What NOT To Say To Someone Who’s Depressed

Have those post holiday blues? Well, you’re not alone and it can be quite unpleasant. That said, please keep in mind that this is typically very different from clinical depression.

Depression is a disease with a variety of often disabling manifestations. In depth information about depression can be found via one of my favorite mental health writers and activists, Therese Borchard. Theresa is an inspiration in every sense of the word-writing and blogging about “taboo subjects” such as depression, anxiety, suicide and mania. She’s incredibly brave and wise and I hope you will visit her blog here.

If you have ever experienced clinical depression, you will love her top 10 thing not to say to someone who is depressed:

  1. It’s all in your head. You need to think positive.
  2. You need to get out of yourself and give back to the community.
  3. Why don’t you try and exercise?
  4. Shop at Whole Foods and you will feel better.
  5. Meditation and yoga are all you need.
  6. Get a new job.
  7. Are you happy in your relationship?
  8. You have everything you need to get better.
  9. Do you WANT to feel better?
  10. Everyone has problems.


Blech!  Therese is so right. I cringe reading them but those words have been said to me and trust me people, they add to a depressive state. Don’t say them!

My list of additional crazy-making comments include:

  1. Take a shower; you will feel better. Yes probably so, but please keep in mind that with depression often comes severe fatigue. Walking to the shower can take the life out of one.
  2. Food cures everything.  I get that it’s important to keep one’s strength up but when food literally makes you ill, this is not so easy. And who’s been cured by food or chocolate really?
  3. Look at everything you have, how can you be depressed. Depression has zero to do with possessions. Zero. It can be an isolated incident or a chronic disease. There are plenty of “rich” people who suffer! Please keep in mind that saying this only furthers someone’s depression; they know that and yet still feel horrible.
  4. Get out of the house, you will feel better. Again, bone crushing fatigue often makes that impossible.
  5. I’m depressed too. Unless you’ve been diagnosed with clinical depression, never  ever say this! Too many use this word loosely and it’s utterly inappropriate.

I’ll be writing more on this subject but for now what does help is to help with daily living tasks:

  1. Offer to run an errand;
  2. Pick up the mail;
  3. Stop at the grocery for them; and
  4. Check in frequently so that they know they are not alone.

What are some ways you’ve found to be helpful to those experiencing depression?

Patty Signature 3

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Comments (7)

  • I love #4! LOL. Though if there was a Whole Foods near me , I would be happy 😘

    • Though of course, it is insensitive for someone who is depressed.

  • Thank you for posting this. My husband died early in 2015. Not all, but some of these comments have been directed to me. The one that I find the most frustrating is “Get out of the house, you will feel better”. I almost want to laugh when someone says that to me. Why would that make me feel better, when I can hardly function? I certainly have tried it many times. But, when I do, I often then see so many reminders that my husband of 47 years is gone. Other couples walking or shopping together, a vehicle on the road just like his, his place of employment which is almost unavoidable in our part of town, places we always went together…. etc. I am aware that folks mean well, but it is always good to remind people to double think before handing out advice. Thanks again.

    • Patty Adams

      Patty, Thank you for this heartfelt vivid comment. My heart goes out to you greatly; I can not fathom the pain that must be carrying right now. I am learning that WE often know what’s best for us; experts be darned. Please know that all is us at youreneverstuck are here for you. Feel free to message me privately anytime ❤️

  • Your post resonates with me. I want to add to the list–those FB posts that say things like, “Don’t let the naysayers kill your joy. Some people always find something to criticize.” Ugh.

    Maybe, just maybe, your naysayer is someone who is struggling with depression. Or maybe that person is an analytical thinker. Someone who “criticizes” but is really trying to be productive.

    At the end of the day, it takes all kinds to make the world go round. We need optimists and pessimists and realists. And you never know what someone’s life is about. So why can’t we appreciate everyone’s different approaches, recognize what we all bring to the table, and just be a little nicer???????

    • Patty Adams

      Well said Nancy and thanks for the posting! Xoxo

  • […] reason for being: I also mentioned in my post on what not to say to someone who is depressed, that the holidays are an uncomfortable time. Finding a way to do for others can be both inspiring […]

Comments are closed.