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Helping a friend struggling with depression: Tips from Dr. Randy Auerbach



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One in five adolescents will experience depression.

One of your friends or

classmates very likely has experienced depression or may experience depression

at some time during their adolescence.

Depression affects adolescents in very

different ways. For some they'll experience sadness, irritability, or just

might be tired. For others it might hurt or it might feel like it will never end.

And yet for some teens they may experience suicidal thoughts.

But it's important to remember that suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.

If you see a friend or classmate struggling with depression it could be really overwhelming.

It could be that it triggers feelings of sadness, worry, or exasperation.

And if that's the case you should take stock of how it's affecting

you and also seek out help or guidance on how to manage these uncomfortable feelings.

If you see something say something.

Talk to a parent, a teacher,

a trusted adult, a guidance counselor.

Talk to someone to figure out what resources

you can find to help your friend in need.

One of the best things you can do when

your friend is struggling with depression is simply to be supportive.

Don't feel like you have to be a therapist. Be a friend and help them find

the resources that they may need to manage their depression. One incredible

resource might be simply starting with their physician.

Most teens struggling with depression and suicidal thoughts do not seek help.

Not getting treatment is a missed opportunity. Getting treatment earlier when the symptoms begin to arise

will lead to better outcomes. And there are now many therapies that were

specifically designed to help teens manage feelings of depression and suicidal thoughts.

No one needs to struggle with these issues alone.

If you notice someone's struggling talk with them. Listen to them. And help them find

the resources that they may need.

Mental illness touches all of us at some point in our lives.

Talk about it and share your experiences with someone you trust.

Pledge to live in a world without suicide.

A world in which we find help for our friends and loved ones.