January 13, 2015

What to say to someone struggling with anxiety

I’ve shared a little with you about my history 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.  :)

  1. Remind me that you love me.
  2. Be supportive of me getting help through medication and/or therapy if it’s needed.
  3. Give me grace if I’m short with you or irritable … because that can happen when I’m feeling especially anxious.
  4. Let me cry and let me know that it’s okay not to have myself together all the time.
  5. If I’m having a panic attack, remind me to breathe deeply and that it will pass. Pray for me.
  6. Gently encourage me to take care of my body by eating right, exercising regularly, taking vitamins, and spending time in the sunlight.  :)
  7. Remind me that I’m not going crazy and that experiencing anxiety is actually very common!
  8. If you know anyone else who has experienced anxiety or panic attacks, connect me with them.
  9. 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.
  10. 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?


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