You don’t need to be a therapist to help a person with anxiety.
During the years i was suffering from anxiety, i felt lost as i explained in various articles. First of it all i didn’t know that i had an illness called anxiety and most importantly my parents had also no idea that it was anxiety, when they found out about my illness they didn’t know how to help me recover. There is nothing more painful than seeing a loved one suffering but you have no idea how to help them become happy again.
I know they are people in each of your own circles dealing with anxiety and the sad thing is that you might not know as many people feel like having an anxiety disorder is a crime so they instead choose to keep it as a secret from the their friends or family. In this article am going to be explaining how you can intervene and help a person suffering from anxiety without them feeling being attacked or ashamed of their situation.
Things to know about Anxiety.
For Anxiety, there are important things you should know before you jump into helping someone. Anxiety is a state of living in fear, stress and worry because of something that happened in the past or something you think will happen in the future. When a person is living in that state every single day then we can conclude that he or she is suffering from an Anxiety disorder.
Anxiety disorders differs that’s why it is important to know the type of anxiety that your child, partner or friend is suffering from. The types of anxiety disorders include;
- Generalized Anxiety. This is when a person has excessive and uncontrollable worry about the future and their possible negative outcomes.
- Social Anxiety disorder. This is when a person has excessive fear and worry to interact or participate socially. people with social anxiety don’t want to be around people they don’t know or they are unfamiliar with.
- Panic Disorder. This is a state when a person feels unsettled due to persistent feelings of worry that what happened in the past forexample if they had a panic attack once , they might live their life everyday worrying and living in fear of it occurring again. In this condition a person just freaks out with no good reason.
- Post traumatic disorder. This when a person worries about a tragedy incident like unexpected death of a loved one, accident, loss of a job or relationship that occurred in the past and any flash backs can cause them panic.
After knowing that a person suffers from one of the Anxiety disorder above then helping them will become easier as you will know what situations to avoid.
You should also know that Anxiety is a mental illness that can be cured naturally with the right methods and understanding, the reason why am saying this, is because some people treat anxiety like it some horrible disease, don’t quote wrong i know the situation of having continuous anxiety sucks and it can deprive you of your freedom but inorder to help others overcome or manage Anxiety we need to understand it and be patient towards the people suffering from it.
How do i know that my friend or partner is suffering from Anxiety.
As i said it is very important to find out early whether your loved one has anxiety, and research shows how early intervention is one of the major methods of helping someone with anxiety because you can be able to give support before the situation changes into what they call severe anxiety which eventually leads to depression. The more the person takes long to get help for the anxiety disorder, the higher the level of anxiety so that is why it is very crucial to notice those small situations that can make you suspect that your loved one has Anxiety.
If your worrying about how you can find out whether a person has anxiety or not, Am listing down some of the common behaviours or things that you can base on and conclude that someone has anxiety.
When a person is suffering from any anxiety disorder, what changes first is their behaviour. A person will behave differently when they don’t or do have Anxiety. This is very logical because when a person has anxiety they are often unhappy and they don’t feel good, which causes them to isolate themselves from people.
I remember when i was suffering form Anxiety, my behaviour changed first before even experiencing any painful physical symptom though i didn’t know it was anxiety neither was family otherwise i wouldn’t have let my Anxiety turn into severe. Behavioral change can happen in many different ways for example if a person turns out to be moody, not wanting to participate in different activities, lazy, not wanting to associate all these things symbolize that a person is bothered and they are signs showing you that person isn’t feeling great especially when they weren’t like that in the first place.
Reoccurring physical symptoms without a clear basis.
This is a situation when a person experiences painful physical symptoms without any clear basis on what is causing them. Most of the people who suffer from anxiety just wake up one day and they have all the symptoms and what freaks people out is because the symptoms keep on coming back regularly.
These reoccurring symptoms can be uncomfortable and painful, in most cases when a person gets one symptom they become more anxious which leads to another symptom and when they check out with their doctors the only thing they tell them is that nothing is wrong with you everything is fine, that is the unclear basis am talking about. If you have anyone who is experiencing all the anxiety symptoms that i listed in one of my articles, just know that they have anxiety.
In most cases depression comes from unnecessary worrying and stress that is caused by someone’s thoughts so when a person is in the state of depression they might be having anxiety and they feel like they have no one to confide to or they feel like their lives have come to an end hence depression.
Being with an anxiety disorder is one of the worst feelings you could ever have because we all want to feel free and happy but with Anxiety you feel like your limited and you live your life in fear of what might happen and there is nothing more depressing than that. When you see your loved one wanting to commit suicide just know that one of reason why they feel so bad might be because they feel like no one is understanding their pain so they want to set themselves free.
If a person is always not contented with what they have or what others do for them then it means that they aren’t happy within themselves and one of the most common reason which people don’t know is because their mind is filled with all these anxieties that create a blockage in even seeing the good things when they are infront of them.
Let’s assume that you throw a birthday party for a person with social anxiety, do you think they will appreciate you? the only thing he or she will think about are the negative possible outcome of the event. What am trying to say that people who are suffering from anxiety most of the situations do irritate them because they are often in their head.
Confiding in you.
This doesn’t happen very often but when a person comes to you and they trust you to tell you that they have anxiety then you shouldn’t doubt them, you should believe them instead because it takes strength for a person suffering from anxiety to tell you exactly what is going on with their life.
When a person tells you that hey! am having anxiety don’t make him or her feel like she committed a crime or something and if at all you don’t know what it means, take some time and research about it.
This is a situation where a person takes excessive drugs than what was prescribed by his or her doctor with or without an intention . This is very common and dangerous thing because it can take away someone’s life. People who misuse drugs sometimes do it with an intention of freeing themselves from the pain of their illness which is termed as suicidal attempt and sometimes they do it just to increase on their dosage thinking that they would feel better.
This mostly happen to people who are having severe anxiety, where by they loose control of their own life and can’t perform the day to day activities so they resort to high dosages of medication and if no one is there to check on them, they overdose.
- Change in physical appearance ( Gaining weight or loosing weight)
- Change in performance. ( This can be either in work or sports or any activity)
- Regular Absenteeism of the mind. ( Thoughts are wondering everytime)
How can i help.
Helping a person with anxiety is an easy thing but at the same time they are alot of challenges involved because you may find that the person with an anxiety disorder is your friend, partner or child and all these relationships are different in their own ways. Am going to list down the DO’S and the DON’TS that you can follow to help a person with anxiety.
Know exactly the type of Anxiety disorder. This is very crucial if you want to offer help, forexample checkout if they have phobias or panic disorders or any other type of anxiety because knowing the real thing will also help you to avoid mistakes. You can find out through research and check out their symptoms then you will be able to tell the type of anxiety.
Find out the level of their Anxiety. After you have found out the type of the Anxiety, now the next step will be to know their anxiety levels because levels differ and they are treated differently. When i talk about levels i mean they are people who have mild, moderate and severe anxiety. Mild is that anxiety that almost everyone faces daily and it has very slight effects which do go away in few minutes, Moderate anxiety goes for longer than the mild anxiety and it can also cause some uncomfortable physical symptoms like muscle tension or fatigue whereas severe anxiety is the highest level of anxiety which can make you experience panic attacks. By knowing the level of anxiety, you will approach things differently.
Know the reason for their Anxiety. It is hard to go to a person who has anxiety and show him or her to do things differently without not knowing why they feel that way. Take sometime to dig into the reason why your friend or partner is feeling like the way they are feeling, you can do this by talking to them in a friendly and normal conversation without being so direct or you can also talk to their closet friends to find out more about why they feel so anxious. When you find out it will be easy to help following the factors that are causing the illness.
Intervene Early. When you notice some of the physical symptoms of anxiety, don’t wait until things get worse , offer any of kind help as soon as possible. This helps because when someone is experiencing moderate anxiety and you intervene early, they won’t have severe anxiety. The problem is that most people are reluctant and they only realize when things are hitting up.
Limit Negative situations. I know it is really hard these days to avoid all sorts of negativity because they are everywhere from the internet to our cycles but take a person who has anxiety where they are positive vibes or positive people this will make him or her less anxious.
Seek Medical help. You can help a person by taking them to see a doctor or a therapist regarding their condition. Even though you don’t know or can’t access a therapist physically, you can find an online therapist that you can talk to about your loved’s condition.
Get involved in their interests. You can do this by asking them what they enjoy daily and helping them enjoy that with the purpose of changing their focus from their anxious mind to the things they really like. This will help them have that anxiety break and it will help them reduce their anxiety.
Help them become self aware of their illness. This is done by educating them about their illness, you can do this by helping a person access some of the valuable information that can help him or her understand what is anxiety and how it can be overcome naturally. My best recommendation comes the release technique which i came to know about, it is a powerful program and has helped many to get their life back.
Give them hope. In most cases all what people want is hope to help them pass through the day. A lot of people who are suffering from anxiety have lost hope, they think that they will die that way. You can change it by bring hope into their lives through talking about anxiety success stories, or reading to them inspirational things that do give hope. It will create a lot of difference.
Endevour to take them outside and let them enjoy the nature. When i was suffering from anxiety, i realized that everytime i went outside the house, i felt very different and was less anxious. The nature has a great impact on how a person feels and it can automatically change someone’s moods.
Don’t Question them. When helping someone overcome their anxiety, avoid asking them a lot of questions forexample” Why do you always panic? ” why do you have anxiety? people who are suffering from anxiety always feel like they are being attacked or judged so you should always avoid that.
Avoid publicizing your loved’s condition if they aren’t comfortable. If you friend tells you that they have anxiety, always first ask them if they feel comfortable sharing that information with others, if not then don’t go around sharing it because this might increase their anxiety. They are so many cultures especially in Africa where stigma is created against mental illnesses.
Don’t force them to do things they don’t want. If there are certain things that need to be done but the person with anxiety doesn’t feel like, kindly just let them be and wait for the time when they feel ready to do a particular task.
Avoid stressful conditions. The more an anxious person is exposed to stressful conditions, the higher the anxiety and the lesser the stress the lower the anxiety.
Note; If you use those simple tips above while following the dos and don’ts you will see a bigger improvement on your loved one’s life. Always remember recovery takes time and you don’t have to get tired helping till you kick anxiety out of your person’s life.
If you have any questions, kindly leave them in the comment section below and i will answer.