Well Being

16 Things You Should NEVER Say to Someone With Anxiety

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For the most part, anxiety is very misunderstood. It’s not just something people get randomly when they’re nervous about a big event. At least not the kind we’re talking about today. I’m talking about generalized anxiety. It’s not the type that’s a normal human emotion and comes and goes depending on a big project you have due at work or a flight you're taking tomorrow morning. This kind of anxiety is excessive and happens for literally no reason at all.

Imagine the feeling you have right before doing something really nerve-wracking. Maybe asking someone out or skydiving. Now, remember how that feels and think about how it would feel to be overcome with those kinds of nerves and panic without anything to warrant it.

That’s what it feels like to live with anxiety. Now, for some, it’s far worse than others. However, it’s so completely misunderstood that there are people out there who will dismiss it altogether, or worse, say anything of these super harmful phrases that seem insignificant when trying to help their friend or family member who is dealing with it.

1. “Can’t you just calm down?”

someone with anxiety

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If you say this to someone with anxiety and are surprised when they give you a super dirty look, you clearly don’t understand how it works. If we could just “calm down,” we would. The fact that those with anxiety can’t just force themselves to be calm is why they’re diagnosed with the disorder. It’s completely out of their control. So saying this just doesn’t make sense and clearly shows how much you don’t understand it.