Anyone living with anxiety knows the condition can be debilitating at times, but few realize that anxiety can also be difficult for sufferers' loved ones. A recent story about how one boyfriend calms his girlfriend’s anxiety has gone viral, and shows us how important it is to be compassionate to people who struggle with fear.  

Callie Theodore of Maine shared the story of how her boyfriend Chris Briggs helps to ease her anxiety by texting her “very much so honey” each time she asks if everything is okay, Self reported. The reply, though short, is evidence of just how much Briggs understands the complexities of Theodore's condition.

"It's hard loving someone who suffers from anxiety," explained Theodore in a Facebook post, Self reported. "They will be oversensitive, they will make up scenarios in their head causing an argument, and constant reassurance is needed."

Read: Anxiety Disorders: 15 Facts About The Most Common Mental Disorder, From Symptoms To Efforts To Reduce Stigma

According to Theodore, in addition to showing that her boyfriend understands her condition, his reassuring text also shows that he’s willing to support her when she needs it most. 

The kind of person you should look for is "someone who doesn't tell you that you're overreacting. Someone that will rock you on the floor in the dead middle of an anxiety attack. Find someone that no matter how hard you push them—they do not leave. There are people out there like that."

According to the National Institutes of Mental Health, anxiety disorders involve more than temporary feelings of worry or fear, and can interfere with daily activities, such as job performance, school work, and relationships. Some of the most common forms of anxiety disorders include generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and social anxiety disorder.

Signs that you or a loved one may be dealing with an anxiety disorder include restlessness, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, and irritability. Some people are more likely to have these conditions than others, and factors such as being a woman, being naturally shy, and exposure to stressful life situations may increase one's risk.

Thankfully there are a number of treatments and therapies for individuals with anxiety disorders, with psychotherapy, also known as “talk therapy” being the most effective in most cases. Cognitive behavioral therapy, a type of therapy that helps to teach individuals different ways of thinking, behaving, and reacting to certain situations, is also helpful, the NIH reported.

Of course, there are still a number of steps that a friend or family member of someone with anxiety can do to help their loved one deal with the condition.

According to Calm Clinic, it’s important to let a loved one with anxiety talk to you openly about their fears without you judging them.

It’s also very important not to become frustrated with a person who has anxiety. Instead, try and do the opposite, ensuring them that they can call or talk to you anytime without fear of being a burden.

As a loved one of someone with anxiety, it’s helpful to simply spend time with them and do exciting and fun activities to help put their mind at ease. Try and stay away from activities that involve alcohol as this can exacerbate symptoms. Instead aim to do physical activities, as exercise is proven to alleviate anxiety symptoms.

See Also:

Anxiety vs. Depression: How They Differ And What To Do

Social Anxiety Disorder: Mythical Over-Diagnosed Mental Illness Or Real Malady Affecting Millions?