- Mental Health
How To Help Those Who Struggle With Anxiety
Assisting Those Who Need It The Most
It is a common saying that people need people. While everyone can’t expect everyone else to understand their problems or try their hardest to help them during tough times, as human beings we should strive to assist each other. Often times when people are struggling, they look to both themselves and others for support.
Dealing with anxiety, I have experienced three kinds of people. First, I have experienced people who seem to find it absolutely impossible to offer assistance and understanding when they themselves do not suffer from the same issue. Secondly, I have experienced cases where people, despite their hardest efforts, have not truly tried to see where I was coming from when I expressed my feelings of anxiety. Lastly, I know people who try their hardest and succeed in making my life a little (or a lot) simpler.
In the first two categories I have mentioned, I’ve unfortunately had to deal with the fact that when it comes to how these people view those who suffer with anxiety, it often includes the assumption that we are faking our suffering. These people come up with the thought that we are simply acting like we are stressed for attention or that we are simply being immature. Now, maybe some people out there do pretend to have extreme anxiety and do pretend to be struggling for attention but I think that for the most part, when someone says they are going through anxiety, they are being genuine.
I hate suffering from anxiety, it’s horrible. It’s an awful feeling when you can’t enjoy yourself because something is holding you back. I would never pretend to go through something so difficult. Never. The thing is though that for people that don’t go through it themselves, they find it hard to believe that someone’s thoughts can at times hold so much power over them.
The fact remains though that there are a lot of misconceptions about people who deal with anxiety and they don’t end with people thinking sufferers pretend to struggle. Some people are under the assumption that those who find themselves stressed a lot are always anxious; this isn’t true at all. In fact, people who suffer from anxiety are normal and can live very productive lives as long as they work hard to get through their fears. Also, those of us with anxiety are not weak, in fact we are extremely strong; we never give up trying to overcome our obstacles.
While I cannot make anyone who is reading this understand or help those who experience a great deal of anxiety, I can tell you that a lot of people deal with the issue and that you shouldn’t sell these people short. In addition, just because you cannot necessarily fathom how much anxiety can affect a person, does not mean that it doesn’t and does not mean that the person who is going through anxiety is faking it or acting as if they are stressed for attention. Most sufferers like myself hate being treated differently because we struggle, but this doesn’t mean we don’t want others to care.
So, what should you do if you see someone struggling? For one thing, sometimes simply talking to them about something other than their fears can get their mind off of how they are feeling and can help them focus on something else. Also, even if you do not understand how someone can be so anxious and even if you find their fears irrational, you should still try to help them realize that they are okay. You do not have to go through the same thing to be compassionate, you just have to find it in your heart to care.
What you should not do when someone is going through anxiety is laugh at them. If you ask what they are worried about, even if you find their fears irrational, try to comprehend that to them, these feelings of fear are real. While nothing may be physically wrong with those who go through anxiety, this does not mean that anxiety cannot make them feel otherwise. Respect what they have to say and reassure them that they are stronger than their fears.
Another thing you shouldn’t do is be rude to people who struggle. If you don’t want to help, then don’t, but do not go out of your way to be cruel. No one is perfect; everyone goes through something and needs to find strength within themselves to overcome obstacles. Being mean does not help anyone; it does not help the person suffering or yourself.
Last but not least, do not treat someone going through anxiety as if they are mentally slow or anything less than normal. Just as everyone has issues of some kind, everyone has some level of stress. Some people just handle their anxiety better than others while others have to work harder to overcome it. Those who struggle with anxiety are not mentally slow or abnormal, we just need to work harder at overcoming our fears.
Do You Find It Hard To Help Those Who Suffer From Anxiety? Why or Why Not?
Ways To Help Those Who Struggle
How To Distract Those From Their Fears
What To Say To Help Someone Relax
Other Suggestions to Give Those Who Suffer
Talk about relaxing things and not their anxiety
Remind them that they will be okay
Suggest they write out their feelings and fears
Watch a relaxing show or movie with the individual
Remind them that they have the strength to get through their anxiety
Remind them that they are not alone in their struggles
Ask the individual how you can distract them
Tell them to think of the times when they overcame their fears