If someone close to you has an anxiety or depressive 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.