Signs of Depression

Posted on March 4, 2011

Everyone needs someone who cares. One of the most important factors in mental health is the support and acceptance of friends. Friends can make a difference by offering encouragement, understanding, and emotional strength. Anyone, however, can be affected by mental illness. Knowing what mental illness looks like and what to do can help those you love through their tough times.

What does depression look like?

  • the person stops talking to friends or relatives
  • becomes worried or sad
  • lack of energy or sleeps most of the day
  • no longer wants to do anything they used to enjoy
  • begins to act differently

Many people don’t realize that serious mental illness is high among 18-25 year olds. Sadly, this group has the lowest rate of people seeking help. Don’t let age fool you!

What can you do?

  • Be non-judgmental; express your concern
  • Show support by just being a friend
  • Reassure them that you are there for him/her
  • Ask what you can do
  • Assure them people can and do get better
  • Encourage them to see a professional

Mental illness is no different from physical illness. Most people do get better and many recover completely. There are more treatments, therapies and community support systems than ever before. Be a friend; if you know of someone who is struggling with the symptoms mentioned above, encourage them to seek help.

Adapted from SAMHSA What a Difference a Friend Makes

Written By:  Rebecca Heger, MA, LMHC, LCAC, MAC

Rebecca Heger is a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Therapist and Licensed Clinical Addiction Counselor practicing in Indianapolis, IN.  She has over 30 years of experience working with adolescents through young adults and their parents.  Rebecca is credentialed to conduct drug assessments for schools or juvenile court.

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NzE6Imh0dHA6Ly9ncm9mZmFuZGFzc29jaWF0ZXMuY29tL3dwLWNvbnRlbnQvd29vX3VwbG9hZHMvMy1ncm9mZl9oZWFkZXIucG5nIjt9PC9saT48L3VsPg==