This week, I wrote a post about people sharing, "What is a sign of a cry for help that isn’t obvious to the average person?" People provided fascinating, important examples of small behavioral changes in others that can be signs that something is wrong.
Our very own BuzzFeed Community shared their examples that everyone should look out for. Here's what they said:
1."Anger is a sign. But no one likes angry people, so often it’s not seen as a red flag."
2."I avoid talking to people over messenger because I'm worried about bothering them. I apologize for things and end up sending people money in the hopes that they might tolerate me. I don't bring up how I'm feeling because they'd probably see it as selfish. I try to make jokes, but I'm not OK."
3."A messy house/bedroom are usually a telltale sign of inner turmoil and a direct reflection of how a person is feeling inside. I’ve always taken it as a warning sign if someone with a chronically messy room suddenly wants everything to look perfect."
5."I had to educate my mom about this when my sister was diagnosed with depression. Her usual sign that it is getting worse is when she stops cleaning her room and bathing — that's when we keep an eye on her and make sure her therapist knows."
6."When someone is suddenly irritated all of the time or lashes out a lot. Whenever I go through my bout of depression or am very anxious, I get angry very quickly because 1. I'm overwhelmed by what I'm feeling and 2. It's an easy way to push people away and isolate yourself, which of course is NOT good. If someone you care about is suddenly angry all of the time, don't let them push you away!"
7."If someone has been depressed and they suddenly seem happy and they're smiling again, you'll probably think, 'Great, they're all good now,' but pay close attention, because sometimes that sudden change can mean that they've made a decision and the relief they feel from having made that decision can make them happy or at the very least seem happy and as if everything is good again."
8."A big flag is when someone seems to overreact to things a lot; a hair-trigger temper, or just getting really upset and overwhelmed by seemingly minor issues. My mother used to say, 'When someone is overreacting to something, there are other things going on that they are also reacting to that you don't know about.'"
9."Giving up really easily when confronted by obstacles. When someone just instantly gives up after a setback rather than persisting in looking for a solution, it can be a sign that they are either too overwhelmed or depleted in energy to cope, or that they are teetering on the edge of despair."
12."Purposely avoiding sad and difficult topics. Sometimes when a person is constantly feeling like shit, the last thing they want to do is bring up more negativity when hanging out with people they enjoy being around. Oftentimes being with friends/family can be a brief escape from always feeling awful and so bringing up negative topics can ruin this feeling of escape and make the depression feel never-ending and suffocating."
14."A reduction in food consumption. I’ve found when I’ve fallen down the hole, and I just stop caring anymore I don’t eat anywhere near as much as I normally do. Instead of having the standard three to four meal things a day, I’ll be lucky to convince myself to have two."
The National Alliance on Mental Illness is 1-888-950-6264 (NAMI) and provides information and referral services; GoodTherapy.org is an association of mental health professionals from more than 25 countries who support efforts to reduce harm in therapy.