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Local resources for depression and suicide

Posted on Aug. 12, 2014 ( comments)
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The tragic news of talented, beloved actor and comedian Robin Williams’ apparent suicide has sparked conversations across the nation about depression and suicide. And they are conversations worth having.

The National Institute of Mental Health puts the number of American adults suffering from a depressive illness in any given year at 18.8 million.

“According to Health magazine, depression is more prevalent than cancer, AIDS and diabetes combined,” says Silvia Riley, manager of Crisis Services with MultiCare’s Behavioral Health Services. "Major depression is the psychiatric diagnosis most commonly associated with suicide — more than 400,000 people in the US attempt suicide every year while suffering with depression.”

These are sobering facts. And, unfortunately, the World Health Organization reports that less than 25 percent of individuals with depression receive adequate treatment.

But depression IS treatable, and proper treatments ARE effective. The key is recognizing the signs and symptoms of depression and getting the help that you or your loved one needs.


What does depression look like?

Depression can be challenging to identify, both for those who are experiencing it, and those around them, because, to an outside observer, a person experiencing depression may appear healthy.

There are two types of depression. In major depression, depression symptoms interfere with one’s ability to function in all areas of life (work, family, sleep, and so on). In dysthymia, a mild but long-term form of depression, the symptoms are not as severe but still can affect your ability to function at normal levels.

Common symptoms of depression include:
  • Agitation, restlessness, irritability
  • Depressed mood (feeling sad or empty)
  • Fatigue or loss of energy
  • Feelings of worthlessness, hopelessness, guilt
  • Lack of interest in previously enjoyable activities
  • Inability to think or concentrate, or indecisiveness
  • Insomnia or hypersomnia
  • Significant weight loss or gain, or decrease or increase in appetite
  • Recurrent thoughts of death, recurrent suicidal ideation, suicide attempt or plan for completing suicide
People experiencing depression feel some range of these symptoms almost every day.

How can you help?

If you or someone you love is experiencing symptoms like those above, an assessment from a trained mental health professional is an important first step. Don’t let fears or stereotypes about mental health keep you from getting treatment that could significantly improve your life. There are many local options for counseling and other mental health services in this area, including MultiCare Behavioral Health Services.

If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, please reach out. There are both local and national resources available to help 24 hours a day, seven days a week in a crisis:

Pierce County Health Crisis Line: 800-576-7764

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-8255

MultiCare’s Behavioral Health Services has been an anchor service in the community for 42 years, offering services throughout Pierce County ranging from standard counseling and assessment services for all ages to mobile crisis outreach for at-risk members of the community. Learn more about all our services online.
Posted in: In the News

About The Author

maura hallam Maura Hallam
Maura is our manager of content services. She writes extensively about health and wellness topics, from fitness and nutrition to medical insurance. You can reach her at [email protected].
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