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Lizzie

Advice on how to help someone with anxiety

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Lizzie
Posted

If someone close to me suffers from anxiety attacks and OCD, how can I best be there for them? What should I do/say and what should I avoid (other than the obvious)? When an anxiety attack comes along, what do I do at that moment? I want to be supportive and give them space if they need, but making sure they know I'm there if they need anything. Also, I definitely don't want to make anything worse by doing or saying something wrong! 

I understand that this is highly individual, but if anyone has any general advice, I'd really appreciate it. 

Calvin77
Posted

Hey Lizzie! That's really nice that you're thinking about your friends with anxiety. As someone that's had plenty of panic attacks in front of friends in the past, I know for them it can be just as scary for them as for me, especially as the symptoms are so physical and are often confused with having a heart attack!

I think the main thing you can do if they are panicking is to sit with them and really help them to focus on their deep breathing (esp if they have never had a panic attack before and not sure what to do). Breathing techniques can help you calm down and get back to normal pretty soon. 

A hug or just a bit of touch may help as well and getting them some water too. Don't be surprised though if a friend runs off during an attack...  the anxiety might make them just need to be alone for a bit - that has happened to me in the past also! 

Lizzie
Posted
Thank you for that advice @Calvin77, that's really helpful :)

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