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How to Help Someone with Anxiety Disorder

How to help someone with anxiety? Can this be done? Well yes it can with the right treatment of course.

how to help someone with anxiety

For those who experience it, anxiety disorder could have a negative impact.

Also, it can have a bad influence on colleagues and loved ones.

It can be anyone that is in our lives.

This includes co-workers, friends, relatives, in-laws, grandparents, parents, girlfriend or boyfriend, children, partner, mate, spouse, and etc.

When an anxiety disorder becomes established,  loved ones can be affected.

Therefore, the anxiety disorder could take a huge toll on the one who is suffering.

If you’re one of those people who knows someone suffering from anxiety disorder, your help could have a huge role in the recovery of that person.

Here are several ways you could help.

Anxiety Disorder Does Not Mean the Patient is Mentally Deficient or Inferior:

That is why you must not see them like that. You must treat them as normal and not show any signs that they might be acting differently

Also, anxiety disorder does not mean that the person has a genetic problem. 

This is an biological issue with the brain, or chemical imbalance.

How do we handle this behavior?

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Problems with anxiety are the results of overly apprehensive behavior.

  • These are learned ways on how to cope with life in general.
  • Behaviors are learned during birth up to 8 years old.
  • This is called our formative years.

Almost all anxiety disorder sufferers learned their overly apprehensive behavior indirectly or directly from their parents.

It can also be from those who raised them or influenced them greatly when growing up. This is one of the most difficult things to understand when dealing with anxiety.

Reassure the Person that He/She is Going to be Okay:

Anxiety can make one of the most powerful responses that a body could experience.

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This powerful response could create intense symptoms, sensations, feelings, and emotions.

That is why during an anxiety attack, an individual could feel like he or she is going to lose his or her mind, die, or have a complete nervous breakdown.

Luckily, anxiety alone isn’t harmful and does not lead to death, breakdown, or mental collapse, even though it can feel strong.

All of those symptoms, sensations, feelings, and emotions disappear eventually once the person calms down.

  1. Therefore, whenever an individual is having an episode of an anxiety attack, reassuring him or her that he/she is going to be okay could help him/her to calm down.
  2. This would lead to the diminishing of the powerful feelings of anxiety.

Stay Calm, and Help Them to Calm Down:

When trying to figure out how to help someone with anxiety one of the main things you can do is help them stay calm. You can do this in many different ways.

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Fear, this is what anxiety disorder is predicated on. It can be fear about anything in their life.

This fear could be irrational or rational.

Fear promotes stress response, this is a big one that can really make all of the difference.

This could cause some of the emotional, psychological, and physiological changes in our body.

These changes could create several profound anxiety symptoms and sensations.

It is often these symptoms and sensations that anxiety disorder patients react to with more fear. How to help someone with anxiety is a hard thing to do.

The Symptoms and Sensations:

Regardless of whether the symptoms and sensations are powerful, or whether the fear is irrational or rational, we could always look for ways of calming down.

When we do this it tells our body to shut off the stress response.

  • This will lead to a much better feeling in our minds and body.
  • Encourage your friend or loved one to settle him/herself if they are struggling with an episode of anxiety attack.
  • As the person calms down, he/she will feel better. However, it isn’t immediate. It could take up to 25 minutes or more for our body to recover if it has activated stress response.
  • Keeping yourself calm can offer a good example for the sufferer. Telling him/her to calm down could also help him/herself to calm down. 

Remaining calm is one of the best weapons for anxiety.

Encourage the Person to do Something about Her Anxiety Problem:

Being supportive and empathetic is great. However, your support and empathy might only allow her to stay in that condition if he/she is not working at overcoming anxiety disorder.

Only when that person works at it, anxiety disorder can be resolved.

Anxiety disorder will not be resolved on its own.

Therefore, do not be an enabler. You should be an encourager.

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Encourage that person to seek the needed help. After that, support and encourage her as he/she works at making changes in her healthy behavior.

Encourage the Person to Seek Help from a Professional:

Unhealthy behavior is the cause of anxiety disorder.

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Though self-help information could be helpful.

In some cases an anxiety therapist might be  required.

This is when a person might have problematic anxiety that just won't go away.

This is because a lot of these behaviors aren’t visible.

  1. Thus, it isn’t known to the sufferer. It isn’t realistic to think that the person will be able to recognize, address successfully, and help himself back.
  2. Unless the sufferer is trained professionally in resolving anxiety disorder.
  3. Of course, if that person knows what to do, he/she will not be suffering from anxiety disorder.

Support His/Her in Their Decision to Seek Therapy:

Society has had a dim view of therapy. Luckily, this view is quickly changing.

Today, more individuals are seeking expert help for emotional and psychological challenges than before. How to help with anxiety will come into play.

In general, that is because the negative stigma linked with seeking expert help is fading, as well as, more and more individuals are feeling the benefits of therapy/counselling.

In addition to that, as independent research on their effectiveness improves, expert therapy skill sets are improving.

Be Available For Them:

Let your friend or loved one know he or she can talk with you without fear of judgement anytime. This make them feel more comfortable.

Moreover, let them know that you are not going to change the way you see him or her.

Just because he/she’s dealing with anxiety problems they don't have to be outcast-ed.

Make sure that you let them know you are always there to support him or her in whatever the case.


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Letting the person know that they could count on you could have a positive difference in his/her recovery.

Most of All Be Patient:

People who are suffering from an anxiety disorder may sound like a broken record. Repeating the same fears and the same topics over and over again.

Though you may know the nature of the patient’s struggle and clearly see it, the patient does not see it.

He or she is repeating the same problem due to the fact that he/she has established a fear about that problem.

His/her repetition is their way of attempting to come to terms with their fears.

During these times, patiently listen and reassure. This on-going reinforcement could be useful in getting rid of long-held fears.

Still, you should always be patient this is the best way on how to help someone with anxiety.

-Rob 

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About Rob

Get some of my advice on how to deal with different anxiety issues, from my own personal experiences. I have learned several different treatments that can help you with your own anxiety disorders.

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