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Anxiety This forum is for seeking advice on anxiety and stress related issues.

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annalibelle Offline
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Friend with Anxiety issues - July 12th 2010, 06:37 PM

My friend has anxiety issues, and some other mental problems. (OCD, GAD, and Aspergers as far as I know but maybe more.) This might go under friendships, but I think this forum would be more able to help me understand what it's like for her.
I know that this makes me somewhat of a bad person, but sometimes I get sorta annoyed with her and I think she is attention seeking and melodramatic. My other friends aren't friends with her, and outright can't stand her.
Can someone tell me what it's like for her and how I can have more patience? And can someone tell me what to do when she has a panic attack?
Thank you, thank you, thank you!


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Re: Friend with Anxiety issues - July 12th 2010, 07:00 PM

I suffer from anxiety myself and it is often crippling and affects almost every aspect of my life. It can be very hard at times, and you feel isolated and cut off from others.

As for what it's life to have Asperger's Syndrome, you might want to look at this:

http://www.autism.org.uk/en-gb/about...-syndrome.aspx

Just try to remember that it's not her fault that she has mental health problems, and she is not trying to attention seek or annoy other people deliberately. Remember that having mental health problems must be very difficult for her. Try to see her illness as seperate from who she really is.

As for her having a panic attack, if she is in school at the time, perhaps just tell the teacher that you are going to the nurse or something, and quietly leave the class with her until she has calmed down a bit. Tell her to tuck her thumbs inside her fists, as this can help with breathing. Also try to divert the attention from her, and try to distract others from looking at her/ commenting on why she looks so anxious. Be there for her as much as you can, and remind her that the intense panic she is feeling will pass.

Hope this advice was helpful.
   
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Re: Friend with Anxiety issues - July 12th 2010, 08:12 PM

I also suffer from Anxiety, particularly GAD and Hypochondria. It's a hard thing to live with, so it is understandable that you find it hard to relate to her and sometimes even find her annoying.
I recently read, "I don't want to be crazy" by Samantha Schutz. It's not the best book, but I found that it was incredibly relateable and did a good job of describing some of the instances that people with anxiety disorder face. If you can, it's an easy read and maybe something you want to look at. You can read a pretty lengthy except here: http://www.samanthaschutz.net/excerpt.html
Just keep in mind, that she's not trying to seek attention, that this really is something incredibly difficult to deal with and as much as she may be trying to keep attention away from her, or trying not to be annoying or a burden she can't control what these mental illnesses do.
As for panic attacks, it all depends on the person. Sometimes all you really need is a friend to calm you down, hold your hand and remind you to breathe. Having someone reassuring you that you're okay can be worth more than anything when you feel like everything is out of your control and you're going crazy or feeling like you're dying, whatever the panic attack may entail.
Try and understand that this is not something that's easy for her either, and I'm sure she appreciates you sticking by her through everything.


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Re: Friend with Anxiety issues - July 12th 2010, 08:45 PM

Thank you all for some enlightening advice. I don't want to pry, but what does it feel like to have an anxiety attack? And my friend doesn't have the kind of anxiety attack you are describing. What she calls an anxiety attack is when she just shuts down and curls up with her head tucked in and is unresponsive. It's sorta scary for me to see, but others think she's just being avoidant, since this happens when she is answering questions or taking a test.
Thanks,
Annali
By the way, Stacy thanks for the book idea, although I don't know whether i'm too crazy about the poetry...


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Re: Friend with Anxiety issues - July 12th 2010, 08:55 PM

Hey,
I have had a panic attack before and from my point of view it is kinda scary as well. My heart rate increases, i feel really dizzy like passing out, and i usually feel horrible like i want to lie down but when your freaking out you don't want to lie down. I had a very mild ones but i would just try to be there for her. Keep her calm. Sometimes it can really help to have someone reassuring when your scared or worried. Hope this helps,


Angel22


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Re: Friend with Anxiety issues - July 12th 2010, 09:05 PM

Thanks, Angel22.


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Re: Friend with Anxiety issues - July 13th 2010, 05:14 PM

Panic attacks can be different for everyone. For me, I feel my heart and breathing increase to higher rates than they would if I had just run a 20 mile marathon. You sweat like mad, and feel like you're going to pass out or that you're going crazy. You shake and tremble like mad and your stomach aches. You feel an overwhelming desire to escape from whatever situation you're in. If you've never had a panic attack then you can only imagine what it's like, but it's possibly the most terrifying thing you could ever experience.
   
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Re: Friend with Anxiety issues - July 13th 2010, 09:49 PM

Like others have said they're different for everyone. Personally my heart rates increases, i find it hard to breathe and/or my throat gets tight, generally I feel like i'm dying.


"Remember what you're worth
Remember you're worth fighting for
Remember you're not a punching bag
Remember you're not a doormat
Remember you are valuable
Remember you are repairable
Remember you matter
Remember they don't."

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Join date: 27th September, 2004.
   
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annalibelle Offline
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Re: Friend with Anxiety issues - July 14th 2010, 12:24 AM

shoot, that sounds terrible. thanks a million for telling me.


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Re: Friend with Anxiety issues - July 17th 2010, 08:05 PM

I have anxiety, i have for the past two years or so. Social phobia has proven to be my worse.

Ive been struggling with panic for that time too. I start my feeling hot, and shakey and my mody having tingling sensations. Ill find my self hyperventalating and throwing up which has lead me to passing out.

My friends felt the same, and they didnt know what to do. My teacher helped my boyfrined understand it and how to help me.

Make sure there aren't loads of people around her, so she's got space. Tell her to take deep breaths, like breathe in 1234 and out 1234. It will help her breathing. Its best for her to have her arms open so her lungs can open. If things get really bad you need to get help, but just try be there for her.


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