Today is World Anti-Depression Day. Never say this to a sick person, it's the worst “consolation”

Today is World Anti-Depression Day.  Never say this to a sick person, it's the worst "consolation"

Depression is a disease that can and should be treated. For people who struggle with it, the support of loved ones is extremely important. We explain what phrases should be avoided and what words will bring real relief to the patient.

February 23 is World Depression Day. According to the World Health Organization, over 350 million people suffer from it. Depression is a disease, just like hypertension and diabetes. It requires diagnosis and then appropriate treatment. Moreover, although few people realize it, it is one of the most common diseases in the world and is therefore the main cause of inability to work. It is also the most common mental disorder. Its symptoms may be both recurrent and chronic.

What should you never say to someone with depression?

Joanna Adamiak, a psychiatrist who runs an Instagram account called “The World through the Eyes of a Psychiatrist”, explained what things should not be said to a person with depression, because they are the worst “consolation”. You should avoid downplaying the person's feelings. Be sure to avoid these phrases:

  • “It's all just in your head”

  • “Stop complaining, others have it worse”

  • “Just smile and it will pass”

  • “Don't dramatize”

  • “I don't understand why you feel this way.”

Instead of these phrases use words that are supportive and express your willingness to help. Here are some examples given by the expert:

  • “I understand you're having a difficult day,”

  • “I'm here for you no matter what”

  • “Can I help in any way?”,

  • “Sometimes life is hard, but you can always count on me”

  • “You don't have to go through this alone.”

The specialist also noted that appropriate words of support are worth their weight in gold – not only for people with depression, but for all those who are currently experiencing difficult times in their lives.

What symptoms may indicate depression?

What are the symptoms of depression? It is a depressed mood and a gradual loss of joy in life. Patients are dominated by feelings of sadness and emptiness, as well as feelings of indifference (e.g. lack of pleasure). There are also mood swings and difficulties in everyday functioning. There is also a limitation in life activity, difficulties in undertaking various activities, and loss of previous interests. A person suffering from depression is also accompanied by reduced self-esteem, anxiety and a growing sense of loss of meaning in life.

There are also less typical ailments, such as:

  • attention disorders,

  • feeling of memory deterioration,

  • decreased or loss of appetite

  • sleep disorders,

  • decreased libido.

Also check what the physical symptoms of depression are. It is also worth learning about habits and behaviors that can worsen depression.

Where can people with depression seek help?

If you or a loved one have noticed symptoms that may indicate depression, do not delay. In this situation, it is necessary to visit a specialist. Depression is treated by a psychiatrist (the patient does not need a referral). You should see this doctor when symptoms related to bad mood make everyday functioning difficult. And what is important: such a visit is an absolute necessity in the event of suicidal thoughts.

Please remember that low mood does not always mean depression – sometimes it can be a natural consequence of life problems. In this situation, it is worth going to a psychologist. This specialist will assess the patient's condition and, if necessary, refer him to a psychiatrist.

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