Just that really. It was only when someone at my DH's work went off with stress and other issues and he'd brought home some leaflets to read on how to help him and how to spot signs of mental health issues in his team that the penny dropped and I realised that she was displaying many of the signs: withdrawal, touchy, always complaining or moaning, weight gain, addiction to diet coke and many others but never seeming to get out the rut. She lives far away so we only get to meet once or twice a year and each time she gets worse in that it's a weekend of constant moaning about how shite her life is. I got to the point where I can't be arsed listening to her anymore but these leaflets really got me thinking that she is suffering from depression without knowing it. It's hard to be supportive when she's so far away and easy for her to withdraw - hardly replies to texts or emails and if she does they are terse. Too busy to take calls etc. We've a girly weekend booked in September and myself and another friend are going to try to talk to her about it gently. I can't help feel like I'm about to poke a tiger with a hot stick but I really do think she needs professional help. Other friend agrees.
I'm a massive depressive and I would say : 1.I reckon you're right, she sounds like she's in a hell of a state but is externalising it by saying it's the world that's at fault, not her. 2. It would be lovely of you to offer her support, and you may well be one of the best people to do it. On behalf of miserable sods everywhere, and using you as proxy for my long-suffering friends and family, thank you. 3. I would just come straight out and say it - "things seem to be getting you down a lot lately, do you think you might be a bit depressed?" 4. Notwithstanding 2., you may not get as much thanks as you deserve. Not initially, anyway. Or conversely you may find that she wants to talk ALL the time.