Student Doctor Advises Five Things To Never Say To Someone With Anxiety Or Depression

by : Julia Banim on : 02 Nov 2020 18:12
Student Doctor Advises Five Things To Never Say To Someone With Anxiety Or Depressionmdmotivator/TikTok/mdmotivator/Instagram

A student doctor has revealed the five things you should never say to a person suffering with anxiety or depression.

Canadian motivational speaker Zachery Dereniowski, who is currently attending medical school at the University of Sydney, specialises in the field of mental health and helps spread awareness through his innovative TikTok videos.


One recent video is a must-watch for those looking how to support friends and family members with anxiety or depression, featuring advice on the type of things you should avoid saying.

You can watch the vid below:


UNILAD caught up with 27-year-old Zachery, a self-described ‘former college dropout’ who said he knows all too well what it’s like to feel as if you’ve hit ‘rock bottom’.


Now a soon-to-be doctor and a well-known name on TikTok, Zachery, 27, hasn’t always enjoyed such admirable success, having once been a struggling student with a 0.59 GPA.

Speaking with UNILAD, Zachery explained:

Through my own story of adversity, I have developed a formula that I now use to motivate others via social media, ‘Vulnerability = Relatability = Empowerment’. My mission is to advocate for mental health and empower others to take control of their lives.

doctor tiktokmdmotivator/TikTok

According to Zachery, 2020 has helped teach him just how ‘superficial’ his understanding of ‘motivation’ really was, prompting him to try and learn more about the deeper complexities of mental health.

Zachery learned through those with lived experiences of mental illness, as well as from the wisdom of qualified professionals. Now, his deceptively simple TikTok videos are educating others in turn.

However, Zachery told UNILAD that he doesn’t regard himself to be an expert by any means, remarking that he is an ‘advocate, not a guru’:

I do my best to use my social media platform to raise awareness, destigmatize (not sensationalize) mental health, give people a voice to be heard in hopes that they seek the support they deserve.


Speaking about his viral ‘People do NOT feel better when YOU say’ vid – which has been watched nearly 18,000 times at the time of writing – Zachery explained that those who use words and phrases from the list aren’t necessarily coming from a place of disrespect.

According to Zachery:

I think it stems from a place of lacking understanding, unable to put themselves in another person’s shoes. This video was like many others I have created.

Sometimes people don’t always want ‘answers’ or ‘solutions’. Sometimes, people just want someone to listen to them, validate their emotions and thoughts, and allow them to feel heard. Something that I think we all can offer to our loved ones.


For Zachery, one of the best things about creating his videos is that they will often reach the spouses, partners or best friends of those with mental health problems. Armed with this information, they can learn how to better support their loved ones.

He explained:

These videos, although quite simplistic, offer a new perspective and let them see their significant other’s situation in a new light. The chain reaction that some of these 15 second videos have had, leaves me speechless daily.

It’s all too easy to say the wrong thing under difficult or pressurised circumstances, but we all have a responsibility to educate ourselves on how we can make things a little easier for those around us.

You can check out Zachery’s TikTok page here.

If you’re experiencing distressing thoughts and feelings, the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) is there to support you. They’re open from 5pm–midnight, 365 days a year. Their national number is 0800 58 58 58 and they also have a webchat service if you’re not comfortable talking on the phone.

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Julia Banim

Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.

Topics: Health, Anxiety, depression, doctor, Now, TikTok


Zachery Dereniowski/TikTok
  1. Zachery Dereniowski/TikTok