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Idaho specialists warn against depression

Idaho specialists warn against depression

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho - In the aftermath of Robin Williams' death, behavioral experts explain that the symptoms of depression are becoming more widely acknowledged across the nation.

Licensed master social worker Aaron Schaerrer said there were more than 40 suicides in the state last year. A 2010 study ranks Idaho No. 6 in the U.S. for the number of suicide victims.

"There are several reasons for that, which includes a lack of resources and mental education," he said.

Experts say Idahoans are less likely to seek professional help when it comes to mental and behavioral illnesses. Schaerrer said there are many misconceptions about who can fall victim to depression.

"We are our worst enemies. We take it out on ourselves and there are only so many resources to go around. Regardless of if you're below the poverty line or in the upper 10 percent of those who have access to resources, those eventually run out and run dry," he said.

Specialists said the first line of defense is family and friends. The following could be warning signs:

- Sadness

- Loss of interests

- Changes in sleep patterns

- Irritability (especially in teens)

- Hopelessness

- Obsession with death or thoughts of suicide

If you feel you or a loved one is at risk of suicide, call the suicide hotline at 1-800-273-8255.

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