Ever wondered why the person you have always been interacting closely with suddenly turns aloof and distant? Or always on the edge? The coronavirus pandemic has initiated a lot of conversations around mental health. With being away from friends and family, job losses and financial burden, people are finding it tough to deal with isolation and uncertainty.
Often times those who suffer in silence hesitate to reach out is due to fear of being taken as burden or fear judged more than being understood. Other times, they might not have fully understood that they are struggling with a mental health crisis.
In order to be there for your loved ones, there are signs that you can look for:
- They have emotionally and socially withdrawn
Not participating as usual in conversations and actively interacting socially.
- They are acting out of character
“Snapping” easily and constantly in an irritable mood.
- They appear “on edge”
Eyes darting around the room, mind wandering, they’re not sitting back relaxed.
- They are behaving recklessly
Are you worried a loved one is drinking too much? Using substances, such as drugs, to cope can be a warning sign.
- They talk bleakly about the future
Often saying “there is nothing more to live for”, “hope is just distant to me”. Dreary and discouraged resulting from sustained dullness or futility.
- They have mentioned about sleep difficulties
Sleeping too much or too little? Persisting changes to a person’s sleep patterns could be a symptom of a mental illness.
- They say “I’m tired” a lot and require more downtime than going out.
- They are disengaged in conversation
Especially if the subject us something they’d ordinarily be passionate about.
- They are constantly “busy”/express being overwhelmed.
Trying extra hard to satisfy others but unable to feel anything but numb.
- They are going through a difficult life event
Unemployment, separation (family and own), moving to a new place can be overwhelming if no support is given.
Often, it is not a single change but a combination. The following 10 signs are not to help diagnose a mental health issue, but to reassure that there might be a good reason to seek more information about your concerns. Even though we find it hard to cope with our usual life events, people who suffer from mental health issues may be going through even more. If you know someone who exhibits these signs, please check in on them and make time for deeper conversation.
Where to get help?
If you’re concerned about a friend or loved one, ask them how you can help. The first step for a person with symptoms of a mental illness is to see a doctor or other healthcare professional.
KL: 03-7956 8145 (24 hours);
Ipoh: 05-547 7933 (4pm to 11pm);
Penang: 04-281 5161 (3pm to midnight)
Malaysian Mental Health Association.
Contact Number:03-2780 6803
E-Mail: [email protected]
Life Line Association Malaysia.
Counselling Hotline: 03-42657995.
E-Mail: [email protected].