Most of us have good intentions when we’re trying to help a friend or family member who is struggling with anxiety, but saying something insensitive damages relationships and perpetuates shame and isolation.

Today we’re going to talk about five things NOT to say to someone with anxiety.

I’m Angela Howard, my passion is to break the stigma of mental illness among fellow Christians. I’m here to help you live a more purposeful life with God, and with one another. Don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel so you can get the first updates of new content.

5 Things NOT to Say to Someone with Anxiety

  1. “Just stuck it up, and push through it!” Tough love “inspiration” doesn’t work for people with anxiety disorders. Pressuring them to ignore their symptoms can eventually lead to a panic attack.
  2. “Everyone feels stressed out sometimes.” While it’s true that everyone feels anxious or stressed sometimes, this is very different from an anxiety disorder. Making that kind of unfair comparison belittles a person’s experience.
  3. “Just try harder.” Although there’s no formula that causes anxiety, family history, personal experiences, and genetics are all factors that contribute. You would never tell someone with a broken arm to try harder as a solution.
  4. “You were fine a minute ago, and now you’re freaking out.” Anxiety doesn’t have a time clock that makes sense. It’s kind of that simple. If the person suffering could stop suffering, they would do it in a minute.
  5. “You shouldn’t let medication be a crutch.” Medication is a tool. Most of time it’s not a magic cure, but part of the pathway towards healing.


Those who control their tongue will have a long life; opening your mouth can ruin everything. Proverbs 13:3 (NLT)


What would you add to the list? Comment below, I’d love to hear from you!

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