With statistics showing that more people than ever are suffering from mental health issues, it is time a bigger spotlight was shone on them? Chances are we all know somebody who suffers from a mental health issue. In fact, it could be you that is suffering. Either way, a gentle touch is required when dealing with someone suffering. To quote Frank Turner we should all try and “be more kind”
To that end here is a list of clichés that anyone suffering from depression and anxiety will have heard countless times. They are destructive and hurtful and if you know someone who struggles with their mental health please don’t use ‘em.
Have you tried not being sick?
Wouldn’t that be swell? Here is the thing about depression. It is an illness. You can’t just get rid of it with positive thoughts. Not to sound melodramatic but you wouldn’t go up to somebody in a wheelchair and yell at them “Couldn’t you just walk?” People don’t choose to be depressed. Believe me.
Sometimes I feel a bit depressed
There is a world of difference between being clinically depressed and feeling low. We all feel low sometimes and that is a valid feeling. However, depression is prolonged and intense. It isn’t a few rough days it is an absence of good times, for months, sometimes years. It is great that you have felt low though, that empathy will come in handy helping your depressed friend.
You don’t need the pills, you just need some fresh air.
You wouldn’t throw somebody who was drowning a polo mint. Unless you really disliked them, I suppose. Those pills are attempting to adjust a persons chemical imbalance. Studies have shown that depression sufferers have decreased serotonin levels. The pills bind to chemicals that bind to serotonin leading to more of it. “fresh air” doesn’t do this.
It’s all in your head
It isn’t even a factual thing to say as the serotonin shortage linked with depression is not all produced in the head. It is largely produced in the intestines. Those negative thoughts that haunt sufferers, they are in our heads and they devastate us.
It’s always about you, isn’t it?
It is fair to say that depression can make a person come across selfish. The majority of us know we are being selfish and we feel bloody guilty about it. We don’t mean it. So, sometimes we need to take selfish actions to look after ourselves. I like to refer to this as being selful.
What have you got to feel sad about?
Depression doesn’t give a monkeys if you are having the best luck of your life. Look at Heath Ledger. He was just done playing one of the best performances of his life, he had money, fame and was one of the best-looking guys on the planet. On the inside he was miserable.
Have you tried to exercise a bit more?
Sometimes it is a struggle just to get out of bed. A lot of people struggle to understand this. It isn’t being lazy your brain controls your ability to move and if it doesn’t want to play ball, you ain’t moving.
This too shall pass
Trying to trivialise mental health issues does nothing to help them. If someones been suffering for countless months, you dishing them out a platitude, no matter how well-meaning, is probably just going to make them feel worse.
You should count your blessings
A lot of us do. Sometimes a depression sufferer will literally make a list of all the things that they have to be thankful for and look at the list, feel nothing and cry.