Everyone experiences anxiety at some point in their lives, although for some it is a fleeting response to a crisis and for others it is a more persistent fixture that persists regardless of situation. In recent years, awareness and diagnoses of anxiety as a condition have certainly increased, but it remains a tough beast to conquer. For anyone who cares for a person with anxiety, it can be a frustrating process, as kind and comforting words can just bounce off it.
Below, we will look at some of the ways anxiety affects a person who is suffering and what are some of the right and wrong ways of dealing with a period of heightened anxiety. Sometimes, the information will seem counterintuitive. That’s part of why this is such a tough condition to live with, of course; anxiety is an inherently irrational state, and trying to fight it with conventional means often won’t get the results you’re hoping for.
Anxiety usually has a source, but that might not help to treat it
There are numerous branches of anxiety, ranging from economic sources and work-related stress to health anxiety. The way these different forms manifest might not be as straightforward as the name suggests; for example, people with health anxiety may be more concerned for the health and wellbeing of loved ones than their own. In each case, though, there will usually be a specific focus for someone’s anxiety, and the temptation will be to negate that focus as though it will negate the anxiety. It won’t, usually.
Anxiety has a way of attaching to uncertainty, and you can’t tell someone that they’ll never lose their job, never be poor and never get sick, because that’s untrue. Taking practical action like looking up a CBD supplier is often the best bet at such times, because that at least offers a practical hope for something that will be effective. While you might be able to neutralise a specific fear with logic, the anxiety will often remain and hop on another insecurity.
Sometimes the best thing to do is talk about anything else
It’s tempting to imagine that by letting someone talk about their anxiety, they’ll bring the matter to the surface, expose it and let it go, but that’s a dangerous experiment. Sometimes, they may well talk themselves around, but in other cases, it can result in the anxiety being fed and growing into a full-blown attack.
Truth is, there is no magic word you can say nor line of conversation you can take. If someone tells you they just feel anxious, ask “Would you like to change the subject?” and then talk about anything else. Quiz them on an interest of theirs; the familiarity of the topic can be calming, and more importantly it takes the focus away from their fear.
Even good tactics fail a lot of the time
Being there for someone can make you feel crummy, because nothing that you say seems to work. That’s because sometimes, nothing anyone can say would work. Sometimes, your loved one might seem to be taking it out on you, and you’ll need to be thick-skinned because their anxiety is lashing out wildly. Your sole role at that point is to refrain from firing back at them, because they’ll then feel abandoned, too. You just need to be there until their demeanour comes back to normal, which it will because anxiety attacks thrive on adrenaline and dissipate when it runs out. Then, they’ll need a comforting word and maybe a hug.
Helping someone through anxiety is far from easy, and can sometimes feel thankless. But being there for them does help, and can take away a lot of the pain in the long term.