Depression, or Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) has become a common psychological and social problem in today’s world with the ever-growing tensions and the pressures that accompany daily routines. It is very common yet needs to be taken very seriously.
Depression causes symptoms like a negative impact on how a person thinks, feels and acts in their day-to-day activities like sleeping or working or eating.
It is characterized by a persistent pattern and has no age bar. A child may be suffering from depression or a fully grown adult, too, but the symptoms and effects will be alike. It can also be characterized by the lack of pleasure the patient feels for weeks and the lack of even wanting to feel that pleasure. It can grow into a wide range of symptoms that has huge impacts on the minds which can affect your personal and professional lives. However, you need to understand that not every person experiences the same symptoms, the roots are almost always alike, which is how a psychologist diagnoses the problem in a patient.
Here are a few symptoms that people most commonly go through:
– Anxiety, feeling empty or sad.
– Feelings of guilt or not feeling worthy at all.
– Getting irritated all the time.
– Not showing any kind of interest in daily activities.
– Change in the moods, eating patterns or weight fluctuations.
– Disturbed sleep or restlessness
– Thoughts of self-harm or suicide
The above are just a few of the many other symptoms of depression. If you notice these symptoms in a person, you need to talk to them about it or take them to a therapist. Depression can be due to the combination of mental or physical factors. They can be your friends or family or anyone, but in the efforts to make things better, ensure that you do not make them feel worse.
When you are talking to them about their mental health, here are 6 things you should never think of telling them. You may think you are comforting them, but sometimes the following things affect their mental health adversely.
1. You will get over it
You should understand that depression is a very serious medical condition and one cannot get just over it like that. It takes time to heal just like any physical medical condition. Just because you cannot see the mental damage that person has gone through you cannot tell them to get over it. This statement can imply that you are neither empathic or compassionate, even when you are saying this to comfort them.
2. Stop thinking about it
When you find a woman who is undergoing depression, they may be also going through rumination which means they are going over the same thought again and again. It can make them feel helpless than before when you use that phrase. A person who is suffering from rumination cannot rule out the thought and you telling them to stop thinking about the thought will trigger the thought even more.
It’s like if you got a fracture and it hurts, and someone tells you to ‘Just stop feeling the pain’. Well, you can’t.
3.Be and think positive
If you have ever been to a psychotherapist, they frame their sentences in a way that helps their patients come out of that negativity and start looking at the positive side of life. This is a slow and time-taking process which will help the patient to repair and heal from their roots of the negative thoughts. Now when you are telling a depressed woman to think positive, you are acting dismissive about their condition and it is as if you are blaming the person who is struggling.
4. I know how you feel
No one can know how each individual can feels. This may be empathic to the depressed person but it cannot take away the pain or the reason why they are in depression. It is normal to feel sad for a loved one and then tell them this but when they are suffering from clinical depression, it is not the same.
5. It can be much worse
When a person is undergoing depression, you cannot make them cheer up by saying it could be much worse. Comparing to other people’s struggle is not going to help them. People have to fight their own battles and when a person reaches for support, they are looking for compassion, not a comparison. Do not ever make them feel ashamed of their situation.
6. It is all your fault
Do not ever say this to a depressed soul. It can never be someone’s fault when they are in depression. It occurs due to an amalgamation of situations. It is best not to utter any words like this as they do not help them in any way but makes things worse.
Instead of telling them how empathic you are or that you care about them, you should show that you care about them and they can reach out to you at any time. You can ask them how you can help them during their difficult times and if you can keep the company. If you do not know what to talk about, just listen to them. Sometimes just listening to them can make their pain go away.
If you or someone you know is struggling with depression, BetterHelp is a great option with counselors near you and online, who are always available to help during times of need.