Balancing all life’s demands — school, work, relationships — can be stressful and many people get overwhelmed, anxious and overexerted – so it can be tough to tell if a friend is just dealing with the everyday challenges of life or struggling with a larger problem. A friend in trouble might need professional help to develop better coping and stress management skills, or they may be dealing with illnesses like depression, bipolar disorder, and anxiety disorders that generally require attention and treatment.
Here are some common signs that a friend needs help dealing with emotional issues or a mental health problem:
- Depression or apathy that interferes with obligations or participating in social activities
- Lack of coping skills around day-to-day problems or extreme reactions to certain situations
- Extreme highs, referred to as mania, that may include rushed thoughts, bursts of energy, sleeplessness and compulsive behavior (like excessive spending or promiscuous sexual behavior)
- Severe anxiety or stress
- Constant feelings of sadness or hopelessness
- Increased use of alcohol or drugs