Explaining Anxiety to People Who Don’t Get it

How many times have you heard people say things like, “you just coddle him too much” or “you just need to be tougher with her!” Some other oldies but goodies are, “She doesn’t act that way for me” and “he’ll grow out of it. Don’t worry.” Sometimes explaining anxiety to people who don’t get it can make your head spin. Trust me, I get it. I have bitten my tongue so many times – I have callouses.

What about if those people are your other kids? What if you hear things like, “Why do you treat him like that?” or “If that was me I would totally get in trouble!” How can you explain anxiety to your other children so they can “get” their anxious sibling and maybe even help and not hurt the situation?

Some people don’t understand anxiety. Explaining anxiety to those that don’t get it can be a struggle. Let me help you with your verbal judo.


What if the people making those comments are your partner, your relatives, your closest friends. Even worse than that perhaps….your child’s teacher or the school administration.

As someone who explains anxiety for a living, I thought I would give you some of my verbal judo skills on the topic. I hope it helps!


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Related Article, Videos and Podcasts Discussed in this Episode:

Your child is suffering from anxiety, but your partner doesn’t believe in anxiety disorders. How are you supposed to handle that – pull up a seat and let’s talk.

Kids suffering with OCD and anxiety in school are often ignored or misunderstood. Learn how anxiety and OCD pops up at school and what people can do to help.

Are you surrounded by people who don't get your anxious child? This can be frustrating and tiring! Here are four ways to handle it.

Some poor behavior and meltdowns aren’t normal. They are a 7.5 on the Richter scale. Anxiety can cause the perfect storm. Let me teach you how to ride it out.

Having a sibling with child OCD or anxiety can be overwhelming, stressful and scary. Here are some ways to help your other children cope with a sibling with childhood OCD or anxiety.

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OTHER ARTICLES:  Can You Tell the Difference Between Kids Getting Scared and Anxiety?

3 responses to “PSP 049: Explaining Anxiety to People Who Don’t Get it: Helping Siblings, Family & Friends”

  1. Anu says:

    Hi, great post, however I think you’re missing some new research and the root cause of why the serotonin is low or that parts of the brain are over/under-firing. Namely from body not getting the nutrients it needs to make theses hormones. From poor digestion, eating, food intolerances. People are finding relief from anxiety by addressing these issues. SO while its important to understand whats going on, and t address it for what it is at the moment, people need to know that you can and have addressed the root cause and released the anxiety instead of building a world around it.

  2. Maureen Reuther says:

    Always helpful and the timing of this podcast was PERFECT! I can’t thank you enough for all your help!

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