How to help loved one with anxiety disorder?

“If you don’t think your anxiety, depression, sadness, and stress impact your physical health, think again. All of these emotions trigger chemical reactions in your body, which can lead to inflammation and a weakened immune system. Learn how to cope, sweet friend. There will always be dark days.” -Kris Carr 

The American Psychological Association (APA) defines anxiety as “an emotion characterized by feelings of tension, worried thoughts and physical changes like increased blood pressure.”

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How to know that someone around you is suffering from an anxiety disorder:
  • The person indicates excessive anxiety or worries about future events.
  • The person has feelings of panic in certain situations.
  • The person experiences sleep disturbances related to the anxiety or worry.
  • The person has difficulty concentrating as a result of the anxiety or worry.
  • You may also notice general signs of distress. Such as neglecting personal hygiene, weight gain or loss, a decline in performance at work.
  • Major changes in mood, withdrawal from activities or relationships can also be a sign.

“People talk about physical fitness, but mental health is equally important. I see people suffering, and their families feel a sense of shame about it, which doesn’t help. One needs support and understanding. I am now working on an initiative to create awareness about anxiety and depression and help people.” -Deepika Padukone

What can you do to help a family member or a close friend?

  • Avoid shaming your friend for their anxiety. Comments like “get over it” or “chill out” can be hurtful.
  • Ask your friend how you can help.
  • Be patient. If a friend is experiencing an episode of anxiety, it may not be helpful to intervene or try to fix it. Let them know that you support and love them.
  • Support the idea of getting treatment. Help them to get over initial fears of getting professional help. There can be a lot of stigma around seeking help for mental health difficulties.

What can you do to help your spouse or partner?

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  • Research treatment options with your partner, and encourage treatment.
  • There are many effective treatments for anxiety, and some of them involve the partner. Find a therapist in your area.
  • keep a note of things that make your partner uncomfortable. Try to avoid putting them in those situations. If something is unavoidable, knowing that it is a trigger for them will help you react in a more helpful way.
  • your partner must have a set of behaviors or habits that help them when they get anxious. Learn how they cope.
  • Ask how you can help: Don’t assume your partner’s needs without asking. Ask what you can do to help, and listen to what they say.

What can I do to help my child?

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  • Reinforce healthy behavior, rather than criticizing behaviors (like avoidance, complaints, sleep disturbances)
  • Focus on developing healthy, such as a good sleep, healthy eating, and regular exercise.
  • Recognize or praise the child for him/her own progress or improvement. Celebrate the small victories.
  • Help them to feel better about themselves. Low self-esteem is often associated with anxiety.
  • Let them know that he/she can talk to you anytime and without fear of judgment.
  • Encourage your child to engage in interests (like arts, music, and sports etc).
  • Check their relationships with others in their social circle. sometimes peer pressure or bullying can be the source of anxiety.
There are two very important guidelines to think about, aside from symptoms. These are the duration of symptoms and level of impairment. Disorders are present if symptoms last longer and interfering in our everyday life.
 
Please note that it is not a good idea to attempt to diagnose or label a friend or family member.
Only a mental health professional can diagnose an anxiety disorder. Many disorders can go together with other types of mental health difficulties.
Yet, if you notice signs of anxiety, or feel that something is not quite right. it is a good idea to reach out to ask the person how they are feeling.
You could start with something neutral and supportive like:
“It seems like you haven’t been quite yourself lately.
Is there something going on that you want to talk about?”
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Thanks for reading | Stay happy, stay healthy. Take care!
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References:  (1)(2)(3)

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Categories: Health care, MENTAL HEALTH/MANAGE STRESS

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2 replies

  1. Dear Health & Beauty, what an insightful and informative post you’ve made about the anxiety disorder. Thank you!

    I’ve had many friends with them in the past and I know how difficult it must be for them and those around. Your tips will definitely make life easier for others dealing with anxiety. Please continue making a positive change 🙂

    Looking forward to your next posts

    Like

  2. Thanks, Vasil. I am so happy and grateful that you like it. Do share it with your loved ones. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

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