Asia Macklin, the Baldwin County woman who went missing last week, was found dead in her car Friday. Her death has now been ruled a suicide.
Her family said they didn't see any signs of trouble.
Justin McDuffie spoke to a Macon therapist about what friends and parents should look out for.
Mercer graduate student and former softball player Kaytlin Haney says many of her friendships started on the softball field.
“We spend all the time together, from morning workouts to evening practices. We're always spending time together,” Haney said.
She knows when one of her friends is off or even starting to get depressed.
“They'll get more withdrawn or they'll be really irritable at practice,” Haney said.
Licensed family and marriage therapist Katie Rutland says those are just some of the indicators. She says also be alert for changes in conversation both in person and digitally, sleep patterns, and eating habits.
“Friends can definitely be an excellent first line of defense, especially during those years,” Rutland said. “They're probably going to be a lot closer to you than your parents are, so they’re more likely to recognize those changes sooner.”
She says there are three big factors that lead to depression in young adults: parents, intimate relationships, and school or work.
Rutland says it's never too soon to speak up about those changes with your friend.
“Bring up the facts bring up the changes you’ve seen,” Rutland said. “'Hey man, I know you’ve been canceling. I've been missing you. What’s been going on, man? I want to hang out some more. I’ve noticed you’ve been sleeping all the time.'”
Don’t worry about it being awkward. It’s your duty as a friend to speak up.
“Sometimes it's about putting that fear and concern aside for the chance to save your friend's life,” Rutland said.
That's what Haney did with one of her friends. She talked with her and now she's getting professional help.
“She’s made a complete 180, she's happy, she's content, happy-go-lucky, back to her old self,” Haney said.
If you or someone you know is struggling with depression, help can be found with a simple text to the text crisis line. All you have to do is text the word START to 741-741.
If you’re a teen and need help click here.