Sometimes when I am having an anxiety attack people come up to me and they try to help me but actually, they are doing the total opposite. I will explain some of the things you should never say to someone who has anxiety.
You need to calm down- This statement can be taken totally wrong! I understand you are trying to help, but telling a person they need to calm down is not the way to do it. Some people can’t calm down and phrasing, it that way sounds insensitive.
Everything is going to be okay- If I am to the point when I am having an anxiety attack my brain is telling me everything is going to crash and burn. I will yell at you if you tell me everything is going to be okay so that is not a very effective strategy. The best way to help me is to not talk to me.
It’s all in your head- Saying something like that to someone with anxiety is very offensive! When people say that to people with anxiety to me it sounds like they don’t believe me and they think I am making it up. If I wanted a good story I wouldn’t say I had anxiety. There are better stories to tell.
Other people have it worse than you- This may be true but you should still never tell someone that because it is considered very offensive! Even though someone could have it worse than you doesn’t it make your feelings less valid.
You aren’t trying hard enough- Telling someone they aren’t trying hard enough to get better is rude especially if you don’t know what they have tried. I personally get offended when people tell me I am not trying hard enough to get better because they don’t know the things I do on a daily basis to manage my anxiety.
I know how you feel- Unless you have anxiety, you don’t know how I feel and telling me that only is going to make my anxiety worse.
Have a drink/ You’ll feel better- Drinking is not going to make me feel better or make my anxiety go away! It may actually make it worse because alcohol sometimes increases my heart rate so don’t ever suggest this when I am having an anxiety attack!
Having anxiety can be very frustrating and saying these things to someone who is having an anxiety attack is something you should never do. It will only make their anxiety worse so if you want to help them, avoid saying any of these things. Some people have worse anxiety than others so don’t ever assume they have mild anxiety. There are many different types of anxiety disorders so if you happen to meet someone with one they might get more nervous than most people. You can help them by just being their friend! If you have any questions about things you should never say to a person with anxiety please leave them in the comments below!
Life with Spina Bifida is a personal blog that is all about my life with a disability, chronic pain as well as encouraging hope and positivity for those who are suffering. You are not alone!