10 tips to help people with an anxiety disorder

Hypnotherapy and Hypnobalancing™ in Berlin
Psychotherapy in Berlin - Specialization: Fears and Anxiety Disorders

Helping loved ones with anxiety disorders


Many people have an anxiety disorder that affects their lives. Few of them talk about it. Anxiety disorders can be very stressful for people affected by them. Friends and family can help reduce symptoms and cope with challenging situations. Here are 10 tips on how you can help people with an anxiety disorder.

Helping loved ones with anxiety disorders



Happiness often comes from paying attention to small things, unhappiness often comes from neglecting small things.

Wilhelm Busch


Many people have an anxiety disorder that affects their lives. Just a few of them talk about it. Anxiety disorders can be very stressful for sufferers.

Friends and family can help reduce symptoms and cope with challenging situations. If you have a friend or loved one struggling with an anxiety disorder, you can support them. Help can come in a variety of forms. Here are some ideas:



1. Be informed


Close people, such as relatives, partners, and friends, are rarely prepared to deal with anxiety disorder sufferers.

It is helpful when relatives and friends know about the anxiety disorder and are informed about it. Then it is also easier for them to refrain, for example, from repeatedly reassuring sufferers excessively, because this often helps in the short term but perpetuates worry in the long term.



2. Take anxiety disorders seriously


It is important to take anxiety disorders seriously, even if it is sometimes difficult to comprehend the fears yourself. Anxiety disorders are defined as irrational fear reactions. When someone has an anxiety disorder, that person is excessively fearful of the trigger for that anxiety disorder. Even if the person recognizes the irrationality of the fear, they cannot control it.

If the fears are not taken seriously, the affected individual will not feel taken seriously or respected either. Your intentions may be good, but dismissing an anxiety disorder or portraying it as something sufferers should just get over is not helpful. An anxiety disorder can lead to severe symptoms, including panic attacks, and can have a significant impact on a person’s daily life.




3. Listen and understand


You may not fully understand what a person with an anxiety disorder is experiencing, but you can pay attention and understand enough to show empathy. A good first step is to educate yourself about anxiety disorders and how they affect sufferers.

Take the time to listen and be present. That in itself is a great source of support.




4. Don’t put pressure on them


You may intend to help, but putting pressure on affected individuals to face their anxiety disorder or do something that makes them uncomfortable can be very stressful for them.
It can even destroy your relationship. Don’t try to pressure sufferers into doing something they are not comfortable with too soon.




5. Ask what helps


Sometimes it can be as simple as this. Ask what you can do to help. Sufferers themselves may know effective ways you can help that you would not have thought of otherwise. Everyone has their own needs about what helps with an anxiety disorder.

Keep in mind that your support doesn’t need to be directly focused on anxiety.




6. Challenge negative thoughts


When someone has an anxiety disorder, it can take a longer process, even if sufferers are willing to make a change. There may be setbacks along the way. You can be supportive by helping to remind and participate in positive progress. Help sufferers avoid being overwhelmed by negative thoughts by pointing out the positives.




7. Stay calm


The last thing sufferers with an anxiety disorder need is another person losing their temper or getting frustrated. As hard as it may be, work on staying calm and free of the situation. Being a calming force can be very important for someone with an anxiety disorder.




8. Encourage treatment


People who suffer from an anxiety disorder benefit from professional help. Anxiety disorders do not go away on their own; they want to be treated. However, it happens again and again that those affected refuse any professional help. Relatives and friends can use tact and encouragement to help their loved ones decide to seek treatment and complete it. Make offers.




9. Support the therapy


Reassure sufferers that while you may not fully understand why they are so afraid, you take that fear seriously and are willing to help them cope with, face, and resolve their fear. Help them apply the strategies that sufferers have learned to use with their therapist.




10. Set limits and take care of yourself


It is important for well-being that relatives, friends, and partners do not restrict themselves too much. For example, don’t give up activities that you enjoy because sufferers would then worry. If necessary, set limits and take good care of yourself. It is not easy to live with people who suffer from an anxiety disorder, to feel responsible for them, to support them, to encourage them, and to go through the whole process with them. Relatives and friends should be aware of this, not blame themselves, and not let themselves be overwhelmed by feelings of guilt. The important thing is not to lose confidence in yourself, and instead to keep believing that things will get better. If necessary, relatives and friends should not hesitate to seek and accept help for themselves.

Should the anxiety disorder of loved ones become too burdensome, it is worthwhile to seek help from self-help groups, counseling centers, doctors, and therapists. Only if you take good care of yourself you can offer really good support.

Your therapist


For about two decades, I am specialized in the field of fears and anxiety disorders. I spend about 20 hours a week helping people to free themselves from their limitations and thereby gain a better quality of life. If you want to know how it all started and what you should know about me, please read my profile. And yes, therapy is a very personal matter: Because it is a very intensive collaboration, I reveal some details about myself. So you can get a first impression of me. Trust is important and that is why I focus on transparency.

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You can find answers to frequently asked questions, such as fees, on the home page. There are also lots of articles and details about me (profile) to help you get an idea of who I am. This will also make it easier for you to decide if I am the right therapist for you and your problem.




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These pages are intended to provide information for those interested in psychotherapy using hypnotherapy. It is not intended to replace psychotherapy or personal consultation, examination or diagnosis by a licensed medical practitioner. I am not a medical doctor. I specialize in helping people with anxiety and anxiety disorders. The profession of a hypnotherapist (official license to practice psychotherapy according to the HPG) is fundamentally different from that of a medical doctor. Medical diagnoses are not made, nor are promises of healing made or medication prescribed. Hypnotherapy is not a substitute for medical or psychiatric intervention where this is required.

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Self-help for generalized anxiety disorder

Self-help for generalized anxiety disorder

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Published: March 1, 2008
Author: Karsten Noack
Revision: August 15, 2023
Translation: August 22, 2019
AN: #3431

error: Copyright