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  • Gracie Williams

What NOT to say to someone who is struggling & what to say instead...

Despite the support for those struggling with mental health is improving, there is still a lack of support for those on the other side; those who are trying to be there for their loved ones yet do not know what to do or say to help.

So, to help support you, we have put together a list of 10 things you should never say to someone who is suffering from depression and 10 things you should say instead…


10 things you should NOT say:


1. It isn’t even a big deal…

2. Get over it, you will be fine

3. Just do some exercise it will help

4. You have too much to be happy about to be depressed

5. You think you have it bad…

6. It could be so much worse

7. It is just all in your head

8. You are being so selfish, other people have problems too

9. You don’t seem depressed…

10. Just cheer up...


10 things you should say instead:


1. This must be really tough for you, I am so sorry

2. Is there anything I can do?

3. I am not too sure how to help but I am here

4. Your feelings are completely valid

5. I had no idea you were struggling but I am here now

6. It is okay to be upset

7. Let yourself feel your feelings, don’t bottle them up

8. If you want to talk, I am here but if you don’t want to talk about it that is fine too.

9. Would you like some company?

10. I might not understand it but I am here for you

As you can see, many of the things you should say are actually questions… this is because you shouldn’t assume that someone wants you to do something. Many people just want you to be there, not necessarily saying anything or doing anything, the last thing you want to do is over-stimulate them.


It is all about having empathy, not belittling their problems, not making them feel like they are doing something wrong, and not make them feel crazy. Their feelings are valid, and they should feel like they can express their emotions.


If it is too much for you, don’t be afraid to reach out to someone else for help, whether that’s a parent, teacher, or doctor. Even if you don’t understand it, reassurance is key.

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