Sticks and Stones…. By Rick Qualls

By: Rick Qualls

Words have the power to heal or to wound.

Depression is a disease that creates low self-esteem. It causes us to perceive events and comments negatively. When we are depressed we are particularly effected by toxic people.

What are some of the things that you may hear when you are depressed and truths to help you as you hear these statements.

“There are others who are worse off than you.”  Depression is not a game of comparison. Regardless of what others are experiencing. That is not the point. You are experiencing a disease that has emotional, physical, and spiritual components. Don’t discount the impact of your depression. You need to address your depression before you can hep others.

“I think you are just trying to hurt me. “ Depression is hard on relationships. Friends and family may feel as though you are distancing from them. They may not understand this is a symptom of the disease. They believe that you don’t want to be with them when the issue is simply a lack of energy for activities or even for the energy relationships take.

“I understand what you are feeling. I was depressed for a few days.” As you are aware, having the “blues” for a short time is not the same as depression. One of the criteria for diagnosing depression is that the symptoms must be present for a minimum of two weeks.  

Generally these are people who are trying to empathize but don’t understand that symptoms of depression are physical, emotional, and spiritual. Often this comment is an attempt to care exhibit care for you.

“You just need to pray more…have more faith…” These comments are like saying to someone who has diabetes to pray more. Implying that depression is a person’s fault because they are not spiritual enough and creates more guilt. Again, these people don’t understand about the disease of depression.

If it is your friend who is depressed it is more helpful to offer to listen, encourage them to seek treatment. Remind them they are precious to God and to you.

You are crazy!“  Run away. Seriously, get distance between you and the person who says that. They are toxic for you.

Let it go…you will get over it.” People don’t understand that the brain is a physical organ that it can have a disease like any other organ in the body. These comments make you feel

“Just cast the demon out, go on medication, or get counseling—and move on.”  We all like quick fixes. But real life is not like that. You are a whole person. Depression effects every part of our life. Healing will probably take time. Healing of whole person is your goal. Remember your path to healing unique.

There are people who care. They may not understand your experience in your depression. But never forget there are people who care.


Two of my favorite Bible verses about words are:

Proverbs 12:18 …but the tongue of the wise brings healing.

Proverbs 16:24 Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.

Words have the power to heal or wound. Seek healing words.

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