Having anxiety is a constant struggle. There are still some people who do not understand the difference between being anxious and having a clinical anxiety disorder.
People who have an anxiety disorder view the world differently to others. We are in a constant state of nervousness, and we don’t always cope with it the best way.
Anxiety can often make people feel as if they’re completely alone, even if they are surrounded by people who love them. Sometimes even being surrounded can cause the onset of anxiety.
It can be a tough concept to understand, but having at least one person around who understands how to help you cope can change everything.
Here are some things you can do to help friends cope with anxiety.
1. Don’t ignore them
One of the biggest issues of anxiety is feeling like people are mad at us. Even if there are no signs that a person is upset, we think of every single reason why they might be mad.
Maybe it’s a comment we made last week that our friend is still mad about, or we’re doing something that they did not like. We have no way of knowing.
When we reach out to someone, it can take a lot for us to do so. People with anxiety are often afraid of being rejected, which can prevent us from reaching out and doing new things, even though we desire to do so.
When we don’t hear anything from a person we reached out to, it can make us feel too uncomfortable to reach out again.
We easily feel rejected when a person does not respond to us. It makes us wonder what we did in order to be ignored. Along with this, it can also make us feel left out or forgotten.
We understand that the way we feel is not always what is actually going on, but it can be difficult for us to shake off these concerns.
2. Let them know they’re okay
Most people do not enjoy the fact that they struggle with an anxiety disorder. Having one often makes us feel like there is something wrong with us, and that we aren’t normal because of the way we perceive the world.
We need to have people around us to let us know that how we think and feel is okay, and that we are going to be okay. If we get anxious about a situation, we feel as if we are trapped inside ourselves and have no control of what is going on around us.
It is a terrifying feeling to feel out of control, so we need to hear and understand that the situation is not going to last forever, and that we aren’t alone.
If your friend is having an anxiety attack, they usually will know what they need to do in order to calm down, but it never hurts to sit there with them and let them know that everything is okay.
It is something that can easily help someone to get through the attack more quickly and make them feel as if they’re not crazy for what is going on.
3. When they need to leave, let them leave
When a person with anxiety tells you that they need to leave the situation, listen and respect that. When we feel like we are out of control and extremely overwhelmed, the only thing that will help us is to let us leave, even for a moment.
All we need is a short amount of time to collect ourselves and remind ourselves that we are okay.
If we tell you that we are not okay and truly do need to leave permanently, please do not take it lightly. Don’t tell us to wait a couple more minutes because, more often than not, we have already waited until the seconds before we are going to have a panic attack before we even said anything.
We don’t want to make our friends leave because we can’t control our emotions.
We are afraid even to let our friends know that we want to leave because we don’t want to disappoint them or feel like a burden. Getting to the point where we feel as if we need to say something tells you how serious it is.
4. Be there for them
The scariest part of living with anxiety is being in a constant state of uneasiness. If you have ever felt nervous to the point where you’re waiting for the other shoe to drop, then you understand how a person with anxiety feels most of the time.
It is incredibly difficult to live life with this disorder. We always feel like we’re waiting for something to go wrong, or even that we are doing something wrong.
We know that we are a lot to handle at times. We are so aware of this and so worried that people will leave us because of it. It means a lot to us to have people there who love us, even though we struggle with a disorder that makes us feel crazy at times.
There are so many things that people with anxiety wish they were able to do. We want so badly to be able to just “let things go,” but it can seem nearly impossible for us.
It is more difficult to deal with certain situations than others may think. It’s not that we don’t want to do certain things. We want to be able to do anything without feeling scared to do it. We just don’t necessarily know how to do so.
Having a friend there who understands why we are the way we are can help us more than you’ll ever know. We appreciate people who try to help us. It makes us feel like we aren’t crazy for feeling the ways that we do.
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