Acknowledging the impact of anxiety
Often mental health conditions lead to people becoming less aware of the impact their behaviour is having on other people. If the person is unwilling to talk about things, you could let them know how their behaviour is affecting other family members or friends. This may be a way to encourage the person to try to do something about the situation.
Encouraging the person to seek support is another key step. Suggest that you seek support together. For example, you could make an appointment for you both to see the person’s GP for a check-up. The person may not see this as a threatening or intrusive option.
Unfortunately, sometimes the person may be reluctant or may even refuse to get help. People may give a range of reasons as to why:
- “I’m not ready.”
- “I’m just going through a phase.”
- “It may just be stress.”
It’s common for people with anxiety to refuse support, so you may find it difficult. Again, it may be useful to consider highlighting the broader impact the person’s behaviour is having on others. You could also talk about the positive effects of getting support. If the person won’t listen to you, think about asking someone else to talk to them.
A trusted friend or family member may be able to get through to the person without damaging the relationship. In more extreme circumstances, where you are very concerned about the person, you may consider contacting your GP to see if they can become involved or make a home visit.
Your ultimate goal is to support the person, so try to keep this in mind even when they may be angry or agitated with you.