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.
Katie’s Story: Recovering From Panic Attacks Anxiety And Depression
I am not a laid back person. I never have been. I worry and get stressed and can be quite negative sometimes. Last year, this started to get slowly worse.
It took a long time to notice it but I lost control of how stressed I was getting. I would randomly start crying in the taxi on the way to a party or struggle to answer the phone at work because I was terrified. I felt like I was losing my mind thoughts were racing constantly and I kept seeing images in my head of death.
Then one day at work I had my first SEVERE panic attack. Nothing happened, I was just at my desk replying to emails and then suddenly I felt myself losing it. It was like I just couldnt cope anymore with anything. I didnt know I was having a panic attack at the time all I remember is feeling like I was going die.
With encouragement from everyone I booked myself an appointment with the GP as well an appointment with the counselling service. I was taught different techniques and ways in which to cope with what was happening to me I learnt about mindfulness, breathing techniques, visualisation and the power of just ACCEPTING that you’re experiencing anxiety and that’s okay it’s going to go away eventually. It was really helpful.
Now, things are good. Not perfect! But that’s never going to happen and I can accept and be okay with that.
Look after yourself and be patient, kind and non-judgemental to others.
Thank you so much for reading.
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What Is The Anxiety Trick
The Anxiety Trick is this: You experience Discomfort, and get fooled into treating it like Danger.
What do we do when we’re in danger? We only have three things: Fight, Flight, and Freeze. If it looks weaker than me, I’ll fight it. If it looks stronger than me, but slower, I’ll run away. And if it looks stronger and faster than me, I’ll freeze and hope it doesn’t see so good. That’s all we have for danger.
When people experience the fear of a panic attack, or a phobic encounter, or an obsessive thought, they instinctively treat it as a danger. They try to protect themselves, with some variation of Fight, Flight, or Freeze.
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Anxiety Is Not Always Bad
On that note, keep in mind that anxiety, as an emotion, is not inherently bad. Its only debilitating in the wrong amounts. Having the appropriate level of anxiety in our brain not too much, but just enough can actually motivate us. Like the example given above, anxiety is a contributing factor in motivating us to study for tests, determine how to act among others, maintain our physical health, achieve our aspirational goals, and so on. Its only when our levels of anxiety get out of balance that it becomes unhealthy and dysfunctional. Thats when we need to seek treatment.
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Anxiety is a psychological and physical reaction to situations that are unfamiliar, threatening, stressful or dangerous. Emotionally, anxiety brings feelings of apprehension or fear. Everyone experiences anxiety from time to time, but for some people, its a debilitating way of life. When anxiety wont go away, a person may be diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. When anxiety gets in the way of living your life and persists for more than six months, you may have an anxiety disorder.
What Are the Types of Anxiety Disorders
Generalized Anxiety Disorder . GAD is common. Its identified by excessive and unusual levels of apprehension or worry about everyday issues like work, health, relationships, school, and so forth. A person suffering from GAD has no reason for worrying about these issues, but the anxiety exists anyway.
The symptoms of Generalized Anxiety Disorder include:
- Shortness of breath, a sensation of choking or smothering
- A feeling of losing control of themselves
- Feelings of impending doom
Can My Anxiety Go Away?
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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.
Accept That Though Anxiety Is Part Of Your Life It Doesn’t Define You
These days, when the hormones hit, or I feel a migraine coming on, I accept it. Can the beach fight the wave? Knowing that the answer is no helps.
With treatment, you can bring your symptoms into check. But since you are predisposed to anxiety, when events happen in your life, you are more likely to have bigger anxiety responses than other people.
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Whats The Outlook For People With Anxiety
As noted earlier, feeling anxious from time to time is a normal part of life. But for people with an anxiety disorder, however, the truth is it may never really go away.
APA says that while anxiety disorders are common, affecting nearly 30% of adults at some point in their lives, it is treatable with various methods. Psychotherapy and medications can help people manage their anxiety disorder so that they can have sound mental health and well-being.
Untreated anxiety is something to watch for, as it can worsen over time and lead to unfavorable outcomes, such as making it very difficult for a person to live a normal life. Some people even turn to illegal substances and alcohol to self-medicate against anxiety. Self-medication can be dangerous. It can lead to addiction and other harmful behaviors.
Sowill Anxiety Ever Go Away
As you can see, this question has no simple answer!
For most people who have experienced anxiety and sought treatment, there is often a reduction in the symptoms and distress associated with it. Understanding the origins of the anxiety, as well as common triggers, and learning how to manage these and regulate your emotions, means that youll feel more confident and empowered when you start to notice symptoms in the future.
It is to be expected that anxiety might come up during difficult times in life, but you can better prepare yourself for this by building up some useful management tools whether this is the support of a therapist, increased focus on self care, medication, exercise, social support, or anything that works for you.
You might like to think of anxiety as a normal response to uncertainty and changeit is nothing to be ashamed of, and by treating it as a normal part of human experience, we can see that it is manageable and treatable.
You might like to think of anxiety as a normal response to uncertainty and change it is nothing to be ashamed of, and by treating it as a normal part of human experience, we can see that it is manageable and treatable.
Using a resource such as Mind Ease can help with anxiety symptomswhether you are looking to maintain your mental health, or are in the middle of a stressful and uncertain time.
today to start to experience the benefits.
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How Can I Best Cope With An Anxiety Disorder
There are several steps you can take to cope with anxiety disorder symptoms. These strategies can also make your treatment more effective:
- Explore stress management: Learn ways to manage stress, such as through meditation.
- Join support groups: These groups are available in-person and online. They encourage people with anxiety disorders to share their experiences and coping strategies.
- Get educated: Learn about the specific type of anxiety disorder you have so you feel more in control. Help friends and loved ones understand the disorder as well so they can support you.
- Limit or avoid caffeine: Many people with anxiety disorder find that caffeine can worsen their symptoms.
- Talk to your healthcare provider: Your provider is your partner in your care. If you feel like treatment isnt working or have questions about your medication, contact your provider. Together, you can figure out how to best move forward.
Increase Social Situations Gradually
People with social anxiety disorder often avoid social situations where they may trigger their feelings of anxiety. Although this reduces anxiety in the short-term, avoidance can make anxiety much worse in the long-term.
If possible â and with the help of a therapist, if necessary â the person can gradually increase their exposure to the situations they fear. This creates space for them to have a positive experience with the situation.
Having positive social experiences can boost a personâs confidence and reduce their anxiety or reassure them that they can overcome it.
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Listen For Your Symptoms
It took me 39 years to realize that the nausea, light sensitivity, and migraines I’d been experiencing were the ways my generalized anxiety disorder expressed itself. Learning how to tune in to your symptoms will allow you to sense when anxiety is affecting you, and take actions to take care of yourself.
The Difference Between Anxiety And Anxiety Disorders
By now Ive probably drilled the idea into your head sufficiently, but I’ll say it again for good measure: some anxiety is normal.
So, when is anxiety not normal?
What is the difference between anxiety and anxiety disorders? Where is the line drawn, exactly?
Some anxiety is normal. Even a lot of anxiety is normal, occasionally. Important life events like going for a job interview, taking an important exam, or getting married, are all major events that can cause anxiety. Anxiety in these situations is so normal that it is almost universally expected in anyone.
Anxiety starts to become an anxiety disorder when it becomes increasingly frequent, severe, or interferes with your day-to-day life.
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Learn Mindfulness And Meditation
Being mindful means stepping back, tuning out the inconsequential, and paying attention to whats happening in the moment.
Meditation can take some practice. Try downloading a meditation app or taking a meditation class to help you learn. Itll also come in handy when you need help in moments of stress.
How Are Anxiety Disorders Diagnosed
If you have symptoms of an anxiety disorder, talk to your healthcare provider. Theyll start with a complete medical history and physical examination.
There are no lab tests or scans that can diagnose anxiety disorders. But your provider may run some of these tests to rule out physical conditions that may be causing symptoms.
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Does The Crippling Depression And Anxiety Ever Go Away
I have experienced anxiety all my life but it wasn’t until I was in college that I realized what I was experiencing was anxiety. I started on Paroxetine 20mg in 2016 when I was 20 years old because I thought I had Marijuana dependencies but in reality it was very bad anxiety. I thought about suicide most days which then led me to looking for options.. My family Dr started me on Paroxetine 20MG and 0.5 Ativan for when needed. I was on this dosage up until 2021 where I started to wean off in April of this year. I was hit with a brick wall of crippling anxiety and depression which was the first time getting the crippling feeling since 2016. I went to my Family Dr and as well as a counselor and they both recommended to get back on my medication. Within 2 weeks I was starting to feel a difference, I was able to golf with friends and do just about anything I wanted to do. My anxiety was not holding me back and I was starting to live again.
Can someone who has experienced this or even can relate in any way please tell me it does pass. I am so afraid and I wake up each morning with the feeling that there is so much time in the day.. I feel hopeless most of those minutes, I reach out to anyone I can just to hear them tell me it will be okay. Please tell me this passes.
Learn To Recognize The Signs Of Anxiety
Anxiety disorder is the most common mental health condition in the United States, affecting up to 18% of the population. Knowing the signs of anxiety can help you realize when someone you love is having fearful thoughts or feelings. Symptoms vary from person to person but can be broken into three categories:
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Stay Socially Engaged And Get Support
Maintain a strong social network. Social interactions can distract you from your own stressors and give you someone to turn to when you need to talk.
You might also find it helpful to connect with others who are dealing with anxiety. Youre not limited to in-person connection, either. You can reach out online, on the phone, or through video chat.
Finding help for anxiety
The Question Is When Do Anxiety Symptoms Go Away
So, Im often asked this question when Ive had a client whos come to see me and they may have booked in several sessions, a week apart, say.
Its usually around week four, week five, theyre starting to feel better within themselves and some of the anxiety symptoms are falling away but then these doubts to start to creep in about the longevity of the healing, what to do when anxiety symptoms come back and often, people report this feeling of two steps forward, one step back.
So they say, I was feeling so great and I was doing so well and then something happened and I had a panic attack.
Or, I just woke up this morning feeling absolutely terrible and I dont understand why when I was feeling so great.
So, its that doubt and the impatience that people have.
They start to get a glimpse of what its like to feel well again and to have a life without anxiety and so it could feel really disconcerting when youre doing great, youre doing really well and then suddenly, your old enemy, anxiety, pops up again usually in the most inconvenient of times and places.
But I want to say: Its so completely natural, completely normal.
Anxiety recovery hardly ever happens in a step by step, linear sequence and in fact, Id go so far as to say that the two steps forward, one step back thing is an important part of the recovery and its a really good opportunity when the symptoms resurface again to putting to play what youve learned to manage those symptoms.
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