Anxiety is something that millions of people struggle with, and contrary to what some may think, it’s much more than simply getting scared or worried about something. Individuals with anxiety disorders can face significant challenges that others may pass off as “overreacting”, and the effects of this disorder can be felt throughout many other aspects of daily life. Without effective coping mechanisms, anxiety disorders can worsen or even lead to other problematic behaviors and thought patterns, such as addiction.
People who are close to those living with anxiety may often wonder how to help someone with an anxiety disorder, and what they can do to make their lives more comfortable. The truth is, there is no single right answer, but effective communication and professional treatment can create significant improvements.
How Do I Help Someone With Anxiety?
Learning to recognize anxiety in someone close to you is the first step in how to help someone with an anxiety disorder. There are some common signs that someone you know may have anxiety, often separated into physical signs, thoughts, and behaviors.
The physical signs that someone is highly anxious, even having an anxiety attack, can include:
- Difficulty Catching Breath
- Feeling Restless & On Edge
Anxiety is often marked by behaviors such as:
- Need For Reassurance
- Frustration & Anger
Some of the common anxious thought patterns include:
- Intense Pessimism
- Constant Worrying
- All-Or-Nothing Mindset
Helping Someone With Anxiety
If you’ve found yourself asking “how do I help someone with anxiety”, then you’ve established that there are changes in that person that have spawned that feeling. Here are some actionable tips to help someone with an anxiety disorder.
It’s important to validate their feelings. Too many people will brush off someone else’s anxiety as “always overreacting” or “making a big deal of things”, which undermines that person’s life experiences. Remember that their anxiety is theirs, not yours, and it doesn’t have to make sense or be understood by you.
All you have to do is understand that they need to process some things and ask them if there is any way you can help to calm or reassure them. For many people living with anxiety, simply venting to someone who is actively listening can make a huge difference on their anxiety levels.
Watching someone become consumed by anxiety over time, or to be halted in their steps by an anxiety attack can be difficult for many people. While there is often little that can be done during an attack other than some grounding exercises or quick-acting medication, there is treatment available to address the underlying issue, if the individual wants it.
Communicate openly and honestly with them about your feelings. Let them know that you feel they have changed recently and become more anxious, and ask them if they’ve been dealing with difficult thoughts, feelings or emotions recently.
Recognize When Professional Help Is Needed
As you speak to the individual with anxiety, you may find out that they want help and just don’t know where to turn, or have some other minor hesitations. This is where some reassurance can mean the world, and going with a friend or loved one to enroll in treatment can start things off on the right foot.
Professional Help Is Right Around The Corner
If you or someone close to you has been battling anxiety recently, it’s important to understand there are a variety of treatments available from leading facilities like Casa Recovery. Reach out today to learn more about our complete service offering, including cognitive behavioral therapy, and medication management.