I wish everyone, everywhere read, digested and understood what's outlined in this Huffpost article: "12 Things You Should Never Say to Someone with Depression."
Depression is not a choice, it's an illness. As the article says, "You would never tell someone with a cold to just stop coughing. Depression is also a physical ailment beyond our control; the problem is just in our brains rather than in our throats."
I know there is a stigma, I know that really, really well I just hope we get over it soon. Every one of the 12 things in this is entirely on point and so important.
If you are with someone who is depressed, I know it may be uncomfortable and you may just want to say the right thing to fix it, yes because you care about them, but also maybe because it makes you uncomfortable?...but, really, the best thing to do for someone you love who is feeling depressed is not try to get them to "feel better." If we could all just feel differently when we wanted to no one would ever be heartbroken...
Trying to get a depressed person to change what they feel can easily cause that person to think it's their fault they are feeling depressed because the reality is that with depression, you can't just "feel better." When I've been depressed, I've tried and tried and tried. But, happiness isn't a choice if it was we'd probably all be happy all the time. Depression isn't a choice. We can choose what we think about how we feel, which can encourage more opportunities to see joy than other things, but we can't control it.
It's complicated and we don't understand all of it...but if we could all get a good handle on the basics of depression and how to respond to it, I think we could make some good progress on letting go of the stigma of having it. And if we do that, I think we'll see many more people healed from depression, and addiction and less suicide and suffering in the world.
12 Things You Should Never Say to a Person With Depression