I've noticed that people - well-meaning, lovely, kind, people - have no idea what to say to someone with depression.
In order to fill the void of silence (not knowing that it doesn't always need to be filled,) they stick their foot in their mouth and say things that aren't that helpful.
Don't get me wrong, I know you're trying to help (most of you anyway.) But maybe you could use some help knowing what not to say?
That way we all know each other a little better, and we can stop the misunderstandings, myths, and stigma surrounding mental health.
Here are just a few of my personal (least) favourite things for people to say to me:
- Cheer up/Smile/Don't look so glum - I hadn't thought of that! Wow, I'm now cured. Not.
- You must feel better - you're smiling - One smile doesn't make everything bad go away, please don't remind me of that. Please don't make me feel bad for smiling.
- Come on - Like 'cheer up,' only less specific. I don't want to slap you, but I will. This is not my fault, and you're implying that it is.
- But you're OK now - Really? This is news to me.
- Everyone gets bad days/is tired now and then/gets PMS - Imagine a kitten biting you. Now imagine a full-grown, and very hungry, lion biting you. It's kind of the same thing. But lions hurt a lot more.
- You look fine - I don't feel it.
- You are a bit pale though - thanks for that. I feel like a million dollars now.
- This has gone a long time now - Really? Funny, I hadn't noticed. I haven't been living with this every day or anything.