Thursday, November 5, 2015

The Battle of Depression - 8 Things to Never say to Someone Who is Depressed

Anyone who suffers from depression or really any mental illness or mood disorder knows that your state of mind or mood can change in just one minute. Sometimes you wake up so happy, and then one little thing can change everything. Sometimes you can put a mark on what it was that changed your mood, other times you have absolutely no idea at all. For me, I refer to the unknown and the haze as brain fog, and I experience it much more often than I would like. 

Your mind, body, and spirit are so inextricably connected. If one part of this triad is missing or off balance, it will affect the other two parts. This is the intricate reason why eating healthy, praying, and positive affirmations are vital, they all play a piece in the formula of healthy living and balance. For me, I have found it harder to connect to Heavenly Father and understand His will for my life when something is off in my health, or when I am experiencing a mind block, which in both of these cases I may or may not be aware this is happening. I know, it sounds weird to not know if something is blocking your mind or your spirit, but it's so real.

I went to a forum for NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) at BYU recently and a girl got up and talked about things you shouldn't say to a person who suffers with depression. I loved them, so I wanted to share them with you. 

1. Everyone feels sad sometimes 

Sadness is a VERY different feeling from depression. When you are depressed, you don't care about anything at all. You're not just sad, you feel like nothing will every get better and you are completely drowning in the deepest of sorrow.

2. It's all in your head

Yes, it is, it's in your mind! It's a chemical imbalance that you don't have power over like you wish you had. There are many ways to approach and treat it, but believing it's all in your head is not one of them.

3. Stop feeling sorry for yourself

If they feel sorry for themselves, they should because they obviously have something they are battling that you can't even see. It's not just a matter of feeling sorry for yourself, it's something that can't even be controlled without help.

4. These drugs will make you a zombie

If they are choosing to take medication, they need it. It's not the overall fix, but some people can't get out of their drowning despairs any other way.

5. You should be more grateful

Being grateful doesn't take it away, those suffering from depression are fully aware of what they should be grateful for. They realize what once made them happy and how that happiness is now missing. Counting blessings can't cure a mental illness. It is helpful when the person thinks of it on their own, but being told this is not comforting.

6. Have more faith

Having any mental illness or relapse is not a reflection of their testimony in any way.

7. You know, happiness is a choice

Positivity is a choice, chemistry is not.

8. I can't be around all this negativity.

They need you around more than ever before, don't abandon them. Ask them to do thing with you constantly, they will often say no but just keep asking because one time they will say yes and it will help them more than they can comprehend. 

Things to say to someone
who is depressed:
- I will always be here for you!
- Do you want to talk about it?
- I am so sorry. That is so hard. 
- You do so much for me. 
- Just let them know their life matters and don't turn them into a pity project, but really find their gifts and talents and point them out.

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