Experience Project iOS Android Apps | Download EP for your Mobile Device

5 Things Not to Say to the Depressed.

1. Cheer up, turn that frown upside down, think happy thoughts !!

We are of course happy that the solution to our misery is as simple as turning it off and smiling .. why didn't we think of this ourselves? .. oh that's right cos its utter rubbish. Comments like this deserve incarceration for those dumb enough to utter them.

2. Perhaps god is testing you !!

Contrary to popular belief there is NO comfort in thinking your god is killing off your relationships and / or relatives just to see where your snapping point is. If god is testing us its by sending you !!!

3. oh John Smith has much more to be depressed about than you .. cheer up.

Unless John Smith is your airplane pilot and he's thinking of ending it all with a huge fiery bang .. his pain is not ours and we've got some self loathing and misery to get on with.

4. It's all in your head ..

Yes it is all in our heads ... unfortunately WE are also in there and its a little crowded and the curtains are drawn.

5. Buck up little camper it will all be better tomorrow.

No it wont be better tomorrow in fact it could possibly be worse even a lot worse or AAARGH I don't want to think what the future holds.

Mostly we end up feeling isolated and lonely and think every-one is avoiding us ... this is because every-one avoids us and we end up isolated and lonely.

The best thing you can do is pop a couple of Xanax sit quietely on the couch nearby and nod your head dreamily from time to time while letting the depressed person vent the swirling mass thats been trapped in our heads ... eventually even we get bored of hearing it and we'll have to go out for ice-cream ... but with the weight a little lifted.

SamOnHisSoapbox SamOnHisSoapbox 41-45, M 94 Responses Aug 11, 2009

Your Response


Nothing brings me greater ease than knowing I'm not the only one who feels this way! My favorite is #3 by far. The biggest mistake made with my depression is making comparisons...

Thank you for this

Thank you! Can I copy this and send it to my family?

Besides that, many of us already smile so we don't cop inane comments such as these. And that smiling obviously hasn't helped.

Wow and yes I agree. I am so tired of hearing cheer up! If I could...I would!

I'm going through a bad relapse. Thanks for this. I don't feel so alone.

Written whilst feeling utterly wretched a few years back .. I feel like there is an irony in there somewhere ...

hats off, you deserve a cookie my friend.

I had a family member tell me to go outside.

"3. oh John Smith has much more to be depressed about than you .. cheer up."

Perfectly encapsulates both a lack of understanding of WHY depression happens (ie, it's not logical), and a lack of understanding of how a depressive's thought processes work (ie, knowing that John Smith has more to be depressed about, so feeling guilty about feeling depressed in the first place, so getting more depressed, so feeling MORE guilty... etc).

Plus, the icing on the cake: "cheer up". Oh, THAT'S the solution? Silly me!

Hey but what about the plane bit ;-)

i have been trying to get help with my depression for over a year now all my doctor says is exercise and change my diet and stay on my pills, well most of the time i get out of bed just long enough to get my son up and ready for school and the whole time all i can think of is getting back into bed. when his dads home from work back to bed i go, i love my son and make myself do thing just for him, or with him because i know he should be having a normal childhood. but depression is sucking most of the life out of me. i don know what to or where to go seeing my doctor isn't much help.

To be honest when the black dog of depression is baying at my door ... Exercise and a better diet will do it for me every time. add in a liberal sprinkling of sunshine for some vitamin D loving.

Depression is never just one thing .. your doctor will get you part way there .. cos if your healthy and in a good place then anything left over that is bringing you down is the problem that needs addressing ... for me exercise is the cheapest and only drug that ever works ... something to do with long periods of introspection while cycling long distances .. oh I need that again as I stuff my face with Marinara pasta ...

It never is, I have two sons, having children, you have a loyalty to them, this I understand, first come your family, we who 'suffer' depression feel acutely aware, definitely ,ashamed of it try so hard to shield them from it from it, and why the hell not, it aint no fun for any of us. My sons think I'm a little bit bit odd, but always fun .. I want to give them the best opportunity, and realistically not to try and solve what I cannot, they are doing well out there .. they know nothing of my torments the good the bad the ugly. This is what I owe to them for bringing them into this world ... I may not be able to find happiness or even contentment but what I can do is 'urge' them in the direction that I believe would give them the best chance of finding happiness themselves, yeah sure it requires a positive spin on the unspinable but they are my boys, my blood my 2 little guys I tended dirty nappies to the obnoxious moral 'life' lawyers they have become ... get up every morning and wish your boy off to school, give him the balanced moral advice that moves him always forward, compassion for the beaten down (we) and optimism for the world of compassion and human achievement that can so very easily accept no single binary view of the world and that all kinds make up this vast tapestry that is human emotions and beliefs.

Brother I've been there, I can muster enough energy for my boys and nothing left over ... Buddy, your at your lowest, but you muster the energy for your blood .. been there done that ... that's your boy and your fighting your internal despair to look out for him.

Fine work indeed .. I know what its like to fight the internal demons yet in favor of our own personal demons battle through for the sake of love ... fist bump my friend ... as ****** up as our heads may be ... we will endure whatever personal torments to see how our little guys get the best opportunities in this cruel world.

To the rest of the world .. **** em .. our kids will be awesome citizens .. no delusions, well understood about the totality of the human condition.

Mate .. years from now your kid will understand the magnitude of the struggle you went through to give him the best upbringing you can fight for.

If all you have energy for right now is getting him off to school each morning ... thats a decent win .. our depression not only destroys our hopes of 'happy family lives' but it DEMANDS that that we extend every opportunity to extend our knowledge of what has failed for us translates into what can succeed for our little guys.

Dude you and i may still find a life that gives us reason, hope and happiness. we really might .. But if we guide our boys to avoid the pitfalls and achieve a semi enlightened happiness that we missed, then how much do we rock as fathers ...

Depression is a ***** that you mask it from your boy .. kudos dude ... the power of love over self.

That's your boy aint no shame in masking what you feel for the betterment of him ...

Brother I feel your anguish ... there are a lot of ***** out in the big wide world .. but you wanna do right by your boy ... **** the mainstream .. you love your boy ... your doing alright ... ;-)

To be single and depressed is rather self indulgent, but when you got little guys depending on you .. thats a whole other realm

I'm no absolutist .. sure a 1950's style perfectly atomic family would be so 'neat' .. yeah well **** that, that aint what the majority has delivered .. get used to it .. divided families are statistically over common

Do your best, with a soft glove give em the reality of life

Right now your being a damn good dad ... you pull yourself out of your own personal misery to give to your son. I approve whole hardheartedly ... have no guilt .. naysayers are uninformed nay entitled retards.

I don't worry for you I reckon you got the right balance.

Enjoy teenager-hood yet to come .. geez those ,bundles of love, can be testing (yet amusingly challenging(yet I love the challenging of the next generation))

You love your boy and you give your all to give him the best you can do .... **** the naysayers ..... do the best for your boy .. then no matter what outsiders or the 'insiders think' **** them ... dad to dad dude ...

This is priceless. . . thanks for sharing in your thoughts. It gives us ample space to think about what's goin' on inside matters unnoticed or ignored about depression.

one i get call a lot is lazy, loser, or told i told is you need more motivation your not trying hard enough.

This is very informative. How would you suggest we help? Of course I could always do research but...

Help !! aaargh .. I do so hate that word in relation to myself ... my story way back then was .. don't help me .. I do that .. just don't exclude me cos I'm crazy ...


Beautifully expressed.

Don't knoe whether I mentioned it in my response earlier. I was hospitalized w/ major depression for the first time when I was 17. I am almost 60 now. I can't count the number of hospitalizations since. Within those years, I decided that maybe I could help somebody else, This was important to me because I had been treated by so many therapists who had never been there themselves. That's not to say they are incompetent; may helped me, but I thought therapist who was also a peer to patients woud be a big help. Today I am a Psy.D. I hope maybe I give folks a little relief. The depressive bouts are the horrors of my life. .. good luck me friend

Boy. Did you nail this one!!! dr. n and lifetime bipolar II ..... dr. n

Dude checked out your stories !!! ... I got a "mental illness" you waaay crazy LOL ... I blushed .. I feel quite prudish !!!

Thank you. Some people need to be hit over the head with these 5 simple statements. Thank you.

I know how that is! Every single time I see my mom's family they all continuously say smile or cheer up. I just want to scream shut the **** up. But I don't. Instead I cuss them out in my head.

that aint so bad you know .. infuriating at times .. but it does show they care, just not they they understand ... this I can live with .. sure I'm a little disappointed they haven't made more of an effort .. and confused why if I know all the answers why am I not solving the problem ... aargh brain seizure time

You are Brilliant

Well said!!! It's especially exasperating when they slap the word "JUST" at the beginning of their solution

Oh how we love simple words or phrases that trivialize how we feel ... set their car on fire .. and declare .. but its only a 'thing' .. be delighted as their brain implodes :-)

here's one..." I have had this cat/dog for ten years and now I have to give it up (for whatever reason)!" ....'.but it's ONLY an animal'........I'm glad that there at least two of us out here who won't dismiss the feelings/pain of others

I wish those that had children or a significant other dealing with depression would read and inwardly digest this!!

That is the difference between empathy and sympathy ...

#s 1 and 2 are the ones I hear the most. Ugh.

So true,the ones that I Hate the most are : #1 and #4

Actually the 'just smile' advice isn't bad advice at all. Smiling DOES lift your mood. It won't cure your depression, but can make you feel better for a moment. But as someone within a major episode of depression, I know how hard it can be to make that effort!


Thank you. What would you say to someone who feels guilty for feeling that she thinks she is miserable when other people are far more unhappy than she is? (Thanks so much of #3... it made me feel a little better.)

Cans are better when sailing on a boat though, Sam . *winks wickedly*

Ssssssshhhhhhhh, don't give feathered-horse-troll any more ammunition ;-)

I enjoyed reading this! Especially the last paragraph. KUDOS!

you are just lazy is one i get when on a bad day and want to do nothing

I think the worst thing anyone ever said to me about my depression is "It's okay, you're a man, and men can just turn depression off."