Not long ago, I was privy to a conversation about people with depression. Obviously, neither of the participants in the discussion had ever experienced clinical depression, and said that everyone got “the blues” every once in a while. One of them said that they [people suffering from depression] should “just get over it,” just “be happy.”
If you have ever been diagnosed with depression (or even if your condition has not been labelled by a mental health professional), you know how ridiculous these suggestions are. Even if you have never experienced it, I would suggest that you research the signs and symptoms of this quietly alienating mental illness. A simple attempt at empathy can go a long way toward helping someone who may be suffering so silently that it can be deafening.
You might feel unqualified to talk to someone about their problems, that what you say won’t help, or that you can’t really understand what that person is going through. Well, to that I say…just get over it.