How to Support a Loved One with Anxiety

Along with attending therapy sessions in Maryland, your loved one will greatly benefit from having a strong supporting system.

Seeing someone suffer from anxiety can be difficult. You want to help them in any way you can. But this can be difficult if you don’t know how to help them. The last thing you want to do is make things worse. Sometimes, it can also be hard to understand what they’re going through. Because anxiety doesn’t always manifest in physical symptoms, you might have trouble making sense of what is going on. 

But there are multiple ways you can support someone struggling with anxiety. Whether they need help finding professional therapy in Maryland or they just want validation for their worries, you can help them through these struggles. 

Understanding Anxiety

Before we dive into tips on supporting someone with anxiety, let’s examine a brief overview of the disorder first.

woman sitting on a bed
Living with anxiety can feel scary and lonesome. 

Before we get started, let’s take a deeper dive into anxiety. Everyone feels nervous or anxious every once in a while. It’s a natural response to stress. But when these feelings become so extreme that they interfere with your ability to lead a normal life, they may be indicative of a serious anxiety disorder. This anxiety can leave you with a debilitating sense of fear and even cause you to stop doing things you once loved. 

Different Types of Anxiety Disorders

There are several different types of anxiety disorders one might be diagnosed with:

  • Panic Disorder: Experiencing re-occuring panic attacks at unexpected moments
  • Phobia: Intense and excessive fear of an object or situation
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder: Re-occuring irrational thoughts that cause people to perform specific, repeated rituals 
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: Occurs after experiencing a traumatic event
  • Social Anxiety Disorder: Intense fear of being watched or judged by others
  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder: Severe and excessive worry about a particular situation or problem like money or work

Possible Causes of Anxiety

Researchers haven’t yet found the exact cause of anxiety. Most believe that a combination of one’s genetics, environment, and brain chemistry can increase their risk of developing an anxiety disorder. For instance, people who are already prone to anxiety may develop an anxiety disorder after experiencing a traumatic life event. 

Underlying health issues like diabetes and thyroid problems may also play a role. Anxiety can also worsen other health issues like depression or digestive problems.

Different Ways You Can Help Someone with Anxiety

There are numerous ways you can lend support to your friend.

woman experiencing anxiety in the middle of the street
If you are concerned about a loved one’s anxiety, there are numerous ways you can help and support them.

Learn how to recognize the signs of anxiety

Not everyone with an anxiety disorder experiences the same symptoms. Educating yourself on the different symptoms someone with anxiety might experience can help you keep a look out for them in your friends. 

Common symptoms of anxiety include:

  • Change in appetite
  • Uncontrollable overthinking
  • Having trouble concentrating
  • Excessive worry
  • Experiencing stomach aches when stressed
  • Hair loss
  • Shaking and fast breathing
  • Compulsive actions like constantly washing their hands

Learn how to validate their concerns

Providing love and support for your friend can help them get better in the long run. Rather than belittle someone’s fear, try to listen to them and ask how you can best support them. Even if you don’t understand their anxiety, you can still acknowledge that their feelings are real. Validating their feelings doesn’t necessary mean that you agree with them. Instead, you are listening to them and accepting them. 

Help them find professional help when they are ready

Encouraging your loved one to make an appiontment with their physician can help them get onto the right path toward treatment. If they show resistance, remind them that they are just committing to one appointment. Since it’s just a check-in, they won’t have to commit to a full treatment plan just yet. 

Professional Resources and Therapy in Maryland

Therapy and medication are typically prescribed for people with anxiety.

woman lying on sofa talking to therapist
As your loved one attends therapy and goes on medication, there are still numerous ways you can support them.

If your friend thinks they have an anxiety disorder, it is important that they schedule an appointment with their physcian. Their doctor will be able to evaluate them and determine the right treatment plan for their particular symptoms and needs. Patients with anxiety typically receive a combination of talk therapy sessions and medication. During treatment, their physician will keep an eye on their symptoms to see if they have improved. 

Living with anxiety can be incredibly difficult. If you are able to and willing, you can lend great support to your loved ones who are struggling with this disorder. If they are interested in therapy, you can refer them to the Psych Associates of Maryland. As one of the top therapy centers in Maryland, we are equipped to help your loved one through this difficult time. Contact one of our team members today for more information!


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