Dealing with an anxiety disorder can be a challenge and when the suffering person is a loved one, it can be even more difficult to care for him/her knowing what he or she might be going through. It is important that people struggling with anxiety disorders are dealt with compassion and empathy because their quality of life is compromised. They live with the mental disorder day and night and might be hesitant to share their problems.
Here are some ways by which a person can help his or her loved one deal with the symptoms of anxiety disorder:
1- Be more accepting – It is important to stay with the loved one suffering from an anxiety disorder through thick and thin. It is essential to accept the person with the disease and provide unconditional support. Accepting the person will give him/her strength and endurance to manage the condition in a better way.
2- Stay informed – One must gain knowledge about the problem the person is facing and understand that it happens because of the chemical imbalances in the brain. Expecting someone to just snap out of his/her anxiety is rude and unrealistic. One must not downplay the struggle and help the suffering person sail through.
3- Ask how you can help – Different people deal differently with their anxiety. What might work for one person may not work for another. It is helpful and encouraging to ask the one who is suffering from anxiety disorder about ways he or she can be helped. Maybe, they need help while shopping or need company when visiting crowded places.
4- Encourage to try out new things – Trying new things can be a source of distraction for someone grappling with anxiety. One should encourage the person having a tough time to explore a new hobby and, if possible, offer him/her company.
5- Do not focus on anxiety – It is important to understand that while anxiety could be a major issue in one’s life, it doesn’t define him or her entirely. Those close to the patient should avoid bringing up the subject repeatedly as it could affect his/her confidence level.
6- Stay active – Physical activity can help in keeping the anxiety symptoms at bay. People get more anxious when they are not busy. The outdoor activity engages both body and mind. Help your loved one engage in an activity to let him/her feel better.
7- Build a support system – This can be immensely useful when one feels down in the dumps. Create a support system for your loved one through online and offline support groups and ask him/her to be a part of them. Interacting with people sailing in the same boat can be a great source of inspiration and courage. It lets the patient give vent to his/her feelings during an episode of anxiety.
8- Do not take anything personally – There might be times when a person struggling with anxiety might want some space and solitude. Do not mind that. It’s just that everyone needs time and space to figure out some matters on his/her own. Be supportive without being intrusive.
Recovering from anxiety disorder
Anxiety can be highly incapacitating affecting one’s ability to get out of bed, maintaining a job, performing everyday tasks, and being happy in relationships. If left untreated, it can lead to other health problems. If the self-help tips and support from the loved ones do not help, one must seek professional intervention immediately.
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