A doctor has revealed the common phrases you should never say to someone battling anxiety or depression and signs someone you know might be struggling.

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 sayings like ‘everything happens for a reason’ and ‘keep calm and carry on’ are harmful to 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.

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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 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.

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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.’

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.

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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.