Anxiety is another of those invisible conditions (besides depression) that affect a person mentally and emotionally without letting any physical signs surface. It not only drains the people suffering from anxiety but can also be very taxing for those living with them.
Roughly 40 million American adults are suffering from such mental conditions, and it is sad to see them losing to this crippling and all-consuming ailment. But there are things you can do for such anxiety-ridden people to make them feel better.
Here are a few such things that readers of Huffington Post wished their loved ones understood or did for them.
(Images used in this article are for illustration purpose only)
"Don't treat it as if it's a passing thing or that it doesn't exist. Truly understand if your partner could make it go away, they would." ― Jenn S.
"I have a very understanding boyfriend who not only 'gets' my need to sit in the closet sometimes, but brought me a blanket for when I am sitting in the closet and will join me in there when my anxiety is too much for me to leave my safe place." ― Pixie M.
"My husband had to learn that sometimes what's wrong doesn't require fixing ― just a minute for me to process." ― Kayla D.
"My husband and I both suffer from severe anxiety and depression. While we both suffer, it affects us differently and what helps me may not help him. I need physical contact and reassurance. He needs space. Knowing what helps your significant other will make your relationship strong." ― Melissa M.
"Know that our anxiety is not about you, even if you think you triggered it. We're feeling intensely overwhelmed. Offer us something that may help distract or decrease the intensity. Part of our anxiety is in the brain and cannot be helped. Other external factors can be. Offer an escape (i.e. 'Let's go outside') or anything you know might help reduce our symptoms." ― Ryan N.
"'Calm down' is about as effective (and just as annoying) as trying to baptize a cat. We are usually 1000 percent aware whatever we are anxious about is irrational. Telling ourselves that does not magically turn our brains off." ― Kelly R.
"When my anxiety disorder was undiagnosed and untreated, I had panic attacks that I believed were heart attacks or blot clots. My fiancé drove me to the hospital both times and took it very seriously. It meant a lot that someone believed me that something was wrong, even if it wasn't as life-threatening as we thought. Anxiety can be terribly crippling, and it just helps sometimes for someone not to minimize it or brush it off." ― Erika C.
"Participate in healing activities with me or encourage me to stay active in things like yoga, dancing and walking. Encouraging me also means allowing me time to do these activities by taking the kids for a bit." ― Sandra B.
"Anxiety is not always bad. Some days, loving a person with anxiety means they will think deeply and passionately about loving you. Nervous energy is still energy. Rarely does my anxiety allow me to make decisions without deep and meticulous thought? You will be thought of and cared for like you never have before." ― Hope J.
"Encourage your partner to see a therapist. Getting treatment for anxiety can save your partner's life, increase their overall wellbeing and improve your relationship." ― Hope J.
"Patience truly is a virtue. You may not always understand our anxiety, but as long as you show love and compassion for our discomfort, that's really the most important thing. My boyfriend will often just check in if we're at a party, discreetly asking if I'm OK. Just a simple way to show he cares." ― Christina R.
"Be informed about our illness. Understand the feelings and reality of what your partner is facing and be there in the same way you would for a person who has a physical illness. Learn our triggers." ― Melissa J.
"I have been with my boyfriend for over a year. I know I'm not always the easiest to love. I will get on his nerves and sometimes make him wonder why I act the way I do. But when I'm overthinking and doubting myself, it means the world that he's still by my side ― accepting our differences and still loving me when I sometimes find it hard to love myself." ― Melissa H.
"You don't have to have the answers. It can't be fixed even though you want to fix it. Just listen. Let them know that you're there. Let them have space if they need it, or if they need a hug; please indulge." ― Allyson L.