007: Explaining Your Anxiety To Someone
In this episode Lucy talks about how to explain your anxiety to someone. From the first appointment with a doctor and counsellor, to explaining to friends, family, colleagues and even your boss.
Scroll down to read the episode or click to listen on your favourite platform – Apple, Spotify, Anchor, Pocket Casts, Google or RadioPublic
Before you can explain your anxiety to someone it is important that you understand it yourself. This includes knowing your symptoms (what your anxiety feels like) and understanding your triggers (what causes your anxiety). Write a list of all of these so you know what you are experiencing, the exercises in the Stand Up To Anxiety book will help with this. Click here to order your copy.
When preparing to tell someone about your anxiety write down what you want to say first, this could include the symptoms and triggers you are experiencing to better explain how anxiety makes you feel and why it happens.
Explain your anxiety to someone you trust – this could be a family member, friend, or a counsellor/ therapist if you see one. Explain as much as you can to them and if possible share with them how they can help you.
You may feel that you need to explain to work colleagues or your boss, if this is the case use the techniques above to prepare what you will say to them. The more detail you can give them the better as it will help them to understand. If you see a counsellor or therapist feel free to ask them to support you with what to say to your boss, you could even ask them to write something to explain and they may be able to do this for you.
It is important to know that not everyone understands anxiety, or mental health in general, some won’t be very accepting or supportive of what you have to say. If this happens then don’t use that person as part of your support system. It is hard to change someones opinion on supporting others with mental health and it’s not worth your time and effort – instead focus on the people around you that support you and want to understand and help you with your anxiety.
Lucy J Smith is a Mental Health Advocate & Author of Stand Up To Anxiety and Cheerful Children. After her own struggles with severe anxiety, Lucy found ways to understand and manage her anxiety and continues to manage it using personal development, self-care, routines and having an anxiety toolkit.
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