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Topic: Anxiety and friendships

6 posts, 0 answered
  1. Virgo6
    Virgo6 avatar
    5 posts
    25 June 2020

    Hi everyone.
    I live with my best friend and she doesn’t understand my anxiety. I have explained it to her many times. Anytime I get into a panic and try and seek support from her she invalidates me because I have such a good, stable life at the moment. Which I know that, but anxiety doesn’t discriminate haha. In a recent panic attack when I went to seek her support she told me I was being dumb and has now compared it to a toddler throwing a tantrum over not getting a lollipop. I love her to bits but don’t know how to deal with this as it is upsetting me. Any help as to whether I’m being ridiculous for being upset or any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    thank you x

    1 person found this helpful
  2. Tay100
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Tay100 avatar
    492 posts
    26 June 2020 in reply to Virgo6

    Hi Virgo6

    I'm sorry to hear that your friend isn't supporting you as she hoped you would, because you are right; anxiety doesn't care who you are! You have every right to feel the way you do, too.

    Feel free to chat in this thread and provide more detail if you like, but based off what you have said so far I'd gently suggest being super direct with her. Sit her down and being assertive about what is going on for you and how her reaction makes you feel. Give her a few actionable things she can do to help you.

    Do you have any other support network that maybe she can also talk too to get a better idea about your experience with anxiety and how to be there for you? It may help drive it home if she hears it from someone you both know.

    Keep us posted if you like,

    Tay100

    2 people found this helpful
  3. Gambit87
    Gambit87 avatar
    519 posts
    26 June 2020

    HI,

    Sorry to hear your friend isn't giving you much support.

    Firstly, you are not being ridiculous for being upset.

    Secondly - your friend sounds like they don't believe anxiety is real? As Tay100 suggested - have a direct and frank conversation with your friend. Even if your friend doesn't know how to support you - they can still be there for you.

    This forum is also a good place to air out whats bothering you :)

    1 person found this helpful
  4. AYRC
    blueVoices member
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    AYRC avatar
    8 posts
    26 June 2020 in reply to Virgo6

    Hi Virgo6

    I'm so sorry you've been feeling this way. I can understand how you must feel... having someone close to you in your life that doesn't quite understand mental health can be discouraging and upsetting. I've personally had to help my parents understand anxiety and depression for my sister actually. It took a while but just like Tay100 suggested, I sat down with them and had a serious chat about it. It can be hard not to get frustrated, but if you gently explain to your friend and educate her more about how you feel and what anxiety is, maybe she could understand you better. You can start by honestly telling her something along the lines of "hey, I want to be honest with you and say that I've been quite hurt by how you react when I need you to be there for me and when I'm struggling. I just wanted to let you know that I can't control... I'd love it if you could be more supportive for me. It'd really help me a lot and I'd appreciate it." Maybe something like that?

    Keep us updated on how things go <3

    1 person found this helpful
  5. Virgo6
    Virgo6 avatar
    5 posts
    27 June 2020

    Hi again,

    I really appreciate everybody’s responses. It means a lot to me to feel supported, and that I’m not over reacting. It’s hard because she has bipolar disorder (I’d say she’s in a low more than a high) so she does understand mental health. She just doesn’t understand how I can get so upset (like having a panic attack) because nothing bad is happening to me so I don’t have a “real reason” to be upset. I have tried to explain it to her but she has basically said she it is not her job to support me, but she will support me if I ever have a real reason. Her bipolar makes her very much not empathetic also. Like I said I love her to bits and she is the way she is because of her past, present and her mental illness, but I’d just love her to understand.

  6. SarahZ
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    SarahZ avatar
    119 posts
    27 June 2020 in reply to Virgo6

    Hello Virgo,

    Thanks for reaching out. I'm really sorry you are feeling unheard and not understood by your best-friend. A best-fried is someone who should always be there for us during all our highs and lows, so I can't imagine how frustrating and upsetting this must be for you. Just like you said, anxiety doesn't discriminate! It's always much harder for others to recognise this until they have been in your shoes; however, that doesn't mean they shouldn't at least try to understand. Your friends words that 'it is not her job to support you' unless it is a 'real reason' sounds really hurtful and I'm really sorry you had to hear that. If your friend suffers from a mental illness it's quite unfortunate she isn't more receptive of your emotions and experience. This is quite a complex situation and I can't say I have any super solid advice. However, just know I'm here listening to you and supporting you. Your feelings right now are completely validated and heard by all of us.

    Wishing you all the best and sending you positive thoughts.

    1 person found this helpful

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