If someone close to you has an anxiety or depressive disorder, here are some ways you can help:
- Learn about the disorder. Understanding what your friend or relative is going through will help you give support, as well as keep your worry under control.
- Encourage treatment. Offer to drive him to an appointment or attend a therapy session with her.
- Realize and accept stressful periods. Modify your expectations of how your friend or relative should act and be sure to be extra supportive during difficult times.
- Remember that everyone experiences anxiety differently. Be tolerant, supportive, and nonjudgmental. Respect his or her feelings even if you don't understand exactly what your friend or relative is going through.
- Be encouraging and don't get discouraged. Give praise for even the smallest accomplishment. Stay positive.
- Ask how you can help. Listen carefully to the response.
- Talk to someone. Being supportive all the time is difficult, so make sure you have someone—a friend, family member, or counselor—to support you, too. This support system may be especially important if your friend or family member is not seeking treatment.