The Worst Things To Say To Someone Who Is Depressed: 1-10

Most of the following stuff I've heard from my mother, but I've also heard some of the stuff from different people at different periods in my life, mainly in high school. I always got the “you're just looking for attention” spiel. I HATE that phrase. I can think of better ways to try and grab your attention without wondering if I should crash my car, jump off a terrace, or hang myself.

I’ll divide the list up by 10 to be published each week. Even I couldn’t sit down and read 98 of them at one time. But if you’re itching to see the entire list: go here . I’ll bold the ones that have been applied to me.

“People trivialize depression (often unintentionally) by dropping a platitude on a depressed person as if that is the one thing they need to hear. Which it is probably the last thing they need to hear. While some of these thoughts have been helpful to some people (for example, some find that praying is very helpful), the context in which they are often said mitigates any intended benefit to the hearer. Platitudes do not cure depression. Here is a list of the worse things you can say:

(I have heard 99% of these myself and all get under my skin, but have learned to try to take it with a grain of salt.)” 

1. "What's *your* problem?"

2. "Will you stop that constant whining? What makes you think that anyone cares?"

3. "Have you gotten tired yet of all this me-me stuff?"

4. "But it's all in your mind."

5. "I thought you were stronger than that."

6. "No one ever said life was fair."

7. "As you get stronger you won't have to wallow in it as much."

8. "Pull yourself up by your bootstraps."

9. "Do you feel better now?" (Usually said following a five-minute
conversation in which the speaker has asked "what's wrong?" and "would
you like to talk about it?" with the best of intentions, but absolutely
no understanding of depression as anything but an irrational sadness.)

10. "Why don't you just grow up?"

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1 Comment

  1. Graham Smith said,

    January 19, 2007 at 3:57 pm

    Classic. 🙂
    Just linked to your article about Zispin, which was useful for me as I see my doc tomorrow for a long over due med update.
    Will let you know the outcome, think BIG changes. Scary.


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