How to Help Someone with Anxiety

Everyone experiences anxiety from time to time. For most people, it is a passing feeling that accompanies a stressful event.

But for others, anxiety is something they live with. And when this is the case, a doctor may diagnose them as having an anxiety disorder. An anxiety disorder is a mental health condition in which you experience chronic anxiety symptoms. 

It’s also the most common of all the mental health conditions, affecting about 40 million adults in the United States, according to the Anxiety & Depression Association of America (ADAA). 

Odds are, if you yourself do not have an anxiety disorder, someone you care about does. You may even understand how anxiety can be all-consuming for someone with an extreme case. 

If you’ve been wondering how to help someone with anxiety, stick around. That’s what we’ll discuss ahead.

Ask How You Can Help

First and foremost, express your support for your loved one. Do so by explaining to them that you understand they are going through a challenging time and would like to help them in any way you can.

Then, ask them how you can help.

An offer of help can be one of the most appreciated things someone with anxiety can hear. And, you’ve laid the groundwork for the person to feel comfortable opening up to you about their specific needs.

They may ask for assistance in a way you never imagined, which is why it’s better to ask than assume. 

Understand Their Anxiety and Medications

Everyone’s anxiety manifests itself in different ways. Since there are no cookie-cutter symptoms, there are no cookie-cutter solutions.

Talk to your loved one about what happens when their anxiety is at its worst. Have them open up about triggering episodes so that you can help ensure they do not experience these as much as possible.

It’s also a great time to familiarize yourself with any medications they take.

Help Them With Breathing Exercises

If your loved one has a panic attack induced by anxiety, their breathing will become rapid and heavy.

When this happens, sit the person down and help them engage in breathing techniques. 

You can do this by asking them to focus on how you’re breathing in and out. Breathe in deeply and slowly, so they know to match your style. It also helps to count to 10 as they breathe so they can relax faster. 

This exercise aims to slow down their breathing to a regular pace and ensure their breathing style is helping to relax them and not make their panic attack worse.

For more breathing exercise tips, check out this article by Very Well Mind.

Offer to Retrieve Their Medication

People who have clinical anxiety often take prescription antidepressant medication for long-term assistance.

These medications can help with chemical imbalances in the brain and provide overall better quality of life. However, there will still be times your friend experiences something that triggers their anxiety. 

One of the best ways to help someone in this instance is to offer to bring them any medication they take to cure a sudden onset of a panic attack.

This can be their actual prescription medication, an inhaler to help them breathe, or even medicinal marijuana to quell their fears. 

To learn more about how hemp cigarettes can reduce anxiety fast and how to obtain a medical marijuana card, check out this blog by Veriheal.

Be Consistent

What anyone who has an anxiety disorder needs from their loved one more than anything is consistency.

Anxiety does not go away. Yes, it can be managed with medication and specific lifestyle changes. But like with many other mental health conditions, it is not fully curable

Make sure your loved one knows that you will always be there for them to help in any way they need. And make sure that this is more than lip service on your part. 

Make your own personal commitment to helping them. If this is something you do not want to actually do, then do not tell them they can always count on you. 

A person who has severe anxiety needs to know who they can count on for support. If you truly want to be a reliable means of support, say it and back up your words with actions.

Conclusion

It’s upsetting to see someone you love go through something that is hard to understand from an outsider’s perspective. 

However, if you really want to help someone with anxiety, there are several possible ways of doing so effectively. Follow the tips mentioned here and your friend or family member will no doubt feel your support and appreciate it.

And if we can share one crucial takeaway, it’s this: listen. Listen to what your loved one needs and do your best to follow suit.

Vinay
Student. Coffee ninja. Devoted web advocate. Subtly charming writer. Travel fan. Hardcore bacon lover

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