Supporting a loved one with an anxiety disorder can be difficult. They may suffer from an obsessive compulsive disorder, generalized anxiety, post traumatic stress disorder or social anxiety – all of which can make their behaviour difficult to understand. Worse, their anxiety and panic can impact your relationship and your life. Consequently, supporting them can involve a delicate balance of your needs and theirs during treatment. Below are some helpful tips:
Keep the illness separate from the individual in your mind. It can be challenging, but this creates a more objective perspective and negates the need for you to understand fully.
Help them apply new skills. Ask them how you can assist with their treatment – it may be with reminders, practice or allowing them to master tasks on their own.
Allow some time. New habits, anxiety treatment and even medications take time to implement.
Unless you are a professional or are working with theirs, be cautious about giving advice. It can quickly become incorrect or dismissive.
Set strong personal boundaries if your loved one wants to involve you in their anxiety in an unhealthy way. Remember – enabling isn’t helpful either.
Help them to seek anxiety treatment. Treatment modalities like the one we offer can effectively treat anxiety – not just manage panic disorder – getting it out of your life for good.
Shift 101 - Learn The Language
"I am at Risk"
This is the classic anxiety, paranoia or worry-inducing cognition. The one that gives rise to all kinds of things: obsessive worry, checking, feeling unsafe or vulnerable, and a lot more. And it isn’t just triggered by physical danger. It can even generate physical symptoms like chest pain or excessive sweating just to name a few. It could create fear of looking stupid in social situations, worry about bad things happening to loved ones, or a panic attack before a presentation at work. Far-reaching and diverse in its expression- this internalized belief can have a great, global impact when removed.