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If you need help, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

Maricopa Integrated Health System.

The signs

  • Changes in mood.
  • Losing interest in favorite activities.
  • Changes in sleep patterns.
  • Apathy.
  • Irritability.
  • Low energy.
  • Hopeless thoughts.
  • Having trouble concentrating.
  • Having thoughts about suicide.
  • Thinking they may be a burden to loved ones.
  • Thinking they have lost purpose.
  • Escalation in substances like alcohol and drugs.

How you can help 

Weinberg said when talking to someone about depression, be assertive and don’t avoid the subject. 

“Don’t think you can coach them into thinking better,” he said.

He said it is important to let them know they are being heard, but to not tell them their feelings don’t matter. 

Olson said it is important to take preventive measures if you are concerned that someone in your household is depressed. 

“You want to remove things from the household that they might easily use to commit suicide,” Olson said. “The prime one being a firearm, either removing it from the household or making sure it is locked up.” 

Also, Olson suggested removing as much medication as possible. 

Olson said it is OK to ask someone if they are having thoughts about suicide, but to be thoughtful about the approach.

“I think it is helpful to lead up to that more slowly,” she said.

If someone admits to such thoughts, it is important to not leave them alone, according to Olson. 

When it comes to co-workers, don’t be intimated by the conversation and feel free to ask for permission to discuss the topic, Weinberg said. 

He suggested asking colleagues if they want to share their feelings or want help finding support. 

Helping someone who lost a loved one

Olson said it is common for people to feel guilty after losing a loved one. 

“I think it is important first to reach out and acknowledge we all try to do the best that we can,” Olson said. “It is impossible to read the mind of another person.” 

Weinberg said people should not be afraid to offer to spend time with someone who is grieving. 

Olson said counseling can be helpful to anyone. Also, there are support groups in the Valley that can help friends and family of someone who has died from suicide.

Resources available

Olson said people can encourage loved ones to visit their primary care doctor. The doctor can determine if the person is experiencing systems associated with a medical problem. 

“Primary doctors can do a full evaluation physically, to make sure there is no physical cause for this person’s mood problem,” she said. “Thyroid condition, for example, can cause depression and some other conditions can as well.” 

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Republic reporter Rebekah L. Sanders is here with #HereToHelpAZ to help you with any consumer-protection issues you may have. Isabel Greenblatt/azcentral.com

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