Key Phrases Of Mental Health. #AtoZChallenge

Published by knightofsteel on

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Whenever we come across someone dealing with mental health issues, we often find ourselves in a deadlock. The sufferer finds it hard to open up to another person and the listener simply cannot figure out what the right thing to say is.

For any conversation, it is important that both the people are as pragmatic and understanding as possible. It is a job which will take two way communication. Here are some of the key phrases that a sufferer could use and ones that he/she can avoid. This will be followed by a short list of words and phrases a listener is advised/not advised to use.

For The Sufferer.

Reaching out for help is always a tough job for anyone suffering from mental health issues like depression or anxiety. We know that 10% of a population is likely to be depressed and I have talked in the past about how the rest of the 90% can help us. Today I wished to write and help suggest some ways in which people can reach out for help for their emotional problems.


The thing about reaching out is that you will have to go in hoping for the best and expecting the worst. In order to make it more likely that you get the help you need, you will have to be courteous and polite while asking someone for help. I know it is easier said than done and I know it is likely that every single instinct in your body would be telling you to push this person away but you will have to fight that and reach out.



A depressed mind is often filled with rage that harbours within against a particular person, a group or society in general. It is hence important that when you do find someone willing to listen, you don’t end up channeling all the anger within yourself on the listener. It is a very common mistake and one that I made as well back when I was struggling to find someone who could help.

For The Listener.


It is very very important that you choose your owrds carefully since a depressed mind is likely to be a highly analytical one which would take every single word of yours through the fine tooth comb. Don’t use “JUST”, the moment you say this word, you might lose all the attention of the person since it is a comparative word and that too, one which puts down the problems. “What About” is another one of those phrases which just take the person’s mind away from you and close you off.

Instead of these words, try to use more words like, I am here, “we”, let the person know that you will be there for them. Let them know that you are in this together and use we as often as possible.


I cant guarantee that using these phrases will work 100% of the time but it will make you appear more open and approachable which is an important requirement on the path to recovery from mental illnesses

All the best.


Sunita · April 11, 2018 at 10:06 PM

You are very right about talking. That eases the person and helps him in opening for talk.

syncwithdeep · April 11, 2018 at 10:30 PM

Could not agree more with the ways you have mentioned for help. K is for Kaleidoscopic Life.

Meena · April 11, 2018 at 11:12 PM

Well written. I wish for more tips to the listener. I have understood what not to say. But what are the appropriate words to say?

    knightofsteel · April 12, 2018 at 12:04 AM

    There are no universal right words to say exactly. It depends on each individual what they want to hear. Letting them know that you understand and are willing to listen could help. For a depressed kind, actions would speak much louder than words. Make sure you follow up after initiation as well.

Akshata Ram · April 12, 2018 at 12:28 AM

Thats very insightful Arjun- we often get tongue tied when someone approaches us with a problem like mental illness infect for that matter any problem. Its important we dont cause damage by unwittingly saying something stupid

    knightofsteel · April 12, 2018 at 9:22 AM

    The thing is, unwittingly, we won’t even know we are saying something stupid. It would be the most appropriate thing we can think of at that point. This is to help with what can be said and how our thinking process should work.

CRD · April 12, 2018 at 2:45 AM

This was an insightful post. Very valuable lessons.

For me the takeaway point was the fact that you should not nimbark the listened with all your pent up rage.

    knightofsteel · April 12, 2018 at 9:20 AM

    Indeed. We are humans too and make mistakes. Sometimes making a small mistake at the wrong time can have disastrous outcomes

Dr Roshan R (@pythoroshan) · April 12, 2018 at 7:43 AM

Well written… and as you mentioned in the comments section, it isnt easy finding the ‘right’ things to say. Have been in this place many a time.

    knightofsteel · April 12, 2018 at 9:19 AM

    The same place as a listener or a sufferer?

Anagha Yatin · April 12, 2018 at 8:37 AM

Good you thought of coming up with these pointers Arjun. Words are two edged swords. You never know when they hurt some one!

    knightofsteel · April 12, 2018 at 9:18 AM

    Indeed Anagha. For a depressed mind, words can mean both, nothing and everything. It is important we choose the right words

An@m! · April 14, 2018 at 8:03 AM

Such an informative post it is. Cant agree more. talking is very much important in depression.

    knightofsteel · April 14, 2018 at 12:32 PM

    It is indeed. Thank you for dropping by 🙂

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