As people become more aware of the impact that mental health can have on everyone around them, there is a lot of discussion on how to keep your mind healthy and how to help your loved ones when they are struggling. Being able to support your friend or family member as they struggle with their mental health usually relies on them telling you that there is a problem. This can be difficult for many people, especially with the stigma around mental health. Here are a few ways that you can recognize if your loved one is going through a hard time:
They appear withdrawn
Sometimes in life, we need a bit of time for ourselves, and then we can come back to the world fully charged and raring to go. However, if someone you know suddenly starts to isolate themselves, stops going to places and doing activities that they would usually like, or maybe they are quieter than usual, they could be struggling with their mental health. Don’t give up on them and stop inviting them out, even if they don’t want to come it shows that you still care by inviting them.
Changes in behavior
Struggling with mental health can cause noticeable changes in people’s behavior and mood. They might have more emotional outbursts than usual. Maybe they suddenly get angry or agitated when they usually wouldn’t. You might notice that they start saying a lot of negative things like, ‘Nobody likes me’, ‘I’m a failure’ or ‘Nobody cares’. Negative thoughts like these could indicate that they are struggling.
If their appetite has changed, this could also be an indicator that something is wrong. People could quickly put on weight or promptly lose it, either could indicate a problem.
When people are struggling with their mental health, some can turn to unhealthy methods to help them cope. You may notice that they have started to drink more alcohol than they would usually or that they have begun to use drugs. The abuse of substances like drugs and alcohol can sometimes exacerbate issues rather than help with them. If you think that the problem is getting serious, you can find out about the services that can help them, such as a men’s or women’s rehab program.
Talk to your friend
If you are worried about your friends, don’t be afraid to ask them how they are doing. You don’t have to explicitly say that you think something is wrong with them, but you can say that they seem a bit off lately. If they decide to confide in you, you can work together to get them the help that they need. If they don’t want help, you can talk about the things that might make them feel better. Getting sleep, eating properly and trying to be more active. If you think that they need it, you could try and suggest that they could see a doctor or talk to an expert, but you should see how the conversation goes and go with your gut.