Anxiety is a brutal battle that the person fights every single day, it is relentless and exhausting.
If your partner has anxiety here’s some light thrown on the subject for you and some tips on how you can help the person you love.
If you’re going to go to battle, know what you’re fighting against.
Anxiety is a battle of our mind, it quite literally is the mind battling the mind, it is exhausting, to say the least.
If you want to be with someone who has anxiety you really do need to educate yourself, as to say you will stay with someone and then a few months down the line decide you can’t cope is just another attack on their mind when they lose you, so if you decide to stay great, if you decide you can’t cope be honest with them and don’t be ashamed it was too much for you, as living a lie is much worse.
Sometimes there is nothing you can do, and you have to accept this.
When a panic attack begins there is nothing you can do to stop it, it has to run its course, with anxiety you can do things to stop it, but sometimes that has to run its course too.
Be patient, watch out for any triggers, give your partner encouragement, be loving, stay calm and keep the environment as calm as you possibly can.
Learn everything you can about your partner’s condition.
Do your research the internet has many resources and there are plenty of books on the subject.
Make an appointment with your partner’s counsellor and ask their advice on what you can do to support your partner, do not ask them questions about your partner and make it clear you are there asking what you can do to help, and you are not there to pry.
The worst thing you can do is shame us about our anxiety.
Telling someone ‘to get over it’ is without doubt one of the most damaging sentences that can be said.
If someone with anxiety could ‘get over it’ they would and it’s thoughtless and downright rude to say it.
If you hear someone saying that or something similar to your partner, set them straight in no uncertain terms, hearing you defend them goes a long way and people need to understand that words do so much damage.
We know how much of a burden our anxiety is, and we do not need a reminder.
I had someone say to me ‘your partner is a saint putting up with you’, exit one so-called friend.
We know all too well that we put extra stress on a relationship, but quite frankly it is up to the two of you how your relationship is and progresses.
Far too many people believe they have a right to an opinion.
Tough love is not giving love to someone with anxiety, it is just like feeling kicked whilst we are down.
Having a backup plan will make your partner feel a little easier when out in public.
Anxiety has no respect for time or place and out fear is if this happens in public it’s embarrassing to us and makes the situation worse, that is why you find so many who have anxiety not going out in public.
My partner and I have a code word for when my anxiety levels are rising, and he is very adept at getting us out of the situation and away to a quiet place or even ending the social situation and taking me home.
Do not speak about your partner’s anxiety unless explicitly given permission to do so.
There is such stigma around mental illness, and it doesn’t appear to be changing as fast as it should be.
This is a difficult one as you will feel a desire to explain what is going on but at the same time respect your partners right to privacy, this is something you will need to discuss together, and be prepared for some negative behavior from those that have zero understanding, and far too much to say!
Sometimes you will be the trigger. Do not take this personally.
Do not take it personally that something you said has triggered us off, you can not nor do we expect you to live a life of walking on eggshells.
Don’t blame yourself for saying something that you felt needed to be said, being in a relationship has its own root of anxiety and that applies to both partners.
Never forget that we love you.
We do love you, we may not always show it, that’s the anxiety battle going on in our minds and we are aware that sometimes our actions can be hurtful.
If we hurt you, tell us, this is not a one-sided relationship.
We know you are our biggest supporter and you cheer us on as we win each battle, and that is one of the reasons we love you so much.
I hope this helps you in some way to understand your partner’s anxiety, from a woman who lives it every day.