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Tips on how to look for signs that your friend is struggling emotionally


Being a good friend means being there when someone is going through a rough time. College is stressful on many levels, and some students have difficulty coping or may be dealing with issues like depression or anxiety disorder that require treatment.

If a friend is struggling emotionally, they might isolate themselves, act differently, or start drinking or doing drugs a lot. While starting discussions about these things isn’t easy, it’s important. Unresolved emotional issues can lead to everything from self-destructive behaviors to suicidal thoughts. Below, are signs your friend may need help.

Warning Signs

• Excessive worrying or anxiety
• Severe mood swings
• Sad mood
• Inability to cope with everyday life
• Procrastinating more than usual
• Sleeping too much or too little
• Missing classes or assignments
• Feelings of guilt, hopelessness or worthlessness
• Thoughts of suicide or death
• Changes in appetite or weight
• Binge drinking
• Drug use
• Neglecting hygiene or self-care
• Risky sexual behavior
• Cutting or other self-injuring behaviors
• Fatigue or low energy
• Loss of interest in activities they used to enjoy
• Isolating themselves from others
• Physical symptoms such as headaches or stomach pain

If you notice these signs in a friend, it’s important not to ignore them. Here’s some tips on how you can encourage them to reach out for help.