Things You Shouldn’t Say To A Person In Depression

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Another suicide because of depression. Yet another young life gone.
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I cannot keep saying this enough, please please be kind and empathetic to the depressed if you know any. No one enjoys being depressed, it sucks big time. No one ‘wants’ to die, it takes a lot of effort to not kill yourself when your mind has held you captive. Imagine lying on the bed, wanting to get up and go ahead with your chores but your limbs don’t move. You are crying. You don’t know why, but you cannot stop. You want to stop crying, you don’t like what is happening to you. You want to dress up and go out with your partner. But you cannot. Your body is in control of your mind and you just cannot move. You just lie there crying for hours until someone comes and sees you in this condition. Only people sharing home with you will know of this, because when with other people you put on a mask of being the happiest person. No, no one should know you are depressed. The moment you are back home, all the energy drains off your body and the mind takes control again. You fall on the bed, crying.
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This is not an imaginary plot. This is for real. This does happen to people. There are other symptoms as well. The problem in our country at least is that the general idea of mental illness is very vague and people confuse depression with sadness. Not much is spoken about it. When a person is depressed, they are either left alone or given the worst possible advice. The idea of visiting a psychiatrist is not common – when ideally even those who are not depressed should visit one – there is so much stress these days, letting off a little steam is a good idea.
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It’s okay if you are strong and don’t understand how it is to be depressed. You don’t have to. Just be there, give them support, talk to them – show them they are loved. Don’t let people end their lives just because they were lonely. Be kind. Don’t tell them to go out and meet people. Please. Talk to anyone who has fought depression or still is, and they will tell you how ridiculous and patronizing people can get. Tell me, if someone close to you is depressed, would you want them to get better or worse? I hope you’ll say better. Then why would you tell them things which will only make them feel worse? Rule A of being a care giver of a depressed person is to have empathy. Yes, they are forever sad. It might get on your nerves, but remember, they are not enjoying this. Believe me when I say this, being in a depressed state of mind is most horrible and nobody enjoys it. 
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Talk about depression. Read about it. Speak to specialists and find out more. But come on, it could have happened to you and wouldn’t you have wanted your people to help you? Then why be so stern with others? I am no medical professional but I have seen the horrors of depression very closely. I can only advice. More than telling you what you should do, let me tell you what you shouldn’t. Don’t lose patience and or be unkind. Know that the person in depression knows how bad it is, you don’t need to tell them. Can you imagine being stuck inside a doll, alive, screaming to be let out but no one can hear you? Can you for a minute imagine how it feels to be able to see everything, be everywhere and not be heard? Let me tell you, it feels like a hand has reached inside your soul and ripped your heart off. Yes, that bad. Never for a second think that the person is doing this for attention or enjoying this. No one does. And you can help by NOT saying the following statements to them, ever:
  • It’s all in your mind.
  • Well, who said life is fair?
  • Go out and meet people.
  • You should get a job.
  • Chin up!
  • Oh god, why do you whine so much?
  • You are a strong girl! Snap out of it!
  • You have everything, what are you depressed about?
  • There are people worse off than you are!
  • Take a nice, long bath!
  • Read happy books.
  • PMS?
  • It’s okay. This too shall pass.
  • You seem to like being this way.

Be empathetic. Don’t let anyone feel that they have nobody. Tell them you love them. Show them you love them. Your empathy can save a precious life. Be a life saver.

 

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Samarpita Mukherjee Sharma

Samarpita eats, sleeps and breathes content and her life revolves around words. She curates contents for many brands, of which The India Diaries happens to be the closest to the heart. An economist by education and a wordsmith by passion, she chose the life of a digital nomad after quitting full time journalism few years ago. A multi-tasker, this ex-journalist freelances as a content creator-cum-curator, manuscript editor, travel writer and social media manager.

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