May is Mental Health Awareness Month, which makes it a good time for a refresher on the five signs of emotional suffering. It is always important to keep an eye out for even subtle changes in your friends, coworkers and loved ones in Hancock County. They may be suffering emotionally without recognizing symptoms, or they may not be ready to ask for help. With the help of Healthy365, we can connect your loved one to the mental health resources they need for their emotional balance. 

1. Personality Changes

Someone in emotional distress may start to behave differently from their usual personality. These changes could be gradual or sudden. People suffering from emotional pain may start to behave in a way that doesn’t align their their usual values or spirituality, or they may just seem different in general. 

2. Uncharacteristically Agitated

People in a cycle of emotional suffering may have more issues with their anger. They may be frequently irritable or seem unable to calm down. If you notice a loved one who is normally even tempered seeming more angry, anxious, agitated or moody, it may be a sign that they need help. In severe situations of emotional distress, some people may even have trouble sleeping or have an explosion of anger over minor problems. 

3. Withdrawal or Isolation

A difficult sign of emotional suffering for loved ones to help manage is withdrawal or isolation. It can be hard to notice other signs if someone starts to pull away from you. But for a person who is normally social, this can also be a sign of distress. Some people will stop taking part in activities that they once found enjoyable, or in extreme cases may even stop showing up to work or school. Be sure to keep in mind the person’s usual social activity (such as introverts) and get help if they start to pull away from their normal support system. 

4. Risky Behavior or Poor Self-Care

If you have a loved one suffering from emotional distress, you may start to notice them neglecting their usual level of self-care. They could stop taking care of personal hygiene, or they could start abusing alcohol or other substances. Risky or self-destructive behavior is an important cry for help in emotional pain, but may also alienate loved ones. 

5. Feeling Overwhelmed or Hopeless

The fifth sign of emotional suffering is the feeling of hopelessness or becoming easily overwhelmed. Especially if the person is generally optimistic, feeling hopeless or depressed is a sign to watch out for. Some people in emotional distress may also feel grief, worthlessness or guilt. In extreme cases, they could feel like the world would be better off without them, or express suicidal ideation

How Can You Help?

You can help a friend or loved one in emotional suffering first by knowing and recognizing these signs. If you notice one or more of these signs in someone you care about, talk to them about it. You can suggest working with a Support Navigator at Healthy365, and we can connect them with one of the many local resources to best fit their mental health needs. NOTE: If you feel they are at risk of harming themselves or others, call 911 immediately. 

Reach out to a Healthy365 Support Navigator today at 317-468-4231 to discover the wide variety of resources that are available to local Hancock County residents.

Five Signs of Emotional Suffering

Five Signs of Emotional Suffering © 2015 Give an Hour