It's difficult to see a loved one suffering from anxiety. You understand they're miserable but don't understand how to help. Do you hop in and reassure them everything is okay? Do you accommodate their appeals to dodge situations or tell them to suck it up? What should you do when you are feeling frustrated?
When a companion or loved one suffers from anxiety, it can be rough or frustrating attempting to help them manage it. Terror and anxiety attacks can leave them feeling any combination of symptoms, and you may feel vulnerable and unable to help them. Our experts on individual, family and marriage counseling in Windermere offer these tips to help you address a loved one's anxiety.
Let your loved one know you're there to listen. Avoid judgment or undesirable advice, and be a listening ear. It will help them to see that they can talk to you openly and that it's alright to be repetitive with worries or thoughts. Tell them they can phone or text you any time to talk.
It may seem counter-intuitive to sidestep the topic of anxiety with your loved one, but just talking about anxiety or panic attacks could trigger an episode for somebody with this disorder. It's okay to ask how they're doing or discuss their worry if they want to, but make sure they bring the subject up to you.
Spending time with a friend or loved one can benefit the anxiety sufferer. Exercise and outdoor activities are particularly valuable; sunlight and exercise are mood enhancers. If you're both being entertained, are out having fun, or just hanging out chatting over coffee, meaningful distraction keeps their mind off their anxiety and on the activity.
You might struggle to empathize with your friend or loved one or have difficulty understanding what it means to suffer from anxiety. Anxiety disorders are not only psychological, they are also chemical. Your loved one may realize that it's not rational for them to feel anxiety or fear about something, but you can't expect them to regulate their anxiety with that same wisdom. Their part takes time and concerted effort, but anxiety is a treatable disorder.
Make an effort to communicate satisfaction with your loved one when you see improvements. Acknowledgment of favorable transformation after they have put in some difficult work will benefit and encourage their recovery.
It's difficult to ask for support. We understand it's tough to pick up the phone, make the call and then step into our office. You may decide to help your loved one write an e-mail to us or even to come along to the first visit and wait in the lobby. You can assure your mate or family member that our office is a safe place. We present a welcoming atmosphere and caring mental health specialists.
If you or a loved one suffers from anxiety or panic disorder and requires professional advice from a licensed therapist, please contact our office today so we can set an appointment. We have several professional therapists with experience providing individual, family, and marriage counseling in Windermere. We would be glad to chat about the likely benefits of counseling for anxiety. Each of our therapists is qualified in at least one evidence-based treatment for anxiety and brings a slightly different approach to therapy. Our intake coordinator will help you determine which therapist is the most suitable fit. Healing begins here.
Heather Oller is a licensed Orlando therapist at Orlando Thrive Therapy, Coaching & Counseling who specializes in counseling Orlando couples, individuals, and families who are seeking changes in their lives. She has been a mental health professional for over 17 years and is a practicing Orlando counselor that specializes in conflict resolution for couples. You can contact her for an appointment or call 407-592-8997 for more information.