Dumb Things People Say When You’re Depressed

I hate well-meaning advice from people who have absolutely no (or very little) idea what they’re talking about! Some of my ‘favourites’ include:

  • “Perhaps you should get more exercise. That’s meant to help with depression.” (Inner Voice Response: I know, fuckwit. I just can’t get myself out the door.)
  • “Have you thought about seeing a psychologist or psychiatrist?” (IVR: No, that thought never crossed my mind. You certainly are an insightful and resourceful person.)
  • “You should get out and meet more people.” (IVR: Yeah, that’s just what I feel like doing right now, when I can barely get myself out of bed.)
  • “I had a friend who went on such-and-such medication. It really helped her. You should talk to your doctor about it.” (IVR: You are a fatuous idiot who has no fucking idea; different medications work for different people, and if you’d been listening to what I’ve been talking about, you’d know I’ve tried every family of antidepressants. Fuckwit.)
  •  “Don’t worry, you’ll be feeling better soon.” (That doesn’t even merit an inner voice response!)

And, last but not least:

  • “Take a long hot shower every day.” (IVR: WTF? I’ve got a mental health issue, dimwit, not BO!)

Now, of course, some of these responses can come from a place of love and well-meaning, and some from an irrefutable scientific position. Yes, my depression would be helped if I socialized more. Yes, many of my symptoms would be alleviated if I exercised more.

What’s lacking is a recognition of the ‘easy said’ aspect of these statements.

So, my friends, if you’re going to offer advice to someone who’s unwell, may I suggest you do it from a place of compassion? Our Inner Voices can get quite fatigued sometimes 🙂

6 Comments

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6 responses to “Dumb Things People Say When You’re Depressed

  1. I’ve discovered that I can tell the difference between those who have “been there” and those with good intentions but with less tolerance for pain. The ones who have been there are present and generally offer little advice.

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    • I find that, so long as I don’t experience a surge of anger, a good laugh goes a long way to restoring internal equilibrium 🙂 But you’re absolutely right – and I particularly liked what you said about those who are capable of being present, with you in the moment, as opposed to having to apply quick fix advice cures!

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  2. This made me laugh. Laugh so much that the chap next to me on the bus asked ‘what was wrong with me’?
    On a bad day, I’ve have told him. But today was a good day. So I said ‘flatulence’ and winked at him. He sat SO still for the rest of the journey…

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  3. Greeting from England BTW!

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    • And greetings from Australia!
      (Actually although both parents are Aussies, as am I, I ‘popped out’ in England – Bishop Auckland, up York way)
      I loved reading about your decision to pedal your way to happiness. I’m really looking forward to exploring your blog more. Just discharged this morning, which is why it’s taken me a little time to get back to you, but it’s lovely to have such an interesting, positive and healthy story to look forward to reading!

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