As someone with anxiety I can tell you that if someone’s anxiety is obvious when you’re talking to them, please don’t tell them:
“Stop freaking out”
“Just calm down”
“Just get over it”
“You’re being stupid”
Telling someone with anxiety to “just calm down” is one sure-fire way (in my experience) to get their anxiety to increase, they’ll probably start worrying why they can’t just get over it or calm down, if they’re annoying you; they’ll stop coming to you with their problems in the first place.
If you want to help, try these things:
“Hey it’s going to be okay, I’m here for you”
“Deep breathes, okay? In for five, out for five”
“You’re not annoying me, I promise”
“You’re not doing anything wrong, I love you”
Or even just an explanation as to why our anxiety is unreasonable and an ass-hole
Even if you have to repeat these things several times, they really help. They help to block out some thoughts of other peoples hatred or that we’re annoying them. An explanation can often be the best way to help, anxiety rests on the fact that we’ll believe it no matter the actually facts that are buried somewhere deep in our mind but anxiety has managed to drown out; having someone else telling us why our anxiety is wrong can overpower it because the thought came from someone else.
The smallest words can make someone with depression fall into a deep-dark hole if, they’re the wrong words.
“Just be happy”
“Have you even tried?”
“Just go out and do something!”
“But it’s all in your head.”
“I thought you were stronger than that.”
“No one ever said life was fair.”
“You’re making me depressed as well…”
Some things in this list will just make the person suffering feel worse; “you’re making me feel depressed as well” might give the person with depression another reason to hate themselves or their actions. I agree that communication is extremely important especially with someone with a mental illness, but watching your words won’t hurt you and it’ll help the person suffering. People who say other things like “No one ever said life was fair” and “it’s all in your head” need to understand that depression is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain, and that we have no control over this. If we could be better and not feel worthless in our own skin we would.
I hope you learnt something from this article. Thank you for reading