So many people live with anxiety, some can cope, some manage to survive but some really struggle to the point it can be a complete drain on every relationship they have. So often loved ones, friends and family try to support and be there for you and at times it can make the situation worse. The general perception for those who don’t suffer can be at times damaging to the ones who do. So if your friend, loved one or family member sufferers you will want to understand the following things in order to really help them. Here is our top 5 things to bear in mind if you live with someone who has crippling anxiety.
ANXIETY CAN BE PHYSICAL,MENTAL AND EMOTIONAL:
Anxiety doesn’t just effect a persons emotions it also manifests in physical symptoms such as elevated heart rates, tightness in the chest, nauseous stomach, increases perspiration to name but a few. This occurs due to a combination personality and environmental factors. The factors combined can take a real toll on the physical health of the person with anxiety, it really isn’t just all in the head and when the physical symptoms start they can quickly esculate to a full on anxiety attack for the person. A really powerful way of helping someone is taking them by the hand and guiding their breathing cycle in line with yours for a few minutes. Hold them tight and let them know you won’t let go and you are right here for them no matter what. Think about it this way, if it was you what would you need, so be that person. Dont say you’re sick of this and its all in the head. Be open, be around and let them know you have them no matter what.
THEY MIGHT ALSO SUFFER DEPRESSION:
I mean come on wouldn’t you after a while start to drop down the emotional scale if every day was a constant battle with your own, thoughts, feelings and behaviours so its pretty common for depression to kick in also later on down the line. Again we must understand and look at this from the point of view of the person suffering. I have said for a long time now fighting anxiety on a daily basis is like going 12 rounds of boxing a day, your simply wiped out at the end of the day. When you finish one day crippled with anxiety and start the next the very same it really does take its toll on you. Let me ask you this how many times have you thought something and felt really bad about it, quickly changed the subject and thought then moved on because you didn’t like how it made you feel. Well imagine that thought and feeling and times it by 10 and that’s an average day for the person who is suffering. Patience is the key, love, understanding and being the person they need. Words of support and comfort, not impatience, or belligerence.
THEY NEED TIME ALONE:
Anxiety can make someone feel paranoid and worried about what others think about them, they really may not want to go out with you or go to that social event. Most of the time they feel drained and exhausted so making them go with you or forcing them to attend the night out or night with friends will fill them with fear and they will worry about it for days, weeks and at times months before the event. Instead of saying we are going to X Y and Z try asking if they are up for it and showing them that everything is ok if they don’t feel like they can face it. Another issue with anxiety is the person turns in to a people pleaser so won’t want to say no to you even though it will trigger a whole host of emotions for them and they will end up making things worse. The fear of saying no can be really overwhelming so try to avoid putting them in that position in the first place.
ANXIETY IS NOT ATTENTION SEEKING:
In fact it is the very opposite, most of the time they don’t want to even be noticed, they will try and avoid as many new and social situations as possible and would rather fade in to the background with no one noticing them in the first place. Think about that last sentence for me please for a second, how very sad is it that the person you love doesn’t even want to be noticed by anyone. So with this I want you to give them your attention. Show them you are with them, understand them, love them, care for them and don’t let them fade in to your background. Show them all the love, care and understanding in the world, one day I promise they will repay it 10 fold, just not today as they fight this crippling emotion. Have you heard the saying many hands make light work, well at this moment in time you’re the many hands they might just need.
ANXIETY DOESN’T MAKE YOU WEAK:
Not even close, in fact it takes a lot of time and effort to keep going when you feel down and out, it takes some people everything they have to even get up and dressed in the morning so don’t think this is a weakness. Anxiety knows no age, gender, race nor religion it is indiscriminate why do you think top sports professionals, movie stars and celebrities alike talk about it openly each and every day. Look at the person you love and see them for what they have, love, strength, compassion, determination to name but a few. The very last thing they are is weak I can assure you of that 1 million per cent.
You see it’s easy to believe what the world tells us at times about things like anxiety but that doesn’t mean its true. The truth is this, living with someone who suffers anxiety can be difficult but if you understand it and show them all the love care and support in the world you make a very difficult road so much easier to walk along for that wonderful, beautiful and amazing person you live with.