How can I support someone with anxiety?

My mother suffers quite bad from anxiety to the point that she was too scared to go on holiday with me and had a break down about it. I know she has some health issues which have only just been resolved (and could have added to the anxiety) but How can I support her when she does feel overwhelmed and scared? I feel at a loss as I don't want her to feel this way and I don't know how to help.

11 Replies

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  • I know how she feels and the best thing I can say is simply accept her decision. Don't force her or lecture her...it just adds more anxiety and fear. Please be supportive and kind, its very hard for people like us to be understood and more times than most, others efforts can scare us more if you are too hard on us. So listen to how she feels and comfort her and accept her decision.

  • Let her know that it doesn't matter that she felt she couldn't go on holiday, and to help you understand how shes probably feeling, imagine your worst fear then times it by ten,

    Just let her know your there to support her through this, that's the best you can do :-)

  • That's a great way of explaining it, thank you. Understanding how she feels is so important!

  • I'm so sorry to hear your mother suffers from anxiety she is very lucky to have a lovely daughter like you who really cares

    One of the worst things you can say is You'll be alright So if she is worried about going somewhere or like you say a holiday talk to her and ask her what her fears are for going then you could break it down into managing each bit of it and reassure her If she doesn't want to go on holiday dont worry as to an anxious person a holiday can be the last thing they want People who don't suffer think holidays are a lovely treat to an anxiety sufferer they can be a terrifying thing

    Always take what she says as serious never make a joke of it I've had friends who laugh and say "you daft old thing " and it really hurts

    Reassurance all the time I guess her fears are linked to her other health issues and will they reoccur when she's away from home ? The journey could worry her being trapped in a car on a plane or whatever

    Just lots of love, reassurance, going out with her for outings she can do will enrich her life

    I hope she can find peace all the very best

  • That's really great, thanks. Breaking down the situation would be so beneficial as I didn't fully understand why she was so scared. Really good points there, and all taken aboard!

  • Oh so glad it's of help

    It really can be literally terrifying to have anxiety

    I'm sure knowing you understand and she feels safe with you things will improve

    All the best xx

  • The best way to support your mother is to truly understand the disease of anxiety. Educate yourself. In the mean time include your Mom on holiday

    By sending her daily post cards, photographs and sharing your itinerary

    She may not have the strength to be with you physically but emotionally

    She would benefit knowing you are taking her along in your heart. Lucky Mother to have you in her life.

  • Yes I really need to understand it more as I didn't realise how bad it can affect someone. I made sure to send postcards when I did go away, and I'm glad you mentioned it. I feel happy knowing that it will help her in some way!

  • How awful and so sad but I know how she feels there are so many like this now me being one of them many wise words been posted here already the most help you can give her is to accept her decision and let her know you love her just the same and then let it go so she doesn't feel like she is unusual or has hurt you , good luck and a cyber hug to your Mum xx

  • Thank you for your kind post! I hope one day in the future she will be well enough to join me on an adventure, no matter how small or big :)

  • Maybe plan a get together she can feel comfortable with nearer home let her decide it by you giving her space you will help her immensely xxx

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