10 Signs that Someone is Struggling
In today’s society, it is common with the amount of adversity and pressures that are presented to us daily, for the everyday individual to experience a mental health issue.
One in seven Australians will experience depression in their lifetime.
One in seven Australians is currently experiencing an anxiety condition.
One in six Australians is currently experiencing depression or anxiety or both.
Whilst these statistics are alarming, and will probably become more prominent in the future, the world has evolved to understand the importance of recognising mental health as the first step to providing help to anyone who is seeking it.
Here is a list by Health Direct of 10 signs that someone is struggling for both sporting clubs and individuals to look out for their friends and family, to be able to offer and provide any support for the person displaying these signs;
- Emotional Outbursts – Everyone has different moods, but sudden and dramatic changes in mood, such as extreme distress or anger, can be a symptom of mental illness.
- Sleep Problems – Lasting changes to a person’s sleep patterns could be a symptom of a mental health disorder. For example, insomnia could be a sign of anxiety or substance abuse. Sleeping too much or too little could indicate depression or a sleeping disorder.
- Weight or Appetite Changes – For some people, fluctuating weight or rapid weight loss could be one of the warning signs of a mental health disorder, such as depression or an eating disorder.
- Quiet or Withdrawn – Withdrawing from life, especially if this is a major change, could indicate a mental health disorder. If a friend or loved one is regularly isolating themselves, they may have depression, bipolar disorder, a psychotic disorder, or another mental health disorder. Refusing to join in social activities may be a sign they need help.
- Substance Abuse – Using substances to cope, such as alcohol or drugs, can be a sign of mental health conditions. Using substances can also contribute to mental illness.
- Feelings of Guilt or Worthlessness – Thoughts like ‘I’m a failure’, ‘It’s my fault’ or ‘I’m worthless’ are all possible signs of a mental health disorder, such as depression. Your friend or loved one may need help if they’re frequently criticising or blaming themselves. When severe, a person may express a feeling to hurt or kill themselves. This feeling could mean the person is suicidal and urgent help is needed. Call Triple zero (000) for an ambulance immediately.
- Changes in Behaviour or Feelings – A mental health disorder may start out as subtle changes to a person’s feelings, thinking and behaviour. Ongoing and significant changes could be a sign that they have or are developing a mental health disorder. If something doesn’t seem ‘quite right’, it’s important to start the conversation about getting help.
- Changes in Online Posts – Posting content to social media such as dark poetry or quotes, using hashtags that are connected to topics you find unusual or worrisome for them, e.g. #overit, can be an indication that someone is struggling.
- Change in Appearance – Signs of someone experiencing an emotional struggle can be related to someone having a change in their appearance and the way they’re presenting themselves, such as neglecting hygiene and basic care, including how often they shower/bathe or change their clothes.
- Feelings of Anxiety or Depression – Everyone gets worried or stressed from time to time, but constant feelings of sadness and anxiety can be the sign of a mental health disorder. This includes lacking motivation and energy, losing interest in hobbies, being teary all the time, feeling dizzy, etc.
These 10 signs are important factors to keep an eye on for all individuals, whether it be in the work place or at your sporting club, to ensure you can help recognise when someone is struggling.
If you find yourself recognising these signs for a friend, teammate or colleague, start the conversation with them and offer them your support and any help that they could need.
If you yourself are finding that you have these symptoms/signs, don’t be afraid to speak up and seek support! There is no shame in having a mental health problem and acknowledging it is the first step to negating the impact that it can have on your life.
For more information on mental health, visit resources such as http://www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support/get-immediate-support or http://www.blackdoginstitute.org.au/resources-support/
If you need immediate attention and counselling, phone Lifeline on 13 11 14