Death of Robin Williams shines light on depression, treatment

Death of Robin Williams shines light on depression

ABILENE, Texas - Comedic actor Robin Williams' death has put the spotlight on depression and treatment.

Locally, the Abilene Behavioral Health Center deals with patients who are suffering from chronic depression. There are currently 37 adults in their inpatient program, and patients qualify for the program if they are contemplating, planning or having attempted suicide.

CEO Sheila McDermott-Lord provided insight on what people fighting depression go through.

"There is a loss of interest in everything that is meaningful in their life," McDermott-Lord said. "They find no happiness in anything."

Imagine living in a concrete box with no sun. McDermott-Lord said that is how some of her patients with depression feel, and the inpatient treatment facility is reserved for those in dire need.

Patients who suffer from chronic depression are stuck with it for the entirety of their life – and it takes a community to treat the illness.

"It's a multi-facteral, multi-faceted disease," McDermott-Lord said. "That actually takes a community to treat."

If you think someone is suffering from depression, there are steps that can be taken: One, be there for them -- listen and ask questions, and two, encourage them to get help.

Suicide has been a national problem as well. It is the second leading cause of death for youth ages 10 to 24.

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