KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) With the recent news of the death of actor Robin Williams, an East Tennessee mental health counselor is asking people to seek help when fighting depression.
Justin Hall is a mental health counselor at Thriveworks Knoxville, a group dedicated to helping those who are suffering from depression. He said depression is an ugly disease that can show itself in many ways in different people, but help is always available.
"It's such a wide array of things," Hall said. "When people think of depression, they can be thinking anywhere from mood, to a person's actions, to a person's thoughts."
Hall wanted to remind people that places like Thriveworks Knoxville is a place to turn to for those fighting depression, and for those who have loved ones fighting it. He said there are several other places in the East Tennessee area that are here to help as well, and one of the best ways to recognize depression, is to get to know the people in your life. He said communication and strong relationships are some of the best ways to know when someone is dealing with mental health struggles.
He added that when a person's mood or behavior change drastically, that's a tell-tale sign that someone may be fighting against the disease.
"It can be people...have their life going pretty well in all environmental aspects, but chemically, there's something going on," Hall explained.
He said if you know someone is fighting depression, keep an eye on them and pay attention to when their behavior changes, and know where to turn to get at person help.
And if you know someone is fighting it, and it seems they are suddenly doing much better in life and over their depression, it could be a warning sign that the person has made the decision to end their life, and help is needed immediately.
"That's usually a person that has decided to harm themselves, and they have come to terms with it. And that upswing is what's between when they've made the decision, and when they follow through with it," Hall said.
If you or someone you know needs help in the fight against depression, click the link to the right called 'Thriveworks', or call the suicide prevention hotline 24 hours a day at 1-800-272-TALK.