You May Also Need A Therapist
It isnt the case that your partner is dangerous for your mental health, or you have to swim against the current in order to stay sane when dating someone with anxiety. Rather, going to a professional might help you to look in detail at how you can be of more support to your partner. You might have questions you dont have answers for. So, speaking to a professional and asking for advice with no bias can help you get supportive enough for your partner.
There are misconceptions that people often believe to be true even though they are cognitive distortions. These cognitive distortions often are based on our core beliefs and that influences our behavior, responses, and our relationships.
Ways To Help A Friend With Anxiety During Coronavirus
Attribute to: Robert Gottlieb, licensed clinical professional counselor with Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital Behavioral Health. 1.Ask if they want advice, or to just be heard.2.Listen patiently.3.Dont judge.4.Empathize.5.Relate if you can, but dont take over the conversation.6.Make yourself available. 7.Thank them. 8.Check back in later.9.Offer to help. 10.Give advice only if requested.11.Encourage connection. 12.Dont assume.13.Have some helpful suggestions.
Check out these NM Care Areas:
Encourage Him To Seek Professional Help
Anxiety disorder is caused by unhealthy behavior. While self-help information can be beneficial, a professional anxiety disorder therapist is almost always required to overcome problematic anxiety. Thats because many of the underlying factors that cause issues with anxiety are invisible, and therefore, unknown to the sufferer. Unless the sufferer is professionally trained in anxiety disorder resolution, its unrealistic to think he would be able to identify, successfully address, and help himself back to lasting anxiety disorder-free health .
Click the link for more information about the best type of help for anxiety disorder.
Recommended Reading: Does Viibryd Help With Anxiety
How To Help Someone With Depression And Anxiety
This article was co-authored by Liana Georgoulis, PsyD. Dr. Liana Georgoulis is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist with over 10 years of experience, and is now the Clinical Director at Coast Psychological Services in Los Angeles, California. She received her Doctor of Psychology from Pepperdine University in 2009. Her practice provides cognitive behavioral therapy and other evidence-based therapies for adolescents, adults, and couples.There are 7 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 26,162 times.
Depression and anxiety can greatly impact peoples lives and leave them feeling isolated and unable to cope with daily life. Its difficult to see someone you care about struggling with mental health problems and not know how to help. Some of the best help you can offer is by being present in this persons life and showing that you care.
Understand The Signs Of Anxiety
Anxiety can manifest in many different ways and levels of severity. But the symptoms or signs are often the same. While not an exhaustive list, the following physical symptoms, anxious thoughts, and behaviors are some of the most common.
- Rapid or irregular heartbeat
- Feelings of panic, fear, or nervousness
- Difficulty controlling feelings of worry
- All-or-nothing thinking
- A feeling of impending doom
- Difficulty concentrating
- Believing the worst will happen
- Problems falling or staying asleep
Don’t Miss: Do I Have Social Anxiety Or Am I Just Shy
Doubting Them Makes It Worse
Unfortunately, there is still a stigma attached to this brand of mental health, which can lead to a lot of doubt from people who do not experience anxiety. The double-edged sword here is that when you doubt your partners anxiety, it can both lead to your own anxiety and simultaneously make their anxiety worse.
This is a real issue, and a real condition, not something that people make up for attention, to get out of things they do not want to do or to cover themselves when they have spoken or behaved in ways they wish they wouldnt have. When you suggest to your partner that you doubt their illness, you can push them away and force them to build up a wall to protect themselves from intimate relationships.
Take A Break Together
It can be overwhelming to have a routine scheduled up where you and your partner are constantly going through challenges of daily life. A fun hangout here and there every once in a while rekindles the spark in the relationship and helps you two to ease the tension and anxiety at hand. Spend time on something that will make you both happy and enjoy the moment together.
Write down what is challenging and try to narrow down what the important issues are and talk about them together in a calm manner.
Also Check: Why Does Anxiety Get Worse At Night
You Really Need To Pull Yourself Together
A colleague said this to me when she found me crying in the staff toilets at an event. She thought the tough love approach would help me snap out of it. However, not only did it not help, it made me feel more embarrassed and exposed. It confirmed that I was a freak and therefore needed to hide my condition.
When faced with anxiety, the natural response from observers seems to be to encourage the person to calm down. Ironically, this only makes it worse. The sufferer is desperate to calm down, but is unable to do so.
How To Help Someone Struggling With Anxiety
It may be tough to debate anxiousness with somebody, particularly somebody you like. Many individuals nonetheless see psychological well being as a taboo subject and could also be uncomfortable sharing their private struggles, however assist of a cherished one will be extraordinarily useful in dealing with anxiousness. By ensuring your beloved feels heard and supported, you may make an enormous distinction of their therapeutic journey.
So, how are you going to begin the dialog? What do you have to say? How are you going to actually assist? Iâm going to share with you a couple of ideas that will help you know learn how to navigate these delicate conversations.
Recommended Reading: Why Am I Getting Anxiety
Help Your Friend Create An Anxiety Plan
There is a concept called My Anxiety Plan . The concept comes from an organization called Anxiety Canada. The process for creating a MAP relies on creating a set of steps and strategies that can be used to deal with symptoms of anxiety disorders.
You can encourage your friend or loved one to create their MAP or a similar plan for how they will deal with and manage their symptoms of agoraphobia as they occur. You may be the first one to introduce the person to the concept of developing a defined strategy for coping with symptoms of anxiety or the triggers that can lead to agoraphobia symptoms.
Focus On What You Can Change
Many times anxiety stems from fearing things that havent even happened and may never occur. For example, even though everything is okay, you may still worry about potential issues, such as losing your job, becoming ill, or the safety of your loved ones.
Life can be unpredictable and no matter how hard you try, you cant always control what happens. However, you can decide how you are going to deal with the unknown. You can turn your anxiety into a source of strength by letting go of fear and focusing on gratitude.
Replace your fears by changing your attitude about them. For example, stop fearing to lose your job and instead focus on how grateful you are to have a job. Come to work determined to do your best. Instead of fearing your loved one’s safety, spend time with them, or express your appreciation of them. With a little practice, you can learn to dump your anxiety and pick up a more positive outlook.
At times, your anxiety may actually be caused by a real circumstance in your life. Perhaps youre in a situation where it is realistic to be worried about losing your job due to high company layoffs or talks of downsizing.
When anxiety is identified as being caused by a current problem, then taking action may be the answer to reducing your anxiety. For example, you may need to start job searching or scheduling interviews after work.
Don’t Miss: What Can Help My Anxiety
What Is An Anxiety Disorder
Anxiety disorders are characterized as mental health disorders that directly impact ones ability to go about their daily activities. When feelings of fear, stress, and worry are so strong that someone is incapable of doing routine things, that is the manifestation of their anxiety disorder.
As with many other mental health issues, this can occur at varying degrees and be triggered by different things. Hence the definition is somewhat broad. When you are dating someone with anxiety, do not assume that their brand of the disorder is generic. Instead, take the time to learn about how an anxiety disorder functions in their life specifically.
Help Your Loved One Plan For The Future
Anxiety is often rooted in a fear of the future and things outside our control. Making a plan for each day and each week helps keep anxiety at bay because you know what to expect and you know what role you have to play. This is especially important if you have a spouse struggling with anxiety.
Be specific about what your picture of the upcoming days and weeks look like for you. Planning together and affirming each others decisions helps your loved one believe in their bones that theyre safe and supported.
Don’t Miss: Can Anxiety Cause Weight Loss
Make Your Presence Known
Now, more than ever, everyone is just a phone call, text message, or FaceTime away. Anxiety creates feelings of burden, so someone who is truly suffering might not feel comfortable reaching out for help. Do it for them. Social interaction is a key component of healthy human behavior, says Dr. Saranga. Your friend will be most appreciative for the opportunity to get things off their chest, and might welcome the chance to help you do the same. Its a win-win, and one thats very easy to accomplish in a real way with options such as Zoom and Skype being available.
Learning How To Better Communicate About The Anxiety
Anxiety can be scary. It can make you want to avoid talking about it.
Nonetheless, one of the most effective ways to cope with anxiety in a relationship is to talk about it openly, honestly and directly with your partner.
Having candid talks together on what they are feeling and validating those feelings is paramount, said therapist Daryl Cioffi.
To show your partner you accept their anxiety, you need to encourage them to open up about it. Try to listen without judging, becoming defensive or taking their anxiety personally.
Don’t Let Someone’s Panic Attack Become A Spectator Sport
People dont always know how to help someone with anxiety, especially if the person is in panic mode. Theyll often be so concerned that they start calling 911 because it looks scary, Nicholson says.
If you see that your loved one is having another panic attack , help them move to a more private area.
Youll be doing that person a favor because unwanted attention can often exacerbate symptoms of panic, she says, especially if the person has social anxiety.
Managing Your Reactions To The Anxiety
When your partner talks about his or her anxiety in the context of your relationship, its easy to take it personally and become upset. Its easy to interpret the anxiety as selfishness, rejection or an attempt to create distance, said therapist Michael Hilgers.
You will want them to just get over it, Hilgers said. You will want them to just not worry about it.
The moment you make it about you, youll start to feel upset. You might react defensively and say something mean.
If you cant bend without shaming, you will only make the problem worse, Hilgers added.
Then you partner will strike back. Flash forward to an hour later and youre fighting. The argument has snowballed. You might not even remember why you are fighting.
Instead of allowing the anxiety to rile you up, take a moment to calm down. Remind yourself that the anxiety most likely isnt about you. Youre not the source of it. Its about your partner.
Calmly address what your partner is feeling. You can say something like, Im really sorry you feel that way. That must be hard. Is there anything we can do to help you feel better about that?
Managing your reactions is more important than managing your partners reactions, said Talkspace therapist Marci Payne. It can help you be there for your partner and set boundaries. If your partners anxiety causes you to flip out every time they bring it up, it will be impossible to support them.
Don’t Miss: Can Hypnosis Help With Anxiety And Depression
What Else Can I Do
Educate yourself about anxiety disorders. Knowing more will help you find resources and recognize warning signs, like how to know if anxiety is slipping into depression. It will also help you understand what its like to live with anxiety.
Depending on your relationship, you can also help the person with lifestyle changes that might make a difference, such as:
Dont forget to take care of yourself, too. Helping a loved one with anxiety can be exhausting. Make time to talk with other people, do things for yourself, and find balance in your own life.
Why Do You Feel Anxious
This is one of the most infuriating questions, ever. But everybody close to me has asked it at least once over the years. If I knew why I felt so anxious, then surely Id be able to find a bloody solution! Asking why only highlights how clueless I am. Still, I dont blame them. Its natural for humans to ask questions and try to determine what the problem is. We like to solve things.
When your friend is struggling with anxiety, dont use comments like these. Here are five ways you can actually help them:
You May Like: Can You Control Anxiety Attacks
Caring For Someone Who Has Anxiety
Over the past few years, more and more attention has been given towards the mental health of Canadians.
Anxiety has been found to be the most common mental health problem in Canada with the Anxiety Disorders Association of Canada reporting that one in four Canadians a whopping 25 per cent will have at least one anxiety disorder in their lifetime.
If you are a family caregiver caring for someone with anxiety, there are different coping strategies that you may have already tried. You may have told them to just stop worrying. Perhaps you have tried to support the person by taking on the activity that the person has been avoiding.
For example, if the person is anxious about driving, going to the grocery store, or dealing with finances, you may have taken on these tasks and responsibilities. You may have thought that taking on these responsibilities would be a temporary fix until the person feels more comfortable.
The problem is when temporary fixes become the new normal and while well intentioned, these types of coping strategies dont assist the person in reducing or even managing their anxiety in the longer run. Also, if your strategy as a family caregiver has been to avoid the anxiety triggers for the person in your care , such as declining party invitations, you have by default made your own world smaller.
Making accommodations for the person in your care can actually increase the persons anxiety. Why?