Worst Things to Say to Someone Who’s Depressed

Some people trivialize depression (often unintentionally) by dropping a platitude on a depressed person as if that is the one thing they needed to hear.

While some of these thoughts have been helpful to some people (for example, some find that praying is very helpful), the context in which they are often said mitigates any intended benefit to the hearer.  cloud

Platitudes don’t cure depression.

Here is the list from contributors to a.s.d. (alt.support.depression):

0. “What’s *your* problem?”

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

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

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

4. “But it’s all in your mind.”

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

6. “No one ever said life was fair.”

7. “As you get stronger you won’t have to wallow in it as much.”

8. “Pull yourself up by your bootstraps.”

9. “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 under-standing of depression as anything but an irrational sadness.)

10. “Why don’t you just grow up?”

11. “Stop feeling sorry for yourself.”

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

13. “You have it so good, why aren’t you happy?”

14. “It’s a beautiful day!”


15. “You have so many things to be thankful for, why are you depressed!”

16. “What do you have to be depressed about”.

17. “Happiness is a choice”

18. “You think *you’ve* got problems…”

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

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

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

22. “Lighten up!”

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

24. “You are what you think.”

25. “Cheer up!”

26. “You’re always feeling sorry for yourself.”

27. “Why can’t you just be normal?”

28. “Things aren’t *that* bad, are they?”

29. “Have you been praying/reading the Bible?”

30. “You need to get out more.”

31. “We have to get together some time.” [Yeah, right!]

32. “Get a grip!”

33. “Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.”


34. “Take a hot bath. That’s what I always do when I’m upset.”

35. “Well, everyone gets depressed sometimes!”

36. “Get a job!”

37. “Smile and the world smiles with you, cry and you cry alone.”

38. “You don’t *look* depressed!”

39. “You’re so selfish!”

40. “You never think of anyone but yourself.”

41. “You’re just looking for attention.”

42. “Have you got PMS?”

43. “You’ll be a better person because of it!”

44. “Everybody has a bad day now and then.”

45. “You should buy nicer clothes to wear.”

46. “You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.”

47. “Why don’t you smile more?”

48. “A person your age should be having the time of your life.”

49. “The only one you’re hurting is yourself.”

50. “You can do anything you want if you just set your mind to it.”

51. “This is a place of BUSINESS, not a HOSPITAL”; after confiding to supervisor about my depression

52. “Depression is a symptom of your sin against God.”

53. “You brought it on yourself”


54. “You can make the choice for depression and its effects, or against depression, it’s all in YOUR hands.”

55. “Get off your rear and do something.” -or- “Just do it!”

56. “Why should I care?”

57. “Snap out of it, will you?”

58. “You *want* to feel this way.”

59. “You have no reason to feel this way.”

60. “Its your own fault.”

61. “That which does not kill us makes us stronger.”

62. “You’re always worried about *your* problems.”

63. “Your problems aren’t that big.”

64. “What are you worried about? You should be fine.”

65. “Just don’t think about it.”

66. “Go Away.”

67. “You don’t have the ability to do it.”

68. “Just wait a few weeks, it’ll be over soon.”

69. “Go out and have some fun!”


70. “You’re making me depressed as well…”

71. “I just want to help you.”

72. “The world out there is not that bad…”

73. “Just try a little harder!”

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

75. “You need a boy/girl-friend.”

76. “You need a hobby.”

77. “Just pull yourself together”

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

79. “I think your depression is a way of punishing us.” —My mother

80. “Sh*t or get off the pot.”

81. “So, you’re depressed. Aren’t you always?”

82. “What you need is some real tragedy in your life to give you perspective.”

83. “You’re a writer, aren’t you? Just think of all the good material you’re getting out of this.”

84. This one is best executed with an evangelical-style handshake, i.e. one of my hands is imprisoned by two belonging to a beefy person who thinks he has a lot more charisma than I do: “Our thoughts and prayers are with you.” This has actually happened to me. Bitten-back response: “Who are ‘our’? And don’t do me any favors, schmuck.”


85. “Have you tried camomile tea?”

86. “So, you’re depressed. Aren’t you always?”

87. “You will be ok, just hang in there, it will pass.” “This too shall pass.” – Ann Landers

88. “Oh, perk up!”

89. “Try not being so depressed.”

90. “Quit whining. Go out and help people and you won’t have time to brood…”

91. “Go out and get some fresh air… that always makes me feel better.”

92. “You have to take up your bed and carry on.”

93. “Why don’t you give up going to these quacks (ie doctors) and throw out those pills, then you’ll feel better.”

94. “Well, we all have our cross to bear.”

95. “You should join band or chorus or something. That way you won’t be thinking about yourself so much.”

96. “You change your mind.”

97. “You’re useless.”

98. “Nobody is responsible for your depression.”

99. “You don’t like feeling that way? So, change it.”


Posted in Choices, Chronic Illness, Chronic Pain, Clinical Depression, Depression, Despair, Diagnosis, Disbelief, Discouragement, Early Onset Alzheimer's, Emotions, Endurance, Escape, Fear, Fibromyalgia, Flare Up, Health, Hopelessness, Inner Strength, Irritability, Isolation, Life Is Short, Life Journey, Life Path, Medication, Memory Loss, Menopause, Osteoarthritis, Peace, Personality, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Sadness, Seasons, Self Hate, Self Image, Self Love, Self Protection, Sharing, Stigma, suicide, Survival, Tendinitis | 2 Comments

HBO: Documentaries: The Alzheimer’s Project: About the Project: Landing Page


The official website for the HBO Documentary Films series, The Alzheimer’s Project.

Source: HBO: Documentaries: The Alzheimer’s Project: About the Project: Landing Page

Posted in Life Journey | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The end of chronic pain? podcast

I was surfing around and found this podcast on The Guardian. Exciting and promising research into chronic pain. Anyone who lives with chronic pain should listen to this. Finding new ways to figure out making medicines that follow the pain pathways ONLY, which means the dangerous side effects would not happen and specific pain would be zapped and gone. Amazing. Maybe not in my lifetime but for those with chronic pain in the future….there could actually come a day when there would be medication that would work much more efficiently as well as much more effectively. Very interesting podcast, about a half hour long.


Posted in Acute Pain, Arthritis, Central Nervous System, Chronic Illness, Chronic Pain, Health, Learning, Life Journey, Life Path, Medical Community, Medication, Narcotics, Opiates, Opioids, Osteoarthritis, Pain Medication, pain research, Pain Scale, Plantar Fasciitis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Side Effects, Tendinitis | Leave a comment

Never Grow Up….

Posted in Aging, Birthday, Challenges, Changes, Choices, Communication, Connections, courage, Depression, Discouragement, Emotions, Growing, Guitar, Individualism, Learning, Life Is Short, Life Journey, Life Path, Metamorphosis, Music, New Horizons, Past Experiences, Personality, Seasons, self expression, Self Image, Self Love, Self Protection, Survival, Uniqueness | Leave a comment

Stay Weird…


Image | Posted on by | Leave a comment

The Mind of a Writer….


Image | Posted on by | Leave a comment

All The Ingredients Are Necessary…


So many of us use too many lemons in our lemonade…so many, that our lemonade really sucks. Most of us have just accumulated so many lemons over time, that before we know it, our lemonade is sour and well, it just really sucks. Makes us pucker. Sour and unpalatable. But we just keep putting more and more lemons in, without realizing that the other ingredients have to be added too, if we are to have a decent pitcher of lemonade.

You probably know where I’m going with this.

In my life, I tend to focus more on the lemons. I have accumulated a truck load of lemons over the course of a lifetime. There have been so many lemons for such a long time…and not a whole lot of water, and sure as hell not a lot of sugar. Thus, my lemonade is really nasty.

When I saw this picture of Grumpy cat talking about lemonade….it hit me. My lemonade is way out of balance. Yes, I’ve had more than my share of lemons dumped on me in this lifetime. Yes, I have been experiencing a drought in my life, especially over the last 34 years or so. And yes….the sugar seems to have been in very short supply.

But then again….if I hunt around in my pantry, I can sometimes find that forgotten bag of sugar, behind all the vinegar and seasonings. And then I turn around and lo and behold, there is the kitchen faucet…all I have to do for water is turn the handle. It takes a bit of effort to do these things but hey….they have been there all along.

So what am I getting at? I think you know.

Those of us who live with daily chronic illness and pain, or really any big, negative, life-altering issue…. can sometimes only see and taste the lemons. The sour, awful, nasty lemons that make our lives very difficult to swallow. The lemons that seem to overwhelm us and make our lives so incredibly sour and unpalatable. It’s hard to see or taste anything but lemons much of the time.

But if we look around…do a little hunting….we may discover that the other ingredients for making a pleasant pitcher of lemonade are within reach. The water is there, all we have to do is have the pitcher ready and we just turn on the spigot. Viola! Fresh, clear water to dilute those sour lemons. And there, behind all those other things in your pantry, is a forgotten bag of sugar. lemonade2

If we measure out just enough sugar…and mix it with the water and the lemons….we can actually turn our sour, miserable, painful life…into something a little sweeter. More palatable. Even good. Or better yet, something to enjoy.

Sometimes it takes effort. If we haven’t stocked any sugar in our pantry for a long time, we might need to make a trip to the store. We may have to search the aisles for sugar. We might have even forgotten what it is, what it tastes like, and where it’s located. But if we can find a little sugar for our lemonade, it will make all that effort worthwhile.

So it is with our lives. If we haven’t felt joy, or happiness for a very long time….we may not see the sugar. We may not even know where to begin to look. We may not recognize the good stuff. But sometimes if we hunt for it, if we look for it….we can find some sugar. It may come in different forms. But it’s there. We just have to recognize it.

And the water. Many of us have grown so dry over the years. Dry from the terrible drought that has brought on more pain, more anger, more frustration. More lack of spontaneity. Fun. Joy. Maybe even to the point where you wonder why you are even here. A dryness of the spirit. But many times we forget…the water is right there. All we have to do is remember how to turn on the spigot. And all the water we could ever want comes pouring out. Life giving water….so we can make a super delicious blend of water, sugar and lemons all together. Each ingredient important in their own way. Each one making something wonderful for us to enjoy. To enrich our lives.

But you say….wait a minute. How can the lemons enrich my life. How can they make my life something to enjoy. Lemons suck. Literally suck. And they make life suck.

But sometimes, its all in how you look at it. I know at first glance, lemons can seem as though they have no real purpose in your life, other than to make you miserable. And if you see it that way, then that is how you see it. And nothing will change. But if you recognize that lemons do actually have a purpose, wait…even several purposes….you will start to see them as a way to enhance your life. Not to say that lemons (or pain) can enhance your life, per se….but mixed together with other things, they can bring a new, fresh way of looking at life in general. For instance, they can make you more compassionate. They can make you appreciate the good things more. And so on. Like I said, it’s all in how you look at it.

Three simple ingredients. We know we have the lemons. We always seem to have plenty of lemons available. But the water and the sugar…we just need to acquire them each day…seek them… and mix them with the lemons. Before you know it, things will taste sweeter. Life will feel not so sour. So difficult to swallow. When we find the sweet things in life, even if we have to really search for them, our lemonade will not be sour, but refreshingly sweet, tangy and delicious. The clean, clear, refreshing water will mix it all together. And we’ll have what we need to get through this life so it doesn’t suck so bad, as Grumpy cat says.

Drink up. 🙂   lemonade4







Posted in Anger Management, Appreciation, Arthritis, Best Self, Challenges, Changes, Choices, Chronic Illness, Chronic Pain, Clear Mind, courage, Emotions, Empowerment, Endurance, Escape, Focus, Forgiveness, Health, Hope, Individualism, Inner Strength, joyful living, Life Journey, Life Path, Peace, Seasons, Self Image, Self Love, Survival, Uniqueness | Leave a comment