How To Tell If A Friend Is Struggling With Anxiety

Anxiety is known to impair the lives of one in five people.

The World Health Organisation estimates that more than 264 million people worldwide struggle with a generalised anxiety disorder, panic disorder or obsessive-compulsive disorder each day.

Although you may not personally struggle with an anxiety disorder, you may have come to notice that a friend sadly finds their life impaired by anxiety.

As a result, you will want to help them as best as you can. However, due to stigmas, worries and concerns, many people suffering from anxiety keep their struggles a secret.

Sadly, individuals that keep their struggles with anxiety a secret are at greater risk of developing other mental health disorders, such as depression.

Furthermore, individual’s that silently struggle with anxiety are more likely to develop a substance or behavioural addiction.


How To Tell If A Friend Is Struggling With Anxiety – Common Signs To Look Out For

Determining if a friend is struggling with anxiety can be somewhat tricky, especially as many of the signs and symptoms associated are psychological.

However, as anxiety arises and impairs your friend’s life, it is highly likely that you will gradually come to notice changes in their behaviour and the way they act.

To help you understand how to tell if a friend is struggling with anxiety, we have outlined five signs that your friend may be struggling with an anxiety disorder below.

1.Your Friend’s Physical Health Will Become Impaired

If you are hoping to understand how to tell if a friend is struggling with anxiety, considering whether your friend’s physical health has become impaired will help you determine whether anxiety has a pessimistic impact on your friend’s life.

Although, as touched on above, anxiety is a psychological disorder, as it takes its toll on an individual’s life, many physical symptoms arise. These often include heart palpitations, chest pain, high blood pressure, digestive system problems, frequent headaches and nausea.

If your friend is struggling with anxiety, they may frequently tell you that they do not feel well. They may also express that they are worried about their general health and feel as though they are experiencing symptoms similar to a heart attack.

2.The Way They Behave And Act Will Change

As anxiety cripples your friend’s life, the way they behave and act will change significantly. Instead of being their usual out-going and confident self, their self-esteem and self-confidence will diminish.

Sadly, this could cause your friend to lose interest in things they once enjoyed. They may also behave differently or turn to substances in a bid to enhance their mood for a short period of time.

3.Your Friend May Isolate Themselves

If your friend is silently struggling with anxiety, it is not uncommon for them to isolate themselves from yourself and others. Sadly, the number of people who isolate themselves due to anxiety disorders has increased in recent years.

Instead of spending time with you, you will find that your friend does not want to go out or participate in social activities. They may also miss classes at college and university or regularly call in sick to work.

Although this can be somewhat frustrating, it is essential to remember that as anxiety dominates your friend’s thoughts, they may worry that they have no one to talk to.

In some instances, individuals living with anxiety will also isolate themselves in a bid to keep their struggles with anxiety a secret.

4.Your Friend Will Take Less Interest In Things They Once Enjoyed

As discussed above, if your friend is struggling with anxiety, the way they behave and act will undoubtedly change. Unfortunately, due to the control that their anxiety disorder will have on their every waking moment, they may also take less interest in the things they once enjoyed.

Rather than spending time with you, socialising and focusing on their hobbies, if your friend is struggling with anxiety, they will likely want to be alone.

They will begin to withdraw themselves, take little interest in their hobbies, and will, as noted above, isolate themselves.

5.Your Friend May Seek Constant Reassurance

If your friend is struggling with anxiety, you may notice that they constantly seek reassurance from you.

Known to be a compulsion, individuals that struggle with anxiety often seek reassurance surrounding their health, friendships and life in a bid to reduce the anxiety they experience. Seeking reassurance is also known to help many keep their fears at bay.

If your friend seeks constant reassurance from you, you may well be happy to provide them with the reassurance they need. However, you may find that you become increasingly worried about their mental well-being.


What To Do If You Think A Friend Is Struggling With Anxiety

Watching a friend succumb to anxiety can be extremely upsetting and disheartening. If you think that a friend is struggling with anxiety, we understand that you will want to do everything possible to support them.

However, with little knowledge surrounding anxiety and treatments for anxiety disorders, you may find yourself at a loss.

With this in mind, having reviewed how to tell if a friend is struggling with anxiety, if you think a friend is indeed struggling with anxiety, we recommend contacting us directly for help and support.

In doing so, we can help you understand how anxiety is impairing your friend’s life.

We can also discuss how you can ensure your friend has the help and support they need to navigate and cope with their disorder.

As anxiety is a mental health disorder, treatment is often required. If we believe that your friend needs professional treatment, we can help you refer them for anxiety rehabilitation at our rehab centre.


Contact Us Today

Here at Step One Recovery, we can provide you with the support and guidance you need to support your friend during this difficult period of their life.

If you would like to take advantage of the help we can provide, please call us today on 0800 012 6006.

Alternatively, you can email or chat with us online.