Friends and Relatives

If someone close to you has an anxiety disorder, here are some ways you can help:

  • Learn about the disorder. Understanding what your friend or relative is going through will help you give support, as well as keep your worry under control.
  • Encourage treatment. Offer to drive him to an appointment or attend a therapy session with her.
  • Realize and accept stressful periods. Modify your expectations of how your friend or relative should act and be sure to be extra supportive during difficult times.
  • Remember that everyone experiences anxiety differently. Be tolerant, supportive, and nonjudgmental. Respect his or her feelings even if you don't understand exactly what your friend or relative is going through.
  • Be encouraging and don't get discouraged. Give praise for even the smallest accomplishment. Stay positive.
  • Ask how you can help. Listen carefully to the response.
  • Talk to someone. Being supportive all the time is difficult, so make sure you have someone—a friend, family member, or counselor—to support you, too.

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ADAA is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to the prevention, treatment, and cure of anxiety, OCD, PTSD, depression, and related disorders and to improving the lives of all people who suffer from them.

 

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