Truly, there is nothing shameful about asking for help. However, some people still feel like it’s taboo for them to openly discuss their problems, mental health issues, and the emotional turmoil they might be going through. So they close up and try to repress these things. However, there are some subtle cues to look out for that can tell you when somebody might need your help. Whether they’re simply looking for some sympathy or they desperately need your advice.

The friendly folks over on Reddit went above and beyond this time and listed the various signs that they found to actually be cries for help. Frankly, it’s completely eye-opening. And it made a lot of people realize that they may have missed a lot of silent pleas for help. Have a read through the top answers below and upvote the ones that you think are particularly accurate. Got any other signs to share with us? Let us know in the comment section, dear Pandas.

I reached out to redditor IncessantlyBored about their viral thread and had an in-depth talk with them about the importance of noticing these subtle cries for help. The redditor explained to Bored Panda that the pandemic and lockdowns have had very powerful negative effects on some of their friends' mental health.

"I came up with the question because I was genuinely curious as to the answer. I spent the last 16 months sheltered, like many people, alone in my house not seeing many friends or family because of the pandemic. Now that we are all vaccinated and going out and about again, I’ve noticed that some of my friends have changed. Some seem more withdrawn. Some seem to be struggling. It’s like the 16 months of solitude had lasting effects that didn’t end post-pandemic," IncessantlyBored opened up to Bored Panda.

#1

27 People Share 'Cry For Help' Signs That Aren't So Obvious Coming from personal experience, I often cared massively for other people and their well-being, hoping that they would do the same for me. In the midst of this I became 'the helper' yet I found myself never being helped. I suppose in a way you stop caring for yourself and start only caring for others.

sassy_lil_sasquatch , Pixabay Report

Ozacoter
Community Member
4 months ago

This is sadly true. I have always been there for my friends to the point that they knew that they could call me at any time of the day or night if they needed help (I take the wifi off at night but never the sound just in case). Once i was the one needing help everybody disappeared.

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#2

27 People Share 'Cry For Help' Signs That Aren't So Obvious Sleeping all day and having no interest.

AeBS1978 , sharonmccutcheon Report

Sonja
Community Member
4 months ago

or troubles with sleeping/ falling asleep

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#3

27 People Share 'Cry For Help' Signs That Aren't So Obvious Lack of interest. Gamer all of a sudden no longer games? Gardener let his plants die? Social butterfly now hides in a cave?

MrCellophane999 , Olichel Report

Ozacoter
Community Member
4 months ago

Or the opposite, showing obsession with some hobbies. Like a person who games occasionally and now spends all her time at the pc gaming. Or somebody who is constantly partying non stop.

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Redditor IncessantlyBored shared that they started the thread on r/AskReddit as a way to educate themselves about depression. "I don’t consider myself well-educated on what depression looks like and/or red flags for mental illness issues, so I wanted to see what other people had to say."

What's more, the redditor also had a very personal reason for wanting to know what the non-obvious signs of depression are. "I also had a coworker in 2018 who did a no-call no-show one day, and we found out she had taken her own life. I was completely shocked. I had no idea she was struggling with depression. But I’m sure there were signs if I had known what to look for. The day I posted my question, we had another no-call no-show at work, and I couldn’t help but remember my coworker in 2018," they were candid about the inspiration behind their thread.

#4

27 People Share 'Cry For Help' Signs That Aren't So Obvious 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.

FlourChild1026 , Karolina Grabowska Report

Hannah Edwards
Community Member
4 months ago

Yep, I cry at the drop of a hat. It annoys me that people view crying as manipulation, I literally have no control over it. I have even sought therapy and was told it’s a healthy thing which purges the body of toxins and also stops aggression in other people. All I know is it’s a huge hindrance in a work setting.

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#5

27 People Share 'Cry For Help' Signs That Aren't So Obvious Oversharing and lack of filter goes hand in hand with depression.

Throw2theMoon , katekalvach Report

Hannah Edwards
Community Member
4 months ago

This was me.

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#6

27 People Share 'Cry For Help' Signs That Aren't So Obvious Second hand suicide, when they joke about being killed in an accident. This is usually because they feel there are people in life who need them and they don't want to commit suicide themselves.

Makenna_Chadwick , Nik Shuliahin Report

Ozacoter
Community Member
4 months ago

This. I want so bad to be killed in an accident where either nobody can be blamed or the person to do it deserves it (lets say somebody who uses to drink and drive so they cant harm others). If you kill yourself everybody blames you and you become the "selfish one". Even if its legal euthanasia most people wont acept it. So it is natural to desire an accident

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IncessantlyBored said that they had no idea that their question would get so much attention online. "I posted it one night and when I woke up the next day, it was on the front page. It currently has over 7,000 comments. The question clearly resonated with a lot of people either feeling like they were exhibiting cries for help or knowing someone who is. As we emerge in the post-pandemic world, it’s helpful to know the warning signs of what to look for so that we can catch them in the people around us and hopefully get them the help they need," they shared with Bored Panda.

In the redditor's opinion, education and awareness both go a long way in teaching us how to react when we realize that someone from our social circle is in need of our help. "Many people may be struggling without knowing how to tell someone or how to get out of their rut. Having a friend or family member who can recognize the pain and can reach out and offer to help could be the first step on a journey to improvement," IncessantlyBored said.

#7

27 People Share 'Cry For Help' Signs That Aren't So Obvious 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 washing up because they can’t think about anything except what’s bothering them.

Platonus44 , Alon Report

M Calad
Community Member
4 months ago

For a person that has suffered from crippling anxiety, the second part is also true. When anxiety (thoughts in my head + the effect these caused in my body) became so overwhelming for me at times, it made normal activities (like eating or taking a shower) incredibly difficult and exhausting. That was when I called for help.

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#8

27 People Share 'Cry For Help' Signs That Aren't So Obvious 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.

More_Example6153 , nvainio Report

Justine Nicole
Community Member
4 months ago

Very important as a therapist! When a suicidal depressed client comes in one day and seems "cured" and happy. Do not trust their words and demeanor, it could mean life or death and being spontaneously cured over night is not common! No therapist is that good as much as you want to think you had something to do with it lol. Be cautious, ask questions, dig. Actually say this is common when someone is about to commit suicide and see their reaction, people are surprisingly likely to admit it because a lot of people just want someone to notice.

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#9

27 People Share 'Cry For Help' Signs That Aren't So Obvious In my experience, becoming easily angry and argumentative has been a sign.

Actuaryba , Keira Burton Report

Daria B
Community Member
4 months ago

I think this one is pretty important because it's less spoken about. When we think of depression, normally we picture either a quiet person in the dark or an overly kind person hiding behind a big smile. However, getting (mildly) aggressive can also be a way of manifestation of extreme exhaustion, the kind that comes with depression and anxiety. I believe it's a bit like self-harm, it's just, some people get aggressive towards themselves, others might exercise it towards the outside world. This seems to especially be true for people who were taught not to cry all their life, but not exclusively.

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The redditor was very glad that their question had such a powerful impact and started up so many discussions. "It may have also made some people realize that maybe they don’t have to do the struggle alone, and that there are others out there who care. I learned a lot from the answers to my question, and I will definitely be more aware around my friends, family, and coworkers. Who knows—maybe the heightened awareness will save someone’s life."

The insightful thread resonated with a lot of people. The redditor’s post got more than 37.4k upvotes and 175 awards in 2 days. It was the top awarded post on r/AskReddit and on the front page of Reddit at the time of writing.

What IncessantlyBored showed us is that some people might feel too scared or ashamed to ask for help outright; meanwhile, the average person might not pick up on some of these subtle signs. It takes a keen eye to spot these cues and behaviors.

#10

27 People Share 'Cry For Help' Signs That Aren't So Obvious Saying, 'I'm sorry,' for everything or taking the blame for things that shouldn't even have a blame.

cute_oranges , Liza Summer Report

beastmachine.
Community Member
4 months ago

Or a sign that they are taking a Canadian citizenship, (Just a joke)

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#11

27 People Share 'Cry For Help' Signs That Aren't So Obvious 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

funland8642 , Salim Virji Report

Cain Hargreaves
Community Member
4 months ago

May I also add, in my experience, I tend to eat a smaller variety of things. Dinner becomes dry cereal or pasta every night because, eh, I just don't care. As long as I don't feel hungry.

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#12

27 People Share 'Cry For Help' Signs That Aren't So Obvious 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.

Zestyclose-Pea-3533 , Quinn Dombrowski Report

Dash Blue
Community Member
4 months ago

I don’t have any friends, so thank goodness this is not a problem.

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Earlier, I had a chat about feelings of isolation and depression with Emma Morton from the University of British Columbia. Emma explained to Bored Panda in an earlier interview that it’s incredibly important that you seek professional help if you’re having suicidal thoughts and aren’t sure if you can keep yourself from harm.

“Like any other health crisis, there may be times when you need the support of a doctor or health professional to navigate the situation safely,” she said.

“However, it can be hard to know what to do when you are in the middle of overwhelming and distressing thoughts, so coming up with a safety plan ahead of time with important phone numbers (such as a crisis hotline or trusted friend), ways to keep the environment safe (e.g., removing means of suicide or substances that can increase your risk like alcohol), and strategies that can help distract or soothe you is important,” Emma detailed what we should do in times of crisis.

#13

27 People Share 'Cry For Help' Signs That Aren't So Obvious 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.

nickgio19 , Vlad Chețan Report

Aeon Flux
Community Member
4 months ago

God. I know this one.

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#14

27 People Share 'Cry For Help' Signs That Aren't So Obvious Becoming withdrawn is a very common one. Self-deprecating humour is something you should watch out for, too. It's often a sign of depression/anxiety.

CommunityHot9219 , Valerie Everett Report

Aroace tiger (any pronouns)
Community Member
4 months ago

Self-deprecating humour is my only humour.

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#15

27 People Share 'Cry For Help' Signs That Aren't So Obvious Giving a lot of personal possessions away without wanting anything in return.

tehlmehowyareelyfeal , Alena Darmel Report

SlartyBlartFast
Community Member
4 months ago

I have read that when people start giving away their possessions, even prized ones, without stating a reason, or out of the blue - they have made the decision to commit suicide.

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Emma suggested that keeping an actual ‘hope box’ can help soothe us during times of distress. Inside the box, you can put things that will help calm you down or distract you. Another thing that you can add is a list of reasons to keep living. What’s more, thinking about how you’d help your friends through depression can also give you reasons to keep going.

“In the long run, working with a psychologist or other mental health professionals to identify healthy ways to cope with stress and develop more flexible and self-compassionate thought patterns is key to maintaining good mental health,” Emma told Bored Panda.

#16

27 People Share 'Cry For Help' Signs That Aren't So Obvious The person stops caring about their appearance and neglects their hygiene and grooming because in their mind they are thinking, 'It doesn't matter, so why bother?'

Bottom4MePlease , mrkharitonov Report

MrOwlAteMyMetalWorm.
Community Member
4 months ago

What even matters?Nihilism takes you places you never needed to know about.

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#17

27 People Share 'Cry For Help' Signs That Aren't So Obvious Day dreaming tooooo much, or way harsher on themselves

Elliethezombieee_ , Liza Summer Report

Vicky Z
Community Member
4 months ago

Day dreaming is not bad... not even day dreaming a lot is bad.... dreaming means there is still hope! When you feel you have nothing to care about, you stop dreaming also! Problem is only when you don't live your life and think that your dream IS your life....

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#18

27 People Share 'Cry For Help' Signs That Aren't So Obvious Nah, I’m fine.

Earthfarmer , Amir Esrafili Report

Vermillion Ace #443
Community Member
4 months ago

I use this on customers, although my reply is "alright, I guess". If I told them how I really felt, they would look at me funny or probably get angry.

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#19

27 People Share 'Cry For Help' Signs That Aren't So Obvious When they start cutting off contact. If that outgoing, happy person suddenly 'just isn't up to it,' or always says, 'Maybe some other time,' then something is wrong.

driving_andflying , Daria Nepriakhina Report

ADHORTATOR
Community Member
4 months ago

I agree.... I have lost a good friend, he cut all contact, not only with me - but I lived 100 km away, so I did not notice that I wasn' t the only one.... and one day, my mother called me to tell me that he commited suicide. It happened 25 years ago but I still think about it.

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#20

27 People Share 'Cry For Help' Signs That Aren't So Obvious People that are suffering and feeling isolated will start to lose their ability to thermoregulate. They will feel cold all the time. This will lead them to wear extra layers or heavier clothes than would be normal for conditions, taking longer hotter showers, always the first to grab a throw to cuddle under. There's a potential evolutionary reason for it, if you're feeling lonely and isolated, then your body telling you that you're cold will force you to get closer to those in your pack to stay warm. Close physical proximity encourages better bonding. Better bonding ends loneliness.

Now, some people are what we in The North call "freeze babies", that is to say that they just don't tolerate the cold. And some people are really like that. Some people just are colder than the rest of us. But if you're at, say, the beach and everyone's out in their swimsuits because it's just too damn hot otherwise, but you see someone off by themselves in a sweater and pants looking pensive, nervous... that person's going through some [stuff].

tsooji , Polina Tankilevitch Report

Matheus Oliveira
Community Member
4 months ago

I’ve seen people who have been bullied and body shamed being especially vulnerable to this.

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#21

27 People Share 'Cry For Help' Signs That Aren't So Obvious Being more silent than usual. A lot of people miss it, or out of of as being ignorant. No that person is struggling and scared of judgement or abandonment.

TopsideScarab , Pedro Ribeiro Simões Report

Susan Geyer Reed
Community Member
4 months ago

This is me to a T. No one notices though.

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See Also on Bored Panda
#22

27 People Share 'Cry For Help' Signs That Aren't So Obvious Becoming attached to objects or other non-human things is one I have noticed quite a lot about some people I know who have struggled.

VirtualRealityOne , njt1982 Report

AmmoniteCat
Community Member
4 months ago

Yeah...relatable

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#23

27 People Share 'Cry For Help' Signs That Aren't So Obvious Purposely avoiding sad and difficult topics. Sometimes when a person is constantly feeling like s**t, 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.

sunnyrubberboots , danabooo Report

Daria B
Community Member
4 months ago

A sad topic can also be a trigger for the - oh so embarrassing- tears.

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#24

27 People Share 'Cry For Help' Signs That Aren't So Obvious Reckless behavior. It's not always "funny" or badass. There is often a "nothing matters anymore" thought behind or a deep feeling of emtyness which can be filled for a short time with risky behavior.

Leaving a group of people, sometimes even online, without an obvious reason. Some people tend to go away or even push away because they want to see if there is an opposite reaction, like testing if they are still wanted in a situation. Not all people who isolate want to be alone.

When somebody acts like they hadn't much time left, even if they seem to have. Not really a cry for help, but maybe a suicide red flag. I do it myself. I often stress about how I want to do some things in a small ammount of time because I really don't plan living past a year from now.

identitaetsberaubt , DieselDemon Report

MrOwlAteMyMetalWorm.
Community Member
4 months ago

Living happily without crippling anxiety and fear a week is better than living through that torture while pretending to be doing ok for 70 years.

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#25

27 People Share 'Cry For Help' Signs That Aren't So Obvious Marked differences in behavior 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 behavior is something you need to keep an eye on. This is especially true if they are going from a very negative pattern of thinking/behavior into an uber-positive one very quickly.

zx-km-space , osseous Report

Tim Stoneman
Community Member
4 months ago

The 'manic' part of manic depressive, sometimes occurs in people without bi-polar

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#26

27 People Share 'Cry For Help' Signs That Aren't So Obvious Excessive drinking when they usually don't.

MostOriginalNameEver , Derek Morrison Report

Eric Mac Fadden
Community Member
4 months ago

I love Hoegaarden

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#27

27 People Share 'Cry For Help' Signs That Aren't So Obvious 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.

PM_UR_REBUTTAL , Chris Report

N G
Community Member
4 months ago

What's wrong with Mitsubishi?

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