How to Support Someone with an Anxiety Disorder

Written by Macy Young

Everyone has moments of anxiety like speaking in public, taking a test, or dealing with new experiences. Having anxiety in these situations is common, but it is different when dealing with an anxiety disorder. An anxiety disorder is a diagnosed form of panic disorder which includes the following symptoms: sense of feeling doomed or danger, fear of death, rapid heart beat, trembling, and much more that can be researched online. Here are ways to help those who suffer from an anxiety disorder and some information on them as well. 

What to Know About a Panic/Anxiety Attack

Panic attacks and anxiety attacks are sudden episodes of intense fear or anxiety. They can be felt emotionally or physically. A panic attack is usually more intense and emotion-based, whereas anxiety is usually physical.

Hear Them Out 

Listening to someone when they’re in a state of panic is a very important method to help. Let the person express the emotions they have built up and take what they are saying into consideration before replying. During an anxiety attack,  it can be hard for a person to speak, but it’s important to listen as intently as possible to find a solution to help.

Let Them Breathe

Do not smother them with questions or physical affection because in the moment of an anxiety/panic attack, the person could hyperventilate or feel overwhelmed. Give them enough space for them to get their breath out.

Don’t Make it About You

Relating to someone’s situation is completely normal. However in the moment that a person needs to let out their emotions, taking away from their experience to talk about yourself could make a person feel as if their current problem does not matter as much.

Reassure

During a panic/anxiety attack, the person could feel frightened or doomed. Reassuring the person that it’s okay and that this state of mind won’t last forever is a good start. 

Distract

While a person is having an anxiety/panic attack, they are caught up in their own thoughts and feelings. Try to do things like cracking some jokes, having them say the alphabet backwards, or even name all 50 states in alphabetical order. Any attempt to get their mind off of the attack is a good idea.

There are plenty of ways to help those in need. Overall, any form of support can help a person in a panic/anxiety attack. To find out if you or someone you know may suffer from an anxiety disorder, speak with a doctor or psychiatrist for help.

Sources: – 

www.mayoclinic.org 

www.healthline.com

www.adaa.org

 

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