Do you have a loved one who is struggling with anxiety and are unsure how to help them?
What anxiety feels like, and the impact it can have on a relationship is different for everyone. How best to support someone struggling with anxiety depends on the individual, but there are general ways you can help your loved one.
Remember That Their Anxiety Is Not Your Problem
If you are desperate for those you love to feel better, it can be hard to not take on the anxiety they are experiencing as your own.
You can effectively support your struggling loved one by practicing boundaries. Remember that their anxiety is not yours to fix, and that anxiety is not the problem. What matters is how the anxiety is — or is not — addressed. With that in mind, appropriate treatment is essential.
Ask Your Loved One Questions
It can be natural to assume you know what your loved ones need without asking them how you could be of support first. It can also be automatic for you to assume you know what anxiety is like for them, based on what it has been or not been like in your own experience.
Before helping someone struggling with anxiety, try asking a question such as:
How can I be of support to you?
This can open the door for the person to voice their needs. Experiencing anxiety can cause individuals to feel hesitant to ask for help. Having a question like this presented to them may feel like an invitation to seek help rather than it being an inconvenience.
We can also ask:
What is anxiety like for you?
This type of question creates space for your loved ones to tell you about their experience, which increases your understanding of it. This can also help build compassion and empathy when it has been temporarily replaced by frustration.
There Is Nothing Wrong With You
There is nothing wrong with you for not knowing how to support your loved ones with their anxiety struggles. The impacts of mental health on family systems can be complex, and it is not up to you to solve someone else’s anxiety problems on your own.
Anxiety not only impacts the individual struggling but those around them as well. At Avalon Malibu, we recognize how confusing it can be to support a loved one struggling to deal with anxiety. Whether it is by not taking on their anxiety as yours, asking the right questions to inform you how to best support them, or reminding yourself there is nothing wrong with not knowing how to support your loved one, relief from experiencing the familial impacts of anxiety is possible. Our team can help your loved ones find the support they need. For more, call us today at (844) 857-5992.