Anxiety/Depression, what not to say.

I can recall an incident where I was speaking with a woman who was crying hysterically, I asked her what was wrong but she couldn’t gather her thoughts. I told her to “calm down”, needless to say, that did no good. I asked her to sit and take a few breaths, which seemed to help. I again asked her what was wrong and she began telling me about some of her problems. Without going into too many details she informed me that she suffers from MDD and Anxiety disorder, she stated that it only makes her feel worse when people tell her to calm down because she was already trying to. Since then, I have educated myself via course and speaking with a multitude of individuals with mental illnesses taking the time to find out what helps and what doesn’t. I have a list of things that you should never say to an individual who is suffering from anxiety or depression or any other form of mental illness;

  1. “It’s no big deal”
  2. “just get over it”
  3. “can’t you just stop being that way”
  4. “calm down”
  5. “it could be worse”
  6. “its all in your head”
  7. “you need to cheer up”
  8. “try to relax”
  9. “everyone has had this problem”
  10. “I get it”
  11. “you are so dramatic”

I have seen the impact of both anxiety and depression, and how difficult it can be to manage. It is also my belief that most people at some point in time suffer from one of these if not both, myself included. I always find that active listening, and responding by expressing the validation of feelings instead of dismissiveness is best. Try to be sympathetic instead of judgmental and last but not least, if you or someone you know is suffering from suicidal thoughts, just know that you are not alone and there is help out there.Please feel free to contact me at WhatTanasiaSays@gmail.com, or reach out on Instagram @thatgirlinspires or twitter @whattanasiasays, you can also contact the suicide prevention hotline at 1-800-273-8255.

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