THINGS YOU PROBABLY SHOULDN'T SAY TO SOMEBODY WITH AN ANXIETY DISORDER
Said with the best of intentions, these rarely help. Of course, this varies person to person and I cannot speak for us all. Anything I missed?
- •"Don't worry/calm down."Believe me, we're trying.
- •"I'm stressed, too!"I understand stress is a legitimate issue but it's not the same as anxiety. At all.
- •"It's all in your head!"So is my brain, which powers all of me.
- •"Just have a drink!"Yeah, encouraging anyone to drink their problems away is not super smart. This is how addictions start. I have to be very careful not to use alcohol as an answer to my anxiety, though it's hard. Really hard.
- •"People have _____, your issue isn't as valid."People with chronic illnesses can have anxiety, too. They often do! They are not mutually exclusive and my having anxiety doesn't make someone with, say, diabetes' problem any less real. We both suffer, just differently.
- •"You just need to exercise/eat better/do yoga."These might help but there is no "just." Maybe some people are able to handle their anxiety through these measures alone. Some can't. Some of us need CBT and medication and people who are willing to accept us. Don't assume because it worked for you or for someone else, it will for any and every anxious person.
- •"Just pray."Again, this works some people, but it hasn't for me. God has yet to fix my brain chemistry.
- •"I thought you got over that."Yes, I'm medicated and seeing a team of psychs. I still have irrational thoughts and really bad days. I may never not be an anxious person. I'm sorry.
- •You'll be fine.I hate this statement even in the most routine ways of its use.Suggested by @biz
- •wait...THAT is what makes you anxious? I don't get itI CANT EXPLAIN IT LEAVE ME ALONESuggested by @woahsyd
- •Stay positive.God forbid someone is anything other than happy. I'll feel what I'm feeling, thank you very much.Suggested by @RStrout
- •*i refuse to try and understand what anxiety is/how it works so therefore, you don't have it*more of an unspoken action but still there ughSuggested by @woahsyd
- •Just take a deep breathReally? You think I've not tried all kinds of deep belly breathing?Suggested by @kate81
- •Worrying doesn't help anything.No shit, Sherlock. If I could control my spiraling mind chatter, we wouldn't be in this situation.Suggested by @jenniferm
- •"Really? You were fine before."Suggested by @misterweisman
- •"Suck it up"I can't just turn off my anxiety/depression whenever I choose. If I could, don't you think I would? All this statement does is tell me that my anxieties aren't interesting enough for you and that you don't understand how depression works.Suggested by @alanarogerrrrs
- •It's no use crying over spilt milk.Said to me more when I was younger and having panic attacks at the end of the day after I had time to stop and reflect. My anxiety tends to be more retroactive than future focused, and hearing that I get to live with the consequences of my awkwardness and ineptitude forever because the "milk" was already spilled does not help.Suggested by @junerain
- •Are you stressed because of your irregular heartbeat?A doctor. After telling me I just had an anxiety attack. I didn't know I had an irregular heartbeat.Suggested by @Holmes