Monday, May 20, 2024

Things To Never Say To Someone With Anxiety And Depression

Dont Talk About How They Look Or Act

Things To NEVER Say To Someone With Anxiety

Why its harmful: As is the case with any medical condition, there is no one specific way to look depressed. Not everyone will be a sobbing mess or unable to get out of bed in the morning. People who are depressed spend a lot of time trying not to look depressed, Nguyen says. It takes a long time for you to get to the point where you stop showering. Find out why nicer people are more prone to depression.

What to say instead: Tell me more about whats going on. Help me understand.

Passing On Chances To Be Social

People with anxiety will always seem like they never want to hang out or meet but that really is not the case. They will definitely want to say yes and go out but their anxiety will prevent them from being social. People with anxiety generally struggle with holding a long conversation for the fear of being judged. Hence, despite the desire to go out and be social, their fear of interaction or any confrontation is what prevents them from going out. Dont take this as a sign that they dont want to meet you but rather figure out something which makes them comfortable.

Awful Things You Should Never Say To Someone Who Is Depressed

According to the World Health Organization , an estimated 350 million people suffer from depression worldwide. That’s a lot of people. This means that if YOU are not depressed, chances are you know someone who is.

The terrible misconception that people have regarding depression is that it’s just “the blues.” Luckily, you have me to tell you that the blues are FAR different than depression.

RELATED: How You Act When You’re Feeling Depressed, According To Your Zodiac Sign

As someone who is diagnosed with clinical depression, here are just some of the symptoms and signs of depression that I endure during an episode:

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What Not To Say

Itâs also important to know what not to say to someone whoâs anxious.â

âYouâll get over it./Snap out of it.â Anxiety disorders donât work like this. Often, it requires help from a mental health professional in the form of talk therapy, medication, or a combination of therapies. Remember that your friend or family member doesnât choose to feel this way, so itâs not something that they can turn off to feel normal again.â

âI know, ___ makes me feel really anxious, too.â Comparing your own anxieties to theirs isnât going to help them. You probably feel rational anxiety about things that happen in your life, but you canât equate those feelings to the irrational feelings people with anxiety disorders may have. Itâs not the same, and this diminishes your loved oneâs experience.â

âHave you tried ___?â Donât ask someone with anxiety if theyâve tried certain health or wellness techniques to overcome their feelings. While this may work for people with temporary anxiety about certain situations, it may not work for someone with an anxiety disorder.

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Analyzing Every Bit Of Conversation

7 Things Never to Say to a Person with Depression

Every thought and action is over-analyzed by them multiple times out of the fear that they are wrong. People suffering from anxiety tend to analyze every conversation they have had to make sure that they did not say anything that was incorrect. This is draining for the person and puts a lot of pressure on the person suffering.

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Develop An Action Plan For Anxiety And Depression

Your action plan for anxiety and depression will cover a wide range of options. The plan can include exercise, stress management and how to improve your sleep. You may be referred to a psychologist who can help you address things like negative thinking and how to manage difficulties in your relationships.

Some people think its weak to admit theyre going through a tough time, but if you have anxiety or depression, you cant just snap out of it or pull yourself together. Theres more to it than that.

If you think you may have anxiety or depression, and want to take action, start by talking to someone you trust keeping it to yourself can make things worse. Discuss your situation with a friend, partner, family member a colleague or your GP.

Beyond Blue has put together information about how men can create an action plan.

Do I Need Health Insurance To Receive This Service

The referral service is free of charge. If you have no insurance or are underinsured, we will refer you to your state office, which is responsible for state-funded treatment programs. In addition, we can often refer you to facilities that charge on a sliding fee scale or accept Medicare or Medicaid. If you have health insurance, you are encouraged to contact your insurer for a list of participating health care providers and facilities.

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This Feeling Will Pass

Whilst in the grip of a bad anxiety spell, it can be impossible to remember a time when you were not feeling anxious. The anxiety is so overwhelming that you sometimes wonder if you are ever going to feel normal again. When this happens, a gentle reminder that the bad feelings will eventually go away can work wonders, because then the anxiety-sufferer will remember to anticipate that better time. It is like a beacon of hope.

Other Sites That Can Help

4 Things to NEVER say to someone with ANXIETY – Support, education and information for family and whnau.Carers New Zealand – Information and support for people in caregiver roles.Mental Health Foundation – Information about mental health covering a range of topics.Small Steps – A range of simple tools you can use to manage your stress, anxiety and low mood.

Also Check: How Can I Treat My Depression

What Time Of Day Is Hardest For You

This question may give those who are within your loved ones support circle an idea when to check in.

For example, getting out of bed in the morning and starting the day is most difficult for some people. For others, its coming home in the evening when they may be alone.

Some people may not have a specific time of day, but Mondays or weekends may be when the depressive episode worsens. For others, its holidays like Christmas, or even summertime.

Whenever it is, you can use that time frame of when your loved one may feel most vulnerable to send a short text, call them, or invite them out for something low-key, like a walk.

In the event that you have to communicate with a mental health professional for your loved one, youll also have some details for diagnostic criteria to share.

Quick Read Anxiety Support 101

  • Theres a difference between normal, everyday anxiety and having an anxiety disorder.
  • If an anxious friend decides to confide in you, show you support them.
  • Validate, rather than minimize, their experience.
  • If you dont have an anxiety disorder, avoid offering advice without listening to your friend.
  • Tell them youre there for them, ask how you can help and listen to what they have to say.

Its never not awkward telling someone I have anxiety disorders. And Ive had to tell a lot of people: friends, family, supervisors, dates.

Opening up to others can be validating and freeing, but its always stressful at first because I dont know how theyll respond. Being stereotyped or treated insensitively when youre struggling can be nerve-wracking, especially if you already get down on yourself for having anxiety.

What Ive learned in my many years of coming clean is that most people mean well. They dont want to say the wrong thing, but it can be hard for them to know the right thing to say if they dont know much about anxiety.

While everyone experiences anxiety, people experience differing degrees of severity, says Ty Lostutter, a clinical psychologist who specializes in anxiety and treats patients at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance at South Lake Union.

Anxiety is normal and healthy. It keeps us safe and motivates us, Lostutter says. It only becomes a problem when someone becomes overly anxious and it interferes with daily life.

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Support Them To Seek Help

If you think your friend or family member’s anxiety is becoming a problem for them, you could encourage them to seek treatment by talking to a GP or therapist. You could:

  • Offer to help them arrange a doctor’s appointment. If they are scared of leaving the house, you could suggest they ring their GP to find out if they will do home visits and telephone appointments.
  • Offer support when they attend appointments. You could offer to go with them to their appointments and wait in the waiting room. You can also help them plan what they’d like to talk about with the doctor. See our page on talking to your GP for more information.
  • Help them seek help from a therapist. See our page on how to find a therapist for more information.
  • Help them research different options for support, such as community services or peer support groups such as those run by Anxiety UK and No Panic. See our useful contacts page for more information. You could also call Mind’s Infoline to find out more about local services.

See our page on helping someone else seek help for more information.

Instead Say: Lets Go To A Quieter Place Or Go For A Walk

5 Things You Should Never Say To Someone With Depression

If you want to try to help your friend get out of anxiety mode , you can try grounding them back in reality. Anxiety makes people hyper-focused on the thoughts, emotions and physical sensations that are causing the distress, so to get your friends mind off of those things, ask if they want to take a walk, listen to some music or go to a quiet corner.

Sometimes we need a supportive push to help break us out of our vicious cycle of panic and panicking about panic. Techniques like this are similar to what trained psychologists and therapists use as part of cognitive behavioral therapy, the gold standard of treatment for people who have anxiety disorders.

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First Things First: Do They Have Clinical Depression

Sadness, just like happiness, is a reaction and can be a state of mind. Depression, though, starts in the synapses of the brain and affects hormones.

Depression doesnt ease up. It goes beyond feeling sad and isnt necessarily tied to a preceding circumstance, like sadness sometimes is. Depression has definitive symptoms, causing body and brain changes, that others can sometimes see.

Offer To Help Them Find Help

In the midst of emotional turmoil, it can be difficult to know what the best course of action is.

A person dealing with depression may not have the energy or motivation to do what it takes to find a therapist or other mental health provider. You can assist them in finding one, Langham explains.

You may make suggestions about a therapist or support group you know of, but the ultimate decision to take that step is your loved ones.

If theyre open to the idea, you could help by:

  • setting up appointments
  • reminding them about important dates
  • driving them to see their health team

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Other People Have Things Much Worse You Know

Everyone who has ever faced any adversity always knows that things could be worse that doesnt change the situation at hand or make their feelings any less valid.

Throwing a phrase like this in the face of someone with anxiety will not cause them to suddenly realize how much they have to be thankful for, nor will it put them more at ease. All it will really do is evoke guilt, as your loved one will hear, Youre ungrateful and thats why you feel this way.

What youve done is cause them to worry that theyre not a good person because they cant rationalize their anxiety away with gratitude.

People with anxiety disorders already deal with far more than their fair share of guilt and shame, and adding to that guilt only leads to more anxiety.

This Is What You Need To Do

Things To Never Say To Someone With Depression

Anxiety treatment isnt a one-size-fits-all approach.

Not everyone with anxiety is the same person, which means that not everyone with anxiety can cope with it in the same way. It can be really frustrating for someone with anxiety to hear that they need to do the same strategies over and over and over again when they may not work for them,Kait Towner, LMHC, RPT, CCPT, IMH-E, Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Registered Play Therapist, Infant Mental Health Specialist, and Child Therapy Business Coach, explains.

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Get Involved Get Out Of The House Be Active Exercise

Depression isnt something you can snap out of. A depressed person already criticizes themselves and has pushed themselves to get better, but they cant turn it off. Dont demand, instead listen and accept. Be sincere. Offer your time to take a walk with them, try out a relaxing yoga class, watch a movie, or do anything else they may enjoy.What to say:I know you are not in the mood to go out, but we should do something together!

‘don’t Worry It’s Not A Big Deal’

To the other person, it definitely is a big deal.

“Saying ‘don’t worry’ minimizes or downplays the issue,” Kitley says.

That can cause the person to feel A) like they’re crazy or that there’s something wrong with them for worrying about this, or B) hurt because it now seems like you don’t care about their problem. And you definitely don’t want to make either of those things happen.

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Stop Worrying About It

Research shows that worrying helps us temporarily feel less anxious because it makes it seem like were working and problem-solving.

Unfortunately, worrying is more like problem-solving gone haywire, Edelstein states. When someone is anxious, theyre unlikely to give up this coping mechanism so easily because it does work temporarily.

What To Say To Someone With A Mental Health Condition

7 Things Never to Say to a Person with Depression

1. “Do you want to talk about it? I’m always here for you.”

Even if you don’t entirely understand what your friend is going through, you can still be there for them in a healthy, supportive way. Listen to them without judgment and make sure they know they’re not alone. It’s also important to let your loved one lead the conversation so you’re able to talk about topics they feel comfortable discussing. “Follow and support rather than lead and advise,” explains Sue.

2. “What can I do to help?”

If your loved one has had depression or anxiety for a while, they probably know what does and does not help them. Even if they just need help with something simple like laundry or grocery shopping, offering help lets them know you care.

3. “That sounds really difficult. How are you coping?”

Acknowledging how they feel is both validating and comforting. It reminds your friend that you are listening to them, that you believe that what they’re going through is real, and that you want to help them cope.

4. “Let’s go somewhere quiet or take a walk”

In times of extreme anxiety, it can help to try a grounding activity, like going for a walk or finding a peaceful place to talk. Grounding activities may be done alone or with another person and may include listening to music or enjoying a soothing scent.

5. “I’m really sorry you’re going through this. I’m here for you if you need me.”

Remind them that their feelings are valid and that you want to support them.

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Who Gets Depression

In general about 1 out of every 6 adults will have depression at some time in their life.3 Depression affects about 16 million American adults every year.4 Anyone can get depressed, and depression can happen at any age and in any type of person.

Many people who experience depression also have other mental health conditions.1,5 Anxiety disorders often go hand in hand with depression. People who have anxiety disorders struggle with intense and uncontrollable feelings of anxiety, fear, worry, and/or panic.1 These feelings can interfere with daily activities and may last for a long time.

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Rebecca M., age 57, struggled with depression and had a few wake-up calls as a smoker. She felt depressed and smoked cigarettes to help her cope with her feelings. The more Rebecca smoked, the harder it seemed to quit. Rebecca finally quit smoking after getting care for her depression and realizing that she had to take care of her own health. She now leads a new, smokefree life.

I quit smoking and I got care for my depression.

What To Say Instead

Instead of shutting down the conversation, Kitley recommends helping the person talk through their worry or fear by discussing worst case scenarios together. Because much of anxiety stems from a fear of the unknown, talking through these situations can help a person with anxiety feel more in control, like they have a tangible plan.

“They’re already thinking of the worst case scenario. So ask them what the likelihood of it happening is, and if it does happen, what they would want to do about it,” she says.

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Dont Downplay Their Condition

Why its harmful: Telling someone that the pain theyre feeling is all in their head diminishes the fact that depression is a serious health condition, and reduces it to something that can be fixed just by changing their thinking habits. If someone is feeling unwell in some way, it is within their person, not just their head, Plotnick explains.

What to say instead: I will try my best to understand.

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