Anxiety disorders are not like normal anxiety. What's experienced by someone diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder differs from the case of nerves you might deal with before a meeting with your boss, or an important event.
The anxiety felt by someone diagnosed with GAD is much more complex and much harder to control. Anxiety is not something that can be cured through logic or reasoning. Heightened levels of anxiety experienced in GAD is chemical and needs special treatment, similar to treating a disease.
When experiencing anxiety, your brain chemistry changes to create negative thinking. It becomes harder to think positive, which makes it harder to control the anxiety. When you are nervous about one thing, you can also become nervous about other things as a result.
The vicious cycle continues and the anxiety causes you to develop a fear associated with it. Communicating with a loved one or friend that is experiencing anxiety is a difficult process that requires a lot of patience.
According to the editors of Calm Clinic, many of whom have first-hand experience with dealing with anxiety, someone with anxiety can experience physical symptoms even when they are not mentally anxious. One of the symptoms of a panic attack is a feeling of imminent death or doom, combined with physical symptoms similar to a heart attack, such as a tightness or intense pounding in the chest.
Anxiety makes people feel lost and alone. Knowing someone is only a phone call away can reduce that feeling.
People often try to help someone with anxiety by saying something that can snap you out of your struggles. This doesn't work and is more likely to just make them more anxious. What's a friend to do?
Avoid getting frustrated. Anxiety disorders are just as chemical-related as they are thought-related. People suffering from this type of anxiety are often aware that their fears may be irrational, but they cannot stop the thoughts from coming as much as they try. It is unfair to expect them to use logic to control their anxiety, as it can be close to impossible.