Robin Williams' Death Opens Depression Discussion - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Robin Williams' Death Opens Depression Discussion

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -

Methodist's Living Well Network's mental health help line has been ringing consistently more than usual during last two days.

Whether or not Robin Williams' suicide is contributing to the influx, the center is glad these people are seeking help for this disease.

“What we may see in someone is not what they're living; that's what they're showing,” said Donna Tosches, Director of the Living Well Network.

On the outside people suffering with depression may be all smiles and jokes, but Tosches said on the inside they feel like they are in a constant fog, unable to eat or sleep or motivate themselves.

“A pervasive sense of loneliness, sadness and isolation, despair and feeling like you're a burden,” said Tosches, “The person who suffers with depression needs to reach out and be able to talk about it, whether that be with a trusted loved one, a primary care physician, a clergy person, to call one of the many different hotlines that are being advertised.

The reason why many people suffering from this disease do not reach out to talk with someone before it's too late: the stigma.

You wouldn't keep quiet about cancer; why keep quiet about depression?

“It's always been stigmatized, mental illness, and demonized and seen as something that you need to blame the person for having or put them at fault,” said Tosches, “We need to take the judgment away. It is an illness, it's a chemical imbalance, it's a brain disorder.”

Methodist Healthcare's Living Well Network, founded by the wife of a man who committed suicide after suffering with depression, offers a short survey to evaluate if a person is depressed and how severe the depression may be.

We all have bad days, but at what point is it clinical depression?

“If this happens for more than two weeks or if it is happening a great deal of time throughout the day where it's impacting your ability to get through your day then that's a significant sign that you need to reach out for help,” said Tosches.

You can visit Living Well Network's website to take the survey and seek out help there, or call them at 901-762-8558. They will also help refer people to other local facilities for help depending on their mental health needs.


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