Changes in a person’s physical appearance, mood, thoughts and behaviours may be signs that they need support. Everyone deals with things differently, so any combination of the signs may indicate that someone you know needs a hand.
Changes in physical appearance
You may notice the following changes:
- more tired than usual
- less attention to own appearance
- increasing physical health issues, such as frequent headaches or migraine, muscle tension and digestive issues
- loss of appetite
- increased appetite
- fidgety and nervous
- drinking more alcohol than usual
- increasing tobacco or caffeine use, or
- sleeping less or more than usual.
The following examples of alterations in mood could be a sign something is wrong:
- more irritable than usual
- anxious and worried about everything
- becoming angry quickly and often unexpectedly
- emotional overreactions to situations, or
- overwhelmed by activities that were previously manageable.
You may find the person you are concerned about is behaving in ways that are unusual for them, and they may be:
- more withdrawn than usual
- not enjoying usual hobbies or interests
- having difficulty concentrating and/or are often distracted, or
- working more and avoiding social situations.
Changes in how thoughts are conveyed
Have you noticed any negativity creep into how this person engages with others or how they think?
They might be:
- interpreting most situations negatively
- taking everything personally
- complaining of constant negative thoughts and of an inability to distract from these thoughts, or
- showing signs of having confused or irrational thoughts.
Whatever the reason for the changes, when people receive support quickly, they have better chances of positive outcomes.