Worst Things to Say to a Person With Bipolar Disorder

When your friend or loved one has bipolar disorder, here are the worst things you can tell them.

When your friend or loved one has bipolar disorder, here are the worst things you can tell them.

Supporting Someone with Bipolar - For Family and Friends

Some people trivialize depression (often unintentionally) by dropping a platitude on a depressed person as if that is the one thing they needed to hear. While some of these thoughts have been helpful to some people (for example, some people find that praying is very helpful), the context in which they are often said mitigates any intended benefit to the hearer. Platitudes don't cure depression.

  • "What's your problem?"
  • "Will you stop that constant whining?"
  • "What makes you think that anyone cares?"
  • "Have you gotten tired yet of all this me-me-me stuff?"
  • "You just need to give yourself a kick in the rear"
  • "But it's all in your mind"
  • "I thought you were stronger than that"
  • "No one ever said life was fair"
  • "Pull yourself up by your bootstraps"
  • "Why don't you just grow up?"
  • "Stop feeling sorry for yourself"
  • "There are a lot of people worse off than you"
  • "You have it so good - why aren't you happy?"
  • "What do you have to be depressed about?"
  • "You think you've got problems..."
  • "Well at least it's not that bad"
  • "Lighten up"
  • "You should get off all those pills"
  • "You are what you think"
  • "Cheer up"
  • "You're always feeling sorry for yourself"
  • "Why can't you just be normal?"
  • "You need to get out more"
  • "Get a grip"
  • "Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be"
  • "Get a job"
  • "You don't 'look' depressed"
  • "You're just looking for attention"
  • "Everybody has a bad day now and then"
  • "Why don't you smile more?"
  • "A person your age should be having the time of their life"
  • "The only one you're hurting is yourself"
  • "You can do anything you want if you just set your mind to it"
  • "Depression is a symptom of your sin against God"
  • "You brought this on yourself"
  • "Get off your rear and do something"
  • "Snap out of it"
  • "You're always worried about your problems"
  • "Just don't think about it"
  • "Go out and have some fun"
  • "Just try a little harder"
  • "I know how you feel - I was depressed once for several days"
  • "You'd feel better if you went to church"
  • "Shit or get off the pot"
  • "What you need is some real tragedy in your life to give you perspective"
  • "This too shall pass"
  • "Go out and get some fresh air"
  • "We all have our cross to bear"
  • "You don't like feeling that way? So change it"
  • "You're a real downer to be around"
  • "You are embarrassing me"
  • "You'd feel better if you lost some weight"
  • "You're too hard on yourself. Quit being such a perfectionist"
  • "Don't take it out on everyone else around you"
  • "You are going to lose a lot of friends if you don't snap out of this"
  • "You're dragging me down with you"
  • "You're just being immature"
  • "You are your own worst enemy"
  • "That is life - get used to it"
  • "My life isn't fun either"
  • "You don't care about the rest of us - you're so self-absorbed"

APA Reference
Gluck, S. (2021, December 28). Worst Things to Say to a Person With Bipolar Disorder, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 19 from

Last Updated: January 9, 2022

Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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