We all love to play armchair therapist. We all believe we have the answers. But we could do more harm than good.
So many of us have the best of intentions but we must begin to understand time and place and delivery.
Some people are in darker places and platitudes aren't the miracle cure some people think they are.
Redditor Kvetanista wanted to talk about when to speak or be silent, so they asked:
"What's the worst thing you can say to a depressed person?"
I hate... "just smile."
As if I don't know how to control the muscles in my face to make it all ok.
If that helped I'd have wrinkle lines decades before I should.
"Stop being lazy. Snap out of it." ~ Recent_Employment_28Giphy
"But you've got nothing to be depressed about." ~ RandomRamblings99
"It's like this with anxiety too. 'You have nothing to be anxious about.' Yeah, well that sure ain't stopping it from happening." ~ RobToastie
"Oh man I heard that a lot growing up, still gives me shivers. I caught myself saying it to my son one day and vowed to never say it again. My kids get to feel their feelings." ~ WolfPackMedic
"I heard this and all it did was made me hate myself more. 'Why can't you be like everyone else? Why can't you be happy considering all you have going for yourself? What is your problem?' is what i would think."
"It did teach me I can't unburden myself to anyone stupid enough to stand in front of me for five minutes though. Now I ask people 'Are you sure you really want to know how I'm feeling? If they say no I understand because most people are just being polite.'" ~ fazlez1
"'Get over it' and 'It's all in your head' are my top two."' ~ Hollywood899
"Yeah right, even with trying to get the right chemicals through meds I still ain't right. Like my anxiety is too bad to take ADHD meds and my body also literally doesn't metabolize most anti depressants properly, so the amount I can even try is limited." ~ arcaneunicorn
"Saying 'Someone has it worse' completely ignores the pain the depressed person is suffering through." ~ AlluxingGiphy
What are the origins of this mess?
Like in what century did any of this work?
"For me it's 'Enjoy those years! They are the best part of your life'." ~ KvetanistaGiphy
"I also enjoy 'if you went back to church your depression would go away.'" ~ dixiequick
"I was going to church at the time I finally decided to open up and was told I'm in sin."
"I already felt like when i was born God said 'oops' and now I have this to deal with? Despite all I've gone though and felt I have no problem with God, the problem I have is with is people who exercise Church 101. There's no anger anymore as that's one of their imperfections. They have theirs and I have mine." ~ fazlez1
"My dad says this to me. 'Depression isn’t real, it’s all in your head.' He’s half right though, it is all in your head. I’ve always assured myself 'maybe they’ll believe me when they find me hanging from a ceiling fan.'" ~ TTungsteNN
"Heard that many times, including from my parents until I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. My father was diagnosed bipolar about 10 years before me. WTF?" ~ FriendRaven1
"Stop complaining, some people have real problems." ~ soupisatitagain
"My ex used to say that to me all the time. Like even if I wasn’t complaining about something and just mentioning something that happened on my day. Really he just didn’t care to listen."
"Also the problem with saying that is you close the door for open communication. That’s how people end up bottling things inside. And for teachers or parents, it’s a missed opportunity to educate a young person to overcome an obstacle and grow, so that they will eventually 'stop complaining.'” ~ chocotacogato
"I personally hate 'it gets better,' it does get better but I hate when people say that to me when I’m in a major depressive episode. Idk why, it just upsets me even more." ~ lonelylemons42069Giphy
Just do the best you can.
Life is hard.
That's all I've got.
And it's better than what we've heard.
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Do not play fast and loose with the advice you give. You just might make someone radically alter the course of their life.
At times, it can feel like epiphanies don’t actually exist in real life. It’s as if they only really take hold and produce real change in TV shows and Hollywood movies.
Usually, a sudden moment of clarity remains exactly that: momentary. It comes, excites, and passes by, leaving you pretty much the same as you always were.
But apparently some bits of clarity do have a permanent, life-altering impact. At least, according to self-reporting folks on the internet they do.
Reddit user weathertimes asked, "What is one piece of advice that has changed you?"
“Don't believe everything you think.”
Humble, but Firm
"You gotta know the differences between someone giving you constructive criticism, and someone just trying to hurt you."
"If you don't, then you will either think everything said to you is something you need to change, or think everyone is out to get you."
"You don't have to set yourself on fire to keep everyone else warm."
FDR, With Some Depression-Era Thinking
"Do what you can, with what you've got, where you are."
Because They Likely Aren’t Returning the Favor
Don't let people live rent free in your head. The only person it’s upsetting is you.
Tenderness Doesn’t Have to Stay Outward
Be the person you needed when you were younger.
Acknowledge Your Stuff
Anger is 99.9% a secondary reaction to feeling another emotion such as sadness, guilt etc.
Kill Em With Composure
Don't raise your voice, improve your argument.
Cocky in the Present
A short pencil is better than a long memory. Write it down!
Takes Being Bad to be Good
The difference between the novice & the master is that the master has failed more times then the novice has tried.