By: Capt. Martha Nigrelle

Depression awareness and Domest violence prevenetionOctober is National Depression Awareness and National Domestic Violence Prevention Awareness Month. 

“It is important to help others find professional care who may have undiagnosed or uncontrolled depression and are showing obvious signs,” said Army Capt. Hunter Smith, Resilience, Risk, Reduction, and Suicide Prevention Officer in Charge. “These people are hurting and need help.  We would assist someone with an obvious physical injury in need of medical care, so why not one who is suffering emotionally?”

The Texas Military Forces (TXMF) has a number of resources available to assist any member of our TXMF family who may be suffering from depression or the victim of domestic violence.  Licensed therapists and counselors are available 24-hours a day to respond to calls, and to provide long-term and short-term counseling to those in need.

“Our counseling line is for people who need to talk or are having a crisis,” said Jo Ann Brandon, TXMF Director of Psychological Health.

It is also important to help your friends.  Knowing how to recognize and report the symptoms of depression and domestic violence could result in saving a life.  If you see any of the following symptoms in one of your battle buddies or wingmen, report it to get that service member help.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, common signs of depression include:

  • Loss of interest
  • Trouble sleeping or eating and excessive sleeping or overeating – that does not go away or continues to get worse
  • Persistent sad, anxious or “empty” feelings
  • Thoughts of suicide or suicide attempts
  • Feelings of hopelessness or worthlessness

If you, or someone you know, are experiencing depression or thoughts of suicide, call the 24-hour TXMF Counseling line at 512-782-5069 (if voicemail picks up, your call will be returned within the hour), the national Suicide Prevention hotline at 1-800-273-TALK, or the Veterans Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255 to speak with an experienced counselor.

According to East Texas Crisis Center, common signs of domestic violence include the following behaviors being inflicted on a person:

  • Destructive Criticism/Verbal Abuse
  • Intimidation and Manipulation
  • Abusing Authority
  • Disrespect
  • Abusing Trust
  • Breaking Promises
  • Emotional Withholding
  • Minimizing, Denying & Blaming
  • Economic Control
  • Self-Destructive Behavior
  • Isolation
  • Harassment
  • Destruction
  • Threats
  • Sexual and Physical Violence

If you, or someone you know is the victim of domestic violence, call 512-782-5069 to speak with a TXMF counselor. If it is a medical emergency, call 911.