If your partner is struggling with anxiety, it can take a toll on your relationship. If you don’t know how to help your partner and help yourself cope with all these negative emotions brought about by anxiety, it will destroy what you have as a couple. In the study of psychology on mental illnesses, anxiety is the leading problem of adults in the United States, and it kills their daily life functioning, including their relationships with loved ones.
With that, here are some tips for you to be able to help your partner while he or she is going through anxiety.
Know This Battle With Anxiety
According to Melissa Berschauer LMFT “Anxiety can be downright scary when the symptoms take on bodily sensations. Some people have many physical symptoms and do not realize that what they are experiencing is anxiety.” Anxiety is a battle between you and your mind, and it is a difficult one to combat. When your partner is suffering from anxiety, sometimes he or she cannot control what happens to his or her emotions, and it can also affect you. Ask yourself if you are ready for this kind of relationship and if you are willing to stick around and support your partner as he or she goes through this. Be honest if you cannot handle a situation like this and don’t be embarrassed. Some people are just not capable of handling severe cases.
Acceptance Will Ease Some Of The Worries
Sometimes, your partner might have panic attacks, and you couldn’t do anything to stop it. Panic attacks need to run its course, and you could only be supportive and understanding in times like these. Panic attacks can be prevented, but sometimes, during a stressful day, your partner might forget his or her techniques. Remember that “Anxiety is a broad categories of symptoms, while panic attacks are a specific way in which anxiety can express or manifest itself.” Dr. Chantal Gagnon PhD LMHC said.
Educate Yourself About The Issue
Understanding what your partner is going through can help you be a better partner and avoid hurting your partner’s feeling. Anxiety is no joke, and it’s not easy to ‘get it over with.’ You could be more patient with your partner since you know that he or she is suffering from an issue.
Resist The Shaming
If anxiety prevention is as simple as ‘just get over with it’ or ‘just relax’ then your partner would have done those things, but it is more severe than you thought. Making your partner ashamed of what he or she is going through will not help him or her to get better, but make the situation worse.
Reminding Your Partner About The Issue Won’t Help
Your partner is going through enough and telling them or making them feel that they are a burden to you would not do any good. If you cannot accept your partner and make him or her feel worse, you don’t have to stick around. You can leave anytime if you think you cannot handle the situation.
Prepare For A Back-Up Plan With Your Loved One When Going Out
If you know your partner is suffering from anxiety, then you could make preventive actions, especially when you plan to go out in public. Panic attacks don’t have a specific time to attack; it could happen anytime, anywhere, and even in public. Devise a plan with your partner so you know if a panic attack will happen and if you need to go out or go somewhere quiet until the attack passes.
Don’t Push Your Loved One Into Talking When Not Comfortable
Mental illness is not a discussion over a coffee break. This is a serious matter, and some people discriminate other people who have a mental illness. If your partner is uncomfortable with you sharing sensitive information about them, you have to respect that. Wait for him or her to permit you to talk about his or her anxiety to other people. Wait until he or she is comfortable with that information.
Don’t Take The Attacks Personally
Panic attacks can happen anywhere, and sometimes you can be the triggered of these attacks. This doesn’t mean you did something to trigger your partner or that your partner has some anger towards you. You should know that they could not help what they feel, and you only have to support them and reassure them that the attacks will pass and everything will be back to the way they were again. Wait patiently until your partner feels better.
Patience Is Golden
You can never be 100% prepared for panic attacks. Anxiety, just like everything else, needs time and practice for you to get used to it. You have to be patient for you cannot rush everything, especially mental illness. This can be a life-long process, and it’s okay. You need to reassure your partner that no matter what, you are by his or her side.
Your Loved One Loves You Amidst The Anxiety
“Anxiety is an adaptation of that vital and fundamental fear response. Sometimes anxiety will tell you that the worst is true.” Kristine Tye, MA, LMFT explains. Anxiety can come from rage and anger, and you might feel that your partner’s love for you slowly disappears but rest assure that the love will never fail even though sometimes they fail to make you think they love you and they appreciate all the things you do for them.