Signs Of Depression: What To Do, How To Help

By  | 

The death of Robin Williams has a lot of us talking about depression and mental illness.

11 News talked with Dr. Jamie Glover, North Springs Family Medicine, about the signs of depression we should be looking for in our loved ones or even ourselves.

"More people than you realize have at least one or two bouts with depression or some form of mild mental illness throughout their life," Dr. Glover said.

Glover said depression can show many different symptoms. It's more than just being sad. She said trouble sleeping for long periods of time; loss of interest in things you used to love doing; and trouble functioning in big settings like school, work, or even hanging out with friends are all indicators of depression.

"You can't really judge a person who's mentally ill, who's having a bout of depression,” Glover said. “They are not thinking with their right mind. In their mind, in their depressed mind, taking their life really does make sense."

Glover suggests seeking help if you're experiencing these symptoms. If it's a loved one that's struggling, she suggests asking opened ended questions. "Have you had any thoughts of hurting yourself?" is one Dr. Glover often asks patients.

Stay nonjudgmental, empathetic, and relay what you've seen--a change in behavior or mood--and suggest going with them to get help.

"It's just heartbreaking honestly, what happened to Robin Williams, and I do hope at least some good comes out of it. That it gets people talking, it gets people kind of looking at their loved ones and those close friends around them, and if they have noticed any behavior changes or people struggling with those issues," Glover said.

Glover told us depression can often develop from major stress in your life like money or work problems, relationship issues, and grieving a death.

She says if you're looking for help and need a place to start, sometimes it’s as simple as talking to your primary care doctor. She said Peak View Behavioral Health in Colorado Springs can also be a good resource. Glover said they offer same-day evaluations for people who are in crisis.

Tuesday, Governor John Hickenlooper announced he's launching Colorado's first-ever statewide mental health crisis hotline. Mental health professionals are available year round, 24 hours a day to provide solutions and support. The number is 844-493-TALK (8255).