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How To Help A Person With Anxiety

Learn The Signs Of Anxiety

How to Help Someone With Depression or Anxiety

Anxiety manifests in different ways in different people. However, there are similar symptoms that can co-occur. While the following isnt an exhaustive list by any means, it does represent some of the most common symptoms associated with anxiety. People with anxiety often experience:

  • Repetitive feelings of nervousness, fear, or panic
  • Constantly feeling wound up or on-edge
  • Restlessness and jitteriness
  • Headache
  • Nausea

People with chronic anxiety may also experience muscle tightness, dry mouth, sweating, irritation, overgeneralizing, and a sense of impending doom. They may feel that the worst is always about to happen, even if theres no logical reasoning for that type of thought. At times, they may even experience a panic attack.

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:

Continue Supporting Them And Respond To Emergencies

On a bad day, your friend might not want to leave their room. If they say something like Im going to cancel my appointment today, encourage them to follow through with the appointment.

Whether or not your friend has decided to get professional help, its important that they know they can get support from you, or other friends and family.

If you think your friend may be in danger or at risk of hurting themselves or someone else, seek help from a trusted adult or emergency mental health service immediately. Call 000 to reach emergency services and also tell someone you trust.

In more serious cases, its important to let an older/more responsible adult know whats going on. You dont have to be perfect all the time and making mistakes are inevitable and a good thing as we can learn from them. Anzelmo

Read Also: How To Help A Spouse With Anxiety

How To Help Someone With Anxiety

All of us worry and get scared from time to time. But those with anxiety may feel consumed by fears of things that might seem irrational to others. It can be hard to relate to these concerns, and as a result, many people dont know how to best help someone with anxiety. People are often dismissive of people experiencing anxiety, says Joseph McGuire, Ph.D., a pediatric psychologist with Johns Hopkins Medicine. With other medical illnesses, you may be able to see physical symptoms. But with anxiety, you dont necessarily see what the person is dealing with. So its important to be sensitive to what the person with anxiety is going through, even if it doesnt make sense to you. Its distressing to watch a loved one experience panic attacks and face anxiety every day, but there are things you can do to help. It starts with recognizing the signs of excessive worry and understanding the best ways to support your loved one.

How Do I Help Someone Who Has Suicidal Thoughts

How to support someone with social anxiety

Suicidal thoughts should always be taken seriously. According to Lyons, you should, Follow up. Ask direct questions. Do they have a plan? Do they have a means to act? If so, respond. Let them know that what youre hearing is serious.


Even if your friend doesnt have a plan to act, Lyons still advises encouraging them to seek support from a professional.

She also recommends that you:

  • Listen to them.
  • Talk with them about it.
  • Check in regularly.
  • Sometimes people think that talking about it will motivate their loved one to act, but thats not how suicidal ideation works, Lyons says. Dont avoid the topic.

    Read Also: Why Do I Have So Much Anxiety

    Support Them To Seek Help

    If you think your friend or family member’s anxiety is becoming a problem for them, you could encourage them to seek treatment by talking to a GP or therapist. You could:

    • Offer to help them arrange a doctor’s appointment. If they are scared of leaving the house, you could suggest they ring their GP to find out if they will do home visits and telephone appointments.
    • Offer support when they attend appointments. You could offer to go with them to their appointments and wait in the waiting room. You can also help them plan what they’d like to talk about with the doctor. See our page on talking to your GP for more information.
    • Help them seek help from a therapist. See our page on how to find a therapist for more information.
    • Help them research different options for support, such as community services or peer support groups such as those run by Anxiety UK and No Panic. See our useful contacts page for more information. You could also call Mind’s Infoline to find out more about local services.

    See our page on helping someone else seek help for more information.

    What Is Generalized Anxiety Disorder

    With GAD, you may feel extreme and unrealistic worry and tension even if theres nothing to trigger these feelings. Most days, you may worry a lot about various topics, including health, work, school and relationships. You may feel that the worry continues from one thing to the next.

    Physical symptoms of GAD can include restlessness, difficulty concentrating and sleeping problems.

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    Do Look After Yourself

    When you offer to help with anxiety, it is understandable for you to feel frustrated, scared or tired from time to time. It is likely that their anxieties are having an effect on you too.

    Make sure that youre dealing with these emotions and maintaining your wellbeing. Talk to other friends or family members about how you are feeling, think about accessing therapeutic support, take really good care of your physical and mental health, and book in time every week to do activities that you enjoy. By keeping yourself well, you will be in a much better position to help the person with anxiety.

    And always remember, youre doing your best.

    Dont Minimize Their Struggles

    SUPPORT: How can I help someone with anxiety and stress?

    Statements such as, Stop worrying, and, Its not that big of a deal, and, You have no reason to be anxious, are unhelpful and can be hurtful. A person with an anxiety disorder is generally aware of the fact that their anxiety has reached an irrational level. As a loved one, you pointing out this fact can lead to more negative self-judgments and discomfort on your loved ones part.

    Instead, find out what support is needed by asking, How can I be helpful? or offer statements of support such as, I am here with you, It sounds like you are having a tough time, or You seem overwhelmed, let me know if you need anything.

    Recommended Reading: How To Stop Social Anxiety

    Exploring Treatment Options For Anxiety

    Professional help is by far the most effective treatment option for anxiety. Experts can help you find the most effective treatment solution for the person you are helping. Nonetheless, one treatment option doesnt fit all. Thus, you have to explore and research as many treatment options as possible for anyone with anxiety. Below are some of the best treatment options that work for people with anxiety.

    1. Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy

    Also known as CBT, cognitive therapy helps in rewiring anxious brains. CBT is evidence-based, and numerous studies show how effective CBT is in treating various medical conditions. CBT is a treatment that combats the thought patterns that lead to anxiety.

    Negative thought patterns and inaccurate thoughts are potential causes of false perceptions among people with anxiety. CBT helps in lowering stress levels and reducing signs of anxiety.

    Looking for medicinal anxiety treatment? Click the button below to book your appointment.

    2. Anxiety Medication

    Anxiety medications are prescribed with other therapeutic approaches, including CBT. Anxiety medications are the first option of treatment among persons with anxiety. These drugs are among the most effective medications for anxiety:


    These are sedatives that ease the effects of anxiety medications. These sedatives also help with reducing muscle tension that results from anxiety disorders. Some of the drugs in this category include Valium, Ativan, and Xanax.



    Focus On Something Less Anxiety

    At times, it may be most helpful to simply redirect yourself to focus on something other than your anxiety. You may want to reach out to others, do some work around your home, or engage in an enjoyable activity or hobby. Here are a few ideas of things you can do to thwart off anxiety:

    • Do some chores or organizing around the house.
    • Engage in a creative activity, such as drawing, painting, or writing.
    • Go for a walk or engage in some other form of physical exercise.
    • Listen to music.

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    Listen To The Person With Empathy

    After understanding the symptoms of anxiety in a person, the next vital step to helping them is listening to their experiences with empathy. Empathetic behavior is an attribute that doesnt come naturally but rather through practice and tolerance. Empathy is a vital skill when dealing with people with any mental condition, including anxiety.

    The best way to help someone with anxiety is first to understand their emotional makeup. Next, show kindness and interest in helping the individual. The person will gain confidence once you demonstrate a willingness to help them deal with their anxiety problems. The better your understanding of the person, the more a transparent conversation can occur between you and that person.

    Being an empathetic listener also shows you can recognize other peoples feelings and further analyze their anxiety triggers. Listening to what a person with anxiety is saying is also vital since it helps both you and the person you are helping to develop two-way communication. Simply put, empathy is a great skill you need to build confidentiality and trust between you and the individual you are striving to help.

    Learn About What Your Friend Is Going Through

    Five Ways to Support a Loved One with Anxiety or Depression

    Not totally sure what depression or anxiety are, or how to help a friend with depression or anxiety? A really great first step in helping your friend is to find out more about depression, anxiety or anything else your friend is going through this will help you to better understand what’s happening and how they feel.

    My friends try to learn more about what Im experiencing, especially asking for and going to sources of information I recommend. hellofriend

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    Learning To Be Assertive

    Being assertive means communicating your needs, wants, feelings, beliefs and opinions to others in a direct and honest manner without intentionally hurting anyones feelings. A person with an anxiety disorder may have trouble being assertive because they are afraid of conflict or believe they have no right to speak up. However, relating passively to others lowers self-confidence and reinforces anxiety. Learning to behave assertively is central to developing a stronger self-esteem.

    Above All Continually Offer Hope

    Anyone can overcome anxiety disorder with the right information, help, and support. Freedom from problematic anxiety is attainable even though it can be a lot of work. Your continued reassurance can help him or her get through the drudgery of recovery. Once he or she has recovered, youll recognize the true value of the hope you provided.

    As we mentioned, there arent any miracle or quick-fix cures for anxiety disorder. Overcoming it requires getting the right information, help, and support, and then doing the work required. But success is attainable for anyone willing to do the work.

    Your help in this process can make a significant difference, especially when you know how to help. The above tips can help you help your loved one.

    For 35 additional ways to help someone with anxiety disorder, members can read the 50 Ways To Help Someone With Anxiety Disorder section in Chapter 14 in the Recovery Support area.

    Members can also visit the sections 10 Ways To Help Children Of A Parent With Anxiety Disorder and 20 Ways To Help Affected Others in Chapter 14, as well.

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    How Are Anxiety Disorders Treated

    An anxiety disorder is like any other health problem that requires treatment. You cant will it away. Its not a matter of self-discipline or attitude. Researchers have made a lot of progress in the last few decades in treating mental health conditions. Your healthcare provider will tailor a treatment plan that works for you. Your plan may combine medication and psychotherapy.

    Practical Tips For Helping A Friend With Anxiety

    How to Help Someone With Anxiety

    Helping someone with anxiety can be intimidating. Often, the anxious person feels completely overwhelmed by their anxiety, especially if they experience panic attacks or find themselves gripped by anxious thoughts .

    If your anxious friend doesn’t understand their anxiety yet, they may not be able to give you a clear answer about what you can do to be helpful to them. Use the ideas below as a starting point. The same advice applies whether the anxious person you’re trying to help is a friend, your spouse/partner, or another family member. You can always show this article to your anxious friend or loved one and get their feedback on what applies to them and what doesn’t.

    If you’re looking for suggestions for how to help someone with anxiety attacks in particular, you’ll find a specific section on that at the bottom of this article. Much of the advice below also applies to how to help someone with depression. There is a lot of overlap between depression and anxiety, and many people who experience one experience the other.

    1. Educate yourself about what can help anxiety.

    In addition, there are specific types of anxiety strategies that are suited to being done with an accountability partner:

    2. Help your anxious friend break free of avoidance behavior.

    Common examples of such behavior include avoiding:

    • Making phone calls
    • Getting started on a task that feels intimidating
    • Repairing mistakes

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    Watch For Potential Co

    Approximately 20 percent of people who have an anxiety disorder also have a drug or alcohol addiction . Be aware of your loved ones alcohol intake and their drug use including the prescription medications they take and if they are using any illicit drugs.

    When a person struggles with co-occurring generalized anxiety disorder and substance use, treatment is more likely to be successful if both disorders are treated together.

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