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Teachers Reveal How They Help Students Struggling With Depression

You are not alone.

Depression, anxiety, suicide are real and present dangers for anyone at anytime at any age. So many children, pre-teens and teens are coping poorly with their emotional well being. And it's really difficult for any of us to reach out and ask for help. Sometimes a vigilant and caring teacher can become a savior just by making eye contact and listening. They spend the most time with kids on a daily basis. They know what they are seeing.

Redditor u/sgtdogface wanted to hear from teachers on some pointers when trying to assist a student with some emotional issues by asking.... Teachers of Reddit, when can you tell if a student is going through depression or self-loathing? If so, what do you try to do to help?

The Substitute....


In a year of substituting, the biggest thing Ive learned is this:

If a student doesn't seem right. They aren't. If you ever think to yourself, "Huh, thats a strange thing to say?" "Huh, thats not normal for that age group?"

Its because it isn't. My first week a 5th grade boy said to me, "You look like my stepdad (Im a giant burly, bearded man), but you don't seem mean like him. Are you going to stick around?"

My heart BROKE. I excused myself and had the special ed aid look over my class while I went directly to the counselors. AlphaIOmega

Just Being Human.... 

I used to work in schools and I have to say that I always saw the kids I knew needed help as often as I could. They were the kids who didn't have supplies, didn't turn in work, had unreachable parents, were quiet, got bullied etc.... essentially not thriving. All kinds of things can impact a kid's mental heath. I would go out of my way to find them before and after school, show a specific interest in their day and always try to bring their mood up. I also made it clear that I was around and they could come to me if needed. I was (i think) pretty influential in removing a child from a very very difficult home life when I was subpoenaed. The guardian ad litem had told me that the child provided my name as his best friend :'). Basically: show you care and treat kids like humans. tacobellquesaritos

Watch Behavior.... 

Any change in behavior. Usually personal hygiene, attendance, level of interaction. But honestly, as a once extremely suicidal grad student, it was surprising how little people noticed. I showed up for work for barely 4-5 hours, I was quite a bit withdrawn, but I also over-compensated : sometimes I'd make an effort to dress nicely, be more cheerful because I didn't want any one to see what was really going on. I'd hang around till almost midnight to make up for lost hours. Depressed behavior is often contradictory. There's no one way to predict - some people withdraw, some people throw themselves into things further in an effort to distract. You are seeing them for a few hours a day, it is hard to tell what's going in their life. That's why any change from baseline is important doesn't matter which direction it moves in. For me, it didn't end well. I'm still alive and I suppose that's good. Startiblastfast

Mrs. G the Superhero! 

Not a teacher, but I was a student going through this. I was in a small town with virtually no mental health resources. I was lucky enough to have a few teachers see what I was going through, and cut me a bit of slack after watching me go through DHR battles with heavy abuse at home. I went from being a model student with straight A's to someone who showed up when I wanted with no work to turn in.

One teacher in particular started inviting me to dinner, and she requested me as her student aide during my free periods. She would ask me how my home life was, and if things were bad she'd plan sleep overs with her daughter who I'd become close friends with. She made me feel like I was welcome in at least one spot in my life. She and her daughter made me feel loved when I wasn't at home. She probably saved my life in high school.

Thanks Mrs. G. raviolibabie

Make a Connection....


It's always hard to know, so the best thing you can do is let them know you care. If you start with a casual 1-on-1 connection and make it known that you'd like to listen, you can sometimes save a life. NickVerrall

The Open Door.... 

You can tell by changes in attitudes, participation, and grades. These aren't the only indicators, but they are the ones I key off of for my students.

All you can do is make yourself available. There are certain things we are required to report, but all of my students know that if they are having an issue, my door is open, and confidential unless it is a mandatory reporting issue. I am up front with them that there are some things I have to pass along because I don't want to betray their trust.

When students do come to me with concerns, I let them talk. A lot of the time, there isn't much I can actually do, other than be a sounding board for them. I'll make suggestions after they are done if I think they would benefit from speaking to a counselor or give advise if they want it.

I always ask for non reporting issues if they would like me to inform their other teachers so they know what is going on, and if they say no it stops with me. If they say yes, it is usually because they are not comfortable bringing it up themselves. Even if students don't say anything, as a group we let each other know if we notice something is off. Because if they don't talk to me, they might talk to another teacher. Prathin

Nothing is Fine....

This will probably get buried, but I was actually dealing with this today. I have had a freshman (14-15 years old) in my class all year that is super quiet and withdrawn most of the time, but occasionally will contribute the most insightful, well-thought-out, knowledgeable responses in class. He clearly understands the content, but spends 3/4 of the class sleeping or tuning out.

Early on, I noticed that he was clearly bright but not engaging, so I continued to check in with him. He mostly stayed withdrawn, and when I asked him what was going on, he would just shrug. I reached out to home and received no response, and continued checking in with him one on one getting the same shrug.

This past week were parent teacher conferences, and he came in by himself (which a lot of kids end up doing due to parent work schedules). We chatted again, and when I asked him how he was doing, he said, " remember what it was like to be 15," which was the most detailed response I had gotten from him. I told him I had and shared that I had gone through some pretty severed anxiety and depression and didn't receive help until my 20s, and that I wish I had reached out sooner. I then shared with him that we have counseling services on our campus and asked if he wanted me to make an appointment for him, and he said ok, which honestly feels like a huge victory.

I try to get to know each of my kids, and the biggest way I do that is simply by asking them how they are doing each day. May simply respond with, "fine," but occasionally they will offer something more vulnerable. I guess to really respond to your question, I look for what I know and remember, and I try to support them the best I can. princess_mediocrity

The "At Risk." 

It's often hard to tell, and even when we suspect something, it's hard to do anything that will actually help. This semester I see 126 different students over the course of a typical day. As much as I'd like to, it's simply not possible for me to get to know all of my students on anything close to a personal level. I can't be on the lookout for changes in students' behavior if I don't know what their normal behavior is. My school identifies certain students at being "at risk," based on home life, grades, etc., and assigns each teacher two of those students to mentor. I try to check in regularly with my mentees, as well as any student who seems to be acting differently. Of course, depression doesn't just strike the type of person my school labels "at risk."

Even if I notice that something seems off about a student (quiet when they're usually loud, loud when they're usually quiet, avoiding usual friends, unusual amount of missing work, etc), there isn't always much I can do. Depressed people don't want others to know they are depressed. My typical strategy is to quietly pull the student aside and just ask how they are doing. I've gotten everything from "Great! No problems here!" to "My step dad called me a worthless piece of crap this morning, and my ex-girlfriend is pregnant but she isn't sure if it's mine, and I'm failing four classes so I'm afraid I won't graduate, and I think you're about to send me to the principal because I have chewing tobacco in my mouth." If nothing else I try to be a listening ear.

Many of my students don't really have that. The counselors at my school are actually pretty good at helping struggling kids, so if someone needs to talk but doesn't want to talk to me I put them in touch with their counselor.

If a student says they are fine, but I think they might be struggling with depression or something related, I'll reach out to their other teachers, their coaches, and the school counselor to relay my concerns. We'll keep a close eye on the student, but we can't do much else without anything concrete. I've reached out to parents before if I have serious concerns. dromio05

A Group Effort....

I'm not a teacher, but in my senior year of high school, I went through a very rough patch towards the end. I missed 80+ days of school and barely graduated.

At the time I had a phenomenal creative writing teacher. She noticed the work I turned in, as well as my plummeting attendance to class, and when the final project was assigned (which I was not there for) she confronted my group and said to them "If space-reindeer doesn't do her part, she's going to fail my class, which she needs to graduate. You all need to grow up and reach out a hand to your classmate in need."

Each of my group members would individually text me to remind me to complete my project work on time. I know their grades were dependent on it too, but the support they gave me really helped lift me up and actually try to finish strong. I don't think I would have passed that class without them or without that teacher. space-reindeer

You're not a Miracle Worker....


We were talking about self harm and suicide in class and this kid raises his arm and puts it down just as quickly. I call on him and he just kinda shrugged it off and said nothing as wrong. Later in the semester I had a conference with this kids parents and the dad is ripping the kid for getting mostly A's and a B. I mean above the normal you can do better thing most parents do when they are disappointed. It still haunts me that I didn't get the kid to open up to me and ask what's truly wrong in his life. I think about it daily and feel like a horrible person for not doing more to help this student. firedonmydayoff


If you or anyone you know is suffering from depression help is a phone call away.... National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Call 1-800-273-8255

People Reveal The Weirdest Thing About Themselves

Reddit user Isitjustmedownhere asked: 'Give an example; how weird are you really?'

Let's get one thing straight: no one is normal. We're all weird in our own ways, and that is actually normal.

Of course, that doesn't mean we don't all have that one strange trait or quirk that outweighs all the other weirdness we possess.

For me, it's the fact that I'm almost 30 years old, and I still have an imaginary friend. Her name is Sarah, she has red hair and green eyes, and I strongly believe that, since I lived in India when I created her and there were no actual people with red hair around, she was based on Daphne Blake from Scooby-Doo.

I also didn't know the name Sarah when I created her, so that came later. I know she's not really there, hence the term 'imaginary friend,' but she's kind of always been around. We all have conversations in our heads; mine are with Sarah. She keeps me on task and efficient.

My mom thinks I'm crazy that I still have an imaginary friend, and writing about her like this makes me think I may actually be crazy, but I don't mind. As I said, we're all weird, and we all have that one trait that outweighs all the other weirdness.

Redditors know this all too well and are eager to share their weird traits.

It all started when Redditor Isitjustmedownhere asked:

"Give an example; how weird are you really?"

Monsters Under My Bed

"My bed doesn't touch any wall."

"Edit: I guess i should clarify im not rich."

– Practical_Eye_3600

"Gosh the monsters can get you from any angle then."

– bikergirlr7

"At first I thought this was a flex on how big your bedroom is, but then I realized you're just a psycho 😁"

– zenOFiniquity8

Can You See Why?

"I bought one of those super-powerful fans to dry a basement carpet. Afterwards, I realized that it can point straight up and that it would be amazing to use on myself post-shower. Now I squeegee my body with my hands, step out of the shower and get blasted by a wide jet of room-temp air. I barely use my towel at all. Wife thinks I'm weird."

– KingBooRadley


"In 1990 when I was 8 years old and bored on a field trip, I saw a black Oldsmobile Cutlass driving down the street on a hot day to where you could see that mirage like distortion from the heat on the road. I took a “snapshot” by blinking my eyes and told myself “I wonder how long I can remember this image” ….well."

– AquamarineCheetah

"Even before smartphones, I always take "snapshots" by blinking my eyes hoping I'll remember every detail so I can draw it when I get home. Unfortunately, I may have taken so much snapshots that I can no longer remember every detail I want to draw."

"Makes me think my "memory is full.""

– Reasonable-Pirate902

Same, Same

"I have eaten the same lunch every day for the past 4 years and I'm not bored yet."

– OhhGoood

"How f**king big was this lunch when you started?"

– notmyrealnam3

Not Sure Who Was Weirder

"Had a line cook that worked for us for 6 months never said much. My sous chef once told him with no context, "Baw wit da baw daw bang daw bang diggy diggy." The guy smiled, left, and never came back."

– Frostygrunt


"I pace around my house for hours listening to music imagining that I have done all the things I simply lack the brain capacity to do, or in some really bizarre scenarios, I can really get immersed in these imaginations sometimes I don't know if this is some form of schizophrenia or what."

– RandomSharinganUser

"I do the same exact thing, sometimes for hours. When I was young it would be a ridiculous amount of time and many years later it’s sort of trickled off into almost nothing (almost). It’s weird but I just thought it’s how my brain processes sh*t."

– Kolkeia

If Only

"Even as an adult I still think that if you are in a car that goes over a cliff; and right as you are about to hit the ground if you jump up you can avoid the damage and will land safely. I know I'm wrong. You shut up. I'm not crying."

– ShotCompetition2593

Pet Food

"As a kid I would snack on my dog's Milkbones."

– drummerskillit

"Haha, I have a clear memory of myself doing this as well. I was around 3 y/o. Needless to say no one was supervising me."

– Isitjustmedownhere

"When I was younger, one of my responsibilities was to feed the pet fish every day. Instead, I would hide under the futon in the spare bedroom and eat the fish food."

– -GateKeep-

My Favorite Subject

"I'm autistic and have always had a thing for insects. My neurotypical best friend and I used to hang out at this local bar to talk to girls, back in the late 90s. One time he claimed that my tendency to circle conversations back to insects was hurting my game. The next time we went to that bar (with a few other friends), he turned and said sternly "No talking about bugs. Or space, or statistics or other bullsh*t but mainly no bugs." I felt like he was losing his mind over nothing."

"It was summer, the bar had its windows open. Our group hit it off with a group of young ladies, We were all chatting and having a good time. I was talking to one of these girls, my buddy was behind her facing away from me talking to a few other people."

"A cloudless sulphur flies in and lands on little thing that holds coasters."

"Cue Jordan Peele sweating gif."

"The girl notices my tension, and asks if I am looking at the leaf. "Actually, that's a lepidoptera called..." I looked at the back of my friend's head, he wasn't looking, "I mean a butterfly..." I poked it and it spread its wings the girl says "oh that's a BUG?!" and I still remember my friend turning around slowly to look at me with chastisement. The ONE thing he told me not to do."

"I was 21, and was completely not aware that I already had a rep for being an oddball. It got worse from there."

– Phormicidae

*Teeth Chatter*

"I bite ice cream sometimes."


"That's how I am with popsicles. My wife shudders every single time."


Never Speak Of This

"I put ice in my milk."


"You should keep that kind of thing to yourself. Even when asked."

– We-R-Doomed

"There's some disturbing sh*t in this thread, but this one takes the cake."

– RatonaMuffin

More Than Super Hearing

"I can hear the television while it's on mute."

– Tira13e

"What does it say to you, child?"

– Mama_Skip


"I put mustard on my omelettes."

– Deleted User


– NotCrustOr-filling

Evened Up

"Whenever I say a word and feel like I used a half of my mouth more than the other half, I have to even it out by saying the word again using the other half of my mouth more. If I don't do it correctly, that can go on forever until I feel it's ok."

"I do it silently so I don't creep people out."

– LesPaltaX

"That sounds like a symptom of OCD (I have it myself). Some people with OCD feel like certain actions have to be balanced (like counting or making sure physical movements are even). You should find a therapist who specializes in OCD, because they can help you."

– MoonlightKayla

I totally have the same need for things to be balanced! Guess I'm weird and a little OCD!

Close up face of a woman in bed, staring into the camera
Photo by Jen Theodore

Experiencing death is a fascinating and frightening idea.

Who doesn't want to know what is waiting for us on the other side?

But so many of us want to know and then come back and live a little longer.

It would be so great to be sure there is something else.

But the whole dying part is not that great, so we'll have to rely on other people's accounts.

Redditor AlaskaStiletto wanted to hear from everyone who has returned to life, so they asked:

"Redditors who have 'died' and come back to life, what did you see?"


Happy Good Vibes GIF by Major League SoccerGiphy

"My dad's heart stopped when he had a heart attack and he had to be brought back to life. He kept the paper copy of the heart monitor which shows he flatlined. He said he felt an overwhelming sensation of peace, like nothing he had felt before."



"I had surgical complications in 2010 that caused a great deal of blood loss. As a result, I had extremely low blood pressure and could barely stay awake. I remember feeling like I was surrounded by loved ones who had passed. They were in a circle around me and I knew they were there to guide me onwards. I told them I was not ready to go because my kids needed me and I came back."

"My nurse later said she was afraid she’d find me dead every time she came into the room."

"It took months, and blood transfusions, but I recovered."


Take Me Back

"Overwhelming peace and happiness. A bright airy and floating feeling. I live a very stressful life. Imagine finding out the person you have had a crush on reveals they have the same feelings for you and then you win the lotto later that day - that was the feeling I had."

"I never feared death afterward and am relieved when I hear of people dying after suffering from an illness."



The Light Minnie GIF by (G)I-DLEGiphy

"I had a heart surgery with near-death experience, for me at least (well the possibility that those effects are caused by morphine is also there) I just saw black and nothing else but it was warm and I had such inner peace, its weird as I sometimes still think about it and wish this feeling of being so light and free again."


This is why I hate surgery.

You just never know.



"More of a near-death experience. I was electrocuted. I felt like I was in a deep hole looking straight up in the sky. My life flashed before me. Felt sad for my family, but I had a deep sense of peace."



"Nursing in the ICU, we’ve had people try to die on us many times during the years, some successfully. One guy stood out to me. His heart stopped. We called a code, are working on him, and suddenly he comes to. We hadn’t vented him yet, so he was able to talk, and he started screaming, 'Don’t let them take me, don’t let them take me, they are coming,' he was scared and yelling."

"Then he yelled a little more, as we tried to calm him down, he screamed, 'No, No,' and gestured towards the end of the bed, and died again. We didn’t get him back. It was seriously creepy. We called his son to tell him the news, and the son said basically, 'Good, he was an SOB.'”



"My sister died and said it was extremely peaceful. She said it was very loud like a train station and lots of talking and she was stuck in this area that was like a curtain with lots of beautiful colors (colors that you don’t see in real life according to her) a man told her 'He was sorry, but she had to go back as it wasn’t her time.'"


"I had a really similar experience except I was in an endless garden with flowers that were colors I had never seen before. It was quiet and peaceful and a woman in a dress looked at me, shook her head, and just said 'Not yet.' As I was coming back, it was extremely loud, like everyone in the world was trying to talk all at once. It was all very disorienting but it changed my perspective on life!"


The Fog

"I was in a gray fog with a girl who looked a lot like a young version of my grandmother (who was still alive) but dressed like a pioneer in the 1800s she didn't say anything but kept pulling me towards an opening in the wall. I kept refusing to go because I was so tired."

"I finally got tired of her nagging and went and that's when I came to. I had bled out during a c-section and my heart could not beat without blood. They had to deliver the baby and sew up the bleeders. refill me with blood before they could restart my heart so, like, at least 12 minutes gone."


Through the Walls

"My spouse was dead for a couple of minutes one miserable night. She maintains that she saw nothing, but only heard people talking about her like through a wall. The only thing she remembers for absolute certain was begging an ER nurse that she didn't want to die."

"She's quite alive and well today."


Well let's all be happy to be alive.

It seems to be all we have.

Man's waist line
Santhosh Vaithiyanathan/Unsplash

Trying to lose weight is a struggle understood by many people regardless of size.

The goal of reaching a healthy weight may seem unattainable, but with diet and exercise, it can pay off through persistence and discipline.

Seeing the pounds gradually drop off can also be a great motivator and incentivize people to stay the course.

Those who've achieved their respective weight goals shared their experiences when Redditor apprenti8455 asked:

"People who lost a lot of weight, what surprises you the most now?"

Redditors didn't see these coming.

Shiver Me Timbers

"I’m always cold now!"

– Telrom_1

"I had a coworker lose over 130 pounds five or six years ago. I’ve never seen him without a jacket on since."

– r7ndom

"140 lbs lost here starting just before COVID, I feel like that little old lady that's always cold, damn this top comment was on point lmao."

– mr_remy

Drawing Concern

"I lost 100 pounds over a year and a half but since I’m old(70’s) it seems few people comment on it because (I think) they think I’m wasting away from some terminal illness."

– dee-fondy

"Congrats on the weight loss! It’s honestly a real accomplishment 🙂"

"Working in oncology, I can never comment on someone’s weight loss unless I specifically know it was on purpose, regardless of their age. I think it kind of ruffles feathers at times, but like I don’t want to congratulate someone for having cancer or something. It’s a weird place to be in."

– LizardofDeath

Unleashing Insults

"I remember when I lost the first big chunk of weight (around 50 lbs) it was like it gave some people license to talk sh*t about the 'old' me. Old coworkers, friends, made a lot of not just negative, but harsh comments about what I used to look like. One person I met after the big loss saw a picture of me prior and said, 'Wow, we wouldn’t even be friends!'”

"It wasn’t extremely common, but I was a little alarmed by some of the attention. My weight has been up and down since then, but every time I gain a little it gets me a little down thinking about those things people said."

– alanamablamaspama

Not Everything Goes After Losing Weight

"The loose skin is a bit unexpected."

– KeltarCentauri

"I haven’t experienced it myself, but surgery to remove skin takes a long time to recover. Longer than bariatric surgery and usually isn’t covered by insurance unless you have both."

– KatMagic1977

"It definitely does take a long time to recover. My Dad dropped a little over 200 pounds a few years back and decided to go through with skin removal surgery to deal with the excess. His procedure was extensive, as in he had skin taken from just about every part of his body excluding his head, and he went through hell for weeks in recovery, and he was bedridden for a lot of it."

– Jaew96

These Redditors shared their pleasantly surprising experiences.


"I can buy clothes in any store I want."

– WaySavvyD

"When I lost weight I was dying to go find cute, smaller clothes and I really struggled. As someone who had always been restricted to one or two stores that catered to plus-sized clothing, a full mall of shops with items in my size was daunting. Too many options and not enough knowledge of brands that were good vs cheap. I usually went home pretty frustrated."

– ganache98012

No More Symptoms

"Lost about 80 pounds in the past year and a half, biggest thing that I’ve noticed that I haven’t seen mentioned on here yet is my acid reflux and heartburn are basically gone. I used to be popping tums every couple hours and now they just sit in the medicine cabinet collecting dust."

– colleennicole93

Expanding Capabilities

"I'm all for not judging people by their appearance and I recognise that there are unhealthy, unachievable beauty standards, but one thing that is undeniable is that I can just do stuff now. Just stamina and flexibility alone are worth it, appearance is tertiary at best."

– Ramblonius

People Change Their Tune

"How much nicer people are to you."

"My feet weren't 'wide' they were 'fat.'"

– LiZZygsu

"Have to agree. Lost 220 lbs, people make eye contact and hold open doors and stuff"

"And on the foot thing, I also lost a full shoe size numerically and also wear regular width now 😅"

– awholedamngarden

It's gonna take some getting used to.

Bones Everywhere

"Having bones. Collarbones, wrist bones, knee bones, hip bones, ribs. I have so many bones sticking out everywhere and it’s weird as hell."

– Princess-Pancake-97

"I noticed the shadow of my ribs the other day and it threw me, there’s a whole skeleton in here."

– bekastrange

Knee Pillow

"Right?! And they’re so … pointy! Now I get why people sleep with pillows between their legs - the knee bones laying on top of each other (side sleeper here) is weird and jarring."

– snic2030

"I lost only 40 pounds within the last year or so. I’m struggling to relate to most of these comments as I feel like I just 'slimmed down' rather than dropped a ton. But wow, the pillow between the knees at night. YES! I can relate to this. I think a lot of my weight was in my thighs. I never needed to do this up until recently."

– Strongbad23

More Mobility

"I’ve lost 100 lbs since 2020. It’s a collection of little things that surprise me. For at least 10 years I couldn’t put on socks, or tie my shoes. I couldn’t bend over and pick something up. I couldn’t climb a ladder to fix something. Simple things like that I can do now that fascinate me."

"Edit: Some additional little things are sitting in a chair with arms, sitting in a booth in a restaurant, being able to shop in a normal store AND not needing to buy the biggest size there, being able to easily wipe my butt, and looking down and being able to see my penis."

– dma1965

People making significant changes, whether for mental or physical health, can surely find a newfound perspective on life.

But they can also discover different issues they never saw coming.

That being said, overcoming any challenge in life is laudable, especially if it leads to gaining confidence and ditching insecurities.