Navigating Anxiety: Supporting Loved Ones Experiencing Anxiety
If you think that you may be experiencing symptoms, take this free anxiety test online or speak to a Care Advocate now directly by calling (908) 293-7559.
Anxiety – it's a universal thread that weaves its way through the tapestry of life – and a normal emotion to experience. Anxiety can emerge unexpectedly, presenting itself even during the most routine moments of our lives, going to sleep, going out into public, making a cup of coffee, etc. Whether you're navigating your own anxieties or standing by someone who is, understanding how to provide support and offer solace during moments of distress can make all the difference.
Here are ways loved ones can help support someone experiencing anxiety.
Supporting loved ones with anxiety: A compassionate approach
If you've ever stood witness to a loved one's struggle with anxiety, you know that the path can be fraught with uncertainty and confusion. Here are some ways to provide unwavering support:
1. Active listening: Sometimes, the most powerful gift you can offer is a listening ear. Allow your loved one to express their feelings without judgment. The act of being heard can alleviate some of the weight of anxiety.
2. Empathy and validation: Remind your loved one that their feelings are valid. Anxiety can often lead to self-doubt, and knowing that someone understands and acknowledges their experience can provide much-needed reassurance.
3. Patience and understanding: Anxiety doesn't adhere to a schedule, and its triggers can be enigmatic. Exercise patience and understanding when your loved one's anxiety disrupts plans or routines.
Calming the storm: how to handle an anxiety attack
Anxiety attacks can be overwhelming and bewildering, both for the person experiencing them and those who are trying to offer support. Here's how you can help someone find calm during a storm of anxiety:
What to Say:
- "You're not alone. I'm here with you."
- "Focus on your breathing. Let's take slow, deep breaths together."
- "This will pass. I'm here to support you."
- "You are safe. Remember, you've overcome this before."
What NOT to Say:
- "Just relax."
- "It's all in your head."
- "You're making a big deal out of nothing."
- "Snap out of it."
Understanding when to seek help: navigating professional support
While providing a comforting presence is invaluable, recognizing when professional help is needed is equally crucial. If your loved one's anxiety is consistently interfering with their daily life, relationships, or overall well-being, it might be time to seek the guidance of a mental health professional.
Guiding them towards treatment: initiating the conversation
Bringing up the topic of seeking treatment can be delicate, but your support can be a pivotal turning point in their journey. Here's how to approach the conversation:
- Choose the right moment: Find a calm and private setting where both of you can speak openly without distractions.
- Express concern and care: Start by expressing your genuine concern for their well-being and explain how you've noticed their struggle with anxiety.
- Provide information: Offer resources and information about available treatments. Let them know that seeking help is a sign of strength, not weakness.
- Offer to assist: Offer your support in finding a suitable mental health professional or accompanying them to appointments.
Nurturing through the dark moments
Anxiety might be an uninvited guest in our lives, but it doesn't have to hold the reins. With compassion, understanding, and a willingness to seek help, we can empower ourselves and our loved ones to find solace and strength amidst the turbulence. Remember, being there for someone during their darkest moments can lead to the most successful moments of growth and resilience.
Treating Anxiety with Stella
In recent years, the dual sympathetic reset (DSR), an advanced stellate ganglion block (SGB), has emerged as a promising treatment option for symptoms like anxiety. Stella founders Dr. Eugene Lipov and Dr. Shauna Springer recently published a study with other trauma experts that indicates that the stellate ganglion block (SGB) is an effective treatment for trauma symptoms – such as anxiety – regardless of gender, trauma type, PTSD-related medication use, history of suicide attempt, or age.
In 2020, a clinical trial evaluating the impact of the stellate ganglion block treatment revealed a notable decrease in symptoms related to post-traumatic stress, including anxiety. The participants who received the treatment saw a significant improvement in their assessment scores across all core measures, including the PTSD Checklist (PCL), Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9), Generalized Anxiety Disorder 7-Item Scale (GAD) and K-6 Distress Scale.
In 2023, another research article that was based on a case series of 285 patients showed that dual-level stellate ganglion block can effectively reduce anxiety symptoms by 50% measured by Generalized Anxiety Disorder Questionnaire (GAD-7) scores.
DSR SGB by Stella has the potential to help millions of people with emotional trauma experience lasting relief. To learn more, please visit our "Care Approach" page.
If you want to learn more about Treatment by Stella or schedule an assessment with our trauma-informed Advanced Practice Providers, call our Care Advocate Team now: (908) 293-7559.
Clinically reviewed by Dr. Shauna Springer, Ph.D.