We all go through difficult times in our lives. This may be due to loss, illness, job-related worries, etc. Some things are difficult to identify in ourselves. Would you be able to tell if there’s a problem with your best friend? The following are common issues experienced by millions of individuals each year. We have included the telltale signs and what you can do to help.
We live in a culture that normalizes drinking. We only have to switch on the TV to see our favorite soap stars pouring a glass of wine. Or, we hear our colleagues talking about beer o’clock and how they got wasted at the weekend.
Drinking is deemed okay in limitation. However, some research now suggests that there is no safe limit. It is one of the main preventable contributors to serious illnesses such as cancer. Do you suspect that your friend is drinking too much? Do you think she may be addicted? If so, the following may help you determine if this is the case.
Is she neglecting her responsibilities at home, at work or with friends? Does she miss dates, frequently arrive late, skip commitments, etc.?
2.Does She Binge Drink?
Does she go to the extremes when you socialize? Does she frequently drink to excess and become intoxicated?
3. Does She Only Go To Places Where Alcohol Is Served?
When you go out together, does she only go to places where alcohol is served?
4. Does She Drink To Relax?
Does she need a drink in order to relax and feel less stressed?
5. Is Her Drinking Causing Problems?
Is her drinking causing problems with relationships, work, family, etc.?
6.Does She Hide The Extent Of Her Drinking?
Do you suspect that she drinks much more than she admits to? Do you feel that she is hiding this from other people?
The above may indicate that there is a problem. Alcoholism is a tricky subject to broach. Often people are offended by suggestions and may also be in denial. The best way to tackle this is with care and empathy. There are many reasons that people drink too much. It is likely that she’s dealing with many complex emotions including fear, shame, etc. Don’t lecture or threaten anyone with a drinking problem. Instead, be completely open with them and ask if there is a problem. The way you do this is important. Explain that you care for them and that you’re worried. If this doesn’t work, are there other people in your friend’s life you could enlist?
There are many ways you can help. However, unless that person is willing to face the problem, there’s not a lot you can do. Suggest they contact a local support group or rehab center. They should also seek medical advice.The road to sobriety can be long and difficult one. There may be relapses along the way. It’s important to be present for your friend and support them through this difficult process.
Drug dependency can be tricky to spot. Often the person takes drugs alone, and the effects may not be immediately obvious. However, there are several warning signs that indicate something is not quite right.
- Changes to personality or attitude
- Frequent spells of irritability or aggression
- Low energy
- Agitation or giddiness
- Financial problems
- Neglecting work, family or social responsibilities
- Bloodshot eyes or changes in size of pupils
- Sudden weight loss or weight gain
- Deterioration in personal appearance
- Anxiety and paranoia
These are just a few of the many warning signs.
Depending on the severity of addiction, your friend may need some time in rehab. Again, though, they will need to be onboard with their recovery. Approach them carefully and explain your concerns. Explain the reasons for this and what has led you to this suspicion. They should seek medical advice straight away. The sooner they seek help, the better their chances of recovery. It will also help minimize related health problems.
Depression is an illness that affects millions of people throughout the world. The symptoms vary from person to person. Therefore, they can be difficult to identify. People who suffer from depression have a tendency to cut themselves off. Thus making it harder still to spot. If your friend is suffering from depression, she may display some or all of the following:
- Loss of interest in things she used to enjoy
- Difficulty sleeping, which may present as continual tiredness
- Eating more or less than normal
- Displaying anger, irritability, or grumpiness
- Loss of confidence in her ability
- Talking about feeling hopeless or about the pointlessness of life
- Becoming more reclusive
If you suspect that your friend is suffering from depression, talk to her about it. Find the right time to sit down and discuss your concerns. Tell her that you care about her and that you want her to lead a happy and healthy life. In the first instance, suggest she seeks medical advice. The doctor will be able to refer her to a therapist or prescribe medication. Sometimes both approaches are offered. Be supportive throughout the process and let her talk to you about her problems. Don’t be put off if she spends lots of time alone. Without being domineering, keep all the channels of communication open. Tell her you’re there for her whenever she needs you but respect her privacy.
Realizing your friend or loved one has a problem, can be heartbreaking. You don’t want to see the people you care for suffering. Addiction and depression are complex issues, and they won’t be cured overnight. The path to recovery is likely to be a long and bumpy one. There may even be relapses along the way. What is important is that you are there for them. Never judge but be kind, caring and empathic. Nobody chooses this, and there are likely to be complex underlying issues. Professional help will need to be sought, and your role will be as a friend and supporter.
Remember, when you’re helping someone else, it’s also important to take care of yourself. You need to ensure that you’re not adversely affected by these issues. Caring for someone going through a difficult time can be physically and emotionally draining. Find ways to practice self-care and be good to yourself.