Emotional Distress on Social Media-feature

Facebook. Twitter. Instagram. Tumblr. The list goes on.

Social media has opened up so many positive opportunities to connect with our loved ones. Unfortunately, it has also made it much easier for us to express negative emotions. Do you know how to tell if your friend is in trouble?

Knowing If Your Friend Is In Danger

It is one thing to scroll past a negative status update. It is another to stop, take a moment, and really take in what your friend is trying to say. Their cries for help might be concealed by a subtle “haha” or “lol”, brightly coloured emojis, or even memes.

When determining if your friend is in emotional distress, watch out for these events and phrases:

  • Consistent negativity and putting down of one’s self
    “I am a failure.”
    “Why do I even bother?”
  • Sleepless nights
    “Lying in bed, can’t sleep again.”
    “I spend all day being tired but I can’t sleep at night.”
  • Isolation
    “Another day in bed.”
    “I am my only friend – I can’t trust anyone.”
  • Abnormal behaviour
    Drinking more than usual or beginning to use drugs
    Increased irritability and getting into more fights

More Obvious Signs of Suicidal Behaviour

The statements above are hints that something might be wrong with your friend. This next list is comprised of phrases that suggest suicide. Pay close attention to the mentions of glamourized death and speaking of life in the past tense. These should be taken very seriously:

  • “What is the point of living anymore?”
  • “The pain is too much to handle.”
  • “I am sorry that I bothered everyone with my problems.”
  • “Death isn’t so bad.”

Offering Help

As a friend and bystander of this distressed behaviour, it is your duty to:

  • Lend an ear – be sure to listen without judgment and take everything that your friend is saying very seriously
  • Connect your friend to services and resources that can help them out, including Kids Help Phone or the Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention
  • Reach out to a parent, teacher, or medical professional for a second opinion

You should not be concerned about upsetting your friend. They will ultimately understand your good intentions surrounding their wellbeing. Your bravery can save someone’s life.

Lindsey Locke | SOS Media Corp | Copywriter