Do you have a friend or a loved one suffering from anxiety? These tips will guide you on how you can support someone with anxiety, and how you can be someone who understands and supports that person.

1. Patience is key!

Simply take time and talk to the person with anxiety about what is going inside their head. Even though you might not be able to help like a counselor would do, allow them to talk and assure them that although you might not understand what they’re going through, you’re happy to listen.

2.Use of the word ‘Anxiety’ in public

The person who is suffering from anxiety might not feel comfortable using this term in public amongst people he/she is not used to. Hence, device a code word/term that can be used between you and your friend. So during times that person is struggling, use of this code word may help. It’s the most simple way to communicate without attracting attention. Also remind the person that anxiety does not define a person; he/she is much more than anxiety.

3. Encourage to explore medical support

There are a variety of options available for those experiencing anxiety, stress and anxiety based depression, and the option may vary from person to person.
If they haven’t already done so, advise that they make an appointment to see a counselor in the locality. Join them for morale support if needed. If they are looking for Counseling in Northern Virginia help your friend to look for finding what works best for them.

4. Distraction – Try out new things with them

Techniques involved in distraction can be useful in offering relief and distracting feelings of anxiety. Choose something that you both can do together. Going for a walk, watching a movie together, playing video games, going to an art class or a dancing class may be some good options to try out.

5. Be a reliable support

For those experiencing anxiety, or anxiety based depression it can make a difference to know that they have someone they can depend on. By letting them know that you are there, should they need you, can act as a real reassurance. Remember, you don’t have to be a psychiatrist or a counselor to help someone who is suffering with anxiety. A simple “How are you feeling?”or ‘would you like to talk about it?’ can mean the world.

Contact Mount Vernon Center’s Individual and Marital Counselor; Substance Abuse Counselor Steffanie Kelshaw to schedule your counseling session