Talking to your family about your anxiety can be intimidating. Even the thought of bringing it up can produce feelings of anxiety, shame, and embarrassment. You should never have to feel this way when talking about your anxiety, but it’s okay if you do. Here are some tips that can help you talk to your family about your anxiety.
Ask Yourself: Why Do You Hesitate?
A lot of us avoid talking to our family about our mental health for several reasons. The most prevalent reason for hesitation is not knowing how your family will react. Fear of the unknown is common in a lot of us, but when it comes to being vulnerable with our families, it is even more frightening.
Next, you may stop yourself from being open about your anxiety with your family because you are scared you will upset them. It may be hard for your family to not be upset, but that doesn’t mean they are upset with you. More often than not, your family is upset because they care about you. They may be wondering if they are the reason you have anxiety. Moreover, they may feel helpless as to how to help. All these issues can create a feeling of upset.
It could be that your family or part of your family is a big factor in your anxiety. It’s scary to approach the person that is causing your anxiety and tell them that. However, it is necessary to make them aware of your mental health so they can change the behaviors that cause your anxiety.
You may fear that your family has high expectations of you. If you have anxiety, you may disappoint them. This is often your anxiety talking. You are not a burden, and you shouldn’t see yourself as one.
If sitting down and talking to your family face-to-face proves to be too overwhelming, there are other ways to alert them to your struggles with anxiety. One example is writing a letter. It keeps you feeling secure knowing that you don’t have to see their reactions in real time.
Practice What You Want to Say About Your Anxiety
One way to prepare to tell your family about your anxiety is to practice what you want to say. Whether you practice by yourself in a mirror or with a trusted friend, going over the main points will make you more confident when the time comes to approach your family. If it helps, write down what you want to say. The main goal is to get all of your feelings across as clearly as possible. Some of your family may not understand what it means to have anxiety. You should let them know how it affects your day-to-day life.
Practice multiple times in multiple places. You can practice with different audiences such as friends, acquaintances, therapists, support groups, etc. Don’t be afraid to talk out loud when alone as well. You may feel funny talking out loud to yourself, but it will help you hear your reasoning and better understand yourself. It’s similar to practicing a speech or lines in a play.
If you are writing a letter to your family, write a few drafts. Start by writing as much as you can. Let the words fly onto the page with no organization. Edit and revise so you are as thorough as possible. When you read it back, you can organize your thoughts so it’s more efficient. Ideally, you want the letter to have a clear direction and order.
Be Honest With Your Family About Your Anxiety
When the time comes to talk with your family, remember to be honest. Don’t leave details out because of fear. Your mental health is important, and you shouldn’t avoid talking about crucial details. If your family is one of the causes of your anxiety, it is important to tell them. By telling your family, they can start changing the behaviors that are causing your anxiety. Your family can become your support system.
If they truly care about you, your family should want to support you. Tell them when you’re afraid of upsetting or disappointing them. It is best to be completely honest about it. Most likely, they will let you know right away that you haven’t done so. They may just be upset because they are worried about you.
Ask a Therapist to Help You
If talking to your family about your anxiety or even writing them a letter is too difficult at this time, it may help to talk to a therapist. Working with them can help you prepare what you want to say to your family. You can learn how to cope with any fears of rejection. It is never a bad thing to ask for extra help. A therapist can provide insight and ideas you haven’t thought of. Plus, they can offer important psychoeducation. They can help you understand how and why anxiety affects your life. They’ll also normalize talking about the disorder.
Mindfuli knows it can be hard to talk to your family about your anxiety. You don’t have to prepare for that conversation on your own. A therapist or counselor can help you prepare for talking with your family They can help you overcome fears of upsetting your family members and assist you in developing coping mechanisms to ease your anxiety. With their help, you can create a safe environment for you and your family to talk about mental health. By talking with a therapist, you empower yourself. You can find ways to handle all your anxiety symptoms. Call Mindfuli today at (866) 973-4415 to learn more information on the services available.