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Helping a Friend Who Has Anxiety to the Point of Other Pressing Issues

Updated on February 12, 2020
Olivia Messick profile image

Gracelyn has Anxiety and knows how it feels. Many of her friends suffer from panic attacks daily, seeking her out for comfort and help.

Problems of Anxiety
Problems of Anxiety

Anxiety has been kicking around in humans for over 30 thousand years as it was man’s first defense against the wild. It is also known as the fight, flight, or freeze reflex, and it is one of the most influential bases in the human system. However, if you expand this reflex you get Anxiety. In today’s crazy world, many people struggle with common mental problems such as eating disorders, Anti-Social Personality Disorder (ASPD), and Depression, but the one disorder that most of these people suffer from is Anxiety.

Many symptoms accompany Anxiety but today we are going to be focusing on the ones shown in the illustration above. These include headaches, vomiting/eating problems, irritability, and sleeping problems. Other possible problems include no motivation, bulling problems, and isolation from the world. However, these are things that can be managed through basic help from others and therapy. As such we aren’t going to be focusing on these.

Headaches are the most common problems with Anxiety. Stressful thoughts are running through the person’s head and often, if the thoughts get really loud, they can cause headaches. To help the person with the headache, try to be quiet. Whisper calming words to them to help quiet their thoughts. If they are still in pain from the headache give them a single Ibuprofen or Tylenol to dull the pain. One way to recognize the person has a headache is if they have irritability, something that is explained in a later part of this passage. Next, we have problems with food. There are two main types of this problem. Not eating and eating then throwing up.

Not Eating

Not eating can be dangerous as you can quickly waste away. Stress can change a person’s will to eat. Medication may cause a feeling of not being hungry. To help with this, check and make sure the person is eating something. The main tactic is to get them to eat a little bit on their own then, if it still isn’t the best amount of food, ask them to take one more bite. If they refuse to eat on their own, feed them yourself. I have done this with two of my friends and it has worked both times. I check in on them daily to make sure that they have eaten and now they have a relatively good eating schedule. Turn to the person they respect the most and ask them to watch over them. Most likely, the person will know what to do. If all else fails for this person, take them to the doctor.

Eating then Throwing Up

This problem is similar to the last one, the only difference is that the body might have absorbed some calories. Anxiety can cause them to think critically about themselves. They could have a problem with their weight and Anxiety can blow that out of proportion. If you suspect that the person has this problem, take them to the doctor’s office. This is the best way to get them help.

Irritability can be caused by a person asking way too many questions about their anxiety. Helping with irritability can be, as simple as leaving the person alone for a bit or as complicated as getting them to go to sleep. Try and keep your cool with them as your own irritability could cause more Anxiety for the person you are trying to help.

Sleep can be an issue as well. Anxiety can keep a person up almost all night and still make them wake up way earlier than the person needed to be up. On the opposite side of the spectrum, Anxiety can also cause massive amounts of sleep. The person could be up all night and sleep all day or make it so that the person wants to sleep all of the time.

A person with Anxiety has one of the worst struggles in the world. They could worry about everything. They are more likely to be the ones to avoid everyone and overthink everything. However, these suggestions should be able to help you help others. Until next time!

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Gracelyn Apple

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    • Lorna Lamon profile image

      Lorna Lamon 

      10 days ago

      An excellent and informative article Gracelyn and coming from your own experiences makes it invaluable. I see more cases of anxiety and the knock-on effects it can have. Bringing awareness to this condition is so important and the points and information you have given are very valid. Thank you for sharing.

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