Trying to help a friend with crowd anxiety

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Trying to help a friend with crowd anxiety

Postby Herself » May 27th, 2013, 5:56 am

I've got a new friend who freaks out in crowds. Problem is that she wants to go to comic book conventions and Disney World and such, but often ends up panicking and relying on Xanax.

While I've certainly got my own issues, anxiety isn't one of them, so I don't understand it and don't know how to help. Can someone offer nondrug suggestions for me to pass along? What works, hypnosis? This cognitive behavioral treatment stuff? Just therapy? I want her to be able to relax and have fun.

Thanks!
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Re: Trying to help a friend with crowd anxiety

Postby MizLzie » May 27th, 2013, 5:29 pm

Not sure how much I can help...

I can have a hard time time in crowds, yet can also do really well in them. Being quite short I tend to get overwhelmed in crowds, people don't see me or surround me and I can't see anything. Sounds like a professional would be the best bet to begin, but for you to help perhaps start small? Go to a movie? A busy, loud clothing store?

For me, it's crucial to go in to them in a calm or happy mood, preparing myself for what's to come. If I am doing something I love, like a comic con, I have more patience. Take my time, try to find the less crowded areas and just chill for a bit after hustling through everyone. Breathers or breaks help. I am a smoker so I have a great excuse to get outside for a bit. I tend to absorb the energy around me, so it can be incredibly draining. Those breaks definitely help me. Also patience, everyone around me is moving around to do similar things, I am usually really quick in daily life, but I slow right down in those scenarios. Move with the crowd, step out of the way of people so you're not bumped or jostled. I'm quite aware of what's happening around me so I can move to avoid, it's a good focus of that nervous energy. :)
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