Depression on the rise, a BR organization aims to help

Photo provided by staff.

POSTED: Tuesday, August 12, 2014 - 5:53pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, August 13, 2014 - 10:02am

We are learning in light of his death, that actor Robin Williams suffered from severe depression, and there are millions just like him in the U.S. Nearly 16 million adults were diagnosed with depression last year alone.

Under the smiles and the laughter can hide anguish, anxiety and pain. Those are some things people people who live with depression often deal with.

"I think sometimes people will put on a mask. In the case of Robin Williams, he was an extrovert, very outgoing, and most people didn't know what he was hiding inside," said Margo Abadie. "It takes a lot of emotional energy to keep up that laughter and engaging with others on the outside, when on the inside you're really hurting."

Nearly 10% of Americans are diagnosed with depression, and that's one of the factors that can lead to suicide. Margo Abadie counsels family members who lost a loved one who took their own lives.

"People who have had a suicide attempt will often say 'I loved my family very much, but I wasn't thinking of them at that point in time," Abadie explained.

Abadie has worked at the Baton Rouge Crisis Intervention Center for 15 years. She said in that time, she has also seen a lot of people who suffer from depression.

"In his case and many others, it is that feeling of being alone. Even though, they are with other people. It's that feeling of isolation," Abadie said.

Isolation is one of many signs.

"Lack of concentration, inability to focus, and of course the other things like lack of sleep, not eating, certainly tired, fatigued," Abadie continued.

Abadie said support from family and friends is crucial to help someone who may have the mental illness, but also getting help as soon as possible.

"Well I think the best thing is to get them to a health professional or a mental health professional as quickly as possible," Abadie said.

If you think you or someone you know is battling depression and needs help, you can contact any of the numbers below for free and everything is confidential:

24-Hour Crisis Counseling:

Louisiana 211

Online Emotional Support  

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Great story- we need more volunteer agencies like this to help - so many people cannot afford private services.

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