How to love a girl who suffers from anxiety

Don’t mother her. Don’t look at her with concern every time she reaches out to you. It is not damaged. She is not sick. She is just human.

When she’s having a panic attack, don’t think she’s faking it. Believe me, this is not the case. Hug her while she is shaking and tell her that she will be OK. That everything will be OK. Don’t think she’s doing this to get attention. She can’t help it. She cannot muzzle her thoughts. She just needs you to stay with her and talk to her during those times. She needs you to tell her that you are there for her.

Don’t pity her. Don’t lock her up to protect her from the world. Let her live. Let her breathe. Push her to face her fears.

Make her live adventures. Watch her smile take shape at the sight of the world around her. Know that sometimes her world is more beautiful than yours. Know that her world is more beautiful because you are part of it.

Don’t panic when she has an anxiety attack for no reason. Do not get angry and stress your anxiety for just a bad day. Accept her feelings. Accept her feelings.

And don’t make it more serious than it already is.

Respect it. Don’t push it too much. When you notice that her hands are starting to shake, ask her what’s wrong. Ask what you can do. Do not coast it. And above all, stay calm because even if she seems to be fine, deep down she may be screaming.

Understand that you will never really understand how demoralizing anxiety can be. Understand that you will never really know how it feels when you have a panic attack, when you have palpitations or when your throat is closing.

Just do your best to be there. Listen. Respond. Take care of her. Soothe her. Calm her worries when she lists all the things that scare her. Let her know that you understand. Tell her that she is not crazy. And tell her that you will be there, by her side, no matter what.

Understand that she would like to be different. She would like to dispel all her thoughts. Sometimes she gets scared, persuaded to impose more on you than you can bear. She is afraid that one day you will leave her.

Show her that it won’t happen. Show her that you are one of those who stay. Anxiety does not count. Show her that you love her too much to leave. Show her that you care too much for her to go away.