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How to help a loved one with anxiety

By: Spencer
Spencer's picture

Anxiety affects 40 million Americans each year, and is the most common mental health problem in the U.S. It’s possible that someone you know struggles with stress or anxiety, but how can you tell?


Look out for these common signs and symptoms of stress:

  • Feeling excessively worried or fearful

  • Loss of interest in activities you normally enjoy

  • Headache

  • Fatigue

  • Irritability

  • Muscle tension or pain


Watching a family member or friend struggle with anxiety is tough. Try these tips to support your loved one.


  • Open a dialogue. Ask your loved one what’s bothering him or her, and listen to their concerns.

  • Help with problem-solving. Rather than simply reassuring your loved one, help him or her understand what’s causing the anxiety and offer concrete suggestions.

  • Educate yourself. Do some research online or talk to an expert, like a physician, to better understand what your loved one is dealing with.

  • Set boundaries. Remember that you can support your loved one, but avoid taking on a “fixer” role.

  • Care for yourself. Don’t forget to take time for your hobbies and to relax. If you burn out, you cannot help your loved one. 


If you notice any of these signs, encourage your loved one to see his or her doctor.

  • Trouble sleeping

  • Inability to go to work or school

  • Diet changes, like eating too little or too much

  • Avoiding social activities or enjoyable hobbies


Are you or a loved one struggling with depression? Take Adventist HealthCare’s quick, easy Depression Risk Assessment to learn if it’s time to talk to someone.


Each Wednesday at 7:40 am, Jerry & Blanca speak with local health professional, Rose Melendez, who offers helpful tips for your health and well-being, brought to you by our friends at Adventist HealthCareFind more Health Tips here.

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