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    Updated on Sep 2, 2020. Posted on Oct 22, 2015

    23 Things You Probably Shouldn't Say To Someone With Depression

    We know your intentions are good, but no.

    Being there for someone struggling with depression can be tricky, and it can be tempting to pull away rather than risk saying the wrong thing.

    But don't do that. Your friends need you now more than ever. Just keep in mind that some of these well-meaning phrases might have a completely different meaning for someone with depression.

    1. "But you seem so happy!"

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    Are you saying you don't believe we're depressed?

    2. "Your life is amazing, though!"

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    We must've missed the memo that people with good lives aren't allowed to have depression.

    3. "Have you tried...?"

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    And if we haven't, it's because we don't want to or maybe just aren't ready to. While we appreciate the advice, sometimes we just need support.

    4. "Just get out there and get active — you'll feel a lot better."

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    That's kind of like saying, “Go for a run — your broken legs will feel a lot better!”

    5. "But why are you depressed?"

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    Awesome that you want to understand. Just, you know, it's not so much a single reason as an individual combination of genetics, biology, environment, social experiences, and learned behaviors.

    6. "Let's just go grab a drink and take your mind off it."

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    Eh, let's not treat our illness like a particularly hard day at work.

    7. "You don't look depressed."

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    Huh, it's almost like someone's outward appearance has nothing to do with whatever illnesses they might be dealing with.

    8. "Don't worry, you're strong enough to get through this."

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    Thanks for the sentiment, but ~strength of character~ doesn't really have anything to do with recovery.

    9. "But don't I make you happy?"

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    You do, but depression is about more than happiness and sadness — and we don't want you to put that pressure on yourself.

    10. "Aren't you worried about meds turning you into a zombie?"

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    Aren't you worried about how inappropriate it is to ask about someone's chosen treatment methods?

    11. "Have you been taking your medication?"

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    Also not appropriate.

    12. "Just try not to think about it."

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    When has that worked for anything ever?

    13. "But hey, at least you don't have it as bad as some people."

    14. "I understand, I get depressed sometimes, too."

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    Unless you're talking about your own struggle with depression, this is an easy way to make us feel invalidated in under three seconds.

    15. "I really miss how things used to be."

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    You might as well say, "You're being a really shitty friend right now." And believe us, we think about that a lot.

    16. "Maybe you should concentrate on exercising and eating right?"

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    OK, physical health might be connected to mental health, but if you're not our doctor, that's not really any of your business.

    17. "You're being too hard on yourself."

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    Depression is being hard on us.

    18. "You should concentrate on doing things that make you happy."

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    Funny thing about depression — the things that used to make you happy, uh, don't anymore.

    19. "It gets better, just hang in there."

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    Sooo...just keep suffering until it does?

    20. "You're still depressed? But I thought you were doing better?"

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    Is there some timeline we're supposed to know about?

    21. "Everyone has those days."

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    And lots of people have that life.

    22. "Happiness is a choice!"

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    Shit, choose happiness? Why didn't we think of that?

    23. "I know you can beat this."

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    OK, we know what you mean, but that implies that if we don't ~beat it~ we're just not fighting hard enough. And that's not how that works.

    But enough about what you shouldn't say. Here's what we actually want to hear:

    Anna Borges / BuzzFeed

    UPDATE

    A tweet that appeared in an earlier version of this post has since been removed after a discussion with the Twitter user.

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