People With Anxiety Just Need You To Be There
“Anxiety” is a broad term that describes a number of different symptoms.
At some time or another, everyone experiences some kind of anxiety. But some people experience anxiety in a more chronic way.
In order to understand the needs of someone suffering from an anxiety disorder, we need to first understand them. There are 5 primary types of anxiety disorders.
1. Generalized Anxiety Disorder
People with GAD experience excessive anxiety or worry over things like work, finances, and personal health. Symptoms include:
- Muscle tension
- Difficulty controlling feelings of worry
- Sleep problems
2. Panic Disorder
People with panic disorder usually have some kind of recurring panic attacks. These attacks often come on with little warning. Symptoms of Panic Disorder include:
- Heart palpitations
- Shortness of breath
- Worries about imminent death
- Feeling out of control
3. Phobia-related Anxiety Disorders
Experiencing fear is a normal part of life, but a phobia is an intense fear or aversion to specific things, like spiders and flying. A phobia is a fear that is unrealistic and blown out of proportion. Symptoms of Phobia-related Anxiety Disorders include:
- Irrational worry
- Avoidance of the subject of their phobias
- Major anxiety issues when experiencing a phobia
- An inability to endure experiencing a phobia
Social Anxiety Disorder tends to manifest itself as:
- A fear of public performance
- Anxiety toward social situations
- Worrying about being judged
- Avoidance of social situations
5. Separation Anxiety Disorder
Separation Anxiety Disorder is a bit more common in children than adults, but adults can suffer from it as well. Symptoms of SAD include:
- Fear of being abandoned by people they love
- That they will experience harm if alone
- Nightmares about separation
Now that we know a little bit more about some of the more common types of anxiety, let’s talk about what you should know if you love someone who experiences anxiety:
They don’t always express their feelings right.
When a person is in the throes of the symptoms of anxiety, it can be difficult to properly articulate their thoughts. Especially when a person experiences a panic attack associated with anxiety, it can be hard to communicate their feelings right. They may say something harsh without meaning it. It’s important to be patient with the one you love when they’re suffering the worst of anxiety’s symptoms.
They might need their alone time.
Social Anxiety Disorder, in particular, should not be confused with anti-social behavior. People with anxiety do sometimes have trouble spending time in social settings, even just one on one. What’s important to remember is that their feelings about you haven’t changed. Really, their anxiety doesn’t involve you.
They aren’t always anti-social.
One major misconception about people who suffer from anxiety is that they’re always anti-social. For some with anxiety, they’re never anti-social. But like I mentioned above, sometimes anxious people need to take a minute and escape from situations where there are a lot of people.
They might not want your help.
When we love someone who struggles with something, there’s almost always an impulse to try and help them cope and recover. For people with anxiety, and really anyone in any given situation, they might not want your help or help at all. People with anxiety are able to develop coping mechanisms of their own and don’t necessarily need assistance.
They’re still strong people.
This is maybe the most important point to remember. Even though they suffer from anxiety, they’re still strong people. To make it through this life with an anxious mind takes strength.