I wish that more people were educated on what to say to someone with extreme anxiety.
I have been told thousands of times “You worry too much”, “I think you need a stronger medication”, “You are going to give yourself an ulcer”, “Would you just relax?” and “Just stop thinking about it”, are some of the few things that I have had bashed into my head from the very beginning of my anxiety disorder. I would be rich if I got 1 cent for every time that I have heard these statements.
Trust me… I know this isn’t good for me, If I could control it don’t you think I would?
Anxiety doesn’t get resolved with your half-ass’d advice that you try to throw at me to get me to “calm down”. The worst thing that you could tell someone drowning in their anxiety is “you’re okay”, and “stop thinking like that”. These exact statements make my anxiety worse and cause my mind to spiral out of control thinking that nobody understands me and that I’m just a lost cause.
I’m nervous, jumpy, and always flooded with an agitated sense of urgency; I worry a lot and make the smallest things seem so much bigger than what they really are. Before exams I’m panicking, and when something goes wrong I freak out.
For those of us that struggle with Anxiety, its a mixture of extreme frustration and hurt when these good-for-nothing statements come out of an uneducated person’s mouth.
If you are very close to someone that struggles/suffers with anxiety on a daily basis,I suggest that you do some research on the best ways to comfort and help them without creating an even worse outcome when you don’t know what you’re talking about and try to help.
Here are a few ways/things I have found to help alleviate these frustrations an anxiety suffers has with someone who doesn’t know what to say:
DO NOT SAY:
“I know what you mean. I had a panic attack when I saw the gas prices went up”
“Have you tried seeing a therapist or hitting the gym”
“Are you OK?”
“I’m always here for you”
“What can I do to help you”
“Tell me whatever you want, I’m listening”
I realize that talking to someone that is going through an awful bout of anxiety can be very hard and feel impossible,but it’s really not, just don’t give them your nonchalant advice that makes the sufferer feel belittled. Anxiety is not just simple stress about things that happen in life, it is an uncontrollable worry that completely consumes the mind and causes severe physical side effects that prevent them from living a “normal” life.
If you are not a certified Therapist or an un-compassionate person then you might as well move on because your “advice” is not welcome so don’t waste your time.