From Good Housekeeping
"You might have heard that she has anxiety from sitting by her side in a doctor's office, holding her hands while the tears stream down her face ..." This is how Laura Mazza, blogger and mother of two, begins a powerful message about anxiety that is taking the internet by storm.
"You might have seen her get angry and explode because she's overwhelmed. Wondering where this rage has come from," she writes in the post shared by Love What Matters. "You might have seen her sit quietly staring into the distance with panic in her eyes. You might have guessed, or she might have told you, but either way there are things you should know."
Mazza gives advice to those on the other side of this anxiety, saying that though their partner may seem helpless, they really can help: "You can see what gets to be too much for her, the crowds of people or bedtime, dinner time, see it and help her by holding her hand and tell her you're with her. Do it with her, take over, tell her to sit down for a while and breathe."
She continues on to say that the answer, sometimes, "won't be so obvious," but patience is a virtue in the long run. Most importantly, Mazza stresses, "She doesn't want her anxiety to define your relationship and when you're patient, you're telling her you're willing to do the same."
Anxiety disorders affect nearly 40 million adults between the ages of 18 and 54 in the U.S. alone - women are, as it turns out, two times more likely than men to have one - and while this number is quite large, anxiety isn't the same for everyone. As Mazza points out, it isn't a "one size fits all, it isn't consistent and it isn't always easy to tell."
But with over 36,000 shares and 9,000 comments, people are assuring Mazza that her words, originally published on her blog, speak truth to them - that though no two cases are identical, there are similarities everyone can relate to when it comes to the care they need.
"I have never read anything that is purely beyond accurate," one Facebook user commented. "I've never been able to put into words what it's like since 2nd grade (I am now 25). This. This. THIS is it. 'She wishes she could be free.'"
Some are even tagging their significant others: "I cried while reading this cause this so real and this put into words what I could never express. I hope you take the time to read this @StetsonWilliams I know it's not easy for you but it's even harder for me."
This woman thanked her husband, saying he's "the greatest at dealing with my anxiety, but it has taken years of work and understanding!"
Mazza wants people with anxiety-afflicted partners to know that not every day will be easy, "but on the bad days, still celebrate her because she needs it." Support is essential, but not always effective - and even still, the blogger tells us, you must keep by that person's side. "Forever and ever," she writes, "you just to need take her hand and tell her, 'I am with you.'"
If you or a loved one is experiencing anxiety or are in need of emotional support, you can call the Crisis Call Center hotline (open 24 hours) at 1-775-784-8090.