Individual Counseling Help: What Not To Say To Someone Who’s Depressed (Including Yourself)
Depression can be helped with individual counseling at Take Charge, Inc. in Overland Park, KS. There are a few things that most people with depression have told themselves or been told by others that are meant to be helpful, but really make things worse.
“We all get depressed sometimes. It will pass.”
While it’s true that everyone experiences sadness, depression isn’t like a flu that your immune system can fight off with rest. It is more like an infection that needs to be treated. It takes effort, professional guidance, and sometimes even medication. A better way to respond might be “Have you had these feelings long? It may pass, but if it continues it is probably a good idea to see a professional.”
“But you seem fine.”
Often people who are suffering the most seem the most cheerful and magnanimous, because they don’t want to make those around them worry or suffer with them. Even if they are not hiding their feelings, depression frequently manifests not as sadness, but as anger, frustration, or just lack of interest in things they once cared about. A better way to respond might be “Symptoms of depression aren’t always obvious. If you’re feeling this way, you should consider individual counseling.”
“Is it because…?”
We have a tendency to want to find an explanation for the negative feelings so we can find a solution. But depression usually doesn’t have one underlying source, and it is flawed thinking to assume that it can be cured by solving a problem. Depression starts in the brain, and if you do not address the problematic patterns of thinking, no external changes will make you happy. A better way to respond might be “I’m sorry you are hurting. What can I do to support you?”
“Have you tried…?”
We’ve all heard of some medication, therapy, or other treatment that worked for someone we know, so it seems like common sense to suggest it when a friend or loved one is suffering. The problem is that every case of depression is different, and what helps one person may only make things worse for another. A better way to respond might be “Depression is different for everyone. Individual counseling can help you figure out the best solutions for you.”
“Just get over it.”
People sometimes think depression is a mood that can simply be shaken off. Unfortunately, saying this to someone who is depressed is like telling someone with a broken foot to walk it off. People with depression don’t choose to feel bad, and they can’t just wish it away. A better way to respond might be “Those feelings sound very difficult and painful. If you want to talk, I’m here.”
Individual counseling at Take Charge, Inc. in Overland Park, KS can help identify and resolve the root issues of depression. For more information, call us at (913) 239-8255 or click here to schedule an appointment.
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