Sometimes it will seem obvious when someone is going through a hard time, but there is no simple way of knowing if they have a mental health problem. Sometimes you don’t need to know. It’s more important to respond sensitively to someone who seems troubled than to find out whether or not they have a diagnosis.
Although certain symptoms are common with specific mental health problems, no two people behave in exactly the same way when they are unwell. If you know the person well, you may notice changes in their behaviour or mood.
Signs of depression
People who are depressed may:
- have low confidence
- lose interest in activities they normal enjoy
- lose their appetite
- get tired easily
- be tearful, nervous or irritable.
At worst they may feel suicidal.
Signs of anxiety
People experiencing anxiety may:
- have difficulty concentrating
- be irritable
- try to avoid certain situations
- appear pale and tense
- be easily startled by everyday sounds.
here are a number of ways you can help a friend, relative or colleague who has a mental health problem: 0800 468 10 11