The 10 Stupidest Things You Can Say To A Depressed Person

1. “Just go outside more!”

Right, because going outside is the easiest part of any depressed person’s day, and the only thing stopping them from going for a light frolic through the local park is the fact that no one has told them how awesome it was! The thing is, a huge part of depression is not being able to navigate the world in the way you used to, and there is a good chance that they are trying desperately just to make it out to get basic food supplies if they are at a low point of an episode. It’s not that they don’t know how good fresh air feels, it’s that they can’t force themselves to do it without having a minor breakdown.

2. “You need more exercise.”

Everyone needs more exercise, and it can certainly help a lot of people with temporary bouts of sadness, but someone who experiencing clinical depression is not going to be greatly helped by upping their cardio routine. If a problem is much more chemical than it is psychosomatic, it is only going to feel insulting and condescending to be told all they need is to get on the treadmill more often. In fact, it’s very likely that the depressed person already has a decent amount of physical exertion in their life, that is just not the solution to their problems.

3. “Think of all the things you have to be happy about!”

There are very few depressed people who cannot clearly identify all of the awesome parts of their life, and who are unaware of the things they have to be grateful or happy about. The issue is not that they don’t realize their good fortune, it’s that these things are not points on an invisible scale that will suddenly outweigh the deep problem they are experiencing in their sick brain.

4. “You can’t be sad all the time.”

Yes, you can, and it’s called clinical depression.

5. “Do something that you enjoy!”

This GIF, courtesy of Tumblr, just about perfectly sums up the response to that kind of suggestion:


6. “We are overmedicated. You shouldn’t be taking a pill to make your life better.”

If you have ever shamed someone who has to take medication to help them live with and battle mental illness, I hope you get kicked in the shins really hard by a small child on your way to work, because you are a huge asshole.

7. “There are people that have it so much worse than you.”

The thing about other people having problems is that it generally has absolutely no bearing on the problems we live with individually. And especially when you’re talking to someone who is having an incredibly hard time putting things into perspective or regulating their own reactions to things, it’s about as meaningless a sentiment as you can possibly offer. The depressed person is only now going to feel even more guilty about experiencing psychological problems that they cannot control, and they aren’t going to be any closer to happiness or perspective. (In fact, they’ll likely be more upset because of it!)

8. “Why won’t you come out with us tonight?”

Because they cannot leave the house. They are not trying to punish you personally, they are likely lying on their bed in tears, trying to find the willpower to take a shower after several days of wearing the same clothes. It has nothing to do with you, and pressuring them to force themselves to be social helps no one. (Would you really want a person battling clinical depression to be at your dinner table? It probably wouldn’t be fun for anyone involved.)

9. “It’s all in your head.”

LOL, yes it is, would you like a cookie for that incredibly astute observation?

10. “It’s like I don’t even know you anymore.”

This is the fear, the one that you’re ripping out of their chest and dragging around in front of them when you say this. You see, they don’t even know themselves anymore, and are really afraid that they’ve changed into someone who will never be normal again — that all of the things they liked about themselves are gone, and that no one feels close to them the way they used to. When you say this to a depressed person, you are confirming all of their worst fears. Just don’t do it, it hurts more than you can imagine. Tell them what’s wrong, tell them what they are doing specifically, but don’t tell them you don’t know who they are. They need to believe that someone still does. TC mark

image – hansel5569


More From Thought Catalog

  • Kristen Chapman Gibbons

    Reblogged this on Big Blue Dot Y'all and commented:

  • Only L<3Ve @

    […] Thought Catalog » Life […]

  • macgogo

    Reblogged this on macgogo and commented:
    Food for thought…

  • Steph Crandall

    Reblogged this on Part Time Nerd and commented:
    Because you may not realize what you’re saying seems incredibly insensitive to someone.

  • stephgriff22

    Reblogged this on Quote of the Dazes.

  • T

    Reblogged this on T stands for:.

  • Setoshino

    Reblogged this on The World Without Us.

  • mindlesslydreaming

    Reblogged this on diaphanous dreams // wispy wishes and commented:
    the last two

  • karlamgz

    Reblogueó esto en Recuerda las estrellas.y comentado:
    Add your thoughts here… (optional)

  • Kor Woong

    Reblogged this on loopyloopylove.

  • sha2nkz

    Reblogged this on IamShastri.

  • Editorial: I Don’t Believe It | Sunshine Factor

    […] The 10 Stupidest Things You Can Say To A Depressed Person ( […]

  • Depression on the Job: 7 Signs to Look For | Natural Health

    […] The 10 Stupidest Things You Can Say To A Depressed Person […]

  • Quinonostante

    Reblogged this on Mentally Wealthy.

  • Frantic Living

    Reblogged this on Queen Carlotta of Mortville and commented:
    I’ve heard it all.

  • randomnessnthoughts

    Reblogged this on Randomness~n~Thoughts and commented:
    Having actually experienced a good portion of this article myself, I can agree. Those who have never experienced it have no idea what it is or how it feels. Its hard to describe to someone and have them understand without the typical assumption that its just an excuse and get over it already….as if…I definitely do not enjoy any part of depression and its effects on me and my life and family.

  • aussieteacher84

    Reblogged this on Musings on a different life.

  • The 10 Stupidest Things You Can Say To A Depressed Person | Through Purple Lenses

    […] friend of mine posted a link to this article on facebook.  Worth a read.  Here’s the link in case you despise my purple background and would prefer a white one (Hater. )  I’ve […]

  • MFreincle

    Reblogged this on Travel … in order not to arrive. and commented:
    This is perfect. Whoever wrote this hit the nail on the head.

  • Quackzalcoatl

    Reblogged this on The Interminable Pond and commented:
    Clinical depression is one of the most agonizing hells on earth.

  • Tim Maidment

    Reblogged this on TimMaidment.Com and commented:
    I was diagnosed with clinical depression in 2002, and then cyclothalmia shortly afterwards, and I’ve continued to make way through, sometimes a day, hour or minute at a time. I’ve encountered most of these comments at one time or another, and while I would sometimes phrase things a little differently I broadly agree with the responses made and can think of many times when I wish I’d had the energy or wit to make them myself. All props to Thought Catalog for this blog post.

  • Zan

    Reblogged this on zan .

  • 10 Things To Say To Or Do With A Depressed Person | Thought Catalog

    […] brought me here, where I hit upon the article on stupid things one could say to a depressed person. Going through the comments, the demand was for what then, could we say to or do with a depressed […]

  • Fox’s Thought For the Black Dog | foxhunter7
  • angeclemente

    Reblogged this on thedaintylife and commented:

blog comments powered by Disqus