I have suffered from depression and anxiety for close to 17 years. The traumatic death of my infant daughter is where my story with mental illness began. Her Story Here! One can not go through something as significant as losing a child unscathed. At least that is when the anxiety creeped slowly into my life. The depression was there long before but I was too young to know.
Everybody’s anxiety affects them differently. I can only speak from my perspective and how anxiety affects me. These are things that people have done to help me get through my difficult anxiety ridden days.
This is How Anxiety Effects Me…
My anxiety is worrying about a million things 24/7/365 & never being able to turn it off. I always feel like a burden no matter what. I hide my issues with anxiety as much as possible because I don’t want to scare people away or have them think I’m crazy. I do feel crazy during an anxiety attack and want to run away. Where to I have no idea. It is just a response to try to get away from the intense anxiety I feel. It is me cleaning constantly because it gives me something to do while I worry. Not normal cleaning. Sanitizing and recleaning just because you don’t know what else to do with yourself. (Also a touch of OCD) A distraction of sorts but the anxiety is always there. For me it feels like the world is sitting on my chest. I feel like I am constantly on edge or on guard just in case something triggers my anxiety in to hyperdrive. It feels like your worst enemy whispering every fear and insecurity you could possibly think of into your ear all day everyday.
I have been asked what can a friend do to help a friend who suffers with anxiety??
Here are 12 ways to Help!!
- Stay in touch – Check in as often as possible!
- Let them know you care about them on their good days and be there even more on the terrible days!
- Ask if they need/want to chat/vent.
- Be their friend unconditionally.
- Care for them when they can’t care for themselves. Show up & help out with whatever you can do to lift them up out of the deep darkness.
- Encourage them to get out even when they don’t want too.
- Encourage exercise – I have been trying this for a few weeks and it does not help reduce my anxiety. It has shrunk my mama pooch so there’s that 🙂 But it works for some!
- Remind them that they matter & are valuable to this world & to you.
- Be available…even just a simple text or a few words of reassurance can turn a change a bad day around.
- Tell them you care. Reassure them they can count on you. Otherwise most likely they’ll just hide their insecurities & anxieties away & not show up at all when their having a difficult day.
- Don’t give up on your friend because its hard or you don’t understand or they are distant for awhile or they cancel last minute. Keep checking in on them. They will come around!
- Just know when you are feeling frustrated with the anxiety. They know it, understand & they feel awful for frustrating or disappointing you. Disappointment is a trigger for me. It is a huge anxiety inducer.
There are many types of anxiety and so many people handle theirs differently. Anxiety is a generic term for a list of lots different types of anxieties.
“Anxiety Disorder Statistics.
Anxiety Disorders affect 18.1 percent of adultsin the United States (approximately 40 million adults between the ages of 18 to 54). – National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).”
Lots of Anxiety Info Here!!
Be Strong. Don’t Give Up!! Take One Hour, One Day at a Time. I hope you can find that one person that cares for you. I am very lucky to finally have found a friend who doesn’t give up on me, cares, supports & loves me unconditionally ❤ She has literally saved my life in more ways than she knows. ❤ You know who you are ❤ Thank you ❤ I love you ❤