The Mendl Blog #1 - Noticing the Signs


Whether it be a cut, bruise or rash, our body is usually a good indicator of how our physical health is coping. These indicators can be noticed by ourselves or others, and once they are, we’re usually quick to seek professional help.
However, the signs of faltering mental health can be much more subtle and not everyone can sense when things are slipping out of control. Does a disorganised sleeping pattern make you depressed? When your mate hasn’t responded in a few days, is that a call for alarm? These questions aren’t straight forward and usually land somewhere in the grey, but knowing the signs is a good way to start to take notice of these changes and give them the attention they deserve.
One of these signs alone might not be enough to start a rescue effort, but if they persist or start to add up, it might be time to take some action. Here’s what we should be looking out for :

1. Loss of interest in hobbies

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Depression has the tendency to suck the fun out of the activities we once enjoyed. Whether it be kicking the footy, going out for a run, playing games or just hanging out with mates, a slump in mental health can make these activities feel like chores, leaving us at home wondering why things have changed. Losing interest in a single hobby is normal, but not wanting to do anything could be a sign of a bigger problem.

2. Alcohol and drug abuse

When our hobbies are stripped away from us, a relationship is falling apart or a new job isn’t living up to the hype, it’s tempting to escape and find joy in something else. Although the use of alcohol and drugs can be manageable in moderation, when things aren’t going as planned, we can rely too heavily on them to fill a hole left by one of life’s many complications. If you notice a close mate going a little too hard, it’s high-time to consider the potential flow-on impacts on their mental health.

3. Unhealthy thought patterns

Rumination is when our thoughts become repetitive, excessive and negativistic and can impede on our sensible and stable thinking patterns. People with depression can get entrenched in these thoughts on a daily basis, weighing them down as they go about their day. If you notice someone being too overly critical, worrisome or hopeless, don’t shrug it off. Noticing is often the first step to saving them from their trance. 

4. Withdrawing from social interactions

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“Nah, I think I’ll skip this one out fellas.” Sometimes our mates have perfectly valid reasons for not wanting to come out for a drink, but if they brush you off time and time again, something could be off. It’s normal for a muddled mind to want escape from the chatter of a crowd, so don’t let your friends’ absence go unnoticed. Ask the question if they are doing ok.

5. Feeling angry or irritable

When depression hits, men are more likely to report feeling angry or irritable rather than feeling low. Anger is perfectly normal when it’s in proportion to the situation in front of us, but letting rage consume us in the face of a small inconvenience or snapping at an innocent joke could be a sign of a bigger problem, especially if this is uncharacteristic behaviour.

6. Falling behind with studies / work

In an educational or workplace setting, missed deadlines can be a red flag. Instead of chalking it up as laziness, consider that there might be something bigger going in their life that’s hindering their work ethic. Take the time to check in on them and you might just save them from failing or losing their job, which would make their lives that much more difficult.

7. Significant weight loss or gain

Not every weight transformation is something to be suspicious of, nor is it always something to behold. What matters is the reason behind it. Some people strategically set weight goals and accomplish these goals in record times. But others might experience fast weight changes because they’re repelled by the way they look or have an abnormal eating schedule due to stress or other circumstances, sometimes skipping meals. Be the mate who knows the difference.

8. Loss in concentration

Ever finding yourself zoning out or getting easily distracted? Poor mental health has the tendency of sabotaging our ability to concentrate. In turn, our ability to study and work worsens, putting our livelihoods at risk. If you think declining mental health is the culprit, make sure you seek help before more problems arise.

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In the grips of mental turmoil, it’s easy to withdraw into your own company and away from the people who care about you. It’s just as tempting to act as if everything is fine when things are nothing but. With these factors against us, our vigilance is needed to recognise when our mates are feeling down so we don’t let them fight it alone.

 The importance of understanding these signs, especially the more subtle ones, cannot be understated. Paying close attention to these changes and taking the proper action could potentially be the difference between life and death for a person close to you. Equipped with this knowledge, keep an eye out for any behaviour that might be indicative of a cluttered mind and give them the attention they need to get back on their feet.

Don’t be complacent, it might just make all the difference.

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To get in touch with mental health support services, click here.


At Mendl, we believe in the power of conversation to spark change. That's why we are passionate about giving mental health a credible, authentic platform, giving men in particular motivation to speak up and take action on this growing issue. We spread this message through our apparel--visit our store to continue the conversation and to show your support for the #mendlmovement.