ANXIETY DISORDER:How to help someone with anxiety?

We all worry and get worried from time to time. However, persons suffering from anxiety may be preoccupied with fears that appear unreasonable to others. It can be difficult to relate to these concerns, and as a result, many individuals are unsure how to effectively assist someone suffering from anxiety.


“Dr. emphasizes that individuals who suffer from anxiety frequently face disapproval from others,” adds Dr.Joseph McGuire, a pediatric psychologist at Johns Hopkins Medicine. “Physical symptoms may be visible in other medical illnesses.” However, with anxiety, you don’t always see what the person is going through. So, even if it doesn’t make sense to you, it’s critical to be sensitive to what the person suffering from anxiety is going through.”


It’s upsetting to see a loved one suffer from panic attacks and anxiety on a daily basis, but there are things you can do to help. It all starts with recognizing the indications of excessive worry and learning how to effectively support your loved one.

Recognize the Symptoms of Anxiety


Anxiety disorder is the most common mental illness in the United States, affecting up to 18% of the population. Knowing the symptoms of anxiety might help you recognize when someone you care about is experiencing anxious thoughts or sensations. Symptoms vary from person to person but can be classified into three types:

Physical Signs and Symptoms


Some of the physical symptoms your loved one may experience are as follows:





Feeling tense and/or agitated

Breathing difficulty


Easily becoming exhausted



Fearful Thoughts

Anxious individuals often display cognitive patterns characterized by:

Believing that the worst will occur

Constant concern

Thinking that is everything or nothing

Overgeneralization (drawing broad conclusions based on a single occurrence)


Anxiety-Inducing Behaviors


Perhaps the most noticeable aspect will be your loved one’s behavior. Typical anxiety behaviors include:


avoiding dreadful situations or incidents

Looking for reassurance


Irritation and frustration in threatening situations

Obsessive behaviors (such as repeatedly washing one’s hands)


Understand What NOT to Do


Typical reactions to someone suffering from anxiety are frequently ineffective. Here are some actions to avoid:

Do Not Allow


It’s natural to want to help your loved one avoid painful circumstances by going above and beyond to eliminate the source of anxiety. “While this may appear considerate and endearing at first glance,” McGuire points out, “anxiety seldom dissipates.” When individuals consistently evade challenging circumstances, anxiety takes root, leading to a rise in requests for specific accommodations.”


If you continue to change your behavior or the surroundings to accommodate your loved one’s fear, you may inadvertently allow the anxiety to persist and deepen. Evading challenging situations prevents your loved one from conquering phobias and acquiring effective anxiety management skills. Instead, it shrinks their universe as their abilities become increasingly limited by their growing worry.


Avoid Forced Confrontation

On the other hand, forcing someone to do something they are afraid of is not a good idea. “Trying to push someone who isn’t ready can damage that relationship,” McGuire says. Learning how to overcome severe apprehension is best accomplished in collaboration with a competent therapist. This relieves you of the load. It also empowers your loved one by guiding them through their worries one step at a time with the support of someone who has done it before.


Use Anxiety Relieving Techniques

Helping someone with anxiety requires responses based on love and acceptance, as well as a desire to see your loved one improve. Consider the following strategies:


Offer Validation

A multitude of factors can contribute to the onset of anxiety.” I can’t believe you’re upset over such a trivial matter,” for example, dismisses a person’s experience. Instead, ask your loved one how you might help them at difficult times.


“What might terrify one individual might not evoke the same reaction in another,” .”Their anxiety doesn’t necessarily have to align with your logic — it’s crucial to grasp that their experiences are genuine and demand a considerate response.”

Demonstrate Concern


“It’s difficult to witness a loved one having an anxiety attack “However, there isn’t much you can do at the moment to shorten the duration or significantly reduce the intensity of a panic attack.”

“You are unable to hide your concern if you observe your loved one retreating from activities that they used to enjoy.” Approaching your loved one with comfort and support accordingly.”You can start a conversation by mentioning that you’ve noticed some behavioral changes.”


“Hey, I’ve noticed you’ve been avoiding places like [insert location] and other social events,” for instance. “Can you share what triggered this shift?” ” Depending on the flow of the conversation, you could also inquire if they believe they would benefit from assistance or support in dealing with their anxiety.

Understand When to Seek Assistance

If your dear one’s anxiety starts to impede their capacity to relish life, engage in school or work, socialize with friends, or create disruptions at home, it’s crucial to address the situation. time to seek professional treatment.


Encourage a loved one to consult with a mental health professional. “If they’re resistant, you can remind them that it’s just one appointment,” McGuire adds. “It does not imply that they must commit to treatment or work with that specific therapist.” It’s essentially just a preliminary check-in, similar to a yearly physical exam, but for your mental and emotional wellbeing.”


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