Anxiety is a serious condition. It is highly underrated and widely misunderstood. Sometimes when people suffer from anxiety, their friends and family write it off as ‘just a tantrum’. Anxiety is not something that people came up with in order to get attention. There are several crippling effects that anxiety has on both the mind and the body. Anxiety is waking up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat, feeling like you will be physically sick for no reason. Anxiety is having suicidal and depressive thoughts even when your life is going the way you have always wanted it to. Anxiety is feeling helpless in a situation that you have no control over.

If you know someone suffering from anxiety, it is important to understand what they might be going through in order to better help them.

Perhaps the worst part about anxiety for the people standing by, looking at a loved one go through something like this, is the helplessness they feel. You may not know what is going to make it better or worse, what might upset a loved one or what might give them strength.

How can I help someone suffering from anxiety?

  1. Keep in mind that having anxiety disorder does not make a person mentally deficient or inferior. Take special care to not see them that way. Talk to them as you would anyone else. It is good to establish a sense of normalcy. Most people suffering from anxiety adopted that way of dealing with problems from a very young age. To them, the way they deal with situations is normal.
  2. Never tell them to ‘snap out of it!’ Anxiety is not something that you can just decide to, ‘snap out of’. There are no quick fixes. While self-help can be beneficial, in order to recover from anxiety disorder working with an experienced and qualified counselor or therapist is important to development coping skills.
  3. Reassurances are important. When someone suffers from anxiety, it can feel like the world is against them. Tell them that they are going to be okay or let them know that everything is going to be fine. These little reassurances can go a long way.
  4. Stay calm. Staying calm is one of the best things you can do when your loved one is having an anxiety attack. Your calm may also help calm the other person down.

No matter how small the gesture, it is always appreciated. People suffering from anxiety usually feel misunderstood. Show them that you understand and that you are always there for them.

Need more help?

The therapists at Agor Behavioral Health Services are available to assist those who need help developing coping skills for anxiety issues. Contact us today for more information or to  schedule an appointment by calling 630-621-5824 or send us a message.

This content was originally published here.