How to Help a Person with Anxiety?
When a close person goes through an anxiety crisis, it is important to know how to provide support to calm the symptoms. We tell you what you can do to help you deal with this problem.
Those who live with a person with anxiety know how difficult this condition can be. Therefore, we will share with you some guidelines, precisely, to help a person with this problem.
It is worth bearing in mind that anxiety is characterized by presenting a feeling of subjective distress, of high intensity, that triggers emotional and behavioral symptoms.
People who suffer from it may feel choking, tachycardia, chest pain, uncontrolled crying, tremor, muscle tension, fear of death, among others.
The presence of these symptoms can be confusing for those who do not know enough about the anxious pictures. The medical literature indicates that anxiety develops slowly and can begin from adolescence or early adulthood.
Among other things, patients with this disorder often feel nervous in daily situations, regarding their work performance, finances, their health, being late in fulfilling responsibilities, among others.
What does a person feel anxious?
To help a person suffering from anxiety it is necessary to know what they feel. Some of the symptoms of anxiety are:
- Excessive concern for everyday things.
- Difficulty controlling nervousness and worries.
- Difficulty to relax
- Concentration problems.
- They can be easily surprised.
- Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep.
- Frequent feeling of tiredness.
- Muscle or stomach aches.
- Upset that fails to explain.
- Difficulty to swallow.
- Dizziness or feeling of shortness of breath, among others.
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As you can see, the symptoms of anxiety can place those who suffer from it at a disadvantage, being able to incapacitate him for the performance of his daily tasks. Therefore, studies on the subject suggest, in some cases, pharmacological treatment.
How to help a person with anxiety?
Family members and friends of those who suffer from anxiety often do not know how to handle this situation and may feel confused. It is convenient to know how to act in these cases to avoid attitudes that, rather, can intensify the discomfort. What can we do?
- Find out
For the facts to acquire meaning, it is necessary to know what anxiety is all about. The best source is, first of all, the person who suffers from it, and then the medical informational texts addressed to the general public.
- Be empathetic
Try to understand the person who is suffering, trying to put themselves in their place.
Empathy is important when it comes to helping a person suffering from anxiety. This, in a way, helps you find calm.
Sometimes, a person with anxiety needs to be heard. This relieves you temporarily. Also, showing availability will help you find calm.
- Avoid disqualifying
Either with hurtful comments or moral judgments. It is important, never downplay or trivialize the suffering of the other.
- Avoid the blame
Since this can only increase the anguish of the person suffering from anxiety. It is possible that the person, product of the same symptoms, can not control the situation, but no one but he wants to find calm at that time.
- Avoid becoming overly distressed
Because this would increase the alarms of those who feel anxiety and the picture would be oversized.
Demonstrating too much anguish over the situation of the person with anxiety can only make their symptoms worse. It is essential to remain calm to help you.
- Help make an objective analysis
An objective analysis of what is happening will be useful to help the person cope with the situation.
- Help you see beyond the moment
That the person suffering from anxiety remembers that, if at other times he has solved problems that seemed difficult, now he can also find the solutions he needs.
More guidelines to help a person with anxiety
- Support: the person to face their fears progressively, and congratulate their progress.
- Avoid overprotection: this way of acting is common since it seeks to protect who you want, but it is not recommended because it can help sustain the problem over time.
- Avoid telling him to calm down: because this can only increase tension and nervousness, making the person feel more overwhelmed or more choked.
- Give space: this is equivalent to making it clear that you are there to give support, but not to attract the attention of more people, for example, if the symptoms of anxiety increase in the street. Doing this can make you feel more nervous. When a person is going through an anxiety crisis, it is also important to know how to give space to calm down.
- Show them another stimulus: that they focus their attention, for example, on the breathing of the person who accompanies them and tries to imitate it. You may also be asked to maintain eye contact while doing this exercise with your breath.
- Help you with breathing exercises: it can be useful to relieve the symptom of hyperventilation.
- Talking in a calm tone: listening to the calm but firm voice can help to reduce activation levels.
- Remind him that everything will happen: that little by little his symptoms will be happening, despite the intensity he may feel at the moment.
In addition to these recommendations, the person who wishes to help those who suffer from anxiety may recommend alternative therapies. The mindfulness, for example, can help you have more control of yourself in situations that generate anxiety.
Also, you can sign up for yoga or Pilates classes with the person suffering from anxiety. If it is observed that more tools are required, then you can recommend seeking help with a specialist so that the person who suffers can recover the quality of life.
- Anxiety, anguish, and stress: three concepts to differentiate. (2003). Mal-Estar e Subjectividade Magazine. https://doi.org/10.5020/235907188.8.131.52.
- Muñoz Martínez, JA (1996). Anxiety. Geriatrics. https://doi.org/10.1016/s1134-2072(05)75195-1
- Palma, M. (2010). Anxiety disorders University Digital Magazine.