I can’t quite recall the exact moment when I felt like the odd one out. From memory it was a time in kindergarten when all the other kids would play together, but I would spend time alone holding the rabbits, playing with the guinea pigs and drawing the caterpillars. The thought of interacting with the other kids gave me a strange sensation. However, when I was comfortable with someone, it made me laugh, smile and feel good inside. If you know someone, or you love someone who has anxiety, remember to remind yourself that everyone lives a different story and how we feel may not be how others feel. How we think may not be how others think. Although, people with anxiety greatly appreciate those who are understanding of how we may feel and will know how to communicate in a way that doesn’t cause us to feel even more anxiety.
1) Please don’t tell them to “Get Over It”. This phrase always implies that there is something wrong with the person. Many people with anxiety would love to know how to get over it, but it’s simply learning how to cope with it that is more important. Anxiety isn’t something that just goes away.
2) Panic Attacks don’t last forever. It may seem sudden and intense, but it doesn’t last forever. Remember not to tell them to stop it as it will only agitate them even more. Most people with panic attacks don’t want anymore attention.
3) They can get emotionally drained easily. Meeting people, going to an event or sitting in class can be emotionally draining. This can also leave the person feeling tired.
4) They are sensitive to their surroundings. Everyone is more sensitive to certain things more than others. For myself it would be sound. I am very sensitive and uncomfortable to loud noises, sounds of chatter and crowded places.
5) Anxiety doesn’t disappear. It isn’t something that goes away and never comes back. It’s something that people with anxiety have to learn to cope with. There are certain ways, such as therapy, creative arts or talking to a friend to relieve anxiety.
6) Let them feel their emotions. It’s easy to tell people to stop worrying, stop over thinking, stop crying. But in the end, they just need to feel their emotions to better understand them.
7) Laughter is the cure. If anything, laughter is the best medicine. It loosens the body and the mind and makes you feel the warmth inside, that makes you forget all of your stress. It gives hope to a person.
8) They tend to overthink and overanalyse. People with anxiety are much more prone to overthinking. Whether it’s the future or the past. They may also overthink a situation that has already happened. Remember to not tell them to stop, but help them to live in the moment with you.
9) Anxiety can be triggered or unexpected. Many panic attacks I’ve had were mostly due to triggers, and a few that happened unexpectedly. However, there was always an underlying reason.
10) Don’t try to change them. Anxiety isn’t and shouldn’t be something that defines a person.