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What You Should Not Say To A Depressed Person?


Do you have a family member who is depressed or a friend who is depressed?  Are you wondering what to say to this person?  This article will provide several scenarios of what not to say to this person.

Snap Out Of It

On a first note, according to, never tell a depressed person to Snap Out Of It.  This is the worst thing to tell someone with depression.  They are already low on energy and probably not getting out of bed.  Telling them to snap out of it will probably make them feel 100 times worse.  Instead of telling them to snap out of, try providing them with words of encouragement.

What Do You Have To Be Depressed About?

In addition, according to, you never tell a depressed person “What Do You Have To Be Depressed About?”  This person is already depressed.  He or she cannot change his or her brain chemistry.  Perhaps try providing them with some validating words of wisdom.

Why Don’t You Go For A Nice Walk?

On a third note, according to, do not tell a depressed person “Why Don’t You Go For A Nice Walk?”  This may seem like a good idea.  Doesn’t exercise seem like a good idea for someone who is depressed?  However, what you are doing is telling them to go for a walk by themselves.  Perhaps suggest going for a walk together.

It’s all in your head

On a fourth note, according to, never tell a depressed person that “It’s all in your head.”  According to, some people may argue that depression is an imaginary disease because you cannot see it.  However, this is farthest from the truth.  Recognize it.  Encourage this person who is depressed and provide them with support.


To end this specific article, four different strategies have been provided to avoid when speaking to patients who are suffering from depression.  They include telling someone: Snap Out Of It, What Do You Have To Be Depressed About?, Why Don’t You Go For A Nice Walk?, and also telling someone It’s all in your head.  When someone is depressed, it is essential to not overpower him or her and put too much information in his or her head.  Instead on a more significant note, provide those who are depressed with a strong sense of encouragement.  Let them know that you will be there for them during times of need.


What You Should Not Say To A Depressed Person?

Lauren Walters

My name is Lauren Walters. I am currently heading into my final semester of graduate school for Mental Health Counseling in the Spring of 2016. Through my own experiences with mental illness, I love to inspire others through my writings and reassure them that they can live healthy, productive lives, despite mental illness. I hope you enjoy my articles. Feel free to comment. I will be sure to respond to you questions and/or comments in a prompt manner. Enjoy!

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APA Reference
Walters, L. (2017). What You Should Not Say To A Depressed Person?. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 2, 2020, from


Last updated: 27 Jun 2017
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