The depressed need empathy and understanding. Not your advice. If they want it, they will ask you, and even then, the best advice you can give is to speak to a professional. A referral might be useful, but that’s about it.
It is true that a friends and family support system will help you come out of depression. But a combination of stigma and a lack of understanding of the disease makes some friends and family quite difficult to be around when you’re depressed. This is a list of 5 kinds of people you want to stay away from when you’re depressed.
The Armchair Expert
You don’t have depression! You’re just sad. I know what depression is like; I’ve read all about it. I think you have histrionic syndrome. Or you know what it is? It’s your OCD. Just give it a few days, and you’ll be fine.
If you take this person seriously, you’re going to be self-medicating yourself for a problem that you don’t have and add confusion to the concoction of emotions that is plaguing your head right now. If you see someone, who isn’t a professional, throwing psychology terms at you, be warned – you’re around an armchair expert.
The Self-Help Guru
Exercise bro. Exercise and diet. Everything can be solved by working out. Do you even lift bro?
Yeah, you know what, this guy is probably right. Exercise and diet can help. But when you’re depressed, dragging yourself out of bed takes superhuman strength, let alone going out for a walk. At this time, empathy helps, and this guy doesn’t.
The Religious Preacher
Do you believe in God? <insert God name> will help you through this. Just make sure you go to <insert religious place of gathering> every <insert day of the week> and trust me, <insert God name> will take care of it. And don’t forget to read the <insert religious book> every day.
This person is right too, but now is not the time to dish out advice about godliness. Religious belief is a private thing and advising godliness to a person, forget even a depressed person, without knowing what they feel about it is a bad idea.
You know what, you just like to be the centre of attention. It’s always got to be about you. Just because you don’t get Bhav(Sympathy) from people you’re going to say you’re depressed? Just suck it up and man/woman up. Bohut ho gaya yeh natak. (enough drama)
This is the last person you want to be around when you’re depressed. You’re already going through so much; the last thing you need is an accusation. What’s worse, is people closest to you are most likely to accuse you of attention seeking.
Depression is a white man’s disease. Did you know anyone from your parent’s generation who were depressed? No. You know why? Because depression doesn’t exist. It’s completely made up and another excuse for people to stay at home.
Yeah. Because that’s what you want to do – stay at home, never meet anyone else and be sad. This last kind of person is usually a know it all who believes everything is propaganda. And if you’re around this person when depressed, there’s no way for them ever to know how real what you’re going through is. Pro tip – stay away.