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Signs You or a Loved One May Be Struggling
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Signs You or a Loved One May Be Struggling

Life is hard and overwhelming (it really sucks sometimes). Sometimes we take on multiple roles with multiple demands. Those demands can leave us feeling emotionally out of whack.  At times we may recognize these feelings and how these things are affecting us and other times we miss them. It’s beneficial to recognize these signs in ourselves and these signs in others so that we can relieve them and take steps to betterment.

Everyone goes through times of feeling stress, sadness, anger, and conflict. We all have those days where we just feel off or out of balance. Sometimes we ignore those feelings and those signs. Sometimes they go away and other times they get worse. We have to learn how to identify and correct those self-destructive behaviors that we tend to try to act like aren’t happening before they take a hold of us. What are some of the signs that you notice about yourself or someone close to you when something is not right? Let’s check in and identify some of the things you can look for or may notice.

Intensified emotions

We all get angry and sad, but these feelings can be excessive and intensified. When suddenly even the coworker in the corner eating crackers is pissing you off, maybe it’s time to take a step back. Feeling overwhelmed with anger or sadness on a regular basis can be an indicator for something deeper.

Withdrawal and Numbness

Being withdrawn or numb may include shutting down and separating from normal life. You may feel yourself or notice a loved one pulling away,  moods have changed, and are no longer really there. This may be what is known as disassociation, where the mind is on auto pilot and just there, but not engaged.

Negative behaviors increase

 Negative behaviors can include meaningless or reckless sex, excessive drinking, drug usage, or binge eating but there may be a reason why these things are increasing.  Increase in these negative behaviors may be a sign that you or someone else is looking for an outside source to cope with and numb feelings.


The symptoms of hyperarousal include constant feelings of being nervous, jumpy, easy to startle, feeling in a constant stage of danger, and difficulty concentrating. That may be great if you are in actual combat and need to be on high alert, but when that feeling follows you home or to work it’s different. In this state your body is alerting you of something in your past or present that needs to be addressed.

Sleep Changes

Sleep changes can include lack of sleep or too much, both may be indicators. With lack of sleep your anxiety may be bad at night, thoughts are racing, or you are having a hard time relaxing because you are re-experiencing intrusive images, dreams, and negative memories. Then there is that feeling of not wanting to get out of bed and just wanting to sleep all day everyday due to lack of energy, lack of motivation, or fear of facing the things that are outside of the bed.

Relationships Decrease

This can be different things; one  is that the close people to us usually know us and being around them means it’s harder for us to lie about what is going on with us and how we are feeling. It can become easier to avoid them. It can be just not wanting to be around people and engaged anymore. Honestly it may also be that our attitude and lashing out has become so bad that these individuals don’t want to be around us.

We have to be aware, be accountable, and take care of our behaviors. If you or someone you love exhibits these behaviors, there may be resistance. If it is someone you love, they may be resistant. It can be scary but do not be ashamed to ask for assistance if you are feeling this way. If this is your loved one be supportive, be sensitive, and offer help.

Know the signs