If you live with a loved one with anxiety, it’s crucial to understand the mental illness. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) reveals that an estimated 18% of people in the US suffer from anxiety disorders yearly. However, more than 63% of these people fail to seek professional treatment.
The most commonly used treatment options in rehab include:
- Partial hospitalization program
- Group therapy program
- Intensive outpatient program
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
- PTSD treatment program
It’s frustrating and upsetting to watch a loved one have a mental illness, but some strategies can help.
Learn the Person’s Response to Stressors
Humans respond to fear by a freeze, fight, or flight. Some people react to anxiety by avoiding it altogether, while others face the fear head-on and become dogmatic, irritable, restless, and even violent.
When you pay attention to how anxiety alters your loved one’s behavior pattern, you can better understand the condition and find ideal ways to help.
Consider Personal Preferences
People go through different emotional and physical pains in life. A person’s anxiety might be emanating from past—physical or emotional—traumatic events, a chronic ailment, or even a middle life crisis. Rather than guessing, ask a person struggling with anxiety about the type of help they need. As with most things, direct and honest communication can lead to solutions. At the very least, it prevents unnecessary guesswork or harmful assumptions. If your loved one can’t or won’t communicate with you, then one-on-one individual therapy may be the best start.
In general, people with temper issues are likely to accept practical support. As such, you can help a person talk through specific actions for dealing with anxiety or break an enormous anxiety-causing task into small manageable steps. If the person with anxiety received love and affection while growing up, they would likely accept emotional support.
Exercise Patience for Long-Term Results
You’re likely to be frustrated when a loved one with anxiety becomes unresponsive. Although not every anxiety patient experiences this, some may become withdrawn. Many people think that this is a sign of rudeness, but not a symptom of anxiety.
In most cases, your loved one will wish for patience on your side, so try as much as possible to refrain from appearing frustrated.
Don’t Treat an Ill Person as a Burden
Most people battling anxiety are aware of how unreasonable their condition is since they continuously worry about things that others usually consider insignificant. As a result, this increases stress levels because no one wants to be a burden to others.
It would be best to ignore seemingly disgusting behaviors an anxious person displays. Allow a person with anxiety to work through the challenges, and everything will be calm soon enough; others even learn healthy coping mechanisms this way.
Offer Reassurance to a Loved One With Anxiety
Your support can have a massive bearing on the impact of anxiety treatment. Occasionally, it will be tough—the individual can get discouraged during the treatment process and feel like giving up. However, when you’re kind and persistent, you can help to direct the person in the right direction.
For the best results, always ensure the person struggling with anxiety is part of the decision-making process. Treating people with respect and giving them independence is equally essential.
Encourage Self-Help Strategies
You can help someone with anxiety to manage the symptoms by encouraging self-help strategies, such as:
- Relaxation training
Seek Professional Help at Northern Illinois Recovery Center
Our mental health experts offer anxiety treatment through various programs. For the best results, encourage the individual to seek professional help as soon as possible.
Our therapists will evaluate the condition before prescribing a customized treatment plan at the Northern Illinois Recovery Center. Contact us at 855.786.1978 to help your loved one with anxiety.