If you have someone in your life that has been struggling with anxiety, one way or another, you may have felt the urge to help them even though you are no expert in this field. Truly, painful is an understatement to describe you may feel seeing them struggling and you do not know how to help them alleviate their situation. If you are witnessing that your loved one is always feeling weak and tired, and having no motivation to do the things they normally enjoy doing, they might already be experiencing anxiety. Cases like these, it is important to let them know that you care for them and you’re their support system in case they need anything. If you want to be of more assistance in the recovery journey, it is also imperative that you do initial steps like researching for valuable tips on how to effectively support someone with anxiety. Read on for some ways that will help you get started:
1. Educate yourself about anxiety
Learning everything about anxiety is the first step in how to take care of the person you love. Without the basic knowledge about it, it would be difficult for you and for your loved ones to work out a plan that will effectively work for him/her and for your relationship. Indeed, you do not have to be an expert to get your loved ones all the assistance he/she needs but surely, the knowledge particularly what anxiety entails will give you a better position on how you navigate the ways on how to help the person you care about.
Fortunately, several materials online are available that discuss the symptoms and the different types of anxiety so it is important to read through these to know more about the relations between emotions and behaviors. Once you understand that anxiety is not just a simple case people can easily snap out of, you will know not to say insensitive remarks which do not help anyone, but only trivializes the reality of this mental disorder.
2. Destigmatize their mental condition
People suffering from anxiety also often struggle with embarrassment as they are afraid that their symptoms will manifest when they are in a social situation and that the people around them might notice these symptoms such as trembling or sweating during a presentation at work. To be an effective friend to your loved one, let them know that their anxiety does not make them any less of a human or that it hinders them to do what they love to do before they have it. Reassure them that their mental condition will never be a sign of weakness and that your perception of them has not changed just because they have anxiety disorder. Encourage them to do the activities they enjoy doing and some of their other hobbies that would keep them busy and that would make them feel happy and fulfilled.
In helping your loved one, remember that the main objective is to make them realize that they are still the same person who can be creative despite their anxiety. However, if you see that your loved one has become too desperate for reassurance, it may be time to see an expert’s intervention because this kind of anxiety is no longer something that can be remedied by a non-expert.
3. Help your friend to reduce avoidance behavior
If your loved one is suffering from anxiety disorder, you may notice that he/she is inclined to escape from unpleasant feelings and thoughts, such as avoiding social events, job opportunities, and even relationships to keep difficult thoughts at bay. This type of action is called avoidance behavior which is not a good symptom if one wants to fight anxiety. Most, if not all, people that have anxiety disorder may be experiencing this and your job is to help them break free from this kind of behavior.
Explain to them gently that avoidance behavior may give them a temporary sense of freedom from painful thoughts, but remind them as well that this pattern of behavior has a higher possibility to increase anxiety in the long run. Hence, it is vital to help him/her slowly face the situations that they want to escape from. Letting them know that you have their back in case their symptoms become unmanageable.
4. Assist your family member/friend in getting professional help
No matter how genuine your intention is to give support to your friend or family member with anxiety disorder, you cannot completely cure their symptoms yourself. More often than not, getting the assistance of the experts can only solve this mental problem. Professional help leads you and your loved one suffering from anxiety about what form of treatment is best for him/her. If they are afraid to seek medical assistance because of stigma or fear of being judged by others, let them know that you will be part of the whole recovery process, that you only care about their wellbeing and getting back on their feet. Click here if you want to get more valuable information about anxiety disorder.
Article Submitted By Community Writer