In this article, Brain Wellness Spa Anxiety Clinic shares some tips on how you can help a person with anxiety disorder.
Anxiety disorder does not only affect the person having the condition, but it also extends to the people surrounding him, including his loved ones and colleagues. Helping a family member or friend dealing with anxiety can be a challenge. If you know someone with anxiety disorder, you may probably experience having to deal with unhealthy attachment patterns as the person with anxiety disorder becomes overly dependent on you. Sometimes, you might avoid him altogether because you don’t know what to do or say, or maybe you don’t really understand what he is going through.
It’s not easy to help someone who is experiencing anxiety. Sometimes, you might feel helpless because you don’t have any idea what to do to help the person with such a condition or you are being too careful not to aggravate the situation and further trigger his emotions. Taking the first step will require some thought and care.
You might feel that you are not needed but more often than not, people dealing with anxiety do not want to reveal their condition to others because of social stigma, or they also do not know how to express their feelings. But people with anxiety just needed reassurance that people around them will be supportive and accepting of their situation.
How You Can Help?
You can start by educating yourself about anxiety disorder. Understanding anxiety disorder is a great step in helping someone with anxiety. You need to understand what people with anxiety are going through so you will know what kind of help they would need from you.
You also need to dispel the notion that having anxiety means being mentally deficient. Almost everyone feels anxiety as we experience physical, mental and behavioral changes we feel in response to a threat. However, anxiety disorders are different in that they are more intense and persistent, to a degree which interferes with a person’s life.
Some people equate having anxiety disorder to a flaw but you need to understand that it is a serious mental health issue and the person who suffers from it has no control over it. By deeply understanding what this mental condition is, you can help a loved one or a friend without making them feel like they are less of a person because of their condition.
By understanding that people with anxiety disorder have no control over their feelings and emotions, you should avoid telling them to just snap out of it. Many people who do not understand this kind of mental condition seem to think that you can do a “mind over matter” trick to treat your condition. Just like a physical health problem, anxiety disorder is a real mental illness that requires professional treatment.
This is not to discount what self-help can do on the mental health of a person with anxiety disorder. Self-care is also important but lasting recovery requires the help of professional therapists.
Be kind, accepting and reassure the person with anxiety disorder that he is not alone.
People with anxiety deal with constant fear of impending danger and humiliation. They experience extreme sense of fear and worry accompanied by physical symptoms which can affect all systems of the body. When an individual has an intense and paralysing sense of fear or a more sustained pattern of worrying even when there is no real danger or threat, that person has anxiety disorder. Imagine having to live your life with these constant fears while trying to act normal in front of your friends and loved ones. The emotions can be overwhelming that it would oftentimes lead to mental breakdowns.
Having anxiety disorders can be a really lonely experience. A person with anxiety disorder can surpass a panic attack by having supportive people around. People who will reassure him/her that everything will be okay. When a person experiences episodes of panic attack, he may feel that there is no escape and this would lead to him to having suicide thoughts. But having the reassurance from people around him that he can get through it, that he has people whom he can rely on to help him get through it, will surely help him overcome his anxiety attack. He will find comfort in knowing that he has someone by their side and that he doesn’t need to go through it alone.
Lastly, you should convince him/her to seek professional help.
As mentioned earlier, anxiety disorder is as serious as having a physical health problem, and requires the help of a professional for treatment. Encourage the person to consult with a professional anxiety disorder therapist. By seeking the help of a professional, there would be proper diagnosis as to what causes the disorder and prevent them from happening.
As someone on the outside looking in at a loved one suffering, it is important for you to know what you could do to help and to understand a person who has anxiety disorder. The help and support of the people around him are important to help him deal with his condition but a lasting recovery from this disorder can only be achieved by seeking the help of a professional anxiety disorder therapist. A professional can provide a proper treatment plan appropriate to the needs of the person with anxiety disorder.