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How do I know if my anxiety is hurting someone else's mental health? How do I help it if it is?

13 Answers
Last Updated: 06/15/2021 at 3:55pm
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
Moderated by

Elena Morales, LMHC

Licensed Professional Counselor

I believe silence creates a cycle. With empathic and collaborative therapy, we break the cycle. I help clients feel validated and supported passed anger, shame, and anxiety.

Top Rated Answers
April 7th, 2015 12:59am
Oftentimes our anxiety may become so intense that it can cause us to lash out on others -- particularly those we love and care about. You will know if it's hurting someone else's mental health if they either (1) withdraw from interaction with you, or (2) lash right back out on you.
February 23rd, 2015 10:32pm
I think the best way to know is to come out and ask the person you are worried about. You could watch out for symptoms of different mental illnesses, but that can be difficult, some people don't show any symptoms, and you risk making a false assumption. Talk to the person and express your concerns. If it turns out you are hurting someone else, please don't blame yourself. It isn't your fault, you deserve support as much as anyone else. However, you might want to look to other friends or come here to 7 cups more, so your friend can clear their mind and focus on improving their own mental state. Make sure that your friend knows that you two can get through this, together.
March 1st, 2015 3:29am
You cannot take responsibility for another person's mental health, or the state of it, and you can't blame other people's mental health problems on yourself. Making this conclusion will not help your own recovery, or the other persons. I suggest that you try and distance yourself from this person whilst you try and change the way you think about this situation, but try and remain friends with the person whilst you both move towards recovery. Good luck!
May 5th, 2015 6:17pm
It is hard when we go through mental illness. Sometimes we cant help but feel like it is effecting those around us. Sometimes just having an honest and open communication about your illness and your fears is the best route. I suggest reaching out to one of our listeners to discuss your concerns and the best next steps! Remember you are not alone and help is here!
May 6th, 2015 3:40am
Talk to this someone and explain face-to-face how you feel and listen how the person feel. This is how you could understand more how your anxiety is hurting the other person. Don't forget to always be open-minded about others opinion!
July 20th, 2015 9:47am
That person will show it with his or her expressions. They might search for distance or they might feel offended. Others might simply tell you how they feel. Something that helps is to talk about it and to tell the other person how you feel. That way they can be more understanding and eventually try to find ways to help you together.
November 2nd, 2015 11:18am
Not always easy to see if anxiety is hurting others. If this is suspected the best thing to do is help yourself of your own anxiety. Taking care of you comes first.
November 30th, 2015 7:40am
You can see by the way they treat you.Watch them close and if you see they treat you different maybe it's something wrong.
February 15th, 2016 1:46pm
The only way to know for sure is to communicate with them about it don't be scared as long as the communication between you two is honest and compassionate you both could come out with a better understanding of each other's headspace and emotions to better deal with the anxiety on both sides.
May 30th, 2016 4:32am
The best way to know is to ask, you can't read people's minds. Have an upfront conversation about it. You can talk about what exactly is harmful about your actions (if there is anything harmful about it at all; again, this could just be your anxiety talking) and take steps to provide self care that will prevent those things from affecting others. You should also have "checkpoints" with that person, where you can honestly tell each other when either one of you is negatively impacting the other person's mental health and take the steps necessary to check your actions and prevent further harm.
January 8th, 2018 1:45am
Talk to them about it, ask them how they feel and encourage them to be honest and open about it. If it is hurting them, ask them what they need in order to be in a better mental place. Personally, I've been in both positions, and the best thing for both of us when I was helping a friend, was for me to take a short break from talking to them about their mental health so I could focus on my own. When we came back to it, we both agreed that I would tell her whenever I began to feel this way again, so she could help me too, and our relationship was the best it had ever been because we were both coming from a more open, honest place.
April 21st, 2020 1:15pm
I once had a friend who was always very positive. At that time I was suffering from anxiety and depression. I soon realized that I was affecting her mood due to my attitude because she appeared visibly tired after conversations with me. I started asking people if they had the emotional space to deal with problems before I started discussing any sensitive issue. This helped a lot since people were mentally prepared for the content they would hear and could excuse themselves if they weren't. That way they could help me out with my problems while staying in the frame of mind they wanted
June 15th, 2021 3:55pm
I know that my anxiety is hurting someone else's mental health when they take on my emotion and worries as their own. I can help by working on myself and reducing the source of my anxiety. I will explain to them what steps I am taking. We can openly communicate and express our feelings, hopefully receive help from a trained professional. I can help them by reassurance, being kind, compassionate, empathetic and stay by their side during the rough patches. My anxiety should be mine alone, however I could be hurting someone's mental health if they have a low capacity to take on other people's problems.