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5 Things You Should Never Say to Someone with Depression

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) states that 16 million adults in the U.S. experienced depression, a serious mental illness is which individuals often feel hopeless, guilty, isolated, lack of energy and motivation, and much more. A common misbelief is that depression is simply sadness, something that a person is assumed to get over easily. The problem with this perception, however, is that is oversimplifies a person’s genetics, environmental and life circumstances, traumatic events, medical conditions, substance abuse, brain changes, and more that all can take part in the development of the disorder. Depression is much more than sadness – oftentimes, it’s so debilitating that a person may have difficulty getting out of bed.

If you have a loved one who is diagnosed with depression, this is a wonderful time to learn more about the mental illness, its symptoms, and its affects on your loved one. Stigma surrounding depression will tell you many things which do not help your loved one and, in fact, create a further wedge between the two of you. The following are some phrases that you never want to use with a loved one who has depression:


  • “That’s life. You have to be an adult and get over things.”
  • “You have too much time on your hands – go volunteer, that will help.”
  • “There’s no such thing as mental illness. It’s all made up in your head.”
  • “You still manage your responsibilities – you don’t look depressed to me.”
  • “All you’re looking for is attention.”


A 2016 study published in the Journal of Affective Disorders sought to explore the effects of stigma on those with depression. Two hundred and fifty people diagnosed with depression participated in the study, and researchers found that not only was stigma associated with poorer wellbeing, but it also seemed to have an effect on self-identification, with many people regarding themselves as a “depressed person”. Stigma has a major impact on those with mental illness, and not being supportive of your loved one could make things worse. Some people with severe depression experience suicidal thoughts, and you want to make sure that your words show love and support for them.

Everyone’s story begins before treatment. Through intensive, individualized trauma care, everyone’s story can change. At The Guest House Ocala, you’re welcomed with open arms, no matter your story. We’re here to help you find healing. For information on our concierge level of customization and programs for the recovery from trauma, addictions, and related mental health issues, call us today: 855-483-7800