Penelope Wilson
Penelope Wilson
October 20, 2020 ·  5 min read

This Is How You Love Someone with Anxiety

For people dealing with anxiety disorders, getting through every day is a painful struggle.  The mind is constantly under stress and all you can do is worry and be terrified over the simplest situations. It’s a powerfully limiting mental condition that adds a strain to anyone’s life. [1]

Aside from the irrational thoughts of worry they have to deal with, people with anxiety are often very insecure in their relationships with others. They are terrified others may abandon them when they become too close and dependent, and so they are often tempted to push most people away before-hand. 

If you love someone who battles anxiety, you need to be fully patient with them. You need to understand that pulling away from people is a defense mechanism and it’s up to you to prove to them that you are not out to hurt them. As a family member, a lover, a friend, a colleague, or an acquaintance, loving someone with anxiety is not going to be easy, but always remember one thing – they are worth fighting for.

Don’t chalk their emotions down to overreacting

Anyone battling anxiety probably hears this more than greetings every day. It’s difficult to sort out the raging emotions in your head when everyone keeps telling you to get over yourself and stop overreacting about unimportant things. When it seems as though their fear has formed an invisible barricade, everyone tells them to stop being irrational. It may seem meaningless to others but it’s more than just mindless worry for them. The trepidation is a powerful contender and in those scary moments, they need kind words of encouragement and support and not emotionally bullying. 

Listen to them. Even when they are not making any sense, just listen.

People do not understand the strong impact it has on the human mind to share one’s problems. As long as someone is genuinely listening, even when they don’t have any solution to proffer, it just makes people feel better to share and pour their feelings out. Just listen to them. They may act terrified while the words are being spoken because the entire situation might begin to seem more realistic than it was before. However, you need to hold their hand and help them stay on track. 

Sometimes, just saying, “It’s going to be okay” is more than enough

It’s always easier to calm down when they hear someone reassuring them that despite the battles going on in their head, despite the worry that seems to have taken over their entire body, if they can just relax, even for a second and take a deep breath, everything will eventually feel better.

They may text and call too much

Anxiety manifests in excessive worry over the simplest of things. When you don’t reply quickly, they may assume that you’re hurt, in danger, or perhaps, that you’ve finally abandoned them. It may seem annoying at first but you have to try to understand that this is a condition this person is actively dealing with. They can’t just flip a switch and stop worrying or being terrified. So, it might help to respond to their messages and calls a bit faster or explain to them that any delays may be due to work or other holdups.

They won’t always be in the mood to go out

They may call to cancel an outing at the last minute and give a reason that might not make a lot of sense to anyone else. They may tell you they are tired or just not in the mood. These sentences seem like flimsy excuses to other people but to a person battling constant trepidation, last minute bouts of terror are a real and difficult problem. Just know that they tried, they really wanted to make the outing work, but somehow, something may have set them off. If it’s possible, going over to their place and staying with them would be a huge help to calm their nerves.

They’ll love you deeply once they finally trust you

Once they are finally convinced that you’re the real deal, they’ll love with everything they’ve got and hold onto you for dear life. All they want is people to trust without doubt, people who will be unshakable beacons of support in their life. People who will be strong for them on their weakest days and always reassure them that no matter how scary or tiring it gets, they can get through this.

Getting better and staying better: Here’s what you can do

In conclusion, severe anxiety is not a disorder to be endured while hoping it goes away. It’s a serious problem and often gives way to crippling panic attacks and major depressive disorders. 

The people in your life will only be able to truly help when you also make a real effort to manage your condition. Anxiety is usually managed and treated with therapy, lifestyle changes, and with the more serious cases, medications.

Staying physically active, avoiding alcohol, tobacco, opiates, and caffeine, adopting a healthy diet, sleeping more, and practicing meditation are some of the lifestyle changes that may help you feel better. [2] It’s important to consciously avoid situations or scenes that may trigger you, while also learning to focus on the things that bring you peace.

Talking to a therapist is another helpful way to manage anxiety. Most professionals use cognitive behavioral therapy, a short-term, goal-oriented form of treatment that seeks to change the patterns of thinking responsible for a person‘s mental health problems. [3] CBT has gained popularity over the decades and has a high success rate of about 50-75% for overcoming depression and anxiety.

When a person’s case is too limiting and begins to seriously affect their lives, a therapist would most likely refer you to a doctor for antidepressant prescriptions. Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors, SSRIs, such as Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, Lexapro, and Celexa are the most common. [4] These drugs work by increasing the level of serotonin secreted by the brain to keep you happier and less tense. However, they are only to be consumed upon the prescription of a licensed doctor. 


  1. Anxiety Disorder.” Mayo Clinic. Retrieved October 14, 2020.
  2. Lifestyle tips for managing anxiety.” Med Broadcast. Retrieved October 14, 2020.
  3. Therapy for Anxiety Disorders.” Help Guide. Retrieved October 14, 2020.
  4. What Are SSRIs?Web MD. Retrieved October 14, 2020.