How to Recognize Depression

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There are several ways to tell if a person is depressed.

"They could be withdrawing from activities they used to find enjoyable, they could be no longer hanging out with their friends, they could be neglecting their work activities, they could be neglecting their home responsibilities and just general isolation," said Mark Phillips, a Mental Health First Aid Trainer.

Jed Magen of MSU's Psychology Department added people with depression have low moods and little motivation. And, worldwide, depression causes more disability than almost any other disorder.

Magen said, if you recognize a person is depressed, it's necessary to get them help before their disorder becomes fatal.

"Don't ever assume that they're not gonna make an attempt, so call a hotline, take 'em to the emergency room, whatever, you may save a life by doing that," Magen explained.

The Community Mental Health Authority of Clinton, Eaton and Ingham Counties offers adult training once a month.

"People are sometimes afraid to ask a person directly are you suicidal, are you thinking of killing yourself, do you have a plan. So, those are some things we go over in our training and we really emphasize to talk to the person," Phillips said.

Phillips explained that most depressed people feel alone and sometimes just talking with someone is enough.

The Community Mental Health Authority's training on helping people with mental illness is free. You can register for one of the Mental Health First Aid classes by calling Becky West at (517) 346 - 8366.