As a licensed therapist, one of the most common things that I see in my office are young women who struggle with depression and/or frequent depressive episodes. Depression is one of the most commonly diagnosed mental hlth disorders today, but yet there is still so much misunderstanding surrounding it. One of the biggest misunderstandings being how to effectively interact with someone in your life who may be struggling. Often times people feel uncomfortable when trying to talk with a friend or loved one who may find themselves in a deep depression or a depressive episode. With that uncomfortable feeling comes a fix it mentality, but that mentality tends to cast feelings of shame and can create disconnect. Although there are good intentions, some of the most commonly used phrases to help someone struggling with depression are ones that need to be retired.
Here are just a few of those phrases, and some new ones to replace them with
stop saying: you're just being dramatic
try saying: how can I be of help in this season for you
stop saying: it could be worse/others have it worse than you
try saying: I'm sorry to hear that things have been rough for you
stop saying: you have no reason to be depressed
try saying: your struggle and feelings of sadness is valid
stop saying: it's all in your head
try saying: if you're ready to process I am here and available to listen
At the end of the day, when someone is struggling with depression they aren't looking to be fixed but to simply be heard. If we learn to adjust our language it can create a positive impact on the one struggling and can even help with the depression itself.
depression thrives in isolation and in feelings of shame, but it doesn't stand a chance in healthy community and a non judgmental place to process.
Until Next Time Friends