Avoid trivializing the person's suffering
Or: "You would feel better if you exercised some more, or picked up a new hobby."
Such language and words trivialize the person’s suffering. Instead, try:
“I understand that you may feel low sometimes, and this is challenging for you. Let me know if I can help in some way”
Don't force them to suppress their feelings
“I notice that you’ve been quiet for a while…are you worried or sad about something? Would you like to talk about it?”
If the person is not willing to talk to you, don’t force or try to convince them. Give them a hug or a pat on the back and let them know you are there for them.
Don't refer to their moods lightly or with sarcasm
Resume normal conversation. If you want to check with them about how they’re doing, you could ask, “How are you feeling now?” or “Is there anything you’d like to share with me?”
Or: “I am willing to listen to you whenever you are ready.”
Don't use words that leads them to lose hope
Or: "I’m tired of your behavior."
"When will you change?"
"If you keep behaving like this, I don’t want to talk to you."
“When I see you sad every day I feel concerned about you. Is there anything I can do to support you?”
What not to say and what to say instead
When we talk to someone with a mental illness, we sometimes feel awkward because we want to convey our care for the other person, but we’re afraid something we do or say could hurt the other person. A person with depression may have some triggers that impact their mood; sometimes, well-meaning comments or advice may be stressful for them. Here are some do’s and don’ts: