10 Things NOT To Say to a Depressed Person; Readers’ Responses

i-myself-220997-mMay is Mental Health Month (see links to other popular mental health posts below).**  I know from my experience losing someone to bipolar disorder and living with Bipolar II that coming out to people about your mental illness can be difficult. Everyone longs to find someone who “gets it.” On the flipside, it can be hard to know what to say to someone who’s suffering especially if you’ve never been depressed. Many people who mean well can be unsure of what to say.  I asked Fashionably ill readers on Facebook what they least like hearing when they’re depressed.  Here’s a list of the most common expressions readers don’t want to hear.

10 Things NOT To Say to a Depressed Person:

#10            Cheer up!  There are people who have it worse than you. [most common example given: starving children in Africa]

#9            Just pull yourself up by your bootstraps.

#8            You wouldn’t be depressed if you had more faith or prayed harder.

#7            Think positively. It’s all about your attitude.

#6            Happiness is a choice. Don’t think negative thoughts.

#5            Maybe your medication and doctor are the real reason you’re sick.

#4            Get over it.

#3            Why are you depressed? You have such a great life!

#2            Stop saying you’re depressed. Don’t say you’re depressed because you’ll become depressed.

<<drum roll please>>

#1            Snap out of it!

Memorable Quotes

“My mother insists illness is 100% based on pos neg attitude. My dna disagrees. I can paint unicorns all day long no change hahaha.” –Mary Rose

“It will be okay. Hello, I have chronic illness, it will never be okay!!! Why not just say every day won’t be this bad, or, is there anything I could do that would help?” –Francesca

To see other readers’ answers, click here.  What about you?  What do you not like hearing when you’re depressed?

Stay Tuned!

In my next post, I’ll be sharing readers’ responses to this question: Has anybody ever said something when you were #depressed that made you feel better? What do you like to hear during #depression?

Join the Conversation on Facebook 


“Like” Fashionably ill’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/fashionablyill  Meet other warriors who bravely fight a wide variety of illnesses!

–Your Stylist, Jessica Gimeno


**See Other Popular Mental Health Articles:

  1. 5 Reasons People Abandon a Sick Friend
  2. Roadblock: When Mental Health Stigma Prevents Treatment of Physical Pain
  3. 5 Ways to Maintain Mental Health Despite Chronic Pain and Fatigue
  4. 4 Mental Health Benefits of Exercise
  5. Bipolar Disorder: 3 Tips for Making Mood Charts Work
  6. 4 Tips for Working with Illness


Hi there! I am a patient advocate, writer, and public speaker most well known for my TEDx Talk, “How to Get Stuff Done When You Are Depressed.” As someone who is juggling 5 illnesses: bipolar 2, myasthenia gravis, endometriosis, psoriasis, and asthma, I’m passionate about helping people who navigate life with both chronic physical & emotional pain. If you’re interested in hiring me to speak at your event, check out the CONTACT tab.

2 thoughts on “10 Things NOT To Say to a Depressed Person; Readers’ Responses

  • May 24, 2014 at 11:23 pm

    “Find your inner strength”. If I had such an easy turn on/off inner strength, I probably wouldn’t be in this predicament in the first place 🙂

    • May 24, 2014 at 11:28 pm

      Hi Liz, Excellent point! Well said. People oversimplify depression as if anybody wants to be in this situation. Thank you for sharing. –Jessica


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