Everyone experiences brief dips in mood every now and then. After a breakup, losing a job, or finishing a particularly stressful week, it’s normal to want to lay on the couch all weekend and do nothing. Unfortunately, when feelings of sadness and despair don’t go away, depression becomes a mental health disorder — and it’s completely out of a person’s control. Your words can make a difference in someone’s life — either for the better or worse. Here’s what you should never say to someone battling depression.
‘Plenty of people are much worse off than you.’
Don’t shut down someone’s feelings without listening to what they have to say.
One of the best things you can do for someone, says Karyn Hall, Ph.D., is to let them know you are trying to understand their feelings. One of the worst things you can do is tell someone their feelings aren’t valid. Take a moment to consider how it might be for them. Inside their head, they’re going through the worst possible thing they’ve ever faced. The last thing they need to hear is that what they’re going through is insignificant.