Five Ways To Help A Friend Suffering From Anxiety
While anxiety is becoming increasingly common, not everyone experiences it. If you’re someone who’s never had an anxiety attack, then you should be extremely grateful because this mental disorder is no walk in the park. Moreover, anxiety as a disorder is nothing like the normal anxiety that we all feel on a daily basis — e.g. when we feel a bit nauseated before making a public speech. Take that feeling, make it five times worse, and then associate it to simple daily activities like going to school or perhaps even attending a party, and then you’ll begin to understand the serious issue that is anxiety. If you have a friend who’s got this disorder, you might be surprised at their behavior, especially when they act differently in situations that you find so easy to do. However, what you need to know is that they are not overreacting to small situations. What they’re feeling is real and the result of a serious mental disorder, and they need your help more than anything. So, don’t walk away or act disinterested if you get fed up with anyone who’s got anxiety. Here’s what you need to do to help out a friend or loved one who’s going through anxiety:
Learn What It Means To Have Anxiety
As we mentioned, we all experience some form of anxiety every day. That’s pretty much normal, and you’ve got nothing to worry about. However, a person who suffers from an anxiety disorder will experience it much more differently. One thing that’s different is the intensity with which they feel it. It’s more than your average bout of anxiety and can be almost paralyzing to the victim. This is not something which a person can simply overcome, and the process to calm down takes time – and sometimes help from another person. Do as much research as you possibly can on the disorder so you can learn all about it in length, and by doing so, you can arm yourself with all the knowledge you need to tackle the issue and help out a friend in need.
Be Available For Them At All Times
You never know when an anxiety attack might occur. People have reported missing out on school and work because of anxiety attacks, which is generally the time when the victim is all alone. While you may be unable to be there for your friend personally, you can always be available over the phone. However, to make it work, the first thing your friend should think about when they have an anxiety attack is you. For this to happen, you need to talk to them about their problem and gain their trust.
Make them feel safe around you, and be as sincere and kind to them about their problem as you possibly can. Remember, anxiety doesn’t make them less of a person. They’re a normal person when they’re not experiencing anxiety, so be sure not to appear condescending or unintentionally rude when talking to them about their disorder. Once you’ve been there to provide help for your friend a few times, you’ll be the first person they text or call.
Make Sure They Get Professional Help
While your assistance is more appreciated than you could ever know, it’s just temporary and not a permanent fix for their problem. The only thing that can lessen the impact of the problem or even help them completely overcome it is professional help. Getting help from you on a regular basis might deter your friend from receiving professional consultancy. This doesn’t mean you should stop helping them; you should continue supporting them as much as you can, but also make sure that you’re convincing them in a positive manner to seek out a therapist. Be as empathetic and kind as possible, and convey to them that therapy is for their own good which you very much want for them. Until they go to therapy, make sure you’re always there to calm them down when they get an anxiety attack. Don’t start to panic yourself – just stay calm and tell them it’s going to be okay till they calm down.
Having someone close to you suffer from anxiety can be a challenge of patience, but you need to keep your composure and provide them with all the support they need. They’ll be extremely thankful and will owe it to you that you improved their life so much.
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