LIVING WITH AN ANXIETY DISORDER ISN’T FUN FOR ANYONE, AND MOST PEOPLE DON’T UNDERSTAND WHAT IT IS LIKE TO BE SOMEONE WHO SUFFERS FROM ONE.
I’d like to shed a little light on the subject, for those of you who do not understand what this illness is like:
Without warning, worry begins to build and you feel that something just isn’t right. Things might be perfectly fine, but your mind will convince itself otherwise. It will tell you that your life is about to fall apart, then add a bit of fear to the mix. One minute, you are consumed with this single worry , and the next, it could be something completely different, yet equally threatening. Your mind is constantly switching back and forth between worries, and it will convince you that things are much worse than they truly are.
While all of this is going on in your mind, you are trying as hard as you can to remain calm and “just relax,” like your friends suggest…but it’s impossible. Then comes the depression. The depression that makes you wish you were someone else- someone who wasn’t so crazy and irrational at times. This is the worst part because it causes you to distance yourself from the world and everyone around you. It creates a barrier separating the rest of the world from you and your illness, and that loneliness causes fear. You’re too terrified to talk to your closest friends or loved ones about what you really need from them. And that makes you feel even worse….but you can’t help it.
THERE IS SOMETHING THAT EVERYBODY NEEDS TO UNDERSTAND ABOUT ANXIETY: YOU CAN’T CONTROL IT.
No, having anxiety doesn’t mean you are crazy, and the last thing you need to hear is people telling you that you are acting mad. Chances are, you’re well aware of how “crazy” you seem at times, and when people tell you such things it only makes your condition worse.
Anxiety happens at the most inconvenient times, and when it does, you only need three things: patience, understanding, and support. Eventually, the attack will pass and you will return to your usual self.
What people with anxiety really want you to understand, is that we are on the same team- it’s you and us versus the illness. We hate it just as much as you do, probably even more.
What’s the best thing you can do when we are having an attack? Listen. We need you to know that there are times we will need you to hold us close, and times when we need to be left alone. And yes, sometimes, the ones we love are the triggers for our attacks- don’t take it personally, anxiety doesn’t follow logic or rationale. Whatever you do, please don’t tell us to “calm down,” that we are “overreacting,” or that “worrying won’t make anything better.” If we could turn off worrying like a switch, don’t you think we would have already done that?
When someone you love is experiencing an anxiety attack, try asking them what they need from you. In most cases, they know wheat they need to make things better, but are too afraid to ask. You have to let them know that you genuinely care, and want to help in any way that you can. You have to be okay with things, even if they don’t tel you anything, and just listen. Get to know their illness better, and you will understand more of what they are going through. Every anxiety disorder is different, but understanding that they have no control over their mind, and being there for that person can be therapeutic. When they they feel as though they have turned on themselves is when they need you the most. Source