Anxiety: How To Help Your Anxious Loved One

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  • Post last modified:October 13, 2023

Anxiety disorders are like the overzealous party planners of your brain. They throw constant anxiety and fear parties, and you’re the reluctant guest of honor. It’s like they’ve rented out the “Avoidance Hotel” for you, and you end up missing work, school, family reunions, and any social gathering that might turn your brain into a fireworks show of anxiety. So, in a nutshell, anxiety disorders are like the ultimate party poopers, and it’s time to kick them out of the mental soirée!

Anxiety, the brain’s personal party planner, can sometimes make you feel like you’re stuck in a worry whirlwind. But don’t worry (ironic, right?), there are ways to help someone dealing with it, and we’re here to guide you through it with a sprinkle of humor:

Recognize the Anxiety Signs: Anxiety is like a mischievous ninja in your loved one’s mind. Look out for symptoms like lightheadedness (no, it’s not the start of a magic trick), sweating (they’re not auditioning for a dance show), and the ever-elusive shortness of breath (it’s not a race, but their lungs think otherwise).

Watch Out for Anxious Thoughts: Anxious minds have their own playlist, featuring hits like “Believing the Worst Will Happen” and “Persistent Worry.” It’s like having a radio station that only plays anxiety anthems.

Behold the Anxious Behaviors: Behaviors can be the sneakiest part. You might notice your loved one avoiding situations like they’re dodging raindrops, seeking reassurance (they’ll ask you the same question a hundred times), and even second-guessing everything (even their choice of breakfast cereal).

 What NOT to Do

Here are some no-nos in the anxiety support manual:
Don’t be an enabler. As tempting as it is to make their world anxiety-free, it’s like putting a band-aid on a volcano. Avoidance doesn’t make anxiety vanish; it just grows like a stubborn weed.
Don’t play the anxiety police. Forcing them into the lion’s den isn’t the answer either. Anxiety isn’t a game of “Fear Factor.” Leave the confrontations to the professionals.

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Anxiety Tips That Work: Now, Let’s Get to the Good Stuff:

Provide Validation: When your loved one’s anxiety seems irrational, avoid lines like, “You’re worried about that?” Instead, ask how you can support them during those tricky moments. Their anxiety doesn’t have to make sense to you; it just needs your understanding.

Express Concern: If you notice changes in their behavior, be the caring detective. Start a conversation like, “Hey, I’ve noticed you’ve been avoiding ………. Can you share what’s going on?” It’s like starting a heart-to-heart with a friend about their favorite TV show.

Seeking Professional Help

When anxiety becomes the life-of-the-party crasher, and it’s affecting work, school, or just hanging out, it’s time for professional backup. Encourage your loved one to make that appointment with a mental health provider. You can even pitch it as their “annual mental and emotional health check-up.” It’s just like visiting the doctor, but for the mind.

Remember, being there and offering support can make a world of difference for your loved one facing anxious wild ride.