Anyone can experience anxiety when faced with situations that generate worry or fear. While we’re all capable of having feelings of anxiety at certain moments during our lifetimes, it can become serious when it interferes with a person’s day-to-day routine for long periods of time. Approximately 18% of Americans suffer from anxiety disorder, making anxiety the most common mental illness in the United States. Women experience anxiety more frequently than men, but anyone can develop anxiety regardless of sex, age, race, or genetics. Depending on the type and severity, anxiety may significantly affect everyday life for those experiencing the symptoms as well as those around them. Read on to learn more about how you can help someone with anxiety.
Support a person who needs help
Your approach matters. Think about who you are approaching and what your relationship is to that person. The way you approach a family member may be different than a friend or coworker. It will determine how receptive they may be and how empathetic you can be for them. Be sure to recognize their feelings and whether they’re being open or defensive.
Ask questions and listen. Ask how they are feeling. Most of the time people will try to make you believe they are fine even when they are not because they are afraid of getting help. Ask again and comfort them. Let them know you are there for them by being a good listener.
Share resources. Refer them to a medical professional who specializes in treating patients with signs of anxiety. A physician or therapist can help. Alternative methods, such as TMS (transcranial Magnetic Stimulation) therapy, may also be an option for your loved one looking to treat anxiety caused by depression.
Follow up. After you sit down and talk, follow up on the conversation to see if they have used the medical resources or any advice received. If not, remind them that you are there for them and encourage them to seek treatment and get the help they need.
The importance of seeking professional help
Knowing how to help someone with anxiety is important for initiating proper care and ultimately reducing anxiety symptoms. The most important first step in dealing with anxiety is to seek professional help. Without a systematic clinical evaluation by a mental health professional, it can be challenging to identify the best strategy for overcoming someone’s unique experience with anxiety. Proper diagnosis and exploration of therapeutic options is vital to effectively combat the disorder.
A therapist can help determine what types of treatment is most appropriate and most likely to help the patient achieve specific desired outcomes. Pharmaceutical drugs are often used for anxiety. While these medications can often help minimize one’s anxiety, there potentially are some downsides. For instance, any effectiveness may be short-lived. More importantly, drugs for anxiety are plagued by safety issues and unwanted side effects.
Identifying a therapist who is knowledgeable about the latest research and relevant innovations in anxiety treatment methods can help improve the chances of overcoming some of anxiety’s debilitating symptoms. Not all treatments work the same way for everyone, so finding the right treatment for someone with anxiety is a task that can only be accomplished with the help of a medical professional.
TMS therapy to treat depression-induced anxiety
Some patients who suffer from depression also have significant anxiety symptoms. TMS therapy is an excellent treatment option for these patients. It works by non-invasively transmitting electromagnetic stimulation into the portion of your brain that controls your mood. TMS therapy has been successfully used as a treatment for depression for years, and has been associated to also reduce the symptoms of anxiety that arise from depression. What’s so great about TMS is the fact that it’s FDA cleared, medication-free, painless and leaves no side effects. Plus, it’s covered by most major insurance companies, Medicare and Tricare.
This blog post is meant to be educational in nature and does not replace the advice of a medical professional. See full disclaimer.
John Hopkins Medicine. (n.d.). How to Help Someone With Anxiety. Retrieved July 28, 2020, from https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/treatment-tests-and-therapies/how-to-help-someone-with-anxiety
Jovanovic, T. (2019, November 12). Anxiety ” What Is Anxiety? Signs, Causes, Symptoms. Retrieved from https://www.anxiety.org/what-is-anxiety
NIH Medline Plus. (2019, November 20). How to Help Someone With Anxiety. Retrieved July 28, 2020, from https://magazine.medlineplus.gov/article/how-to-help-someone-with-anxiety