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Updated: Jul 18, 2020

We all worry about things or are stressed about something, whether it is about the pandemic or even before it. That is, however, not the same as anxiety. You can’t say everyone has anxiety. Anxiety is a mental health disorder that can mess with your daily life activities. When you are just experiencing stress, the nervous feelings can be helpful and give you motivation. But for people with anxiety it can be really overwhelming and nerve-wracking. People with anxiety are NOT just nervous. People really need to understand that. If someone has anxiety, they may have panic attacks, which is a symptom of anxiety. Panic attacks are not to be confused with anxiety attacks. Anxiety attacks usually have a stressor, but panic attacks are unpredictable and can be random. They can last for a while or for a few minutes. If you think you are having a panic attack, you should try to deep breathe and avoid hyperventilation. 

If you know someone with anxiety, some of the worst things you could say to them are “you’re fine, just relax,” or “it’s just stress, calm down,” or, even worse, “I don’t understand why you’re worrying so much; it’s not a big deal.” That will make them even more worried, and it’s not good to say that anyway. If someone tells you they’re having a panic attack, try to help them rather than saying the things listed above. People also don’t like to be told to “just relax” when they’re having a panic attack. Please, make your friends’ lives easier by listening to them and trying to understand what they’re going through. You can’t know what’s going on inside of someone’s head, but you can listen and TRY. Even if you think you can’t help them, it doesn’t hurt to try. Never make someone feel unprioritized or uncared about. 

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