People with anxiety disorders often find that loved ones don’t know how to respond when their anxiety sets in. With this in mind, Kelsey Darragh, a producer in Los Angeles, had a genius idea.
She gave her boyfriend a list of things he can do to help her manage her anxiety. Then she shared it on Twitter with the hope that it might help other couples. We love how these partners communicate to create a safe, positive environment, even during Darragh’s most difficult moments.
“I have panic & anxiety disorder,” she wrote. “My boyfriend does not… but wants to understand it so he can help me. SO I made him this list! Feel free to share [with your] loved ones that need guidance!”
The list, titled “15 Realistic Things You Can Do to Help Me Through a Panic Attack,” details how she feels during an attack and what he should do to support her. It went viral, and has over 23,000 likes on Twitter to date.
“Know that I am scared and won’t be able to explain why, so please don’t freak out or be annoyed with me,” she wrote at the top of her numbered list.
Darragh also recommended things he should and should not do, like suggesting that she eat something (“I feel like I’m going to vomit”) and breathing exercises (She says they are frustrating but vital). From words of encouragement to a big hug, these strategies let him know how he can make her feel better.
“Once it passes (like hours later), open up a dialogue with me about it,” she wrote as item No. 15. “How’d you do? What can we do next time?” Knowing that a partner or close friend has your back is reassuring to panic and anxiety sufferers, who are used to having friends and family not fully understand what they are going through.
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