In the after math of the tragic passing of comedian Robin Williams the nation has begun a much needed conversation about the seriousness of depression.  Here's some warning signs and advice on how you can help someone who might be going through a dark time in their lives.

Sure, you can get sad or disappointed when life hands you lemons.  You make even tell your friends you're "depressed" while trying to explain your feelings.  However clinical depression like what Robin Williams was suffering from is much more than being sad or disappointed. According to the CARE department at Boise State University, depression totally takes over a person's day-to-day life.  Feelings of helplessness, hopelessness and worthlessness make if almost impossible to study, work, eat, sleep or have fun. Here's some information from the CARE department on depression.

Warning Signs

  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Anger
  • Inconsistent attendance in work or class
  • Withdrawal from friends
  • Thoughts of destruction

Things To DO While Helping Someone With Depression

  • See the person in private when possible
  • Mention that you’ve noticed s/he appears to be feeling down, and that you want to help
  • Encourage the person to talk about her/his feelings

Things NOT To Do While Helping Someone With Depression

  • Ignore the person.
  • Minimize the situation (e.g., by saying “everything will be better tomorrow”).
  • Argue with the person or chastise him/her for poor/incomplete work.

If you are experience feelings like the ones mentioned above so badly, that you feel like you can't go on there is someone available to talk to and who will not judge you for your feelings 24 hours a day through the Idaho Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.

We talked to Danielle Youngblood, a nurse at Intermountain Hospital, who also told us the hospital also has a 24 hour line (377-8400) that people can call and support groups every Monday evening.

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