According to recent mental health statistics, more than 75 million people suffer from depression. Symptoms such as overwhelming sadness, fatigue, negative thoughts, suicidal thoughts, and loss of interest in various activities characterize this condition. This disease is almost becoming an epidemic today, and it’s important to be aware of the symptoms and treatments to help others around you. You should handle a friend with depression a little more gently and educate yourself on how you can help. That means being sensitive to the disorder and doing all you can to make them feel safe. Unfortunately, even if you don’t intentionally mean any harm, certain phrases can really hurt. Check out a few below and help yourself understand what your friend might be going through.

Get Over It or Snap Out of It

Some people may think that they are helping by being stern and sharp, but this can do a depressed individual more damage than good. A deflated person suffering from this condition usually doesn’t know how to snap out of it and already feels inadequate for not being able to. If it were possible to turn off such feelings, they would do so. What this person needs is support in finding the right way to banish the elements that cause depression in their life.

Think Positively

A command to “think positively” is almost as bad as the first is. It orders the person to do something they may not know, or have the ability to do. Tools that may be able to help this person are some training and help from professionals or a mental health treatment center, a support group, a faith-based program, or time with a personal therapist who specializes in behavioral therapy. Simply thinking positively won’t pull them from a regular slump most people experience.

You’re Crazy

This above-mentioned term is not a good one to use in a serious or even jesting manner. It is an insult that ends up making the sufferer want to retreat, isolate, and clam up because it places the person in an unfair category.

What’s Wrong with You?

Asking a person what is wrong with them in a demeaning manner is always a bad idea, regardless of if they have a mental disorder. It implies that the person is somehow abnormal. You could rephrase the question and ask the person, “What’s bothering you?” instead.

No One Wants to Be Around You

Believe it or not, some people try to motivate depressed people by telling them no one wants to be around them. While there may be a deeply-hidden positive motive to it somewhere in the back of your mind, it’s never a good idea to be even more negative or accusatory. Depressed people already feel bad about themselves and though helping another cope with this condition can be frustrating, you can’t take out your anger on them.

You can be an awesome friend by complementing a depressed person, spending time with them, and highlighting their positive points. Lending an ear is a good way to help, as well. Depression is serious, and knowing the right ways to help can be a great way to connect and help one another.

Author's Bio: 

Eileen O'Shanassy is a freelance writer and blogger based out of Flagstaff, AZ. She writes on a variety of topics and loves to research and write. She enjoys baking, biking, and kayaking. Check out her Twitter @eileenoshanassy.