Perhaps you are faced with the challenge of helping someone with anxiety but have no idea where to start. Research indicates that anxiety disorders affect more than 40 million victims in the US. With these numbers likely to rise in the future, it is prudent to learn how to help someone tackle this frustrating mental illness. Luckily, certain things can be done to provide support and relief for those afflicted with anxiety disorders.
Helping Someone With Anxiety
Keep reading as we provide imperative guidelines on anxiety disorder treatment options and the steps to helping someone with anxiety, so they can cope with life better moving forward.
Educate yourself about the disorder
The first step to caring for someone with anxiety is to educate yourself as much as possible about the particular disorder at hand. Remember that several types of anxiety disorders sometimes trigger adverse reactions like social phobias and panic attacks. Altogether, being knowledgeable about the different types of anxiety disorder treatment alternatives goes a long way in providing an appropriate level of support to your loved ones.
Anxiety disorders are difficult obstacles to overcome, even when you’re on the outside and not the one experiencing the symptoms, because they are often accompanied by feelings of hopelessness, helplessness, and insecurity. It is crucial to have an understanding attitude toward your friend or loved one’s condition. Most importantly, do not become frustrated at their seemingly irrational behaviours. If you begin to lose your patience with someone suffering from this disorder, he or she will most likely retreat into isolation and escalate the situation further. Instead, work toward a solution together for eventual results.
Encourage Anxiety Disorder Treatment
If anxiety symptoms worsen with time, you should encourage your loved one to seek professional help right away. A trained mental health care provider can provide useful guidance and counseling alongside prescription drugs for anxiety such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) or benzodiazepines. To prevent dependence on anxiety disorder treatment medications, medics sometimes offer alternative solutions like homeopathic or herbal drugs. Be sure to offer emotional support during this time so that the patient can feel less alone in his or her recovery process.
Perhaps the most difficult part of combating an anxiety disorder is identifying what may trigger an attack or anxiety response in the first place. To do this, you may need to spend time with the victim and understand what prompts their anxiety symptoms. The best way to identify triggers is by observing through careful attention what situations lead up to an episode of anxiety. You should then try to include coping strategies for anxiety that can help your loved one deal with his or her anxious feelings constructively rather than retreating into isolation and depression.
Focus on positive thinking
When helping someone with anxiety disorders, it is important to provide emotional support as well as cognitive assistance if possible. This will involve working toward re-training the brain’s production of “negative thoughts” so that they are replaced with positive and productive thoughts.This can be done through both cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) and psycho-education about the effects of negative thinking versus a more optimistic view of life.
Being helpful to individuals who have anxiety disorders can be an uphill battle. This is because the mental health recovery journey often revolves around myths and misconceptions. However, by providing emotional, cognitive, and social support for your loved one in a loving way, you can help them work toward creating a more optimistic view on life that allows them to take control of their thoughts and feelings in overcoming the disorder.