It is so hard to support someone going through the trauma of anxiety and depression, and it is equally hard for the people around to know what to say, but there are a few things that you should not say. It really is amazing what people can say to try and make you feel better.
Even though it is only coming from the right place some things can make the person feel even worse.
- Never ask WHY they are depressed or anxious. It is usually numerous reasons that have built up over years that cannot be pin pointed. So don’t say “what is there to be anxious about” or “why are you depressed”
- Never make assumptions. Depression and anxiety is different for everyone.
- Dont advise on what they should be doing. It is more than likely they have been told and tried everything and it can be frustrating and upsetting to hear it again.
- Don’t tell them to ‘relax’, ‘calm down’ or ‘get on with it’.
- Don’t say things like ‘you weren’t always like this’ or ‘why are you so complicated'.
- Don’t tell them what to do
- Don’t say “was it me did I do something wrong?”
- Don’t stay away from that person – they already feel lonely enough.
- Assume the problem will just go away.
- Don’t assume that you can make them feel less anxious or depressed on your own they will need a lot of extra support as well.
- Not reply to texts for a long period of time – by doing this the person feels more isolated and abandoned and can start doubting everything even more.
- Don’t compare what you have been through to their circumstance – everyones experiences and feelings are different.
- Don’t tell the person they are being selfish or wrapped up in their self – their main focus is getting better.
- Dont say ‘Have a drink and forget about it’
- Some of these may seem obvious but never say:
“You look fine so what’s wrong” “There are people far worse off than you” “You don’t need pills” “Smile’ “Get a job” “You don’t look ill” “Stop feeling sorry for yourself” “Your just attention seeking” “You have family and friends that love you so whats wrong” “Stop being lazy” “Get a grip” “Your just bored – find a hobby”
"you just need to do something"
Dont worry a list of DO's will come soon!!!