Know The Signs

Is your friend depressed?

Depression can affect anyone. There are many physical problems may present themselves as depression. Depression is one of the most common psychological problems, affecting nearly everyone through either personal experience or through depression in a family member. It can interfere with normal functioning, and frequently causes problems with social and family adjustment. It causes pain and suffering not only to those who have the problem, but also to those who care about them. It’s important to learn what depression looks like and what to do if you spot the warning signs.

It can be difficult to know the difference between having a bad day and needing to seek help from a behavioral health professional or counselor. But how would you really know that someone you care about needs to seek help from a professional?

The first place to start is to understand the signs and symptoms. These are widely varied, and some may not apply. However, if you are noticing that you or someone you love is experiencing symptoms that are occurring over a period of time (not just a day or two), and severe enough that they are causing problems in daily life, it is probably a good indication that you should tell a TRUSTED ADULT such as a teacher, parent, counselor, etc.

What you should watch for

  • Talking about, writing about, hinting at or threatening suicide (such threats precede four out of five deaths by suicide)
  • Alcohol or drug abuse
  • Drastic changes in personality (for example, a person might become rebellious or reckless)
  • Losing interest in favorite activities
  • Sleeping too much or too little
  • No appetite or overeating
  • Previous suicide attempts
  • Giving away prized possessions
  • Fatigue, lethargy or apathy
  • Doing poorly in school
  • Social withdrawal or isolation
  • Drastic changes in appearance
  • Feelings of hopelessness or helplessness
  • Conflicts with friends and family

What You Can Do

  • Listen to your friend without judging him/her.
  • Encourage them to tell you how they feel and what is on their mind.
  • Tell a trusted adult…parent, teacher, counselor, doctor.

If it is an actual emergency: DIAL 911

To access information visit our Hotline page.

To talk with someone call The Samaritans’ hotline at 401-272-4044.

Suicide Prevention Resources for Rhode Island Residents

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