Words can have a massive impact on someones life. As mentioned in my previous post about my fiancé suffering depression and anxiety, it was just certain words that pushed him over the edge.
Having never dealt with anything like depression and anxiety before in my life, I was totally surprised by what I thought depression was compared to what depression actually is and how words can affect the people who suffer with these problems.
Everyone enjoys a good laugh, but blatantly mocking someone with problems is taking it way too far. Some people speak without fully knowing the facts and not understanding what the other person is feeling or going through in their life.
“Oh, we all get a bit sad sometimes”
That is something that I’ve come to realise, after experiencing what depression does to someone, is a thoughtless statement to make. Depression is so much more than feeling sad every now and again. The majority of it isn’t anything to do with feeling sad at all. Its more feeling like you are nothing, like an empty shell that doesn’t want anything or enjoy anything, that doesn’t feel anything at all.
Also saying things like “What would they have in their life to feel like that for?” People see my fiancé, see he has a good family, a good life and the love of his fiancée and think that he shouldn’t have depression, like he has no reason to feel that way. If I’m totally honest, I thought him feeling that way was down to me. Surely he wouldn’t have depression if I was keeping him happy. My fiancé even felt that way himself, but its not down to that.
Saying these things convinces depression sufferers that there is nothing wrong and what they are feeling isn’t something serious. It convinces sufferers to not seek the help they need to get their life back on track. My fiancé felt the same. He was convinced by himself and by others that nothing was wrong and he didn’t need any help, but he realises now that wasn’t the case.
With a problem that made my fiancé feel like nobody cared, he just wanted someone to say “I’m here when you’re ready to talk”, “I know you’re hurting, but you don’t have to go through this alone” or just simply saying “I want you to talk to me. I’m here to listen.” When he told me this before, I felt terrible because I felt like I hadn’t shown him how much that I care. I didn’t want to pressure him into saying things that he wasn’t ready to say. I wanted him to come to me when he was ready. However now I wish I had done it differently.
What he mostly got was people saying “You’re moody today aren’t you” or being ignored because people thought he was just being moody and miserable that day.
Lets face it, even the way you tone your voice when speaking changes the way an innocent comment sounds. Something like that can knock someone right back down the ladder. I know, I’ve done it. I haven’t put my brain into gear and thought about what I was saying before I said it.
My advice to anyone would be to think a little about what the people are going through before you make a comment. Words can hurt someone more than people realise. If you are empathetic and try to understand what someone is gong through or feels like, you would feel more respect to a person than if you were just sympathetic without understanding.
A bad word about someone can get you a laugh but sometimes a good word to someone can literally save a life.
I’d love to hear what you think. Feel free to get in touch.