Feeling anguish, fear and worry is normal at any time in life. However, if these symptoms do not go away, worsen over time, and interfere with daily, social, school, and work activities, it may be a sign of an anxiety disorder.
According to the WHO, more than 260 million people in the world have anxiety disorders ; and it is a mental health problem that affects work capacity and productivity.
There are several types of anxiety disorders , including generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder (social phobia), specific phobias, and separation anxiety disorder, among others.
Each anxiety disorder can have different symptoms, as indicated by the US National Institute of Mental Health. However, in general, when a person has anxiety, they present “anxious thoughts or beliefs that are difficult to control, that make them feel restless and tense and interfere with their daily life. They don’t go away and they can get worse over time. ”
As the Mayo Clinic explains, a person with anxiety may feel:
- Feeling nervous, agitated, or tense.
- Sensing imminent danger, panic.
- Have an increased heart rate and fast breathing.
- Present sweating and tremors.
- Feeling weak or tired
- Constant difficulty concentrating or thinking about anything other than the current concern.
- Difficulty getting to sleep.
- Suffering from gastrointestinal problems.
- Difficulty controlling worries.
- Prefer to avoid situations that generate anxiety.
“HEALTH IS A STATE OF COMPLETE PHYSICAL, MENTAL AND SOCIAL WELL-BEING, AND NOT ONLY THE ABSENCE OF DISEASES OR ILLNESSES.”
WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION
ANXIETY AND COVID – 19
53% of Americans reported feeling anxiety, as indicated by the most recent National Mental Health Survey (2015) , and input for the Public Health Plan 2012-2021. In fact, 3 out of 100 Americans have diagnosed anxiety, according to the Ministry of Health.
Faced with these figures, the reality is that they could increase as a result of the current world situation and the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, the report ‘Anxiety, depression and fear: drivers of poor mental health during physical distancing in the United States’, showed that 56% of those surveyed fear falling into anxiety and depression during isolation.
That is why at Collaborative Research Group, we share some recommendations to help people with anxiety, since we understand that mental health is an integral part of the well-being of each one.
TIPS TO HELP A PERSON WITH ANXIETY
1. EMPATHY AND ASSERTIVE COMMUNICATION
Wanting to help your partner, your mother, your brother, friend, or anyone with anxiety is a good sign of empathy. In order to be supportive, try to be open and not react the same to bouts of irritability.
Seek professional advice, suggest activities that allow you to feel calmer, and always listen willingly. After listening, speak with assertiveness , that is, positively, with respect, with a firm but calm voice.
2. AVOID TELLING SOMEONE WITH ANXIETY TO CALM DOWN
That’s how it is. The first thing is to know that a person with anxiety finds it difficult to think clearly when they feel overwhelmed. And it doesn’t need you to make the moment worse.
Never say “calm down, nothing is wrong”, as it can be counterproductive. Trying to tell him to calm down leads the anxious person to become even more frustrated, precisely because they cannot do so; in addition to feeling judged.
3. WHAT YOU CAN SAY
To help a person with anxiety, the ideal is to show unconditional support. You can say “If you need me, I am here for you.” “I support you and I love you. Here I am with you”.
Normalize what is happening to him and guide him so that he can cope with the situation and can deal with it. You can also say “It is normal how you feel and we can work together or seek professional support, when you are ready.” Also, if possible, try to maintain eye contact while talking.
4. LET IT EXPRESS ITSELF
Listening is essential. And although sometimes a person with anxiety will prefer to hide their feelings of worry, sadness or fear because they are considered negative or immature, if you want to help them, allow them to speak, invite them to communicate what they feel.
Whether through a conversation, or a text, a drawing, a good strategy to reduce tension is to allow it to express everything.
5. PATIENCE ABOVE ALL
Overnight the person with anxiety will not get better. The fact that you suggest doing relaxation techniques, breathing techniques or going to therapy does not mean that it will have immediate results. You need dedication, company and time. As well as its own space.
The recovery process is individual, do not compare, do not pressure. Just support and understand.
6. PROFESSIONAL HELP IS ALSO NECESSARY
You mean well and are very supportive. In some cases, it is also essential to receive guidance from a professional, someone with specialized clinical training.
Consulting with a psychologist will be a great start to help improve the anxiety of your friend, your partner or your family member.
Finally, sharing each progress and being present in a sincere way may be what the person you want to help values the most. If you consider it appropriate, we invite you to share these recommendations with other people who are looking for how to help a person with anxiety. And remember, when it comes to wellness and health, at Collaborative Research Group, we think of you.
The above content published at Collaborative Research Group is for educational and informational purposes only and has been developed by following reliable medical sources and recommendations from health and wellness experts. If you feel identified with any symptoms, described medical term or you are a patient, we recommend you consult your doctor.