Living with anxiety can truly be a nightmare with inescapable feeling of worry, racing thoughts and feeling of dread running down the spine. But loving someone who suffers from anxiety can be tougher. You may feel inadequate with no idea how to help your partner but there are ways to deal with it.
Multiple studies have shown that anxiety disorder causes a potential risk towards marital discord. According to a study, 33.7% of people endure with anxiety disorder at some point in their lifetime jeopardizing alliances with whom they form a relationship.
Anxiety can take many different forms and in different levels ranging from debilitating to moderate. The different forms of anxiety are:
- Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)
- Separation anxiety
- Social anxiety disorder (social phobia)
- Specific phobias
- Panic disorder (which sometimes includes agoraphobia)
Seeking professional help, recognizing the symptoms at the earliest and finding adequate ways to help your partner will enable them to wade through their anxiety disorder and come out of it.
Recognizing the symptoms
Anxiety disorder is characterized by strong feelings of anxiousness, fear or worry, that impact daily functioning and emotional well-being.
Intense anxiety triggers behavioral change. A person grappling with anxiety is engulfed by a feeling of irrational anxiety and fear, which compels him/her to avoid places, situations and gatherings.
Hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline prepare our body to face any situation of fright, flight or fear. But in case of anxiety disorder, these hormones always remain in an adverse state.
Anxiety disorder includes both mental and physical symptoms, which are as below:
- Racing thoughts
- Rapid heart rate
- Shortness of breath
- Feelings of dread or panic
- Feeling dizzy
- Upset stomach
- Dry mouth
- Tunnel vision
- Feeling restless
- Muscle tension
- Trouble concentrating
- Physical weakness
- Poor memory
- Constant worry
These symptoms may be occasionally present in people who are completely normal. However, in case of anxiety disorder, these symptoms impair their daily functioning and power to think or focus.
If you notice these signs in your partner know that he or she needs help.
Never show disregard for your partner’s feeling:
It’s quite difficult to understand the feelings of a person grappling with anxiety disorder. But as the partner, you need to try and understand their overwhelming emotions. Even if the perspective of your partner seems to in disarray you need to soothe them by saying things like:
“I know the possibility of breaking up scares you. I don’t want to lose you, either.”
“I hear you’re feeling really overwhelmed and scare.”
“That sounds very upsetting and stressful. What can I do to help?”
“I understand why and what is making you feel so worried,” etc.
Try to understand your partner’s fear and acknowledge them as real. Anxiety disorder is a difficult situation to deal with, but you being an important part of your partner’s life, you should display emotions like love, compassion and empathy.
Help your partner to seek treatment
If your partner is overwhelmed with anxiety disorder, encourage him/her to seek professional help or treatment. Try finding ways to motivate your partner for treatment. Combination of medication and psychotherapy such as talk therapy or cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) are quite helpful to combat anxiety disorder. Don’t consider mental health as a taboo. Talk about it openly with your partner. Find out adequate treatment plans and mental illness treatment centers with customized treatment programs to suite your partner’s condition.
You should never overlook or undermine your partner’s fears. By questioning their fear, behavior and ability to perform daily tasks, we create a state of distress in them. Instead you should channel your encouragement to bring positivity in your partner. Make them comfortable to seek treatment.
Don’t let your partner’s anxiety ruin your family life
You must be trying hard to help your partner, but recovery from anxiety is long drawn-battle. You should also focus on maintaining your own mental health. Cultivate relationship and habits that are solely for your self-care such as weekly get-together with friends and family or practicing relaxation techniques. Build your own support network of friends, group, therapist or medical help.
If your partner is suffering from OCD (obsessive compulsive behavior), they would expect your house to be arranged and cleaned in a particular pattern, but you need to decide how much is too much and draw the line. Be respectful to your partner’s feeling, but at the same time set out your own limits.
People battling with anxiety disorder view anxiety as their real enemy. In contrast, the real enemy is their fear, which lies deep inside and prevents them from doing things that could make them and the family feel happy.
Recovering from anxiety disorder is a gradual process, learning coping skills is the first step taken towards wellness.
Couple-counseling can be a good idea
Anxiety disorder can have a huge impact on a relationship. Your partner’s anxiety might be centered on their insecurity, self doubt and fear, which can affect your relationship.
When your partner is battling with anxiety, you might feel completely powerless. Research has shown that anxiety can trigger depression. So, relationship counseling can help your bond to revive, it can help you to:
- Reduce tension in the relationship
- Focus on problem-solving
- Develop better communication
- Resolve conflict productively
Seek treatment intervention for a better life
Anxiety can interfere in your life but it can be cured by treatment. Seeking treatment at the earliest can help you in bringing your life back on track.
If you or a loved one is suffering from any mental health disorder or a co-occurring condition, you can contact Medical concierge for immediate assistance. We can help you in dealing with your predicament. We are the best mental illness treatment centers across California, providing a wide spectrum of mental health disorder treatments including inpatient and outpatient treatment programs.
For further information call us today at our 24/7 helpline number 877-636-0042.