Some look beautiful but feel ugly: some appear confident but feel anxious: some look healthy but feel like shit: some seem happy but are miserable: be kind everyone is going through something and vigilant they might just be waiting for someone to offer support.#estarsense
A while ago, a friend of mine told me he was going through something that he couldn’t talk about yet. I reminded him that I was there for him and available when he needed support – any support, a listening ear to vent, a shoulder to cry on or a drinking partner, you know someone to fill the tequila shots and ensure they are swallowed.
After my conversation with him, I realised there are types of people who will never ask for help. They will never talk about their issues until prompted or prodded with long sticks. It is up to their closest and dearest to recognise and do something about it. Asking someone if they are ok, even though you don’t have all the answers, may have a positive impact on someone just from knowing someone cares and notices.
In recent times many people have gone through immense hardships which ultimately depletes their toolboxes of coping mechanisms and adds pressure to an already fragile situation. Even more, many of these people don’t seek help, they immerse themselves into an abyss of hopelessness and despair hoping for a magical way to come out of whatever they are going through. This desire to not seek help is sometimes out of pride (arrogance in some), or not knowing how or naivety.
There are people who I believe need to be constantly checked on. These are people who suffer in silence and then when the pressure gets too much, they explode and do things that leave everyone asking why they didn’t ask for help.
The meticulous and cautious person who suddenly acts out of character. This person suddenly snaps at people or situations for very minor things. They act recklessly and sometimes dangerously without much care for their wellbeing or that of others. I believe such a person needs someone to check on them regularly and try to understand the reasons behind the sudden change in behaviour. You don’t need to coach them to change, just listening to understand is more reassuring and helpful than trying to change them.
The social butterfly who suddenly goes quiet, out of touch and unreachable. Research shows that majority of people isolate themselves from social situations during tumultuous times because they become overwhelmed, and their mental health is at risk. For most of the times, they just need a safe space to recharge and process things. For these people, as much as it is important to leave them be, it is vital to show them you care by sending them messages to remind them that you are thinking of them and you are there if they need you. Do this constantly, even if their only response is ‘leave me alone’ at least it shows you care, and they know that even when they don’t want to admit it.
The highly energetic friend who lately shows signs of distress or low moods. Low moods are signs of an unsettling inner turmoil. Everyone feels low or depressed every so often and it’s common especially after a distressing event or major life changes. However, if the low moods persist for longer it is important to seek help. When we notice someone in our lives is exhibiting signs of prolonged low moods and distress it is important to check on them to reassure them of support or to simply ask how you could help them. Find a helpful balance where you can check on them without overwhelming them or being intrusive.
And the one person who needs the biggest support and checking up on is that strong woman, that helpful man, that person who is always there for everybody else. These people have been in situations where they have learned how to appear okay and helpful even when they are suffering. They are strong for everybody else, and everyone assumes they are ok because in many cases, they don’t display emotions in public. Who knows what they do privately? This person needs support and reassurance and checking upon. In my experience, I’ve come to realise that this type of person who is always ‘okay’, or ‘I’m coping well’, is usually like a dormant volcano and could explode at any time. The only reason they claim to be ok and coping is because they don’t want to burden anyone. We all have a friend or a family member who is like this: check on them often, find a way to build a rapport with them so they can trust you enough to open up to you. They may also have trust issues.
Depression and anxieties are real mental health issues: here are some tips on how to improve mood:
Challenge unhelpful thoughts
Increase helpful activities – things that keep you elevated e.g., music, long walks, cooking, reading, watching movies.
Talk to a trusted person
And above all, sleep.
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Photo credit: Andrea Piacquadio – Pexels