All of us at have experienced debilitating anxiety. But we’ve also overcome it and returned to normal and lasting health. Because we know the hardship anxiety unwellness can cause, we are committed to helping others, with over 27 years of service.” - Jim Folk, President,

For Family and Friends

Anxiety, stress, depression, and sleep disorders can have a profound negative impact on those who experience them. Individuals who struggle with one or many of these disorders can be affected physically, psychologically, emotionally, and spiritually. Many find their lives are dramatically impaired as a result. Even though there may not be any physical evidence of an illness, these conditions can be frightening, confusing, frustrating, and very debilitating for the sufferer.

Some of the internal symptoms of anxiety disorder include:

Some of the external symptoms can include:

For a more comprehensive list of common symptoms, see the Anxiety Symptoms section in the public pages. For an expanded list, complete with descriptions and reasons for many of the more common symptoms, see the "All About Symptoms" section in the Recovery Support area.

Those who experience these conditions are generally intelligent, creative, passionate, caring, and excitable people. They can, however, become inward-focused, frightened, short-tempered, confused, discouraged, distant, uncaring, and seemingly like a hypochondriac once any of these disorders become established.

These conditions can be hard to understand from a non-sufferer’s point of view, and they are even harder to understand as a sufferer. While sufferers may look okay on the outside, it’s often a raging battle on the inside.

The physical symptoms are very real because of the biochemical change that affects the brain, nervous system, endocrine system and a wide range of other systems in the body. This biological change produces an out-of-balance body chemistry, which is the reason for the many symptoms anxiety disorder sufferers experience.

The biological change also affects the individual’s thoughts and emotions, since both are influenced by the brain, nervous system and endocrine system.

The severity of the condition will determine the degree and frequency of symptoms. For those who experience intermittent episodes of their disorder(s), their symptoms may come and go with the degree of stress in their lives, since stress is a major contributor and aggravator of anxiety, stress, depression, and sleep disorder.

Those with a persistent condition, however, their symptoms may become entrenched and vary from moment to moment.

For those interested in getting a more in-depth look at these disorders, the information in the member’s area will be very helpful to you.

As a family member or friend of someone who is experiencing one or any of these disorders, here are a few ways you can help them:

For an expanded list of ways to help, see our "15 Ways to Help Someone With Anxiety Disorder" page.

Recovery Support members can read the section, "For Family and Friends" in Chapter 14, which contains 50 ways to help.

Yes, for someone who hasn’t experienced one (or any) of these conditions first-hand, it’s difficult (even frustrating) to understand what a sufferer goes through. But, you can play an important role in their recovery by being patient with them, by learning as much as you can about their condition, and by helping your loved one to recover through encouragement.

The combination of good self-help information and working with an experienced anxiety disorder therapist, coach, or counselor is the most effective way to address anxiety and its many symptoms. Until the core causes of anxiety are addressed - we call these core causes the underlying factors of anxiety - a struggle with anxiety unwellness can return again and again. Dealing with the underlying factors of anxiety is the best way to address problematic anxiety.

For more information about our Anxiety Therapy, Coaching, Counseling option; our Available Anxiety Therapists; to Book An Appointment with one of our anxiety therapists; common Symptoms of Anxiety; Anxiety Attack Symptoms; anxiety Recovery Support area; common Anxiety Myths; and our Anxiety 101 section; or click on the appropriate graphic below:

Anxiety Therapy Book An Appointment Book An Appointment Anxiety Symptoms Anxiety Attack Symptoms Anxiety Recovery Support Anxiety Myths Anxiety 101

Authors: Jim Folk, Marilyn Folk, BScN. Last updated September 2016. Information, support, and coaching/counseling/therapy for problematic anxiety and its sensations and symptoms, including information for family and friends.