Living with a Depressed Person (5 of 8)

depression, living with a depressed person

Even though it goes without saying I’ll say it anyway, living with a depressed person can be difficult. Here are some of the pointers my clients have suggested.

These sayings are not helpful:

  • “Buck up.”
  • “Snap out of it.”
  • “Cheer up.”
  • “You’ve got nothing to be depressed about.”
  • “It’s all in your head.”
  • “You should be better by now.”
  • “You’ve got me, isn’t that enough?”
  • “You need more faith.”

Even ancient wisdom literature advises, “Do not sing songs to a heavy heart.”

This self talk is not helpful:

  • “I am responsible to cheer this person up.”
  • “If they stay unhappy I have failed as a person.”
  • “It’s my fault this person is depressed.”
  • “If they’re going to be incapacitated I’ll become incapacitated with them.”

These sayings can be helpful:

  • “I am concerned about you.”
  • “I’ve noticed some changes in you recently….”
  • “You seem down. Want to talk about it?”
  • “I’d like to help; what can I do?”
  • “No matter how bad things look, feelings change.”
  • “Want me to set up an appointment for you with a doctor?”
  • “You’re not alone in this. I’m here for you.”

People can’t be involuntarily hospitalized unless they are a danger to themselves or others. If your depressed loved one refuses to get help we suggest you find support for yourself and practice self care.

Tomorrow: Three Observations about Depression

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