Maybe you are at the receiving end of hurtful comments, or a friend or partner has started behaving erratically. If you notice a difference in someone it may be that they are suffering with mental health issues.
Suffering with mental health issues doesn’t mean that a person is heading for the hospital. Even short periods of depression or anxiety can lead to someone acting a little out of character. Maybe they are angry, upset, sad or even appear overly happy.
These feelings can be borne from any event which life throws at us such as the loss of a loved one, divorce and separation, getting older (people talk about a “mid-life crisis”, hormone changes (such as the menopause or thyroid issues), changes in employment or children leaving home. Sometimes it can even be years after a situation that the affects start to take hold.
What can be the cause?
For example, it could be 5 years after a divorce that a person starts to feel lonely, wondering what the future holds for them when they have been unsuccessful in finding “the one” to replace their ex. Or it could be a year after a loved ones death before it suddenly hits home that the person really has gone.
So, what could be the signs that someone needs some extra help with something?
1. Suddenly, YOU are at the receiving end of someone being really horrible. They didn’t used to be like this but now they seem to be bitter about everything and anything and their mood changes are dramatic. Maybe the mood swings are not directed at you, but you are being told by others that they are acting strangely. Do they seem depressed or overly angry about anything and everything?
2. You have noticed a real increase in the amount of alcohol someone is drinking and this is leading to mini-breakdowns or outrageous erratic behaviour.
3. Has the person started complaining that they are not sleeping well?
4. If you notice a change in a persons normal personal care, this could also be a sign. Did they used to be very particular about how they dressed and now they don’t seem to bothered about their appearance?
The overall number of people with mental health problems has not changed significantly in recent years, but worries about things like money, jobs and benefits can make it harder for people to cope.www.mind.org.uk
Other signs to look out for
5. Have they started to withdraw from their normal social interaction and have lost interest in the activities they would usually enjoy participating in?
6. Have you noticed that the person has problems with concentration or that their speech has changed? Do they seem to be lost in other thoughts when you are trying to communicate with them? Do they seem “not quite fully with you” and vague? Does the person seem disconnected?
7. Does the person seem highly sensitive to certain situations which they previously dealt with well; examples could be that a tricky boss is now sending them into a tail-spin or anger towards an ex partner is now the focus of their life.
8. If the person has now lost all their previous drive and ambition to participate in an activity or to succeed, this could signal that they are going through a low-point.
9. It could be that a person has a fear of others or is highly suspicious. They are suddenly nervous and the behaviour is uncharacteristic and peculiar.
10. Have their eating habits changed? Where they used to be into healthy eating and their “body was their temple”, they are now telling you that they can’t be bothered to cook and are happy with ready-meals and take-aways.
It might not be a therapist who helps, but an expert who deals with the problem causing the anxiety.
Facing up to an issue is always a relief, so it could be that finally dealing with a financial situation or speaking to a family lawyer about a divorce is what’s needed.
Take a look in The Hug Directory to find expert help and guidance.The Group Hug
11. Are they imagining things and becoming paranoid? This could lead to them seemingly lying as they believe something is happening to them but you know for a fact that it is not.
12. Are you hearing that their actions and behaviours are upsetting those around them? Are they getting into verbal or even physical fights with others? Is this totally out of character?
Approximately 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year.
In England, 1 in 6 people report experiencing a common mental health problem (such as anxiety and depression) in any given weekwww.mind.org.uk
13. Is the person “forced happy”? Are they putting on an extra happy face for others and in public acting more happy than usual; pretending that everything is ok.
14. If a persons outlook has become very pessimistic, this could be a sign of depression. Are they frequently expecting the worst to happen?
What do I say to someone I suspect may need some help?
If you suspect that someone is going through a rough patch, let them know that you are there for them and are offering them support; make it clear that you can get through this time together. Tell them that they are important to you and that their feelings do not label them as crazy. After all, most of us will go through some, if not all of the above at some point in our lives. Above all, make time to LISTEN.
A hug will always helpThe Group Hug
Where to get help
There are many experts in The Hug Directory who can help get to the root of the problem. Sometimes we feel sad and depressed but don’t know why and it can stem back to something which happened right back in our childhood such as our parents divorcing or a school bully. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Hypnotherapy are just two ways of dealing with these kinds of issues and more.
You can also get free help and advice about mental health issues from the following organisations: