How to help someone

I have a close friend who is basically crippled from her anxiety. She used to be like a free spirit, happy, bubbly, almost child-like. Then she had an episode, and got diagnosed with a disorder. She started taking medication, and she's no longer herself. Everything worries her. For the first month or two she would be in tears twice a week, worried that she'd say the wrong thing, or already had, or will in the future. Anything she loved was a source of anxiety for her. She's been doing betterish now, but she's at school and finds it really hard to focus and get stuff done, which makes her even more stressed and less able to focus.

When someone is chronically worried and anxious, how does one help? What can I say, other than boring, stereotypical platitudes? How can I make sure I'm a meaningful source of support in her life?

JEBtheGamer1's picture

I don't have any experience with people having depression, so I can't be much help on that front. What I can say is this: don't lose hope. Always be there for her, and always encourage her in what she does. If this appears to not help, then back off. A quiet companionship may be what she needs. I don't know how she reacts to things, so if this doesn't help then I'm sorry. Best of luck to the both of you.

carsonmackk's picture

I would say to stay by her side. maybe talk or text her and see how she is feeling. always be there for her and be supportive. the best thing to say is that you are there for her.

dalarna's picture

What caused the anxiety to start in the first place? Bad home experience or breakup or junk food or what? Maybe you can help her figure out the cause, if the medicine isn't fixing it. Or maybe somebody else can help her, if it's too personal to talk about with friends.

ThePaddler's picture

If you don't feel like you can help her than maybe just try to distract her. This may not be appropriate in all situation but it may help in certain cases.

anonymous's picture

I'm no expert on what to do about chronic anxiety but there are some helpful steps you can take if you're ever with someone during a panic attack. Don't try to talk it through or work out why they're having a panic attack because they honestly don't know, panic attacks are when your norepinephrine (a hormone) suddenly goes into overdrive and you get an innate sense of doom and your body starts to sweat, hyperventilate etc. The best thing to do is to tell them that they need to take deep breaths, breathe into a paper bag if necessary. Next tell them that it's not their fault, they're not dying and that it will pass. Good luck!