It is normal to have anxious feelings; maybe you have a big meeting at work, a job interview, or a first date. Those normal anxious feelings are no comparison to a person that is suffering from an anxiety disorder.
Overwhelming panic, the weight in your chest, the constant racing thoughts, trouble concentrating, restlessness, shortness of breath, frequent urination, headaches, and a pounding heart is the reality. Those suffering from anxiety disorders live their days with feelings of pressure, stress and a hard to control mind.
Although anxiety has its negative aspects, one can determine it is not always a bad thing. It’s good to always be alert and focused. The racing mind is good motivation, it helps with problem solving. Sometimes anticipating the worst is not always a bad thing, I mean… It is good to have a backup plan and be prepared.
If you know anyone that suffers from an anxiety disorder, it is important to remember to be their support system. Try not to get frustrated with them, as they are already frustrated with themselves. The person suffering from the anxiety has no control over what is it doing to their mind and body, and the feeling of having no control… makes it worse.
Below I share some advice with you… These are things you should NEVER Say to a Person Suffering from Anxiety. Follow these tips and learn how to be the support system your loved one truly needs.
1. “Calm down”
The way they feel is not their choice, they cannot control their mind. Telling someone with anxiety to calm down is like telling someone with a cold to stop sniffling. Saying “calm down” will only make their anxiety seem much worse. Ask the person what you can do for them instead. Ask them if they need anything or if you could be of any assistance to them.
2. “It’s not a big deal”
YES, to those suffering with anxiety, it is a big deal! Once again, the person suffering from anxiety is not choosing to live this way. If something is bothering them, it is a big deal to them. A lot of the time, when they are undergoing anxiety they don’t even know why. It just happens; so, do not down play their emotions by telling them that what they are worrying about is not a big deal. This will only make it worse.
3. “Everything is going to be okay”
Although you may be trying to help them by saying this, it won’t work. For a few seconds they might rationalize with you, and then soon after their mind will start racing and their doubts will kick right back in. Try allowing the person with anxiety to vent out their worries with you, sometimes letting it out helps release some of the chaos in their mind.
4. “You’re overthinking it”
Yes they know that, they know that their mind is running a million miles a minute and they can’t stop thinking and analyzing every little thing. Please don’t give them a hard time about it; they already know they are over thinking.
5. “I know how you feel”
No, no you don’t. Unless you have personal experience struggling with anxiety, you do not know how they are feeling. An anxiety disorder is an everyday struggle and they need support, not someone trying to compare their life with them.
6. “Why are you freaking out?”
They are freaking out because their mind is consumed with a million thoughts, they are trying to process them but can’t because all of their thoughts are compiling at once.