If you want to help a loved one with depression, telling them to “cheer up”, is not the answer. Depression is an illness and as such, it’s completely different from feeling upset or sad.
On Reddit, people with depression have been sharing the things they wish people would stop saying to try and make them feel happier.
Avoid these phrases and if you’re stuck for what to say or do instead, check out our feature on how to support someone with depression.
1. “People have it worse than you do.”
2. “For me personally when I was younger it was the ‘you’ve got your whole life ahead of you.’ My thought was always ‘oh great so I have to suffer longer?’”
3. “You don’t have a reason to be depressed.”
5. “It wouldn’t kill you to smile you know.”
6. “Just get over it.”
7. ”’Happiness is a choice.’ Bitch you think I made the conscious decision to be like this?”
8. “Snap out of it.”
9. ”‘Just think happy thoughts and the sad ones will go away.’ Do you honestly think I would be depressed if getting rid of it was as simple as thinking of happy things?”
10. “You just have to let it go. Your problem is you’re focusing on the negative.”
11. “You are a straight, white male. Why don’t you realise how privileged you are?”
13. “You just need to find hobbies and stay busy!”
14. “It’s like you’re not even trying to get better.”
15. ”‘I had depression I know how it feels.’ No, you had temporary depression. My depression is chronic. Life long. Yours was triggered by an event, now your depression is gone. Mine is not. They are totally different.”
Useful websites and helplines:
Mind, open Monday to Friday, 9am-6pm on 0300 123 3393 Samaritans offers a listening service which is open 24 hours a day, on 116 123 (UK and ROI - this number is FREE to call and will not appear on your phone bill.) Get Connected is a free advice service for people under 25. Call 0808 808 4994 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org