Because your partner deserves all the love, understanding, and support, you can give.
Under no circumstance is severe anxiety a positive thing. The constant panic attacks and moments living in perpetual fear are debilitating. Not only is the person affected but the effects extend to the members of the family, friends, and significant others.
The Reality behind the Disorder
Blaming and shaming someone with anxiety will only worsen the condition. The first step in helping a partner cope with his or her anxiety is to understand what the disorder is and how it affects your significant other. Remember, if your partner had a choice, he or she would choose not to have the illness in the first place.
The Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) has stated that anxiety, in general, affects about 18% of the United States’ entire population which means that the disorder, along with its variations, is considered the most prevalent mental illness in the country. The development of anxiety ranges from a complex series of risk factors that include genetics, life situations, personal experiences, trauma, and brain chemistry.
A Spark of Hope
More than the regular sessions with a therapist and the daily dose of medicines, anxiety can be treated with adequate assistance and acceptance from loved ones. The presence of a sturdy and dependable support system is more efficient than any kind of medication available.
All Aboard the Support Train
As someone who’s in a relationship with someone who has anxiety, you also carry half of the burden. Things will get frustrating and confusing at times. It might even reach the point of finding yourself walking out the door – but don’t turn the knob just yet. There are still a lot of things that you can do to pull your partner up from the puddle and rise again.
Listening is therapeutic. Just listen. Allow your partner to vent out all their thoughts and feelings that are running inside their heads at full speed. Listen attentively without judgments and fight the urge to give your opinions or comments about every single thought. Sometimes, all an anxious person needs is someone they can talk to, to ventilate all the jumbled thoughts building up inside. Listening can make a significant difference in how your partner is feeling. If your partner asks for advice, that’s the time that you provide one but never give it unsolicited.
- Have Sufficient Patience
Anxious people are prone to jumping to conclusions, that’s just how their brains are wired. Instead of confrontation, they would result in having a hundred different dreadful scenarios inside their heads, assuming the worst that could happen. But that doesn’t mean that their hunches are not valid because some of them are sometimes legitimate.
Anxious people are aware of this behavior. They also know that they might not be correct in interpreting other people’s sentiments. Instead of getting angry and being offensive, converse with your partner with composure and patience filled with sympathy. This will calm down your partner’s anxiety and will lessen theoretical and arrogant assumptions.
- Be Present at Therapy
Have time to accompany your partner during therapy. Showing interest in how your partner talks about his or her anxiety will provide better perception. Offering to go with your partner is a massive deal for him or her. This will assure the significant other that you are there to support and further understand the condition, thereby encouraging treatment.
- Be Sensitive
Mental illnesses have to be taken seriously and should not be trivialized in any way. Anxious people know that their fears are often exaggerated and irrational, but their knowledge will not stop the disorder from incapacitating their rational thoughts. Furthermore, be sensitive to what triggers your partner. Recent deaths in the family can contribute to panic attacks especially if the person is triggered by events that are similar to the cause of the death like cars is to roadkill accidents or guns is to gunshots.
- Be Kind to Yourself
You can be affected profoundly by a loved one’s anxiety disorder which means that you shouldn’t disregard your psychological health. If you feel like you have stretched to your boiling point, take some time off to recharge. Find ways on how you can deal with your stress. You are not selfish; you are just being considerate of your well-being.
The road to healing is never easy. It will test your limits and break your spirit, but if you manage to surpass the difficulties you’d get your life back and your partner as well. The best way to help your partner overcome his or her anxiety disorder is to ask them. Always ask and never assume.