Unhelpful Expressions to People in Crisis

I saw a post on LinkedIn the other day with a sign that said, "Things will get better." And the poster tagged mental health awareness.

I am sure that person meant well, and I know it can be awkward when dealing with someone fighting depression or some other mental struggle, but instead of awkwardly spitting out phrases to cheer them up or inspire them, we should probably just BE with them. Show them love and respect; no words necessary.

Remember perspective. We're not talking about someone's temporary mood, but instead someone who is struggling with trauma or other unhealed emotional responses. When we use some of these phrases, people may think we don't understand or are uncaring... some will be deeply hurt, which is mostly likely the opposite of what you wanted to accomplish.

So... no shaming here. This message is purely educational. When we understand mental health, it changes our perspective. Focus on simply loving the person, showing you care.

Avoid These Comments to People Who Are Struggling
  • Stay positive or... You need to think positively.

  • You're overthinking things.

  • It will all get better.

  • We all get depressed at times.

  • Stop being so selfish.

  • I know how you feel.

  • So many people have it worse than you.

  • You just need to snap out of It/get over it.

  • Don't take yourself so seriously.

  • Cheer up.

  • Be strong.

  • You don't seem that sad.

  • You think you have it bad? Let me tell you...

  • It's all in your head.

  • This too shall pass.

  • Try and rise above it.

Final Thoughts on Helping Loved Ones in Crisis

Best Advice: Instead of empty words and phrases, simply be with the person... and ask how you can help.

If the person is in a life or death crisis, please call 911 or 988 (mental health hotline).

Additional Resources on Helping Loved Ones in Crisis

Dr. Randall Hansen is an advocate, educator, mentor, ethicist, and thought-leader... helping the world heal from past trauma. He is founder and CEO of EmpoweringSites.com, a network of empowering and transformative Websites, including EmpoweringAdvice.com.

He is the author of the groundbreaking Triumph Over Trauma: Psychedelic Medicines are Helping People Heal Their Trauma, Change Their Lives, and Grow Their Spirituality and the well-received HEAL! Wholeistic Practices to Help Clear Your Trauma, Heal Yourself, and Live Your Best Life.

Dr. Hansen's focus and advocacy center around true healing ... healing that results in being able to live an authentic life filled with peace, joy, love. Learn more by visiting his personal Website, RandallSHansen.com. You can also check out Dr. Randall Hansen on LinkedIn.