As much as we think we know our friends, sometimes the signs your friend needs help isn’t as obvious to us as we’d like. We want only the best for our friends and there are some signs that are consistent among people who are seeking help but just don’t want or know how to ask someone for assistance. Not everyone is the same so while these signs are typical, they aren’t all encompassing. Read on for some of the classic signs a friend might need your help and have a talk with them right away.
1. Weight Loss or Gain
One of the more obvious signs your friend needs help is when you notice a moderate change in their appearance. Was she a former foodie who is rarely hungry now or was your friend a health and fitness nut who now cares less about healthy eating? A change in appearance due to changing eating habits is one of the most apparent signs of a friend needing help.
2. Acting Recklessly or Impulsively
If you’re thinking about to how to tell if your friend needs help, check out their recent behaviors. Do you notice that they’re being much more reckless with themselves? Are they drinking excessively, doing drugs or just not acting like themselves? Take this as a big red flag and sign of that your friend needs help. Engaging in dangerous behaviors are not a sign of anything positive whatsoever so take this as a cue to approach your friend.
3. Mood Swings
Another one of the warning signs your friend needs help is when they start having dramatic mood swings. These mood swings range from uncontrolled anger to irritability, extreme sadness and uncontrollable crying. All of these mood changes will be really obvious and might happen quite frequently so it’ll be an easily recognizable sign of a cry for help.
4. Social Isolation
If you have a friend whose personality has undergone a huge change recently, it could be a cautionary sign your friend needs help. While it’s possible that some of us go through periods where we tend to be a little isolative for a short period of time, look at the big picture. Is your friend exhibiting other signs of needing help? If they are, talk to them about it and even if your friend is being standoffish, there’s nothing wrong with reaching out.
5. Aggressive Behavior
A sign your friend needs help and might be being bullied is if he or she displays aggressive behavior at home. The behavior isn’t limited to just home but if your normally laid back friend is starting to act aggressive and taking things out on a sibling or another friend, this could be a sign that your friend is being bullied at school or work and needs help.
6. Changes in Sleep
Looking at changes in a friend’s sleeping pattern can tell you whether it’s sign your friend needs help. If your friend is sleeping much more or much less than normal, ask them about it. If you’re wondering how you can tell if your friend’s sleeping pattern has changed, has you ever stopped by her place only to find her in bed in the middle of the day? Or maybe you’ve noticed that your friend is up all hours of the night and she rarely sleeps now.
7. Neglecting Themselves
If you’ve been thinking about how to tell your friend needs help, take a look at how they treat themselves. Your normally girly friend could start neglecting her appearance and just not caring about grooming anymore. Or maybe your friend doesn’t see any reason to care for their personal hygiene anymore. Either way, even the most low-maintenance people won’t disregard their appearance as much as someone who is in trouble and needs help.
8. Thoughts about Death and Suicide
Talking and thinking about death and suicide are both significant signs your friend needs help. Aside from those who have an affinity for the macabre and dark subjects, regular thoughts about death and suicide is definitely cause to jump in and take what they say very very seriously. If your friend mentions that they want to harm or kill themselves or threatens to do so, is looking for methods to carry out the suicide and starts giving away their most prized possessions, act immediately. Call 911, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline or a mental health clinic right away.
Please take all of these signs your friend needs help very seriously. Many times people need help but just don’t know how to ask for help and you can make a difference. Be proactive and don’t wait for more reasons or signs to talk to your friend. When you approach your friend, be non-judgmental, listen and don’t ever keep suicide a secret.
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