Having someone in your life that you love means that you’d be willing to sacrifice the moon and stars just to see them smile. That can be a bit difficult when that person is dealing with anxiety. It’s especially hard if you don’t really understand what they’re going through.
If you really care about them, you’ll need to take a moment to see the reality of their condition. To help you, these are 10 things you need to remember if you love someone who has anxiety.
1. It’s Overwhelming
There’s no peace for someone who suffers from this illness. Every day is a struggle and it can often feel like they’re suffocating under the weight of life. Some days will be better than others, but their bad days will make it even harder for them to cope.
2. They Can’t Just Get Over it
Anxiety may be a mental illness, but it certainly isn’t all in their heads. If you try to tell them that they will be okay or that they should just get over it, you’ll see how quickly things get worse for them.
3. Don’t Think That They Don’t Trust You
More than likely, they’re going to seem extremely suspicious of you. This truly isn’t because they don’t trust you, it’s just because their anxious thoughts are taking over their mind.
4. They May Need Time Alone
Sometimes things can be too much to handle for them. Your loved one may need a bit of time alone to breathe and clear their heads, away from the noise of the world. When it seems like their struggling, ask them if they need some alone time.
5. And They May Need You to Be There
Of course, they won’t always want to be alone. Quite often, being alone will become too hard for them and they’ll need someone there to calm them down. If this happens, try and be there to comfort them.
6. It’s Important to Establish Boundaries
It’s not just them who needs to tell you what they’re comfortable with, you have a say too. You’ll both need to sit down and have a serious talk about the boundaries between you two.
7. They Know That They Can Be Irrational
Anxiety is full of contradictions. Their mind can tell them two different things at one time – the rational and the irrational. Although they often know that what they’re saying or thinking is ridiculous, that doesn’t stop them from feeling that way.
8. You Won’t Always Know When They’re Suffering
Anxiety isn’t just hyperventilating and freaking out. Most times, it’s silent. You might not always know when the person you love is going through a rough patch, so try to be mindful at all times that they could be struggling.
9. It’s Not Your Responsibility to Fix Them
When you know that the person you love is having a hard time, your immediate reaction is probably to solve all their problems. Unfortunately, that’s not possible, and it’s not your responsibility either. The best thing that you can do for them is to be there for support when they need you.
10. They Are Not Just Their Anxiety
It can be hard to separate the sufferer from their illness when it begins to overtake their life. It’s important to remember that they are so much more than this. They’re not just anxious thoughts and irrational behavior. They have their own personality, their own thoughts, and their own dreams.
If you can truly understand these 10 things, then helping the person that you love will be so much easier. Always remember that living with this condition is agony, and they can’t always do what everyone expects of them. Be patient with them, support them, and love them.
Share this article with your friends and family to teach them how to really help a loved one with anxiety.