The following is from The Mighty Site, a website where people with mental illnesses share their own stories. This story can serve as a reminder of how effective the core crisis communication skills such as active listening can be utilized to assist someone who is experiencing the following:
Often times, when I’m in an anxious state, I can’t hear the words you say to me because the thoughts in my head are much louder. Sometimes, I don’t need you to say anything. Just hug me. Just sit with me. Just be there for me. That’s all I need when I’m spiraling.
Please, don’t disregard my worry and fears. It just makes the situation worse for me. If you tell me you locked the door, I have to check it. If you tell me you’re going to do something, then please, do it. I may ask you four or five times just to make sure. I know it can get frustrating for you, but it’s what I need to feel secure, to feel like I can put my faith in you. Please, know I don’t think you’re a liar. I just need to feel like I have some sort of control of my mind.
The above passage also reminds of why we might have to repeat ourselves, the importance of being patient (not problem-solving, not judging) and slowing things down.
Read the full story [HERE].
- More on active listening HERE
- More on what "slowing it down" means