Don’t Tell Someone who is Depressed to “Just be Happy”


Although I’m not struggling with depression at the moment this line has always irked me. I try to be very careful to not say it to anyone I know. I understand that people’s intentions are good but this line simply does not help. In fact it will probably make someone feel worse. It’s almost as if you are invalidating their feelings. If it was so easy to “just be happy” then we wouldn’t be depressed in the first place!

This also happens a lot with my anxiety. I’ll be jittery and sweating while concentrating on fending off a panic attack. People will tell me to “calm down”. Now, do they think that suddenly I’ll be like “Oh okay, yup suddenly I’m not anxious anymore!”. It doesn’t work that way. Our brains have been programmed after many years to spin in a vicious cycle.  Simply saying a statement like that wont make a difference, our minds are too loud.

I’d much rather prefer someone to tell me they understand my feelings. I would much rather have someone tell me that they are here with me no matter what I go through. I would also much rather they tell me that I’m not crazy or a terrible person for thinking in the ways that I do. Of course everyone is different. Some people may benefit from being told to just cheer up. I would just hope that before you tell someone that, you try to understand how difficult it is to control the negative emotions and thoughts that constantly run through our heads.

5 thoughts on “Don’t Tell Someone who is Depressed to “Just be Happy”

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