How to Help Someone with Anxiety

How to Help Someone with Anxiety

Seeing a close friend or family member suffer anxiety attacks can be a ravaging experience. As you see your close ones going through a devastating range of emotions, you feel helpless and usually at a loss about how you can help them. And help is something they definitely need, even if they don’t realize it. But it’s not really easy to extend support to someone who’s messed up in the head, as anxiety symptoms often seem to appear. Here are some tips to help someone suffering from anxiety, without giving in to the pressure of such care and support.

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Be Patiently There for Them

Yes, that, in many ways, is the beginning and the end of helping someone with anxiety. You need to be around for them, to listen to them, to understand their fears and their insecurities, and to empathize with their frustrations and needs. It’s a long battle, which you can win only with patience and love. So spend time listening to their thoughts and feelings. Remember, just venting their thoughts and emotions could go a long way in helping them out of their anxiety.


Support Them through Therapy Sessions

From persuading them to go for therapy, to actually accompanying them to the therapeutic sessions, you can help them in a big way by joining their quest for a resolution to their fear and stress. Just having you around will prove to be a big support system for them. But that’s just one part of it. Being present with your loved ones during their therapy will give you new insight into their problem and equip you even better to help them. However, don’t intrude if they want to undergo therapy alone or even if they don’t want to undergo therapy at all. Respect their feelings, because that’s probably the best help you can give them in such a situation. Forcing them to do something doesn’t help them and in the worst case makes them just push you further away from them. To subtly show them that you want to help them but not force them to do something they don’t want to, you can get them an effective self-help program. As there is so much scam on the market, be sure to select a high-quality program which is proven to help. The best thing is that they can get familiar with the program at their own pace and find the right methods that will work just for them.


Patience Is the Key

Again, patience is vital to helping someone with anxiety. And it’s not just patience that’s needed in listening to them or understanding their feelings but also patience in other more difficult ways. So you may need to deal with their anger, which may be directed at you for no fault of your own, with patience. Or you may have to accept their demand for solitude when your senses tell you that what they need is your supportive company. There may be times when they refuse to eat despite your best efforts, or simply fail to respond to your repeated attempts to call them. Remember, they’re not ignoring you deliberately, nor are they trying to starve themselves to death. It’s just that they probably don’t notice when they were hungry or when the phone was ringing. Stress and anxiety can do that to people, with lack of concentration being one of the symptoms of anxiety.
Curb your Anxiety


Take Them Seriously

Have you ever felt that your anxiety afflicted loved ones are talking stupid or silly things, which seem like nonsense to everyone except them? Well, maybe it sounds silly and stupid, but it’s the way they feel, and the way they think. It’s not themselves, it’s the anxiety which is speaking, not them. And whatever they feel or think is probably as important to them as your thoughts and emotions are to you. Anxiety warps the perception of the sufferer in many ways, and you can’t force them to change that perception without first respecting those emotions and thoughts. So don’t ever trivialize them or try to demolish their self-respect in any way. It doesn’t matter if you can’t relate to what they’re going through. After all, they also can’t relate to you as a human being, at least not in their present condition. And remember, just because they are suffering from anxiety, or are more prone to succumbing to stress, depression and tension than you are, it doesn’t mean they don’t deserve your respect. They deserve and need all your respect and love, and some more!


Protect Them from the Causes of Their Anxiety

Anxiety always has some kind of a trigger. And if you’re living in close proximity with an anxiety victim, it’s not very difficult for you to identify the trigger. Once you know what triggers your loved one’s anxiety, just do your best to keep them away from that trigger. Perhaps your loved one is phobic to a certain types of food. Make sure you never bring that food home even if you love it. Or, if certain kinds of movies cause more horror to your loved one than normal, be sure to skip those kinds of movies and concentrate on more lighter and entertaining types of movies.

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While your close ones suffering from anxiety deserve your best care and support, it shouldn’t be at the cost of your own mental and emotional health. Taking care of someone with anxiety problem can be difficult and stressful, but succumbing to the pressures of such stress will not help you or them. It would not be wrong to say that anxiety can be contagious, and living in close proximity with someone suffering from anxiety can make you a victim of the same problem. Find time for yourself, take occasional breaks to relax your mind, and spend also some time with people who have no connection with your anxiety afflicted friend or family member.


Another important thing to keep in mind is that while patience is essential to helping someone with anxiety, you need to draw a line between being sensitive to their needs and treating them as babies. Encourage them to make decisions, since that will help imbue them with self-confidence. Don’t rush to help them every time they call out to you, as that may cause them to become dependent on you.


Anxiety, unfortunately, often itself becomes a fresh source of stress and tends to impact not just the minds of the sufferers but also their bodies and hearts. So tackling it becomes a delicate task, requiring a lot of sensitivity, tenderness, and discretion. Don’t rush them to intensive therapy sessions if they are not ready for that, choose a more gentle way to show your support. Efficient, holistic anxiety programs can provide a lot of help when the person with anxiety tries to find ways and methods to beat her anxiety and panic attacks. They can go through the guide when it suits them best, and try out different methods to find out the ones which help them most.


And finally, remember that time is the biggest healer. So give your loved one, and yourself, time to overcome the problem and don’t give up on hope. Appreciate their efforts and look at every achievement with pride.

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