6 things not to say to someone with depression — and 7 things we should say and do.

There are many, many things we'd never say to someone with a serious physical illness like cancer.

Things like:

  • "A lot of people are worse off than you."
  • "I'm getting tired of hearing about this."
  • "Snap out of it."
  • "You're kind of dragging me down."
  • "Why don't you just go outside and get some sunshine. You'll be fine."
  • "Can we stop with the pity party?"ll


Image via Hope for Depression Research Foundation.

And yet people dealing with depression hear these kinds of statements all too often.

Why is that? Well, it's probably partly because of the way we talk about depression.

"We use the word depression all the time in our ordinary language to talk about feeling down or upset about something that makes us feel low or bad," Dr. Harold Koenigsberg, a psychiatrist and a professor of psychiatry at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City, shared with Upworthy.

Those feelings are normal, and we all experience them, but we're talking about a medical condition here — something that persists for a few weeks or longer and something that can even put a person at risk for suicide. Depression isn't a fleeting feeling or a temporary mood.

The folks behind the nonprofit Hope for Depression Research Foundation created a powerful one-minute PSA to make an excellent point.

If you can't imagine yourself saying any of these damaging things to a person battling cancer, you shouldn't ever consider saying them to someone battling depression, another life-threatening illness.

If you have a minute, watch, then scroll down for some expert advice on what we should say.

Depression is serious, and it affects many people.

Image via iStock.

"Depression is a very common disorder," Koenigsberg said. He explained that about 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men will suffer from major depression at some point in their life.

Those statistics mean it's pretty likely we all know someone who has dealt with depression at one point or another.

So we know what not to say. But what should we say and do?

1. Listen.

Koenigsberg, who's also on the board of the Hope for Depression Research Foundation, said the first thing we should do if someone we care about is experiencing depression is to listen. "Be a good listener," he said. "Be interested in what they’re going through and what they’re feeling."

He recommends remaining nonjudgmental "to give the message that you care about them and you’re accessible to them."

2. Encourage the person to seek professional help.

If they're stuck in the depression — if it's not going away for days and days; if it's affecting their sleep, appetite, and physical function; if they're not able to work; if they feel hopeless, suicidal, etc. — "you want to encourage them to get help," Koenigsberg said.

3. Remember that it may not be obvious to the person that they need help.

"It's worth thinking about how to encourage someone who's depressed to get help," Koenigsberg said. First, many people feel like they should be able to manage it themselves. And second, he pointed out that many people experiencing depression feel hopeless. "They can feel like nothing is going to help them, so why bother?"

4. Point out the benefits of seeking outside help.

Photo by iStock.

"It can be useful to tell people that depression is in fact very responsive to treatment and often, talking with an neutral person can make a big difference," Koenigsberg explained. "[Talking to] a person who isn’t involved in their life … can give them more leverage with the issues that they’re struggling with."

When it comes to medication, he said that some people feel resistant because they're focused on a particular situation or issue that's contributed to the depression. That makes it harder to understand how medication could help.

"It’s often helpful to explain that when you’re under a lot of emotional stress or a situation that is taxing on you — a big burden or strain — if that goes on for a while, it can set off a chain reaction of chemistry in the brain," he said. "It can set off disregulations in different brain chemicals, and medication can reset that. ... By getting the chemistry back to normal, that will give them more resources to help the issue they’re struggling with."

5. Make it easier for the person to get help.

Remember that when someone is facing depression, even simple, everyday tasks can feel daunting and overwhelming. As such, the additional step of finding someone to talk to might be too much. "It's hard to get over the hurdle," Koenigsberg said. "Make it easier by giving them a phone number."

You could help them research their insurance coverage and find a doctor on their plan, or you could assist in locating a clinic that will help folks who don't have insurance if that's a barrier to seeking help.

6. Physical exercise is helpful.

Photo by iStock.

While you should never tell someone to get out and get some sunshine as though that'll cure their depression, Koenigsberg points out that physical exercise can be helpful to someone experiencing depression. Drop by and ask the person if they'd like to go for a walk with you.

7. Check in.

Showing up is important — and it doesn't have to be in the physical sense if that's not possible. Call the person and ask how they're doing. When you're done talking, tell them you're going to check back in soon so they know you're there for them.

Depression isn't just a temporary mood. It's a serious medical condition that needs treatment. And by keeping these tips in mind, not only can we avoid saying the wrong things, but we can be there to say and do the right things.

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Should a man lose his home because the grass in his yard grew higher than 10 inches? The city of Dunedin, Florida seems to think so.

According to the Institute of Justice, which is representing Jim Ficken, he had a very good reason for not mowing his lawn – and tried to rectify the situation as best he could.

In 2014, Jim's mom became ill and he visited her often in South Carolina to help her out. When he was away, his grass grew too long and he was cited by a code office; he cut the grass and wasn't fined.

France has started forcing supermarkets to donate food instead of throwing it away.

But several years later, this one infraction would come back to haunt him after he left to take care of him's mom's affairs after she died. The arrangements he made to have his grass cut fell through (his friend who he asked to help him out passed away unexpectedly) and that set off a chain reaction that may result in him losing his home.

The 69-year-old retiree now faces a $29,833.50 fine plus interest. Watch the video to find out just what Jim is having to deal with.

Mow Your Lawn or Lose Your House! www.youtube.com

Cities

The world officially loves Michelle Obama.

The former first lady has overtaken the number one spot in a poll of the world's most admired women. Conducted by online research firm YouGov, the study uses international polling tools to survey people in countries around the world about who they most admire.

In the men's category, Bill Gates took the top spot, followed by Barack Obama and Jackie Chan.

In the women's category, Michelle Obama came first, followed by Oprah Winfrey and Angelina Jolie. Obama pushed Jolie out of the number one spot she claimed last year.

Unsurprising, really, because what's not to love about Michelle Obama? She is smart, kind, funny, accomplished, a great dancer, a devoted wife and mother, and an all-around, genuinely good person.

She has remained dignified and strong in the face of rabid masses of so-called Americans who spent eight years and beyond insisting that she's a man disguised as a woman. She's endured non-stop racist memes and terrifying threats to her family. She has received far more than her fair share of cruelty, and always takes the high road. She's the one who coined, "When they go low, we go high," after all.

She came from humble beginnings and remains down to earth despite becoming a familiar face around the world. She's not much older than me, but I still want to be like Michelle Obama when I grow up.

Her memoir, Becoming, may end up being the best-selling memoir of all time, having already sold 10 million copies—a clear sign that people can't get enough Michelle, because there's no such thing as too much Michelle.

Don't like Michelle Obama? Don't care. Those of us who love her will fly our MO flags high and without apology, paying no mind to folks with cold, dead hearts who don't know a gem of a human being when they see one. There is nothing any hater can say or do to make us admire this undeniably admirable woman any less.

When it seems like the world has lost its mind—which is how it feels most days these days—I'm just going to keep coming back to this study as evidence that hope for humanity is not lost.

Here. Enjoy some real-life Michelle on Jimmy Kimmel. (GAH. WHY IS SHE SO CUTE AND AWESOME. I can't even handle it.)

Michelle & Barack Obama are Boring Now www.youtube.com

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via EarthFix / Flickr

What will future generations never believe that we tolerated in 2019?

Dolphin and orca captivity, for sure. They'll probably shake their heads at how people died because they couldn't afford healthcare. And, they'll be completely mystified at the amount of food some people waste while others go starving.

According to Biological Diversity, "An estimated 40 percent of the food produced in the United States is wasted every year, costing households, businesses and farms about $218 billion annually."

There are so many things wrong with this.

First of all it's a waste of money for the households who throw out good food. Second, it's a waste of all of the resources that went into growing the food, including the animals who gave their lives for the meal. Third, there's something very wrong with throwing out food when one in eight Americans struggle with hunger.

Supermarkets are just as guilty of this unnecessary waste as consumers. About 10% of all food waste are supermarket products thrown out before they've reached their expiration date.

Three years ago, France took big steps to combat food waste by making a law that bans grocery stores from throwing away edible food.According to the new ordinance, stores can be fined for up to $4,500 for each infraction.

Previously, the French threw out 7.1 million tons of food. Sixty-seven percent of which was tossed by consumers, 15% by restaurants, and 11% by grocery stores.

This has created a network of over 5,000 charities that accept the food from supermarkets and donate them to charity. The law also struck down agreements between supermarkets and manufacturers that prohibited the stores from donating food to charities.

"There was one food manufacturer that was not authorized to donate the sandwiches it made for a particular supermarket brand. But now, we get 30,000 sandwiches a month from them — sandwiches that used to be thrown away," Jacques Bailet, head of the French network of food banks known as Banques Alimentaires, told NPR.

It's expected that similar laws may spread through Europe, but people are a lot less confident at it happening in the United States. The USDA believes that the biggest barrier to such a program would be cost to the charities and or supermarkets.

"The logistics of getting safe, wholesome, edible food from anywhere to people that can use it is really difficult," the organization said according to Gizmodo. "If you're having to set up a really expensive system to recover marginal amounts of food, that's not good for anybody."

Plus, the idea may seem a little too "socialist" for the average American's appetite.

"The French version is quite socialist, but I would say in a great way because you're providing a way where they [supermarkets] have to do the beneficial things not only for the environment, but from an ethical standpoint of getting healthy food to those who need it and minimizing some of the harmful greenhouse gas emissions that come when food ends up in a landfill," Jonathan Bloom, the author of American Wasteland, told NPR.

However, just because something may be socialist doesn't mean it's wrong. The greater wrong is the insane waste of money, damage to the environment, and devastation caused by hunger that can easily be avoided.

Planet

The world is dark and full of terrors, but every once in a while it graces us with something to warm our icy-cold hearts. And that is what we have today, with a single dad who went viral on Twitter after his daughter posted the photos he sent her when trying to pick out and outfit for his date. You love to see it.




After seeing these heartwarming pics, people on Twitter started suggesting this adorable man date their moms. It was essentially a mom and date matchmaking frenzy.

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