people who struggled with it.

    One thing is for certain is that depression confuses me…i dont know what causes it and I dont know (or dont remember) what happens to make the cloud disappear.

    One thought comes to mind, for me, what happens when someone says, “I see you I am here for you…what can I do to help?” And all I can reply is I don’t know!

    I don’t know why I’m depressed. I dont know how you can help. I know life is good. I know God is good all the time. I know I’m better off than others but im still sad, I still have nightmares amd day-mares, anxiety, paranoia…I cannot put my finger on why…so I feel like I can’t overcome it.

    I can sometimes feel lonely in a crowded room. I feel like ive lost my purpose. I know…that blogging helped…but even that doesn’t happen anymore because i can’t gather myself up to do it. Its like im fighting and arguing with myself all the time. The battle between what I know….and how I feel.

     
    • WifeMomSWoman

      Thank you so much for commenting/reading, Stephanie! I’m so sorry I’m just now responding!

      You are not alone. And you’re right, it IS confusing. That’s why we HAVE to talk to licensed, professional counselors about this stuff. They can help us process and understand our condition! Have you found one to talk to?

       
    • Jessica

      I really love your comment, Stephanie. Seriously! I feel worse sometimes when people ask what they can do to help… when I can’t answer, it makes the situation feel so much more hopeless. Sometimes supportive comments make me really angry and scared. I have no idea why. It’s weird how different depression/anxiety can be.

       
      • Nyssa

        So well written, thank you.
        Typically if someone asks what can they do to help I ask for a magic wand. With time, I have learnt to explain to my better half what he can do to help me through the tough times… Because I just stay in bed and don’t want to talk or do anything and am unpleasant to be around doesn’t mean I want to be left alone! But I lack the communication skills at that point in time. But we are both growing and learning – noting what I need and telling him when I can had definitely helped.

         
  3. Tess Scarborough

    This was so great and educational. So many people I love have struggled with depression and I feel like I never have the right thing to say or do! This blog answered so many questions for me on how to properly love someone going through this. Thank you so much for sharing! Love what your doing and what God is doing through you Deidre.

     
    • WifeMomSWoman

      Thank you so much for commenting/reading, Tess! I’m so sorry I’m just now responding! And thank you so much for the encouragement :) I’m so glad this was helpful to you! Xo

       
  4. Lisa Gallegos

    Very well said! I’m so relieved that you did this blog. It’s like you took the words out of my mouth. I’ve struggled with depression as well and it has been a struggle to explain it and what it’s like. I know I’m not perfect by no means and can say that I have repeated to people (when in my “good moments”) what was said to me. :( So, this is a reminder of what not to do. I also took a couple of Psychology courses in college and did some research on depression to better understand it and deal(Live) with it. Anyhow, THANK YOU! (SIGH) :)

     
    • WifeMomSWoman

      Thank you so much for commenting/reading, Lisa! I’m so sorry I’m just now responding!

      I love that you’ve taken courses and researched. If you haven’t already, I believe it’s crucial to have a licensed professional counselor too! They are so helpful and a true Safe Place :)

       
  5. Amelia

    This is beautiful!!! Wonderfully written. Xo

     
  6. Elisha

    Great article, Dee! As someone diagnosed with PPD, the BEST thing I was told was, “If you think you need to see a doctor, you probably needed to see one months ago! Don’t wait!” That encouragement, that ‘permission’ to acknowledge that I needed help, was what made me accept that it was ok to ask for help. I have freely passed this same advice to friends since and will continue (as needed) for the rest of my days. It not only may have saved my life, but it also very likely saved my marriage, my relationship with my kids and my friendships. I apply the lessons from my doctor on a daily basis and her exercises are part of my health regimen.

    Let’s remove the stigma from a PHYSICAL disease of the brain…there’s no ‘just getting over it,’ but there is treatment and it WORKS!

     
    • Jen

      I am very comfortable being transparent with everyone I come into contact with in real life regarding my entire life experience with depression and the onset of anxiety about 12 years ago. I advocate, I challenge those I know well along with those I don’t know from Adam to educate themselves on mental health issues and talk to the people that they know who struggle with them. But now that I began to type on a stranger’s blog, where only strangers will read my words, I am apprehensive and unsure of how to form my thoughts.

      I DO know that I value so much what I read that I shared it on facebook. And then realized that the friend who shared it originally actually knew the blogger, and now I feel embarrassed for what I said on her page. These feelings kind of anger me. I am never at a loss for words when talking about depression or myself. I am never ashamed and embarrassed about any human being knowing the shallowest or deepest detail or experience I have endured. So why am I feeling this now? I partially blame the stigma associated with depression. Beyond the stigma, there is no logical reason for me to have felt those things right now.

      I also believe that we want things to be so easily dealt with, we want a quick answer and a quick fix. My personal journey has been more than 3 decades and I have learned that my chemical imbalance is only one of many aspects that needed to be addressed and dealt with. Meds are not the be all-end all for those with depression. And maybe not even necessary for some at all. Over years of counseling, various medications, pursuing super spirituality, listening to and only consuming positive or Christian entertainment, and so on, there has never been one simple answer. Nothing was able to be THE cure.

      At one of my lowest, most difficult seasons about 8 years ago, I was completely unable to function. See, the thing is, feelings lie. Depression lies. Anyway, I had moved home to California after a stressful experience living with my aunt and attending college in Texas. I was not taking right meds, had no support system, no coping skills, and pretty much all of the life ingredients for my own bog of eternal stench and despair.

      I would become so irrational and emotional I began to have what I just call episodes. I had these episodes frequently, and I did not remember them or even what triggered them. My parents had a new friend at church who almost had her psych degree and was a Life Coach and staged a literal intervention. Like, a here we are, your loved ones, we are all sitting in a room, and here is the professional who is going to help you and help us help you.

      I always believed in God, I followed Jesus, loved him. I never stopped being a Christian. I just couldn’t control my brain, my body, or my emotions. And at this very difficult season, after 20 something years of trying to help me but mostly saying ‘you have to choose to be happy’, my parents learned healthier, more positive ways to help me. My mom learned more about who I was and how my brain functioned. Then my Life Coach and the intervention pushed me towards a psychiatrist, a counselor, a mentor, and seeing her as well. And as I addressed and balanced all the areas of my life- the chemical, the physical, the brain pathway training, the trusting and asking for help, the asking the entire church for prayer (not just the young adult pastor’s wife), all those different areas that has been addressed individually over the years were all taken on all at once, and head strong. There was no playing around. It was all in. For all of us. And even though I never believed the lies that God didn’t love me, that I was a bad person, that I was better off dead… when you are in the midst of the darkest, deepest depression like that, it doesn’t matter what you can rationalize. It doesn’t matter what the truth is. Unfortunately you can only experience that exact moment. You can only experience that exact feeling. And you can’t go or be anywhere else.

      But God has continually pursued me throughout my depression since childhood. Despite those close to me saying the things written above, they also pursued me. Sometimes they had to stop. People still have a lot to learn about depression and how to be with the people they love who are in it. But mostly, they loved and pursued me. The ones who loved Jesus, I believe God used them in his physical pursuit of me. Using their voices, their hands, their feet.

      My friend who shared this blog post was one of those people. Whether she felt a specific nudge from the Holy Spirit and knew at the time that it was God or not, she followed where she was led, and Stephanie physically raised me from a sitting position in the music building, took me with her hand on my arm across a parking lot to the couseling building, and she was the one who I remember went inside and made someone see me. God used her to physically speak for me and move the vessel I no longer controlled into a safe space where I could get help that brought me back to my home, where my family had my intervention, and where I am now working to maintain my balanced life battle with depression and anxiety.

      It will never go away. Unless God decides to deliver me. But when I encounter stressful situations and bouts of deeper depression, I now have the tools and support system to face things in a better way. I have people who took the time to learn (most of them, and most of the time) some of these 8 things not to say. Some of them know not to say anything at all. To just be with me. Or to be my voice when I can’t. And when I have my own voice, like I do now apparently since I wrote a novel here, I share, share, share my life with people. I challenge social perceptions. I educate on depression and anxiety as best I can. We have to change our society and our culture one person at a time.

      And for each person who reads this blog, that is one more person who will be so well informed they won’t have any excuse for not being a helpful and supportive person to the individuals they know who are in it deep. The blog is so informative, but makes so much simple sense, that each person reading it has to digest what they read and apply it to the next experience they have where it is required. I really believe that. I am very grateful for this blog today.

       
      • WifeMomSWoman

        Wow. Jen. I am speechless. Your comment is SO powerful. I wish I could look you in the eyes and say “thank you.” Your transparency, your willingness to share your story – just, wow.

        “When you are in the midst of the darkest, deepest depression like that, it doesn’t matter what you can rationalize. It doesn’t matter what the truth is. Unfortunately you can only experience that exact moment. You can only experience that exact feeling. And you can’t go or be anywhere else.” – THIS really resonated with me, and I’m sure many others who will read your comment.

        God bless you, new friend. I pray that you are continuing to find relief and support in your journey. God is already using you in a mighty way!

         
      • Jim Clark

        Jen:

        Your story and honesty really touched me this morning, as my precious bride of 33 years has battled depression and anxiety for more than 20 years. Recently it go so bad that she entered a treatment center and she’s responding well to it. I especially appreciated your insights that healing involves a lot of areas. That seems to be the case with my wife. We know that Jesus is the Great Physician, our experience is that He is working through a variety of people, doctors, prayer ministries, etc. With your permission, I’m going to share your post with my adult children, so that they and I can better understand how to love and serve their Mom and my wife. Jim

         
        • Jen

          Thank you, Jim. You most definitely have my permission. I found this blog post so helpful, and I am touched that you would like to share my comments with your family. Your wife and family will be in my prayers. Thank you.

    • WifeMomSWoman

      Elisha! Thank you so much for commenting/reading! I’m so sorry I’m just now responding! SO true. Thank you for your honest comment! Couldn’t agree more, friend :)

       
  7. Kim

    Thanks for this honest and helpful post! I have many close people in my life who struggle with depression and it is sooooo helpful to know what to say to help! (and not to say!) Thank you so much for writing this!

     
    • WifeMomSWoman

      You’re most welcome, Kim! Thanks thank YOU for reading/commenting! Xo – Deidre

       
  8. Aly

    Thank you for sharing this! I struggled a lot with depression in my past, and you are right people can’t say anything to make us feel better, all they can do is be there. This is not our home. I hold tight on that promise. We were just not meant to live like this in this broken world. I wanted to share how much your post spoke to me, I am not depressed, but I am going through something medically that I related this whole post too. I have had a bunch of people say similar things like this relating to my situation and its just so FRUSTRATING! I have to tell myself. ” I own my own feelings, I own my own feelings.” And just be grateful that even though these people are saying ALL of the wrong things, they are just trying to love me in there own human way. <3 Praying for you, and everyone suffering in this world with depression.

     
    • WifeMomSWoman

      Thank you for your SWEET comment, Aly! I’m so sorry I’m just now responding to you! I hope you are healing from whatever is going on. And you’re right, this is not our home – one day we will have TOTAL and COMPLETE healing – heart/mind/body/Soul :)

       
  9. Keri

    My favorite post of yours. Ever.

     
  10. Heather Strong

    This is incredibly beautiful and lovingly written. An amazing resource for everyone! Your transparency is just so inspiring.

     
    • WifeMomSWoman

      Thank you so much, Heather. You always encourage me :)

       
  11. Rhonda

    oh my goodness each point you mentioned expressed what I heard and experienced. Thank you for your willingness to be vulnerable enough to share your experiences, open the discussion and help blow the lid off depression! God bless you!

     
    • WifeMomSWoman

      Ahhh thank you so much, Rhonda. I appreciate you reading/commenting!

       
  12. Jennifer

    This spoke beautifully to what I am going through right now. I don’t know how to explain to people what I can’t explain to myself. Thank you for letting us know we ate not alone, when that is what we feel at the lowest times.

     
    • WifeMomSWoman

      You’re most welcome, Jennifer. And, you’re right, you are not alone :) Xo

       
  13. CatherineRoberts

    When , oh when!! will the 21st century come to the realization THAT “mental health issues” are not in a SEPARATE and SHOULD NOT BE in a separate category. These “issues are in the physical health category — They are just as physical (as diabetes,cancer,MS, arthritis,etc.)The body part that is “sick” i?s the BRAIN!! The brain is so complex and its job is so INTRICATE.. So if I get depressed, mood swings,anxiety,then let us blaim it on the BRAIN. DUH!!! Society is under the impression that just because I have “issues”,ii the anatomy of my brain is different than a “normal” person. Who des what is normal??? I am proud that I realized that I needed more extra evaluation than my primary doctor. People — even trained medical “professional”, that’s the truth are just making “us” believe that our minds are “sick” BUT sorry to be so blunt Stupid people and some doctors WILL NOT say, you’re BRAIN has a medical condition Oh, that’s right, we are Mentally ill. Not brain sick. Which , by the way, the last time I checked my brain was a part of my body.So ditch the BS that I am mentally ill.Maybe I should offer my psych appt. to one of THOSE people.

     
  14. cara manes

    YOU. ARE. AWESOME!

     
  15. Leigh

    I somehow stumbled across your blog today and in particular this post.. I’m taking it as a sign.
    Thank you for being brave. You have encouraged me to do the same.

     
    • WifeMomSWoman

      I love that. So glad it came at the perfect time for you, Leigh. God bless you! Xo – Deidre

       
  16. Pingback: “Listening is like being happy when you’re depressed” | After Scoliosis

  17. sonia

    Thank you for posting this, I suffer from depression and your words really help me understand what is happening to me and not feel so awkward that I don’t know how to explain it to others. Thank you for letting me feel I’m not alone with all these odd feelings and thoughts.

     
    • WifeMomSWoman

      Hi Sonia! Thank you for your comment and most of all for reading. I’m so glad my post was comforting to you. You are not alone – you are SO not alone!! You will get through this. Make sure you’re staying connected to your family and friends and, most importantly, a counselor! Saying a prayer for you right now, friend… Xo – Deidre

       
  18. Kelly

    Thank you for sharing this. I’m glad I found this on Pinterest. I am a parent of a 15 year old girl who is suffering depression. I have been guilty of saying all the wrong things to my daughter but with good intentions. It’s hard as a parent to deal with (I know it’s 10 x harder for her) when your kids were little just a big hug and a tickle were enough to get them laughing… But not at the moment. It’s way more than a little boo boo. This post has taught me to just be there for her, don’t push her to be happy. All I can do is keep her safe from self harm till the cloud lifts. Sometimes it seems we take one step forward and two back. She feels she is a let down to us, how do I get through that she is not. I’ve told her she isn’t but she has a guilt that she is. Is that part of the depression. She is a sweet gentle loving girl. I love her to bits there’s nothing she can do that will stop that and I’ve told her that

     
    • WifeMomSWoman

      Hi Kelly! First, let me say, you sound like such a caring, loving mama. I have no doubt that you’re doing the best that you can, and I would bet your daughter knows that 100%. I can only imagine how heartbreaking it would be if my child were struggling with this – knowing there was nothing I can do to “fix” it. I’m so sorry for what you’re going through. I think you’re right on when you say “All I can do is keep her safe from self harm till the cloud lifts.” So true, and so powerful.

      May I ask, are you both in counseling for this? If not, I think it would be a HUGE help, for both of you. You need someone to talk to too – someone who you can express yourself too – but also someone who can coach you in caring for her. I’m sure that would be so comforting to you too!

      And yes, it is very normal to feel like a let down to those around you. That’s honestly one of the worst things for me, when I’ve been depressed. Feeling like I can’t be 100% to those I love most. It is a REALLY emotional thing to feel like you can’t express or receive love to/from others. I always tell people, and perhaps you can tell her that, “Sometimes we have everything to give, and other times we have nothing to give – that’s the beauty of relationships – that sometimes we are the Giver and sometimes we are the Receiver – both are OK and both are healthy.” Right now, she doesn’t have anything to give – and that’s perfectly fine. One day, the cloud will lift and all the love you’ve poured into her will come spilling right over onto the world around her.

      Hang in there, mama. I am praying for you and your daughter right now…. Xo – Deidre

       
      • kelly

        Hi Deidre,
        Thanks for your reply. Brought me to tears. :) Yes my daughter is receiving counselling , it is only for her though. I need to find out if there is a support group for parents.
        Thank you :)

         
        • WifeMomSWoman

          I’m so glad to hear she’s in counseling, Kelly! Please make sure you join a support group and/or counseling for yourself. You need just as much (if not more) support. Continuing to pray for you both! Would love an update in a couple months if you think about it. Hang in there mama, you’re doing a great job… Xo – Deidre

  19. Robyn

    I have had to live with depression sense I was bullied in high school. It is something that haunts me. I took a business class in high school where the teacher said, “People who have depression are selfish. They only think of themselves. In their minds it is always me, me, me.” I could not stand him after that. I am not selfish. I have helped take care of my grandpa when he got sick, I was a religion teacher for 2 years, a long with many other things. After his comment, I was never able to respect him as a teacher again.

     
    • WifeMomSWoman

      I’m so sorry, Robyn. I too have had people say similar things. The truth is – while it doesn’t make it OK – they just don’t know any better. That’s why it’s SO important to educate people on depression. Thank you for reading/commenting.

       
  20. Jessica

    I freaking love this! Seriously, nice work! Thanks!

     
  21. Bethany

    This post articulates some of my thoughts about depression so precisely, it’s like your in my head. Thank you for writing this. I have depression and have struggled with it for almost 10 years. Just tonight I was thinking to myself how I feel like I’m living my life trying to wade through mud. Thick mud. Thanks again for writing this. I’m so glad that there is someone else who knows what I’m going through and has a similar sarcastic attitude like me.

     
    • WifeMomSWoman

      I do know how you feel, Bethany. At least the feeling of walking through mud. Ugh. It sucks! But, hang in there. You are not alone and “this too shall pass.” In the meantime, hang onto the people who love you and find a counselor you love, if you haven’t already. Saying a prayer for you right now, Bethany! Xo – Deidre

       
  22. Ruby Kruiniger

    Thank you so much for this! I’ve gone through cognitive therapy for my anxiety and that actually worked for me. After going through hell with this therapy in the beginning, I actually came out stronger and I am able to think rationally in most situations I find scary. But I found that it doesn’t help my depression. There’s just no way to think rationally when you are feeling depressed. All your points are so.. on point, too. Some people just won’t even try to understand you and tell you to just “be normal”. Yeah, I’ll just do that. I wrote an essay on it that I posted on my blog, maybe you’d enjoy that. It’s called “Ignoring the obvious – A mental illness essay” and it’s under writing > opinion. I would love to know what you think and if you found it relatable. Lots of love <3

     
    • WifeMomSWoman

      That’s fantastic, Ruby!! I have heard that cognitive therapy can be really powerful for anxiety issues. Thanks for your feedback. I will gladly stop by your blog to read your post! xoxo – Deidre

       
  23. Kate

    This is sooooooooo right on! As a person who has suffered with depression most of my life and being diagnosed with major depression just a couple years ago this really hits home. So many friends mean well but their comments are so condescending and belittling. Thanks for posting. Really cool blog also!!

     
    • WifeMomSWoman

      Thank you for reading/commenting, Kate! Means so much to me :) I’m so glad you found this meaningful. Working on a follow up post as we “speak!” Xo – Deidre

       
  24. Keirstyn

    Thank you so much for posting this. I found it on Pinterest and haven’t had a chance to look at anything else yet because I’m just stuck in your words. I’ve repinned and shared on FB because your words are so valuable. I think for people who don’t have depression mean well, but their words can sometimes be catastrophic. I even know some people who have dealt with depression personally that say things like what you mentioned. I think it’s important to realize that everyone’s struggle/path/journey is different and we have to learn and just try to be there for each other. I could write for hours my thoughts on this piece but ultimately I want to say thank you. Thank you for opening the door, thank you for informing people, thank you for sharing this part of yourself in order to better the world and circumstance for people who deal with depression (not just the individual, but the support systems around them). Thank you for being brave. Thank you for helping me. I like to think sometimes that everything we encounter in life is an opportunity to help others – you have helped me re-realize this and that I’m not alone. A single voice can change everything.

    Also, I have to comment about one of your previous commenters “Jen”. Wow.. I love her and her bravery and openness. I have shared my stories with people before but nothing to that level. I commend her and just want to hug her and thank her. The part you resonated was exactly the part that made me almost cry just due to the sheer relatability and truth to it.

     
    • WifeMomSWoman

      Wow. Thank you so much for your extremely thoughtful comment, Keirstyn! You’re absolutely right, people do mean well – bless their hearts – I can’t imaging trying to comfort ME when I’m depressed! LOL. I do agree that the things we encounter in life is a beautiful opportunity to help others. You are NOT alone, my friend. You are SO not alone. I pray this post continues to comfort you… and that by sharing it with your friends they can better support you. Love to you today and every day… Xo – Deidre

       
  25. Zoe Onah

    Thank you so much for sharing this amazing post. I came across it on Pinterest.

    This post shows the heartfelt response to how others react to those challenged with mental illness. Without posts like this, people keep saying the wrong thing and making those challenged feel worse, burdened to others, or worse, not seek help.

    The point is the English language makes diseases like ‘depression’ synonymous with words like ‘sadness’. And because others look at depression as plain sadness then they cannot understand the complexity of depression.

    Christians too have a steep hill to climb. I always assert that if someone is challenged with diabetes, no one ever says that they are not reading or praying enough.

    All in all we must all think about what we say. Thank you once again

     
    • WifeMomSWoman

      You’re most welcome, Zoe. And, thank YOU for your sweet and encouraging comment. You’re right – depression is so complex and reducing it to just “sadness” is part of the problem. I hope my post will help those suffering and those who surround them. Bless you, Zoe. Xo – Deidre

       
  26. JOY

    Wow thx a lot. I’ve been struggling with depression my whole life and you wouldn’t believe the things that people and family has said to me, to the point that I have to hide my feelings for me being afraid of hearing something that I know it will just made me feel worst.

     
  27. Marianne

    Deidre,

    This is such incredible information for those who live with or have people in their lives suffering from depression. It’s no joke, I have been there myself several times and it’s not just a matter of “getting over it.” And it’s something that is so so difficult for people to understand if they’ve never experienced depression themselves. It’s really no different than people dealing with chronic physical illness, which I would imagine your advice above would help in those situations too.

    My husband had never been depressed and never really understood mine and then one day a series of events caused him to really doubt himself and he became very depressed. All of a sudden, I was the one thrown on the other side of it and even though I had been there myself, I had a very difficult time handling it. My point is is that it’s just a difficult thing that people have to deal with on both sides and I think that your post really touched on some incredible ways to power through it.

    Thank you for sharing your heart, you really are an amazing woman and I am so glad to be getting to know you <3

     
  28. Lisa

    Deidre,

    I’ve been dealing with Depression for 27 years and I have never see anything so Spot On.

    Thank you for helping me to feel “not so all alone.” It’s a tough road and we’re all going up a hill that others who don’t share our journey could possibly understand. One day at a time. Sometimes… one hour.

    Thank you again dear one. You are amazing.

    Love and Blessings,

    Lisa

     
    • WifeMomSWoman

      WOW. Lisa. Thank you so much for reading and leaving such an encouraging comment. I hate that you “get it” – but glad to know this resonated with you. I sincerely hope it helps those around you to support you the way you need. Bless you. Xo – Deidre

       
  29. Temple

    I really enjoyed your post. I suffer from bipolar depression and I read your post knowing and thinking how that has been said to me by others. I also get accused of nothing being wrong with me. People think I am making this up. I would like to know if I could please put a link to your site from mine to maybe help others out. Right now I am in the beginning stages of blogging I do not have a lot of traffic but I am trying. Thank you for the great post. I did rein.

     
  30. Carissa

    I wish I could send this to everyone I know. Due to lack of understanding, I have been alienated from everyone because of my depression. I have no friends or support system. I am alone. Even my husband ignores it. I can’t live like this. I can’t describe the pain. I have struggled with depression for as long as I can remember and no one has ever taken me seriously. I has gotten so severe that a day doesn’t go by where I wish I could either run away or end it. We can’t afford medication that I know I desperately need to be on, and even then, I am pregnant with my fourth child so I cannot take medication anyway(unfortunately). I am terrified of how bad things will become once the baby is born. No matter how I look at it, there is no hope for the future.

     
    • WifeMomSWoman

      Carissa, as a fellow woman and mama, my heart aches reading your comment. I can hear the pain and sincerity in your words, and I am so sorry. First, I must ask, do you have access to a therapist? If you have insurance and get diagnosed by a doctor, you should be eligible for therapy with a co-pay. That is imperative – please make sure you find someone you can talk to. Speaking to a licensed physician is a must! Do you have family (mom/dad/sibling/in-law) who could help you financially towards therapy/medication? Do you belong to a church? Sometimes they have scholarship funds to help in these instances? I know you mentioned that you struggle with wanting to run away or “end it” on a daily basis – please please know that your life MATTERS to your sweet babies and family. They need you – even if you feel broken/tired/alone. Please don’t give up, Carissa. There IS hope. It may not feel like it right now, but there are people who can help you. Please save the National Suicide Prevention Hotline’s number in your phone: 1 (800) 273-8255. I pray it never comes to that, but just in case, please keep that number close to you.

      My prayer for you tonight:

      Father, in the name of Jesus, I pray for my sweet friend Carissa. You know the depths of her heart and mind – you know exactly what she’s going through. I ask that you would make her more aware of your presence in her life – that she would feel a supernatural comfort in times of natural pain and suffering. Please surround her with people who would genuinely help her and want to protect her. I pray that you would charge your angels concerning her – that they would surround her and silence the voice of the enemy who would tell her she’s worthless and insignificant. I pray that your Holy Spirit would comfort her and give her hope. Please, Lord, protect her – mind/body/Spirit. We need you desperately, Lord. Please do what only you can do to send help to this precious family. In Jesus name – Amen.

      Bless you, Carissa. I am here if you ever want to reach out… deidre@wifemomsuperwoman.com

       
      • NoSeAdmitenSapos

        Diedre and Carissa,

        My heart aches for, relates to, and is so -very- thankful for both of you right now. I’ve been reading the original blog and all sorts of comments tonight, but no deeply felt tears came to my eyes until I read these two comments from the two of you.
        As a middle child among 9 siblings, I’ve been ignored, physically abused, verbally abused, sexually abused, forgotten, bullied, told I shouldn’t feel sad, etc, etc, etc. for many many years. Sometimes I wish my wife and children would just sit with me and touch my arm, or shoulder, and cry
        with me so I wouldn’t feel so hopeless, ashamed, alone, guilt-
        ridden, and lonely. I feel like you understand some of what I
        feel. Thank you!!!!!

         
  31. Pingback: Depression: Finding Air to Breathe Again

  32. Sonya Love-Smith

    THANK YOU for putting words onto paper that I hope will make sense to people. My 15 year old was diagnosed with depression about 1 1/2 years ago. Pretty sure it runs in the family. She didn’t want people to know, I wanted to shout it from the mountain top. I wanted all eyes on her! I want to protect her from this…that’s what a Mom is to do…yet I can’t. I know that before she was diagnosed, I probably said some of those things. Once I realized it was deeper than just feeling sad…we sought medical treatment & counseling. It’s still a struggle, sometimes daily, to help her. Thank you for addressing this. People need to quit thinking depression is taboo and we can’t talk about it! PEOPLE…the struggle is real. I just want to fix it for her…I want to take it from her and make her better. It’s just so hard! Thank you!

     
  33. Teresa

    AMEN !!!!!

     
  34. Alice

    Thank you so much for this important piece!

     
  35. Kristel

    Absolutely agree with everything you wrote!

    A few more statements I’ve come across that are just very unhelpful:

    “Just snap out of it!”
    I can’t just snap out of it! Nobody likes to be in that state of mind, if I could just snap out of it, I would have!

    “Why can’t you be like ABC? He experienced the same thing as you/worse things than you, but he handled it so much better and got on with life.”
    Everybody goes through different emotions and thought processes despite being the same situation. I can’t explain why I can’t handle it better. In fact it makes me feel terrible that I can’t and he could. Telling me that so and so suffered from depression but still could function like a regular person because he had responsibilities, does not help me in any way at all and only made me feel so much worse.

    These were things (amongst others) my close friends used to say to me. It was really tough cos they were the only ones I could confide in for what I was going through (apart from my therapist) and I felt very alone and had no support. Thankfully I had a great therapist and I’ve managed to overcome the depression, but there are times when I feel like I can sink back to it again, and yet I don’t feel like I can go to any one. A therapist is important and great, but sometimes all you really want and need is someone who actually knows you and loves you, to just be there for you.

     
  36. Linda

    Thank you, Thank you, Thank you so much for this post. My amazing and loving husband has been suffering with manic depression for over 30 years. I try to find and read everything I can get my hands on to education my self and those around us. We need to get more information out there so we can erase the stigma linked to depression once and for all. Transparency is the key. Also a huge thank you to all the other posters for sharing your stories. I wish I could reach out and give you all a giant hug!
    Know that you are not alone and you will all be in my prayers.

     
  37. Arleen

    I believe in Divine appointments. I am an avid Pinterest user and this morning I found the link to this blog. I am 58 years old and I don’t remember ever being happy. I have suffered from depression as long as I can remember. I am a Christian and I love my Lord, but Christianity is not a guarantee for help with depression. I have been on every kind of medication on the market. I read everything I can on depression. I’ve gone to counselor’s over the years and have even voluntarily gone into the hospital for help. Nothing has helped. I am angry all the time about everything. I feel unvalued by my husband, my employer, my kids and co-workers.

    The only person that loved me unconditionally, my brother, Jimmy, recently died. No one seems to understand what his loss means to me because he was an inmate, serving a life sentence. They think that because of what he had done I shouldn’t love him.

    I cry constantly to the Lord – why am I not valued by anyone but You, Lord. Not even my counselors and psychiatrists will listen to me. I had one psychiatrist that kept pushing some kind of mid-eastern meditation on me and when I told him I did not like it – he kept pushing me – so I quit seeing him. Other counselors keep wanting me to recount sexual abuse when I was a child – I’ve moved past that and forgiven the guilty parties. When will counselors learn what the real needs of depressed people are?

    Your blog brought tears streaming down my face this morning because for the first time in my life I felt like someone understands how I feel. I’m hoping I can take this information and finally get through to my family and friends what I really need.

    I actually have hope for the first time in a long time.

    God bless you.

     
    • WifeMomSWoman

      Arleen… I have tears rolling down my face reading your incredibly honest comment. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate you being so vulnerable and sharing your story. I am so sorry. Depression is not fair, is it? I am so sorry to hear about your brother, Jimmy. I can’t imagine how painful losing him as been for you. I am praying for peace and comfort that surprasses all understanding to rest in your heart and in your home as you process this great loss…

      I rejoice knowing that you know in your heart that our Father in Heaven loves you all the way through this… You are not alone. You are SO not alone, Arleen. I’m glad that this blog post served as a reminder to you of that very real fact.

      Blessings to you as you continue on your journey. Praying that the Father keep you and protect you and guide you, friend. Please keep in touch with me…

      Xo,
      Deidre

       
  38. DerekDutch

    I was compelled to comment after seeing you emphasize the one #7 which should immediately be removed from your list. The emphasis should have read…DEFINITELY SAY THIS…DON’T STOP UNTIL THEY REFUSE TO TAKE DEPRESSION MEDICATION!!! Or as I like call them…suicide pills. I’m sure depression medication works for a select few, but I’m certain it either keeps people trapped in depression, increases their depression, or worse suicide. Many doctors aren’t accurately prescribing medication in the first place, so the claim of “proffesional diagnosis” is laughable in many cases. Prescriptions are not the solution to most borderline “mental illnesses”, lifestyle changes and hard work is. Mind you this comes fron a person (me) who was “diagnosed” with extreme off the charts literally ADHD and depression. I was aware enough to use the aderal as needed but was disgusted with the effects of the depression medication. I makes you a zombie and removes most emotion. That’s their clamim…well atleast you’re not depressed anymore…ya but I’m also not happy either. Upon taking it, Immediately realized why the suicide side effect warning was put in place. I had no emotion, so who cares if I killed myself, atleast I wouldn’t be in my current situation anymore. It was almost whispering to me to just kill myself. PLEASE REMOVE #7!!! THAT IS AN EXTREMELY DANGEROUS COMMENT. Unless you’re born with depression…medication will NEVER be the answer. Depression is a normal healthy warning signal for you…modern day doctors are walking the line of simple drug dealers.

     
    • WifeMomSWoman

      Hi Derek! Thanks so much for reading and commenting. Firstly, I am so sorry about your experience. I know many people who have felt worse taking depression meds… And I also know many who have benefited from them. The point of #7, which I still stand behind, is that unless you are this person’s primary health care physician, psychologist, psychiatrist or therapist, you’re in no position to give clinical/medicinal advice to another individual. As you know, clinical depression is an extremely complex disease and is often compounded with other issues. It’s always better to point that person back to their healthcare provider for any medical advice. Thanks again for your comment!

       
  39. Peace Schuyler

    My husband of almost 21 years left me 3 days ago. He said it didn’t matter how it is explained to him, or what he might be made to read, he was never going to “get” my depression & anxiety. He was afraid the stress would give him a heart attack eventually. I wish I didn’t feel guilty for making him feel that way. Just another way depression convinces you you’re always in the wrong. *sigh* In 6 days my youngest daughter will be moving out on her own for the first time. Between wishing I could be more present and happy for her sake, and fearing how I will keep a roof over my own head, it feels like forces outside my foggy brain are conspiring with the sad confusion within. Times like these you wonder, even if I ever find the RIGHT medication, isn’t my life sucky enough that I’m bound to be depressed or I’m just not accepting reality? Anyhoo, If I had any friends left, or a hub that cared enough, I’d certainly hope they read this article. At least I know someone else knows the feeling, and sadly that’s sort of comforting.

     
  40. Adel

    Hello Dear Miss Deidre :) i’m so deeply in love with your post, it’s so helping me to know about “depression”
    because i’m one of them ;’) i’m 20years old from indonesia, my parents divorce since i was baby, i live with my dad, and when i 14 years old my dad pass away, my mom never care about me, so i live with my grandpa&grandma, my grandpa it’s so love me more than anything, and i love my grandpa too, but…sadly he pass away one year ago, it’s making me feel so down, hopeless, i don’t know what to do, it’s like i’m alone in this world :(
    i wish i can meet you in a person ;’) that would be nice if i have sister or mom like you who can understand depression person like me :)
    very nice to know you Miss Deidre
    if you don’t mind, would you send me an email? my email is: adelialevina@gmail.com thank you very much :)

     
  41. Laura O'Connor

    You have given me something I can pass on to others. I hear these very sentences often and it’s detrimental to recovery. It pushes me further down. Today has been a particularly bad day for me so thank you. Thank you for writing this. It makes me feel like less of a failure.
    Thank you.

     
  42. Pingback: What Does Your Sadness Feel Like to You? | Roosmania

  43. Deanna

    Also, don’t compare my depression to someone else’s. Don’t say, “Oh, my mom had depression. She cured it by [meds, meditation, yoga, obscure ancient chinese herbs, etc.], have you tried that?” Like, I know you’re trying to connect or help, but what you’re really saying is, “Why haven’t you just gone out and gotten cured yet?” Depression can’t be cured, afaik, and plus what works for one person may not work for me.

    On a related note, each person’s needs are different and depression isn’t a static condition. You have good days. You have bad days. I’ve had bad months where every third day or so I’d spend the night sobbing into my pillows and wishing I’d just blink out of existence. Some people need to be around their loved ones; I don’t want to be around anyone except my dogs, because I’m not embarrassed to cry in front of them and petting soft things helps calm me down.

    Everyone is different.

     
  44. Amanda

    I just found this from searching if I am over-reacting from something someone said to me at a social gathering and I feel “you are over-reacting” is another one to add to this list.
    I’ve been thinking about that one comment over a few days trying to get out over it. It’s so hard.
    I just want to put this out there this is what just happened to me and I’ve been trying to hold it together, and the internet can sometimes be a safe place. Anyways…
    Arrive at a party, I know about 4 people, we’re all adults here. Boyfriend steps away to take a picture for his brother, I stick with the people I know just listening to conversation. One random person I had met once before comes over and says, “Are you ok?” “Do you have social anxiety?” “You look a little sad I thought you might have anxiety.” “I just wanted to know so I can tell you no one here will judge you.” “We’re all nice people here.”
    This happened the second I arrived, and I couldn’t stop thinking about it all night. Why would they mentioned this to me? Were they all thinking I have social and anxiety problems, discussing them, making fun of them? None of the people people approached me at the party, so they weren’t as nice and friendly as they were discribed to be, and after that I absolutly wasen’t going to talk to anyone new.
    Coming to terms with a mental disorder isin’t something to be discussed in public with strangers. I feel like it’s almost as bad as asking someone if they have Ausitism or down syndrome in a room full of people.

     
  45. Laverne

    #3 really ticks me off. God? Why would I turn to God? When I’m in my dark place I always feel that “He’s the one who did this to me in the first place. He has it in for me. God hates me!”

    I went to a counselor. The first thing she said was “Go home and read your Bible.” Needless to say that was a very short session.

     
  46. Linda Timmons

    Hello Deidre and Thank You so much for this article… It is definitely spot on!
    I have suffered with depression, anxiety & panic attacks most of my life. I am bi-polar and have PTSD as well. I used to think it was a moral issue before logging in many years of counseling and of meds.
    Society in general shuns or berates those of us with mental illnesses. Hopefully your article will be an eye opener for those of us that have suffered in silence.

     
  47. Krista

    Thank you for sharing your story. This week I shared part of my own story around depression and suicide attempts as a teen. Everyone’s experience is so different and I found that CBT- or this type of learning- was very helpful for me. In addition, I feel that we can choose joy and that joy and pain can coexist. Not happiness, maybe, but joy (depends how we define these terms, I suppose). This was, in fact, a transformative realization for me a few years ago when I was in tremendous physical and emotional pain. And yet, again, I know that our precise struggles are different. The BEST gift for me was/is a safe, nonjudgmental place to express what I am feeling.

     
  48. Jessica

    Yes, BIG Bravo to you! Yours is an important and fitting message/analysis to spread. Thank-you.

     
  49. Pingback: Fucking Spot On! | My Struggles and How I Deal With it Everyday

  50. Pingback: What To Say To Someone With Depression | Memoirs of a Virgin Prostitute

  51. Akara

    I understand that you want to be understood. We all want that. It appears that you want to blow the lid off because you have depression, so you are telling how you feel – which is much appreciated; however, I feel that another perspective is good. Someone from the other side (meaning, someone who has had depression for a long time, AND pulled through). Many of the things people say that you list in this post are actually things people SHOULD say. It is just when you are depressed, you can’t even FATHOM how they think you should act,think, live. I am NOT being condescending, but I have been there. All those phrases like “This too shall pass.” “Bloom where you are planted.” “Take a walk.” “Sit in nature.” When you are depressed you want to knock their heads off – those are THE most ridiculous things you have ever heard. But you know what, as ridiculous as it sounds – in the end, those words are true. If you really want to feel better, you have to fight your own battle tooth and nail. And it will take as long as it has to take. Just one inch of progress is one inch closer to better emotions. I have been depressed for over 40 years – – I then went at “war” with myself. It’s like when Dr. Phil asks “So… how’s that working for you?” Fight it! I’m sorry, just FIGHT IT! Mind over matter. Sunshine, exercise, eat right, practice gratitude, sit in your alone ness with purpose. Break through to the other side – it’s there!

     
  52. wagabu

    My depression got so bad in 2010 that I attempted suicide. This left me with 17 hours of seizures and 12 days of being in a coma. I’m told that I had lots of friends come and visit and cry and hold my hand but the moment I woke up and the almost 6 years since, I haven’t heard anything. At this point I would even take the wrong words. Something. In almost six years not one single friend has come over, invited me out, said one comforting word to me. Thank God, I have THE worlds greatest husband and children (28 and 31) I get support, incredible support from them as well as my sister and brother who both suffer from depression as well. It’s never a contest with us to see who has it worse, we are always there to listen and offer ways we can help. IF we can help. No judging.
    I suffer from social anxiety and meeting new people is hard. REALLY hard. Even just a surprise email can brighten someone’s day. Please don’t forget your friends. Say hello every now and then. Call. Send a text or an email. You have no idea how much it can brighten someone’s day.

     
    • Laura E. Carrillo

      I hope that you are well. Hope you are out there somewhere having a Happy New Year!

       
  53. Jessica

    Thank you so much for writing this! It’s so very true. I’m currently battling, & all of these things have been said to me in the matter of a week. So, thank you for educating those who do not know! Xoxo!

     
  54. Monica

    This is great, I love it! I also wish people would actually read this about a loved one to try and really understand what’s going on in THEIR lives rather than what they think should be going on. Thank you for this xx

     
  55. Adriana

    I have used all what you say to confort many friends…. And I can really notice they are down I tried all what you said:
    Acknowledgement: I see you. I hear you. I believe you that you’re suffering.

    Empathy: I sincerely want to understand, as much as I am able to, what you’re going through.

    Action: How can I help? What can we do together to move towards healing?

    Comfort: You are not alone.

    But, sadly, as you say then, there is not much you can really do excepto listening….

     
  56. Marilyn

    Thank you, thank you for posting this – it’s so frustrating and hurtful when, well meaning people make thoughtless comments.

    I can’t tell you how many times I continue to hear statements like, “are you taking deep breaths? you know that really helps…you need to do your mindful meditation, you
    can’t have two thoughts in your head at the same time, so remain positive
    and the negative thoughts will go away…you know everyone gets depressed from time to time, it’s how you handle it that counts.
    And then of course there are some of us like myself who during tonight depressive nature and I’ve done things like spend too much money become extremely disorganized and then there are the comments about well I hope you learned from this – you know, you’ve made things so much worse for yourself by your choices”. Believe it or not, I know that I’m loved and these comments, as heartless as they seem, are very well meaning. It’s just that they’re very uneducated with regard to depression and anxiety, but refuse to believe that.

     
  57. Doris

    You send such a powerful message! I can’t thank you enough for sharing these thoughts. They are so perfect! I am 62 and have suffered with depression for years. I wish everyone could read your message and follow your lead. Just knowing that someone feels these same things is such a blessing. Take care of yourself. You are so appreciated!

     
  58. Molly

    Very simply, thank you. I am now on the “other side” of depression, which is my way of saying I am no longer medicated or being actively treated in any way, and I am also trying to get rid of the stigma associated with depression. In my family, you just don’t talk about these things. Well, not anymore! And after a few years of discussing my experience with depression whenever the subject came up I am thrilled to say I’m making progress. But this post has touched on something I have struggled to describe. I didn’t know how to advise my friends and family on how to talk to someone with depression. I know what I wanted (or didn’t want) to hear, but I wasn’t sure how to phrase these things so that a wider group of people would benefit, since depression can be SO subjective. I am so glad I now have this wonderful resource to point my friends and family to :)

    I also want to just thank you for writing about your depression. I can’t imagine how difficult it was, I can only imagine how hard it would be for me. I hope you inspire more people to be more open about depression, whether they are the ones experiencing it or they know someone who is. You have certainly given me more to think about, and I am grateful for that. Keep up the amazingly good work! :)

     
  59. Brenda

    Wow!! Thank you!! Do you think my family and friends would finally understand if I printed this list up on little bitty cards and attached them to all of their Christmas presents?? LOL!! JK — sort of! :/

     
  60. Brooke

    Thank you! I’m in tears. Your candid expressions touch my heart. I’ve suffered with major depression since I was 11. I deal with bipolar and fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue and chronic migraines. I am constantly being to told to “suck it up and deal with it.” Tonight I was feeling desperate but I don’t feel so alone right now.
    Take care of yourself and keep cheering “us” on.

     
  61. April

    I found this amazing! And nice to know you hear exactly the same things I hear. I don’t know why I’m depressed. If I did I would love to “just snap out of it”. I wish it was that simple, that would be fantastic! Hard part is, I’m a single mom to a little girl, I don’t want her growing up to be like me in this respect, but how do I continue faking it through life? She knows the difference, she is getting older. Such a hard thing! Thank you for writing this!

     
  62. Susan Pederson

    Very good list for the Muggles. By far my favorite. Well written and just sarcastic enough for people to hear how ridiculous some of these remarks sound. I have bipolar disorder and the depressed cycle is the worst for me.
    I wanted to share the most bizarre comment I ever got – “Oh you know, I don’t believe in that.” From a family member who’s an RN and should know better. I burst out laughing and said “I’ll tell my psychiatrist I’m cured because I decided I don’t believe in mental illness anymore.” Year’s later when PTSD reared it’s ugly head she told me I was never in a war.It may go on between my ears but it’s a war! After she went to some continuing education classes on mental health she called and apologized profusely but I’ll never trust her like I used to. That’s the worst part about saying the wrong thing to someone who’s so vulnerable who already feels worthless and like an outsider – it makes them lose hope in ever being understood and accepted. It’s more than not being politically correct, it can cause real damage.

     
  63. Pia

    Deidre
    I’ve just discovered this post (& you!) via Pinterest.
    I am blown away and seriously impressed!
    Really, REALLY impressed!
    <3
    Pia

    ps
    I will be sharing with all and sundry over the coming weeks via all my social media and blog outlets.
    Happy New Year! xx

     
  64. IChuzCHRIST

    This pin showed up in a Pinterest email today for my daughter’s and my ministry (LIGHTforMI). Great words of wisdom. I’d like to add “don’t tell me to eat more healthy, try essential oils, this or that product” and then try to sell it t me. Or the “do you get enough sunshine?” Pet peeves for sure. I recently posted on Facebook about being depressed as a symptom of having Hyperthyroidism caused by Graves Disease, and got all that rigamarole. Like any of those things will “cure” Graves Disease. I do suffer from depression chronically, but I’m pretty sure the
    Graves Disease is the culprit right now. The only cure for the Graves Disease is for the thyroid to be burned up with radioactive iodine or by its removal. I’m hoping essential oils won’t do that… If only all that could help depression. Sigh.

     
  65. someone

    A few days ago, my bf told me “can i get depressed with you so i can do nothing like you?”, so he clearly thinks that my depression is no big deal, he thinks i’m exagerating things.
    i will show this to him so maybe he can understand a little.

     
  66. Pam

    The anchor description is the best I’ve ever heard to explain how it feels to be depressed. I’ve never been able to put that feeling into words. I was diagnosed bi-polar and have struggled for years — medicated and unmedicated. Thank you for putting those feelings into words.

     
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  68. Elizabeth K. Suniga

    thank you for helping me explain exactly how i feel everyday it hurts so much and i don’t understand why some people say they understand but they really don’t mine could be more severe than they understand or vise versa even my family and friends i have lost so many people because of it because they don’t understand or mainly because they don’t have the patients to sit there and be with me “through out the storm”. i feel so lonely :( but i do have one friend who is there for me no matter what and she actually listens and stays by me and somehow tries to turn it around sometimes she can’t and she understands she hasn’t left my side yet i thank god for her every day

     
  69. Julie

    Awesome article and very on point. I think I’ve heard every one of those and they do nothing to help when I’m in a depressive episode. If anything, they make it worse. I will be passing this one to anyone who will read it, because you’ve said everything I’ve always wanted to, but never could put into words. Thank you for being a voice to those of us who couldn’t find the words.

     
  70. Susan L

    One reply I hate: Your just a coward and need to get over yourself. ….. Or you don’t matter & you made others hurt you, so if you want … to stop hurting, stop making others hurt you! <:D makes me want to be evil back, instead I usually agree with what ever professional therapists, counselor, teacher, or cop telling me this!)

     
  71. Shon Hyneman

    Depression is so REAL! This is a powerful blog post I’m sharing with my audience. In the African-American community, we struggle with getting help because we can be prideful. Especially in the Church. The remedy in most churches? Give it to Jesus and move on.

     
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  74. Sylvia Lyons

    This blog is wonderful. I have lived with depression off & on since my 30’s. Had good years and bad years. In Sept. I overdosed on pills, wanting to die. Was in the hospital for 2 weeks. This wasn’t the first time. 4 years ago I did almost die. Of course, I don’t remember any of it. Was in critical care unit (don’t remember). Don’t know how long. Husband wouldn’t talk to me about it. Then you are put on the Behavioral Health Unit for extended period of time. Wonderful psychiatrist and program. But as you all know, it comes back. The damn demon returns. As of today, my husband rarely talks to me.
    1 trip to marriage counselor after being released from hospital for latest suicide attempt. My shrink there made the appmt. for husband & me. A fiasco. Husband lies, makes me feel guilty. All these years of marriage to him, and the emotional pain and hurt that he has caused me. But he always wins, always. I am the nothing, the negative one, etc. It is what it is. Pray for me please. I pray. Jesus is my redeemer, but I know he didn’t just say, I am going to give Sylvia depression. It doesn’t work that way.
    Thank you for this blog. The 8 things you should never say to a depressed person is so right on. My daughter is saying these things to me now. Like, you don’t try to change. You have to get rid of the negative and think positive. I want to be positive, what am I supposed to do. That is why suicide seems like the right thing to do when you get to that zone in your mind. I don’t want to try suicide again. I hope I never do. Why can’t people just shut their mouths and try to give you support that you need?

     
  75. Shannon

    I have dealt with anxiety and clinical depression for over half my life and your post was everything I have ever thought or felt but didn’t know how to put into words. Sometimes I wish that I had an obvious physical problem that could be seen and easily understood but instead I deal with this mental illness that can feel like it sucks the life right out of me. The worst part is when I am taking my medication and doing what I need to do but that sneaky little bugger–depression–rears its ugly head and strikes again. Thank you for making me feel like less of a freak and more of a person…

     
  76. Caroline

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!
    So well written, so true, so everything I went through. I am lucky enough to have come out of depression, and I am now trying to find ways to help other people suffering from this illness (and it is an illness, and not a choice!)
    Hugs!

     

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