It’s all in your head – think positive, will you!


funeral flowersNever tell a depressed person; ‘It’s all in your head.’ Try not to say; ‘Think positive man.’ While optimism is certainly important when training our brains, studies have shown that people who are severely depressed, acutely anxious or mentally ill, they only activate their amygdala (the fear center of our brains) when forcing themselves to think positively.

Please refrain from saying; ‘You need to get out more man, and give something back to the community.’ A comment like this one can only make matters worse. Because, in addition to feeling severely depressed, it makes that person feel guilty and self-absorbed. Giving something back to his community is important but only when a person is sufficiently healthy to do so.

Avoid saying; ‘Do some exercise man!’  This is good advice as exercise has strong antidepressant effects. However, telling someone that they need to do more exercise is like saying; ‘Your butt looks fat in that skirt.’ Hinting at doing some sport is a far better idea.

How can you know what he/she needs so why say something like: ‘What you need is to practise yoga and meditation!’ Yoga and meditation might help those who are experiencing mild depression but, acute anxiety and severe depression are a different story.

It can be most upsetting to hear; ‘Find yourself a new job.’ The job might be stressful which is not good for that person’s emotional health as it pours toxins into the bloodstream. While someone is depressed, he should not take any major decisions – a balanced perspective is far more helpful.

Are you in a happy relationship?’ Depression can be triggered by unhappy relationships. But this is not a question that anyone but a therapist should be dealing with.

‘You have everything you need to help you get better. What’s the problem? This is not a very helpful statement at any time to anyone as it implies that medication are toxins that only dull one’s emotions. 



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