Is your friend acting different and you’re concerned that it may be depression?
Today we are going to talk about warning signs to know if your friend may be depressed and how you can help.
Before we jump into that, I wanted to thank you for being a great friend! It is awesome to have people like you in the world who help their friends during difficult times.
Now, here are a few warning signs.
Your friend may be distancing from your crew, attending activities/practice, or not going to their classes.
They are purposely isolating themselves and refusing to get out of the house and/or reply to text messages. They are also not on social media as much or liking and commenting a lot less, if at all.
You may notice their energy levels are lower than usual. Examples of this may be: not putting effort into their outfits, hair is messy, less make up, etc. or they aren’t laughing as much and when they are laughing it seems forced. You know your friend best so you know what I’m talking about.
Phrases are negative
They are constantly saying negative things about their environment or themselves.
For example, when you talk about something positive they respond with a negative remark.
Especially when it’s something positive about themselves. They are quick to reply with “that’s not true” or “I’m not good enough.”
You may find cut or burn marks on your friends arms, legs, or other parts in the body. The cuts and burn marks don’t look accidental and seem to be intentional.
Your friend may be experimenting more often with drugs or alcohol.
These are just a few signs that your friend may be struggling with depression.
Not everyone is alike and some friends are better at hiding their depression than others.
For example, I have a friend that is always smiling, laughing and seems to have it all together but still struggles with depression from time to time. If it weren’t for her opening up I would’ve never known.
How can I help?
ASK. SUPPORT. ASSIST.
Simply ask by saying something like, “Hey, I noticed you’ve been a little down than usual, is everything ok?” Or “Hey, I noticed those marks on your arm, how did that happen?”
When asking make sure to use a neutral voice. Although you are a great concerned friend, the other person may not be ready to talk about it.
Telling your friend that you are there for them goes a long way.
We can’t remove their feelings but we can hear them out and sometimes that’s all they need.
If you are really concerned with your friend, please tell a trusted adult.
If you don’t have one, you can call 211 for support.
211 is an anonymous helpline for teens and adults.
**None of the warning signs alone or together are an indication directly related to depression but just things to look out for.In case of an emergency:
call: the suicide prevention number 1-800-273-8255 or 911
text: HOME to 741741