Many people have hit a point of feeling overwhelmed with the pressures of daily life. For some, this feeling can pass with time. But for people dealing with major depression, the situation can easily feel hopeless or out of control.
If your loved one struggles with depression, you want to do what you can to help. It can be tough to hear someone you love say “I hate my life.” But the right response can help them see they’re not alone, and that hope is available.
“I Hate My Life”: Why does your loved one feel this way?
Millions of Americans suffer from depression. And yet, it’s easy to feel alone when dealing with its symptoms. “I hate my life” is a common response to feeling alone and hopeless.
Depending on the individual, depression may be triggered by stressful life events, it could be genetic, or it may be due to problems with mood regulation in the brain. In any case, depression is a real illness. And while it is treatable, it can take some time for your loved one to finally seek treatment.
What not to say to someone with depression
When a loved one suffers from depression, you want to help. You certainly wouldn’t want a friend or family member to feel as if their life is worthless. So your first instinct may be to respond in a way that dismisses the feeling or attempts to redirect.
However, it’s important to remember that depression is not a fleeting feeling of sadness. And what’s worked for you before may not work for someone with a mental health disorder. Here’s what you should avoid saying if someone shares their feelings of depression.
- “Suck it up.” Depression is a serious illness requiring treatment. Attempting to hide the problem may only worsen the symptoms over time.
- “A lot of people have it worse than you.” While this may be true, your loved one’s depression makes it feel as if the problem is severe. Besides, this may only make your loved one feel worse about feeling so badly when it’s “undeserved.”
- “You’ll feel better if you…” Prescribing a solution for depression won’t solve the root of the problem. Simply going outside, watching TV, or reading a book may be a welcome distraction, but the illness won’t go away.
So what should you say?
If someone says “I hate my life,” they’ve likely used up a lot of courage to share their feelings. Mostly, they just want someone to listen. By listening carefully and responding in a thoughtful way, you can help someone see that there is hope for a fulfilling life ahead.
- “I’m here for you.” When a loved one is in a dark place, it’s good to know you will be there for them no matter how bad things seem. However, it’s important to follow this up with action, following up on them until they’re ready to seek treatment (and continuing into their recovery).
- “Depression is real.” This can help more than you realize. Coupled with depression is often a feeling that their sadness is invalid, and that something is wrong with them for feeling this way. You can help by acknowledging that this hopelessness may be a symptom of depression, that depression is a very real illness that can be treated, and that they are not alone.
- “I’m happy to help you find treatment.” It’s always helpful to tell someone with depression that this is not the end, and that they are not alone. But it’s even better when you can encourage them to seek treatment.
Hope is available from the team at Rosecrance. Find mental health treatment by calling Rosecrance at (866) 330-8729.