How To Support Someone With Anxiety Mental Health
While feeling anxious is a normal part of being human, for those suffering from generalised anxiety disorders or anxiety which stems from another mental health condition, it can have a big impact on their day to day life.
Anxiety is ‘a feeling of unease, such as worry or fear.’ Anxiety can range in intensity from mild to severe.
For example, a person might feel anxious if they have an exam or job interview coming up. In many cases, this type of anxiety is perfectly normal. However, some people may find that anxiety persists beyond these types of situations and prevents them from doing certain things.
As a family member or friend of someone suffering from anxiety, it can be difficult to know how to support them. We may find it hard to understand why they feel the way they do or simply not know what to say when they are having a bad day or ask for help.
What Are The Symptoms Of Anxiety?
A person struggling with anxiety may experience physical symptoms or display anxious behaviours.
Physical symptoms can include sweating, feeling sick, restlessness, fatigue (feeling tired), or needing the toilet more. You may also notice certain behaviours that can indicate they are feeling anxious. For example, they might come up with excuses to avoid social situations or, when out and about, they might need more reassurance or get irritated and frustrated.
Supporting Someone With Anxiety
There are ways you can support someone in your life who suffers from anxiety. In this article, we’ll look at a few suggestions.
Encourage Them To Seek Help
While as a family member or friends there are things you can do to help someone with anxiety, a really good place to start is to gently encourage them to look at what support is available to them.
If they are not sure where to start, you could help them to access self-help resources so they can better understand their experiences with anxiety and what sort of treatments might work for them.
You could also suggest that they visit their GP, and offer to accompany them to the appointment if they would like.
Be There For Them
As a friend or family member, the best thing you can do for someone with anxiety is be there for them. Let them know that they can talk to you and that you empathise with what they are going through.
If you are finding it hard to understand what they are going through, you might like to do some research into anxiety to learn a little bit more. You could also ask your loved one how they are feeling and what might make it better. This will give you a better idea of how you can support them moving forwards.
Don’t Pressure Them Too Much
A person with anxiety can’t easily just snap out of it. They don’t choose to feel the way they do and being unable to control their worries is part of the condition. As a friend or family member, it can be hard to see the situation from their point of view, and it can be tempting to try and make them snap out of it or face their fears. But it’s important that you don’t pressure them or push them too hard.
Instead, be patient, calm and reassuring. Let them know that they can take everything at their own pace and that you will be there for them no matter what.
Take Care Of Yourself
Supporting someone with anxiety, or another mental health issue is challenging. It can feel overwhelming if you don’t know how to best support them, or you are facing your own struggles too.
With that in mind, it’s important to safeguard your own mental health and be aware of how much you are taking on. Be sure to set clear boundaries and seek help yourself if you are having a hard time maintaining your own mental health while supporting your friend or family member. This might be in the form of reaching out and sharing the caring role with others or engaging with a peer support network or counsellor.
Help & Support From BBO Staffs
At Building Opportunities Stafford & South Staffordshire, we offer a bespoke personal development plan for individuals that aligns with their personal needs. Whether you’re looking to boost your confidence or self-esteem, seek help for mental health challenges, or embark on an exciting career, our tailored programmes will support you to access all the help you need.
From employment support and financial advice to support with your mental or physical health and wellbeing, our friendly Advocates will work with you to create a plan that targets all the areas of your life that you would like to change. To find out more, contact us today or fill in the contact form to request a callback.