We at MDC are proudly working with YoungMinds Charity supporting young sufferers with their mental illness. Whether that be anxiety or depression, we are donating 25% of the proceeds from the Words Fail Me Tee to YoungMinds.
Now, we believe we all have anxieties and some days are worse than others. It's very difficult for people who aren't suffering as severely to know what to say to people who are.
So we've curated a list of things NOT to say to someone who is suffering from anxiety or depression. These things may seem like they are helping, but they could be making it worse. And how to help..
Try and take your mind off it!
Yes.. that seems easy. But when you are suffering with anxiety, it's very difficult to just take your mind off something that is distressing you, and often it makes the feeling worse. By saying this you are putting them in a paranoid situation which they could feel awkward in by thinking they are becoming a nuisance.
Instead try and say something like 'What is on your mind? Tell me what you're thinking'
This then opens the opportunity for the person to talk about what they are currently thinking or experiencing, they can then either choose to talk about it where upon, may feel relieved after telling someone and simply talking about it. Or keep it to themselves but by offering to listen you are giving them comfort that you will be there for them if they do eventually want to talk about it.
You're over analysing the situation! What's the worst that can happen?
I know. That's why I'm suffering from anxiety. Saying this to someone who is experiencing a panic attack or anxiety attack if they are about to do something they wouldn't normally do, could give them self doubt and they might isolate themselves. This is also conflicting, by asking someone what the worst that could happen is letting their mind run wild with imagination.
Instead suggest 'Thinking the situation through'
Opening the opportunity for them to say what they are truly thinking in their mind, which is most likely far-fetched but to someone with anxiety, highly possible and I do it all the time. I once fell into a panic attack after thinking one of my parents friends would offer me drugs. When I said what I was thinking out loud, I laughed because it sounded a little silly. So ask them what they are actually thinking could happen, which is usually the worst worst case scenario.
'It could be worse'
Oh yeah! It could be, I'm just hyperventilating, heart rate x1000 beats per minute and impending doom and it could be worse. This doesn't help someone who is suffering, it offers no comfort and sounds a bit heartless.
These are just a few things that we don't recommend saying to someone who is experiencing anxiety or depression.
The thing that is most important to someone, is being there for them. Listening to them when they want to speak. Talking is one of the best forms of therapy, otherwise it can manifest.
"Lets talk about them." - Maison de Choup
Below are a few resources for self help & advice on anxiety. With a featured video that outlines what anxiety is like and how to calm down from a panic attack.
Do you experience any of these feelings? If you do, how do you deal with them? Let us know in the comments below.
Resources for Self Help