Five phrases you SHOULD say to people suffering anxiety or depression

REVEALED: The five phrases you SHOULD say to people suffering anxiety or depression – after student doctor shared the things you should never say

  • A student doctor has revealed the five things to say to someone with depression
  • Zachery Dereniowski said saying things like ‘I hear you’ can be very helpful
  • The Canadian specialises in educational TikTok videos around mental health 
  • Previously, Zachery shared the five things people say that don’t ever help 

A student doctor who went viral for sharing the things you shouldn’t say to people with anxiety and depression earlier this week has revealed the five things you should say to help. 

Zachery Dereniowski, 27, is a Canadian motivational speaker and medical student at the University of Sydney, and he specialises in mental health and making educational TikTok videos around the subject.

In one of his most recent clips, Zachery revealed why saying things like ‘I hear you’ and ‘I can’t even imagine how difficult this is’ are helpful for people struggling with their mental health. 

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A student doctor who went viral for sharing things you shouldn’t say to people with anxiety and depression has revealed the five things you should say (Zachery Dereniowski pictured)

‘The things you can say to someone in pain include “I hear you”, “I can’t even imagine how difficult this is” and “I’m here for you”,’ Zachery said.

What are the four steps you can take for someone struggling with anxiety or depression?

1. Ask: Are you okay?

2. Listen without judgment.

3. Encourage action.

4. Follow up.

Source: Zachery Dereniowski

Other statements that can be helpful for people include ‘let’s talk about it’ and ‘I want to understand this more so I can help’, as he said this ‘validates’ their feelings and means you are engaging.  

‘You don’t have to be an expert to keep the conversation going when someone says they’re not okay,’ Zachery told FEMAIL.

‘By knowing what to say you can help someone feel supported and access appropriate help long before they’re in a crisis, which can make a really positive difference to their life.’

The four steps Zachery recommends you take with someone who is struggling is that you first ask them if they are okay.

‘Listen to their answer and listen without judgement,’ he said.

Thirdly, you should encourage action and try to encourage them to do something.

‘Lastly, follow up and check in on them.

‘Sometimes, people just want someone to listen to them, to validate their emotions and thoughts, and allow them to feel heard,’ Zachery said.

‘This is something that I think we can all offer to our loved ones.’ 

‘The things you can say to someone in pain include “I hear you”, “I can’t even imagine how difficult this is” and “I’m here for you”,’ Zachery (pictured) said

Earlier this week, Zachery went viral for revealing that sayings like ‘everything happens for a reason’ and ‘keep calm and carry on’ are harmful for people struggling with their mental health.

‘People do not feel better when you say “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” and “everything happens for a reason”,’ Zachery said.

Other quips that fall into this bracket include ‘keep calm and carry on’, ‘get over it’ and ‘time heals all wounds’, the doctor said. 

Zachery revealed the signs that might help you to know whether something is wrong with someone:

‘There are five signs you should check in on someone’s mental health,’ he said.

The doctor highlighted that if they say they are always ‘busy’ or express being ‘overwhelmed’ by things, then you should definitely check in with them.

Zachery (pictured) went viral for revealing that sayings like ‘everything happens for a reason’ and ‘keep calm and carry on’ are harmful for people struggling with their mental health

What are the five signs someone is struggling?

1. If someone says they are ‘tired’ the whole time.

2. If they are going through a difficult life event like divorce or unemployment.

3. If they say they are always ‘busy’ or express being ‘overwhelmed’ by things.

4. If they always brush things off or seem emotionally distant.

5. If they are disengaged in conversation, especially on something they are usually passionate about.

Zachery added that if you work with or know someone who says they are ‘tired’ the whole time, then that is often a sign that their mental health is struggling.

‘If they are going through a difficult life event like divorce or unemployment, this can often be a time when people need extra help,’ Zachery said.

Similarly, if they always ‘brush things off’ that you say or seem emotionally distant, then there might be more wrong than meets the eye.

Finally, the doctor said if a friend or family member is disengaged in conversation, especially on something that they are usually passionate about, then this might mean they are struggling.

Thousands who saw Zachery’s post were impressed with it, writing ‘love this, thank you so much’ and ‘always check in on the ones who check on you’.

‘Broken patterns are another good sign to check in,’ one commenter said.

‘Sometimes they are subtle.

‘Other times, it’s obvious, like not showing up to school or your job.’

 

Anxiety and depression: The facts 

What causes depression?

Research suggests that continuing difficulties – long-term unemployment, living in an abusive or uncaring relationship, long-term isolation or loneliness, prolonged work stress – are more likely to cause depression than recent life stresses. Personal factors like family history, personality, serious medical illness and drug and alcohol use can also play a part. 

What are the signs and symptoms of depression? 

The signs and symptoms are wide and varied, but can include not going out anymore, not getting things done at work or school, withdrawing from close family and friends, relying on alcohol or sedatives, not doing usual enjoyable activities and inability to concentrate. Other signs include feeling overwhelmed, guilty, irritable, frustrated and lacking in confidence.

What causes anxiety?

Some people who experience anxiety conditions may have a genetic predisposition towards anxiety and these conditions can sometimes run in a family. However, having a parent or close relative experience anxiety or other mental health condition doesn’t mean you’ll automatically develop anxiety. Research suggests that people with certain personality traits are more likely to have anxiety. For example, children who are perfectionists, easily flustered, timid, inhibited, lack self-esteem or want to control everything, sometimes develop anxiety during childhood, adolescence or as adults. Anxiety conditions may develop because of one or more stressful life events. Common triggers include a change in work, living arrangements, pregnancy or giving birth, family and relationship problems or major emotional shock.

What are the signs and symptoms of anxiety? 

While each anxiety condition has its own unique features, there are some common symptoms including:

Physical: panic attacks, hot and cold flushes, racing heart, tightening of the chest, quick breathing, restlessness, or feeling tense, wound up and edgy.

Psychological: excessive fear, worry, catastrophising, or obsessive thinking.

Behavioural: avoidance of situations that make you feel anxious which can impact on study, work or social life.

Source: Beyond Blue

Zachery has made a name for himself on TikTok and Instagram, thanks to his informative videos about general and mental health.

He was inspired to become a motivational speaker after he failed his first year of college and was forced to withdraw from the biochemistry program.

But rather than quit after he failed, he decided to use it to his advantage and returned to college to complete his remaining studies.

He now speaks about how failure shouldn’t mean you give up, but rather you should see it as an opportunity to grow. 

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