A cry for help: People reveal non-obvious signs someone struggles with mental health issues

What is a sign of a cry for help that isn’t obvious to the average person?

The Reddit user IncessantlyBored recently asked the community about the subtle signs someone needs help that the average person doesn’t recognize. Thousands of netizens answered the question, pointing out some of the most common red flags that someone suffers from mental health issues, such as depression, anxiety, and self-doubt.

As BuzzFeed notes, most of the signs are small behavioral changes that may indicate something is wrong. For instance, many stressed that if someone suddenly becomes way more positive than before, this may signalize they are actually struggling on the inside.

Here are some of the warning signs of a cry for help Reddit users shared: 

1. Becoming quiet.

“Some people become very quiet and docile, like if they’ve resigned themselves to the minimum.”



“Being more silent than usual. A lot of people miss it, or out of as being ignorant. No that person is struggling and scared of judgement or abandonment.”


2. Avoiding sad and difficult topics.

“Purposely avoiding sad and difficult topics. Sometimes when a person is constantly feeling like shit the last thing they want to do is bring up more negativity when hanging out with people they enjoy being around. Oftentimes being with friends/family can be a brief escape from always feeling awful and so bringing up negative topics can ruin this feeling of escape and make the depression feel never-ending and suffocating. Maybe they took weeks to tell you they failed a test or even dropped out of school. Maybe you randomly hear from someone else that their dog died. Maybe they always switch the radio station from the news to pop songs. Could be anything big or small; usually multiple things.”


3. Drastic changes in behavior.

“Marked differences in behaviour where the person becomes way more positive and energetic than normal. We tend to think of these sorts of changes as being good, but any sudden and large enough change in behaviour is something you need to keep an eye on. This is especially true if they are going from a very negative pattern of thinking/behaviour into an uber-positive one very quickly. Usually, those “now I feel like I can conquer the world” changes are the precursor to suicide attempts and the like.”



“Sudden drastic improvement in mood of a depressed person, it could be a sign they have a plan to commit suicide and feel better because they know it’s gonna end soon.”


4. Differences in eating habits.

“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.”


5. Crying for no apparent reason.

“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.”


6. Trying not to be a burden.

“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.”


7. Saying ‘I’m sorry’ too often.

“Saying, ‘I’m sorry,’ for everything or taking the blame for things that shouldn’t even have a blame.”


8. Losing interest.

“Not caring about things you used to get excited about, delaying plans with friends, turning normal easy conversations with friends to general small chat.”



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


9. Risky behavior.

“Reckless behavior. It’s not always ‘funny’ or badass. There is often a ‘nothing matters anymore’ thought behind or a deep feeling of emptiness which can be filled for a short time with risky behavior.”



“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.”


10. Keeping a busy schedule.

“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.”


Do you know of other subtle signs indicating someone has been struggling with mental health issues? Let us know in the comment section. 

If you or someone you know needs help, do not hesitate to contact the following: 

  • National Alliance on Mental Illness(NAMI) – 1-888-950-6264
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – 1-800-273-8255
  • GoodTherapy.org, an association of mental health professionals.  

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