To see anyone struggle with mental illness isn’t pleasant, but when it’s a close friend, the feelings are even worse. Everyone’s mental health journey is different, and it’s very rare that someone can get through troubling times without a little bit of help from others.
Because people still face a stigma around mental health struggles, some people won’t open up when they’re having a hard time. We’ll give you some tips on how to tell if a friend is struggling with mental health so you know what to watch for.
They Have Trouble With Everyday Tasks
There’s an unfortunate misconception that people struggling with mental health issues are lazy because they let certain tasks fall by the wayside. The truth is that dealing with a mental health issue can be so taxing that trying to deal with mundane problems becomes impossible. If someone close to you seems to be neglecting everyday tasks like cleaning, cooking, or even bathing, offer to share a bit of the burden. You could help them clean their house or cook them some meals.
They Seem To Be Retreating From Others
If you ever feel your connection with a friend beginning to strain, it may not be a problem with the relationship itself. Sometimes, people struggling with mental health problems will isolate themselves so they don’t burden others. You can tell if a friend is struggling with their mental health if they start to cancel plans a lot or seem to drop off the face of the earth. Reach out and let them know they aren’t a burden just because they struggle with things.
They Fall Into Unhealthy Coping Methods
Coping with mental health issues is a process that’s different for every person. However, some methods simply don’t work; all they do is mask the problem rather than improve it. Alcohol and drug abuse are two common unhealthy coping strategies people can fall into when struggling with their mental health. Don’t attack your friend over these poor choices. Simply tell them you’re concerned about their well-being since they started these habits.
Their Moods Have Drastically Changed
No one is ever in one mood for their entire life. The difficult part is noticing when someone’s moods shift drastically enough that you can notice something’s wrong. It requires you to understand your friend very well. If you notice that your friend isn’t reacting to things like usual, or if they react poorly to something that wouldn’t have bothered them before, it could be a sign they’ve undergone a large change in their mindset.