Mental Health Awareness

Erica Walters

Causes of Depression

Depression may be caused by a number of factors. Common are stress, death of a friend or family member, bullying, financial troubles, and change in lifestyle. Other causes may include:

  • Weather patterns
  • Drug or alcohol abuse
  • Illness
  • Hereditary patterns
  • Lack of sleep
  • Issues in society/news
  • Dysfunctional family relationships

Signs of Depression

A variety of signs may be exhibited to indicate depression. Common signs to look for include:

  • Mood swings
  • Indifference in usually enjoyed matters
  • Changes in appetite
  • Changes in food choice (more sweet or salty foods)
  • Wanting to stay home
  • Failing grades/work ethic
  • Changes in attitude

What to Do to Help Someone Who Is Depressed

Assisting someone with depression can be difficult. The best way to help someone with depression is to reach out to them. Ways to do so and other ways to help include:

  • Inclusion in activities
  • Making them feel wanted
  • Re-introducing hobbies
  • Talking meaningfully to the depressed person
  • Being understanding
  • Using resources like psychologists
  • Prescribed medication

Signs of Suicidal Thoughts

If depression is severe enough, suicide could be on the mind of the depressed person. It's extremely important to know when this is happening. Signs to look for are:

  • Obsession with death
  • Talking about suicide
  • Giving away treasured belongings
  • Obtaining means of committing suicide
  • Sudden change in mood, either for the better or worse
  • Saying goodbyes, as if final

Suicide Prevention

If any of the signs above are exhibited, it is crucial that help is immediately found. What to do:

  • Talk to the person; let them know their significance to you
  • Alert close family members and friends of the person
  • Call a suicide hotline on account of the person
  • Alert Safe2Tell
  • Alert police
  • Don't leave the person alone
By recognizing the signs of depression and suicide and knowing what to do when someone exhibits those signs, lives could be made better and even saved. This means that is it very important to be able to know the signs above and always be cautious about depression and suicidal thoughts. Whoever you are able to help, if even yourself, will always thank you!