10 Women on What Not to Say to Someone With Anxiety

For me, it was the fear of vomit. Specifically, of my kids getting sick. I was in the midst of grad school while still working full-time when the thought of my young kids catching a stomach bug started to make me feel anxious to a level that seemed unreasonable. I went to my doctor, who promptly diagnosed me with generalized anxiety disorder. 


My anxiety was, thankfully, situational and fairly short-lived. Once I finished grad school and no longer lived in fear of missing a paper deadline or falling behind at work, my anxiety largely subsided.

I still vividly remember, however, the feeling of my stomach churning and the racing thoughts that would keep me up at night when my anxiety was at its peak. Even though I knew I was being irrational and that, really, sick kids aren't the end of the world, I felt almost paralyzed by my fears. My husband and friends were totally supportive but it was still a source of embarrassment for me.

Anxiety is the most common mental illness in the United States, so chances are that if you don't suffer from it, you probably know someone who does. If you've ever wondered how to better support someone with anxiety, this article is for you!

Read on for suggestions from 10 women who've lived through anxiety for what NOT to say if you want to be a good friend to those with anxiety.

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emotional health mental health