Shanon Kaiser author of Find Your Happy shared her personal story of depressiona and how friends and family members can help those close to them who may be suffereing in silence from depression. For more on Shannon's story click here.
Depression has no boundaries. It could be the funniest person, the prettiest person, the smartest person etc, bottom line "we can never judge a person by how their life looks on the outside." It is so hard for people who are depressed to reach out.
Pull Away From Loved Ones
Sudden Change in Behavior
Talk About Feeling Guilty or Depressed
Over Compensation with Personality Traits or Deflection
(Deflecting back on to others, Making people laugh, or smile so the conversation won't come back to you the person who is depressed)
How to Help
Don't expect them to come to you & don't take it personally.
It's not that they don't want to, they can't, most are just trying to make it through the day.) Instead go to them.
Look at what they are not saying
(read between the lines) They may say they are fine, but their actions or body language may differ.
You don't have to fix them, just be present
When it is a loved one who is suffering, many of us will put an enormous amount of pressure on ourselves to help and try to fix the situation, but this causes internal guilt and resentment.
Consistency brings clarity.
Keep showing up and being there for them. A lot of the goal of helping is giving people who suffer a voice and allowing them to be heard. This pulls them out of isolation and helps them feel loved.
Multnomah County crisis line: 503-988-4888
Clark County crisis line: 360-696-9560
Oregon Youth Line: 877-968-8491 or text teen2teen to 839863
Washington crisis numbers by county
Suicide prevention in Oregon
Youth Suicide Prevention in Washington
Discussion guide to help you talk about issues related to suicide
Oregon's Youth Suicide Prevention Plan