NOTE: This is a blog post from our friends at Depressions Collateral Damage. Check out their blog, there is some really great stuff there!
Remember growing up and being told to eat everything on your plate? When you complained you were told that the poor starving children in Korea (or China or Sudan – you pick the country) would appreciate having what you have. If you smarted off you said you would be happy to pack up the food and send it. Nine chances out of ten, though, you simply ate the food, not really understanding why.
If you’ve been depressed or if you are a caregiver of a depressed person, you have probably heard the line,
Sure there are people who are more depressed, although how you can figure that out is beyond me when we can’t even accurately diagnose or treat depression. And people all over the world are worse off – living in poverty conditions, losing all their family to war, dealing with earthquakes and tsunamis and tornadoes.
Next time you are tempted to use this line when talking to a depressed person or a caregiver, STOP!
Instead, think about saying, “I can’t imagine what it is like for you. I can’t imagine how hard it must be.” Maybe you’ll learn something and the depressed individual or the caregiver will feel that someone does care. And that is the best thing you can do.