“Saying ‘snap out of it’ or ‘there’s nothing wrong with you’ is hugely detrimental,” says long-term anxiety sufferer Jonathan. “What that person doesn’t realise is that they are embedding those thoughts into the anxiety sufferer’s mind, which ultimately makes it worse.”
Dr Paul McLaren, a consultant psychiatrist at Hayes Grove Hospital, agrees that people need to have a better grasp of anxiety as an illness.
“It is not easy to switch off,” he said. “We need to work on educating people to help them understand that anxiety is a normal part of human experience and nothing to be ashamed of.”