Severe anxiety disorders are more common than you might think. You might be surprised to know that those who have severe anxiety disorder frequently also suffer from anxiety depression. If you look at the typical case of severe anxiety disorder, you will almost always find the person is depressed as well. The thought of suicide or hurting themselves is not such an uncommon thing, which is very sad.
One main concern is that people often stand by when they see family members or close friends suffering with anxiety. Really, what they need is assistance to help them get anxiety treatment, even if they are afraid. Generally, most of the time being on pills for anxiety or depression is never a popular thing. Some people need it though and are unable to cope without it. They need someone to step in to help them get treatment.
You should also never try to treat your friends yourself. You should leave this up to the professionals. For example, often people with a severe anxiety disorder will have something that they are really scared of facing. A common one might be drowning even in a small amount of water. While some doctors may recommend their patient to go swimming in the local lake to overcome the fear, this is not something who was evaluated by a professional should do. It can sometimes leave deep psychological scars that leave them worse off than they would be had they never done it.
Severe anxiety disorder is essentially a mental disease. This is not something that they can just pick up and quit one day like a bad habit of some kind. It is mentally not possible. Therefore, instead of increasing their stress by telling them to stop doing what they are doing, you should minimize the stress within their life as much as possible. This should be the case until they see a doctor about their problems. Let me use an example. If your friend or family member who suffers from severe anxiety disorder has a drug addiction problem, the last thing you want to do is add more stress in their life which causes them to just find comfort in their drug of choice. Granted, you should not encourage that type of behavior, but seek counseling and help for them above all else.
Unfortunately, whatever the root of the problem is always has to be dealt with. The first time they go see a doctor they might be given some strong anti-depressants. They may take these and start feeling better. However, many will go back to their old habits once the pills are gone. This is part of the terrible situation that this mental disease causes. They need to continuously see psychiatric help until they are able to handle their problems without medication. This will certainly help improve their quality of life. This is especially the case if they know they have good support from friends and family to overcome it.