Anxiety is a widespread problem affecting approximately 40 million people in the United States alone. The symptoms of anxiety disorder—ranging from panic attacks to difficulty socializing—can make everyday life extremely challenging.
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Trouble is, there are many things about anxiety that only those people affected by it will understand. So, what do you need to know if a close friend or family member has told you they’re struggling with anxiety?
Being Told to “Relax” Doesn’t Help
People with anxiety disorder often get flustered about matters that, to someone without anxiety, might seem trivial. In many situations the person with anxiety recognizes this to be the case. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy to shrug it off.
That’s why it’s never a good idea to tell someone with anxiety to “relax.” It trivializes the issue and the anxiety, making that person feel senseless, even less capable or intelligent. Listen carefully to the issue and try to be constructive with your feedback, or just provide an empathetic ear.