17 People Detail “Cries For Help” You Might Not Recognize

Most people want to look out for their fellow human beings – friends, coworkers, family, neighbors, and even strangers we pass in the store and on the street every day.

At the same time, the majority of people aren’t educated in the signs of mental distress that could mean a person is standing on the edge of a dangerous spiral.

If you’d like to know more, here are some details on what to keep an eye out for going forward.

17. Unchecked emotions.

When someone has obviously been crying or tears up without apparent provocation, even in a very public setting, it can be a sign that they’re in too much pain even to try masking it.

I’ve also heard of severely depressed people who abruptly “snap out of it,” and go perky, and that can be indicative of a person who was agonizing over whether to end things, who has now decided to do so. Making that decision, sadly, gives them peace and relief.

16. Intrusive thoughts.

This is the number one indicator for me personally that I’m going from “it’s been a bad couple of days” to “full blown depression”. When I’m driving and there’s a near miss with a car and I think “it’d be good if they hit me”. Or I stand on the side of the road contemplating pretending to fall into traffic so it will look like an accident.

I knew I was bad currently when someone I know of died of cancer and my first thought was “I wish it was me”.

15. How horrible.

Years ago, I lost a friend to suicide. He’d been in a bad depressive spell, and I hadn’t heard from him in a while. I would call and there was no answer, and the only way I could speak to him was if I drove to his house and banged on the door. After three months of sparse contact, he called me out of the blue one day just to talk. He said he was finally feeling better and thanked me for being a good friend.

He killed himself the next day. What fucked me up is how happy he sounded. I tore myself apart for years thinking I’d missed something crucial, but now I understand he had made his plans and made peace with it, and he just wanted to say goodbye.

14. Eating is a struggle.

A reduction in food consumption. I’ve found when I’ve fallen down the hole and I just stop caring anymore I don’t eat anywhere near as much as I normally do.

Instead of having the standard 3-4 meal things a day I’ll be lucky to convince myself to have 2 as I simply don’t care anymore.

13. They can’t be bothered to care for themselves.

The person stops caring about their appearance and neglects their hygiene and grooming, because in their mind they are thinking: “that it doesn’t matter since no one likes them anyway, that they don’t deserve to be clean or that it won’t make their lives better, so why bother.”

12. No down time.

When someone is constantly busy so they don’t give themselves time to think.

Also when someone gives up on a lot of basic things like cleaning or doing washing up because they can’t think about anything except what’s bothering them.

11. It could be either or.

I’m in a constant frenzy of either not caring at all (bare minimum of shower every day and deodorant IF I remember then regret when I am out and forget).

Or I’m the opposite. I’ll look into skin care routines, shampoo, cologne. What toothbrush should I get, cut any long hair (armpit or otherwise), what barber to get or hairstyle to have and types of dress leather shoes that cost too much.

Usually its the before person because its exhausting for me to keep up the 2nd one for a long time and sticking to it

10. It seems normal, sadly.

I knew a couple of people who kept extremely busy. One friend actually tried to work himself to death – NO ONE noticed, just thought he was very tired (worked night shift and did as much OT as possible while skipping breaks). Made me check in on a friend from school who tried to do like 10 clubs instead of focusing on 1 or 2.

Keep an eye on busy people – make sure they’re PROPERLY eating and sleeping – for real

9. A spurt of generosity.

Giving a lot of personal possessions away without wanting anything in return.

No joke, this lady I used to work with was telling me about how her son gave his skateboard away to a little kid out of the blue, and how proud she was of him being so selfless. My immediate thought was, “….oh my god, that kid is going to kill himself.”

Of course, how do you go about telling someone that without sounding like a complete jerk? So, I put the thought away, figured I was probably overreacting anyway, kid probably just wanted to be nice to the little boy, no cause for concern.

The following week, she came into my office, just totally numb, and says, “Can you take care of x thing? My son has been hospitalized. He attempted suicide.”

I wished I had said something, but there is like no tactful way to say that without freaking someone out. Can you imagine being proud of your son for doing something seemingly selfless and then being met with, “Hey, might be more to that, that’s a sign that he might be plotting his own demise.”?

Thankfully, the kid survived. Turned out he had some kind of rare tumor that caused his mental health to completely derail.

8. She could never do enough.

One of my friends graduated top student in high school, aced all of her classes, and worked a full time job teaching students her own age at a community center. On top of that, she reached her piano ARCT level by middle school, and was winning gold medals from fencing tournaments. The whole school knew about her, and obviously wanted her skills.

But I knew her personally, and she was just suffering, probably more than most people. She had depression and anxiety, a SEVERE extent. She didn’t like herself, despite everyone wanting to be like her.

She said she felt lazy, that she could be doing more, and didn’t feel at all like she deserved any love. It just shows how real and unforgiving depression is.

7. Making odd decisions.

Bad decisions looking for short term happiness with no regard for how it will damage their life in the long run.

Getting a neck tattoo, buying a Mitsubishi, that sort of thing.

6. They don’t want to think.

I know the feeling. My GF of 6 years died two months ago. And I feel that if I stop doing things I’ll think too much and I just can’t.

But my therapist is telling me to continue to stay as busy as possible.

5. They don’t wanna.

Lack of interest.

Gamer all of a sudden no longer games? Gardener let his plants die? Social butterfly now hides in a cave?

4. They can’t see the future.

It may seem a bit obvious, but when someone says that they don’t see themselves living past a certain age, or acting surprised that they made it to a certain milestone in their lives.

3. Ask how they’re doing.

Reaching out and being overly nice to friends both close and casual with the hope that they will reciprocate and eventually ask them how they’re doing, so that when they open up it’s not about being a burden but because they were prompted to do so.

When I was going through some stuff I felt like I really needed someone to ask me if I was ok, because answering “no” felt like a huge relief and just got me talking to someone.

Ultimately that led me to seek counseling, something I’m not sure I would have done otherwise. But I wasn’t about to just drop my issues on someone unprompted. I needed someone to ask first, otherwise I’d just feel like an asshole for burdening someone else with my problems when they didn’t ask or consent to that, even close friends and family.

Sometimes asking those small-talk questions can be profoundly therapeutic for someone in crisis who’s afraid to reach out for help.

2. A general lack of interest.

Sleeping all day and having no interest. No one cares, they just walk by or don’t understand. Makes you feel very alone. I don’t want someone to fix me but I do want someone to show they care.

Also drinking a lot when you have never been a drinker.

1. Too much alcohol.

Going out of their way to talk/reach out to ppl when that’s not the norm for them.

Excessive drinking when they usually don’t.

I’m definitely going to work harder on paying attention.

Remember to reach out to your friends, y’all, especially the ones you haven’t heard from in a while. You never know the difference it might make!