Things To Avoid Saying To Someone Battling With A Mental Illness

The context in which some of these comments are often said mitigates any intended benefit to the hearer. Platitudes don’t cure depression. Here is a list of questions or comments that should be avoided when dealing with a person who is mentally ill, depressed,or suffering from post traumatic stress. 

1. “What’s your problem?”

2. “Will you stop that constant whining? What makes you think that anyone cares?”

3. “Have you gotten tired yet of all this me-me-me stuff?”

4. “You just need to give yourself a kick in the rear.”

5. “But it’s all in your mind.”

6. “I thought you were stronger than that.”

7. “No one ever said life was fair.”

8. “Do you feel better now?” (Usually said following a five-minute conversation in which the speaker has asked me, “What’s
wrong?” and “Would you like to talk about it?” with the best of intentions but absolutely no understanding of depression as anything but an irrational sadness.)

9. “Stop feeling sorry for yourself.”

10. “There are a lot of people worse off than you.”

11. “You have it so good; why aren’t you happy?”

12. “It’s a beautiful day!”

13. “You have so many things to be thankful for; why are you depressed?”

14. “What do you have to be depressed about?”

15. “Happiness is a choice.”

16. “You think you’ve got problems.”

17. “Well, at least it’s not that bad.”

18. “Maybe you should take vitamins for your stress.”

19. “There is always somebody worse off than you are.”

20. “You should get off all those pills.”

21. “You are what you think.”

22. “Cheer up!”

23. “Why can’t you just be normal?”

24. “You’re making me depressed as well.”

25. “Believe me, I know how you feel. I was depressed once for several days.”

26. “You need a boyfriend/girlfriend.”

27. “You need a hobby.”

28. “Just pull yourself together.”

29. “You’d feel better if you went to church.”

30. “Have you tried chamomile tea?”

31. “Try not being so depressed.”

Mental health Resources