What to say to someone struggling with anxiety
You read about my first anxiety attack and my journey through blaming myself … and then finally getting help. Well, as I mentioned in that last post, my battle with anxiety continues day-to-day. Maybe someone you know and love is going through a similar struggle and you're wondering how you can help. I’d like to share with you what I’ve found helpful in this journey.
Oh, and a quick disclaimer. I am by no means a medical professional. There are many forms of anxiety … and this is just what I personally found helpful. :)
- Remind me that you love me.
- Be supportive of me getting help through medication and/or therapy if it’s needed.
- Give me grace if I’m short with you or irritable … because that can happen when I’m feeling especially anxious.
- Let me cry and let me know that it’s okay not to have myself together all the time.
- If I’m having a panic attack, remind me to breathe deeply and that it will pass. Pray for me.
- Gently encourage me to take care of my body by eating right, exercising regularly, taking vitamins, and spending time in the sunlight. :)
- Remind me that I’m not going crazy and that experiencing anxiety is actually very common!
- If you know anyone else who has experienced anxiety or panic attacks, connect me with them.
- Understand that talking about my anxieties can actually make me more anxious! So, don’t pry if I’m not ready to talk about my specific anxieties, especially if we’re in a public setting.
- Send Bible verses that have been encouraging to you when you’ve faced hard times … and not just the “fear not” passages. :)
In my journey through anxiety, my prayer changed from begging God to take away my anxiety to “Lord, be my source of peace today. I cannot do this without you.” One positive that’s come from my battle with anxiety is that I’m reminded to refocus my thoughts on the Lord more often. I fight anxiety every day … but not alone.
If you struggle with anxiety, what are some of the helpful things people have said to you?