CBS News and Health.com published a nice gallery listing what you should and shouldn’t tell a depressed love one.
I have my own list. Here are 10 things you definitely don’t want to say, a collection of the gems that I heard when well-intentioned people opened their mouths and said something really stupid to me the two years I was in sorry shape.
1. It’s all in your head. You need to think positive.
Upon hearing this, I wanted to throw a life-size figure of Tony Robbins at them. Because, while optimism is certainly important in training the brain, studies have shown that people who are severely depressed or acutely anxious only activate their amydalas (fear center of the brain) by forcing positive thinking
2. You need to get out of yourself and give back to the community.
This is one that certainly made bad things worse. Because now, in addition to feeling severely depressed, a person also feels guilty and self-absorbed. Yes, giving back is important, but only when a person is healthy enough to hold a ladle at a soup kitchen.
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