The 2019 Anxiety Conference opened up the eyes of all the participants. Did you know that 6.8 million Americans have GAD or General Anxiety Disorder? About 6 million have panic disorder. These numbers were reported by ADAA or Anxiety and Depression Association of America just this May 2020. It is an alarming number. That means people are living their day to day lives with worries and fears that are not supposed to be happening. Can they control it as the ultimate question?…
Getting diagnosed with an anxiety disorder does not mean that your life becomes easy. Yes, you have a name that sums up all the emotions that you have been feeling all these years, but it cannot get rid of them anytime soon. Besides medication, you can only depend on therapy sessions to be able to function like a regular person.
Now, things have gotten a little tricky for me ever since everyone has been advised to stay at home because of the COVID-19 outbreak. A lot of businesses have been forced to shut down for a while, including my digital marketing agency. I cannot visit my family in another state due to travel restrictions, so I feel lonely at home. Worst of all, I cannot meet my therapist in person because she has moved to a family ranch in Montana since the government has announced the home quarantine policy.
My anxiety level had gone overboard, and I found it challenging to turn off my brain during the first few days of self-isolation. However, I woke up one day with the realization that I already know how to handle my emotions now more than ever. My therapist cannot continue helping me due to the circumstances, but I have gone to therapy long enough to remember what I should do whenever my anxiety attacks. While it has taken me a few more days to get over it, I no longer feel anxious about the coronavirus as much as before.
Here is how I have dealt with anxiety amid a pandemic.
Stay Away From The News
Tuning in to the news channels is vital to understand everything that you can do to prevent COVID-19 from spreading. The reports can also give you an idea of how long you need to remain isolated in the house. There is no other way to go around it—not until the experts can create an effective cure for the patients.
Despite the significance of being in the know, hearing updates about the pandemic often is not ideal for an anxious brain. What I have decided to do, therefore, is to choose one day every week when I will get the news. I prefer reading articles more than listening to news anchors on TV so that I can pick what pieces of information I can absorb.
Clean The House
I have never cleaned my house as thoroughly as I have done over the last few weeks. Every morning, I would get my rag and disinfecting solution to scrub my window ledges, doors, and doorknobs. I would also vacuum the rooms every other day, although dust does not collect on the floor too much these days. Even the walls have been washed and disinfected, and I have been able to organize my closet.
Has cleaning helped dampen my anxiety? Yes, of course. I find that there are so many chores I can do around the house daily. The time goes by unnoticed when you are cleaning everything as if you have guests coming over later that day. I don’t mind the task at all since cleaning has become my exercise and helped distract me from my negative thoughts.
Admittedly, my techniques are not 100% foolproof. Some days, I still don’t want to leave my bed or turn on the TV, afraid to hear new details about the pandemic. But then again, I try to remind myself that being anxious won’t help me survive through these odd times.
While my anxiety may never go away, at least two things can keep me from dwelling too much in my head amid a pandemic. That’s more than I can ask for, I must say.…
It is a good thing I came with my dad on that 2017 Anxiety Conference for people with testicular cancer. I learned something in that conference that I think no layman person can explain to my dad or to me. He survived testicular cancer in 2017, and he has been cancer-free for years now. What was difficult for him over the years, which was much more challenging to overcome than cancer, was his mind. He was plagued by “cancer of the mind,” as I call it back then. Oh, yes. He had anxiety. And who would not be anxious? He had cancer!…
Overcoming anxiety is a great challenge. Persons with such condition cannot do this alone. They need all the support and understanding from the people around them. And as a partner of a person with such state, the spotlight will immediately turn to you. Below are some facts about anxiety that you need to know:
If You’re Going To Battle, Then Know Your Enemy.
It is a universal fact that the battle against anxiety can be stressful, especially if your partner is the one involved. In this case, as the partner of a person with anxiety, you should ascertain your capabilities, strengths, and limitations. Be honest with yourself. Ask yourself if you can go through with the ordeal.
Sometimes, There Is Nothing You Can Do. Accept It.
You need to accept the fact that when anxiety takes its toll on your partner, there’s nothing you can do about it. You just have to let it be. Frustration and even resistance to the fact may come in, but fighting against it is useless. You have to accept the fact that you can do nothing about it. All you can do is be there for your partner. “Partners may find themselves in roles they do not want, such as the compromiser, the protector, or the comforter,” says Kate Thieda, MS, LPCA, NCC.
Learn Everything You Can About Your Partner’s Condition.
You can deal with anxiety effectively if you learn enough about it. Do research and talk to mental disorder professionals for further insight about the condition.
The Worst Thing You Can Do Is Shame Your Partner For Being Anxious.
“People who struggle with anxiety may show it in different ways,” says Helen Odessky, PsyD. With that, avoid making statements that may put your partner’s anxiety condition as though it is not a serious mental health issue. This will not only upset him but it can also trigger the anxiety as well.
Your Partner Doesn’t Need Constant Reminding Of The Burden Brought About By His Or Her Condition.
Though anxiety can trigger frustration and despair within the household, still, as a partner of a person who has the condition, you should not make the burden known to him. If such idea comes to his knowledge, he may not take it nicely and lead to another anxiety attack.
A Backup Plan Will Help Your Partner Feel Safe.
Always ready yourself on how to deal with your partner whenever the attack takes place. This is especially necessary for public areas. Your backup plan must be low-key and not apparent to others. The important thing is to keep your partner from prying eyes, make him or her feel safe, and maybe, just go home.
Do Not Speak About Your Partner’s Anxiety Unless You Have Permission.
Do not discuss the condition to anyone unless you are allowed to do it. Anxiety is a mental disorder and people have different perceptions when it comes to this topic. It is better not to discuss your partner’s issues, especially to other people.
Sometimes, You Will Be The Trigger. Do Not Take This Personally.
Since you two are living in the same household, there is a great chance that you will be the cause of his trigger. Instead of taking this negatively and riding with the situation, it is best that you calm down. Times like this, it is the anxiety talking, not your partner. Let it go. “Even in the most loving relationships,” Carolyn Daitch, PhD says, “if one partner has anxiety, it can really strain the relationship and dampen the trust and the intimacy, and it can make for frustration when neither gets their needs met.”
Managing Anxiety Takes Time And Practice. Your Patience Is Much Appreciated.
The anxiety treatment process goes a long way. Therefore you have to support and assist your partner through the whole journey patiently.
Never Forget That Your Partner Loves You.
Despite everything, make sure that your partner will feel your warmth and love. This will assure him that no matter what, he has someone to turn to especially when the situation gets tough.
Successful anxiety condition treatment has to do with the support of the affected person’s significant other, immediate family, and real friends. These people do not need other’s persecution; they need understanding and compassion. And as a significant other, it is your initial job to provide that for your partner.…
“It is important to note that everyone has some relationship anxiety, and that’s to be expected,” reiterated Dr. Amanda Zayde, a clinical psychologist at the Montefiore Medical Center. When anxiety strikes you and your partner, expect that things in your relationship will turn upside down. This disorder will not only change your partner but the unity and intimacy between the two of you. Numerous couples have separated ways because of anxiety, and this doesn’t have to happen to you too. You and your partner can overcome anxiety if you work together hand-in-hand and talk things through. However, before anything else, you need to equip yourself with knowledge about anxiety and its potential effect on relationships.
Causes of Anxiety In Relationships
There are numerous risk factors in the relationship that can contribute to relationship anxiety. The intensity of the condition will depend on what has caused it. Sometimes, it’s because of something big or even something unnoticeable but a core entity in your relationship. An example is what Dr. Fran Walfish, Beverly Hills child, parenting, and relationship psychotherapist said: “separation anxiety, or the worry that your partner is going to leave you when he or she gets angry with you — fear of abandonment — is one of the most common causes of anxiety in relationships.”
Below are some of the commonly identified factors that correlate to having an anxiety disorder.
Loss Of Trust In A Relationship
Being uncertain to possible future relationships can cause anxiety. People with bad experiences regarding relationships tend to distance themselves from the idea, avoiding forming relationships altogether. When they are finally in a relationship, they can’t help but create scenarios that might happen and ruin the relationship. They have this fear that the previous incident will happen again. As to what Alana Barlia, LMHC says, “anxiety can cause strain on a relationship, and often will if it is not treated properly.”
Loss Of Trust: General
Once trust is broken, you will indeed have a hard time building it back up. Not only does it affect the unity between you and your partner, but also with your other relationships. All you think about is the lost trust in your significant other, which quickly takes over you, affecting the way you live your life and your daily routines.
Walking On Eggshells
Getting into fights with your partner most of the time will not only scar you emotionally or even physically, but will also bring you anxiety. Since conflicts occur that often, every time you see your partner, the gears in your mind will immediately turn and the fight or flight senses will kick in. Instead of ironing out the wrinkles in your relationship, you’re more focused on avoiding them.
A struggling relationship consists of fighting, broken trust, regrets, and so many more. In conflicts like these, it’s easy for negativity to take place. No matter how much both parties try to ignore it, in one way or the other, that negativity will keep them pondering.
Stress is one of the main reasons why anxiety may surface. It may come from relationships, work, or just any factor that can trigger restlessness, like the bills or even the children. Being stressed all the time turns any person into someone they are not. Acquiring an anxiety disorder is a typical result of such stress.
Below are the typical signs of anxiety:
- Unable to sleep
- Tensed muscles
Anxiety is a pain, primarily when it negatively affects your relationship with loved ones. As I mentioned above, relationship anxiety can come in all shapes and forms and can be influenced by some risk factors. However, I believe that anxiety shouldn’t take over your life and chain you away from connecting with others, especially with your partner. In my next post, I will be providing possible solutions to relationship anxiety.
In my previous blog post on relationship anxiety, I gave risk factors or causes that contribute to stress in relationships. Whether they’re big or small, numerous elements can taint and break the connection between you and your partner. However, there are still many ways to lessen the anxiety in your relationship. As I have promised before, I will expound on solutions to relationship anxiety.
How To Stop Relationship Anxiety
Relationships can be complicated at times. Before you make your decision on how to deal with your complicated relationship, ask yourself the following:
- Is the relationship worth fighting for?
- Can you change yourself for the sake of the relationship?
The first question is probably the most common question people in a bad relationship ask themselves. Looking for the answer to this question can be very difficult, with the quality of your relationship right now, but you need to be honest and sincere. Because according to a licensed clinical expert, Noah Clyman “the biggest misconception about anxiety is that it’s to be feared and avoided at all costs.”
The second question is a tough one. You need to accept the fact that you have no control over other people, especially your significant other. You cannot change them for your sake or the relationship’s. The only person you can change is you. So ask yourself: What do I need to do? How can I make things better for myself?
Ways To Control Relationship Anxiety
The only way to save your relationship is to control your anxiety and aim for overall healing. Below are some tips on how to successfully get over relationship anxiety.
Exercise And Other Anxiety Reduction Strategies
Physical activities like working out, jogging, cycling and so many more can help eliminate anxiety. It will divert your mind away from the conflict and even boost your mood since exercise is known to activate a person’s happy hormones.
Sometimes, you just have to start everything from the beginning. Work your way up until the trust and confidence are back. Like what Kathleen Smith, PhD, LPC said in her article, “going silent can calm you down temporarily, but it is likely to increase your partner’s anxiety or anger.” Be excited about what’s ahead for both of you and don’t let the past affect your relationship now.
Be aware of your partner’s needs. List them down and do your best to provide them for your loved one. Expect nothing from him to avoid frustrations but be thankful for whatever he can provide for you.
Staying Mentally Busy
Sometimes, the mind plays tricks on people. This is especially true during idle moments. The typical effect of such is that you become more critical, hard to please, and more prone to finding faults in your partner. Negative thinking can lead to big misunderstandings. To avoid this, keep your mind busy. Read, watch TV, write, and do what interests you. Doing so will keep you out of trouble.
Be Physically Affectionate
Physical contact like hugging is an act that can comfort and soothe your partner. It is a way of telling the other that no matter how bad things go, you are still with them, which can lighten the situation. “Long-lasting healthy relationships are centered on equality, appreciation and love,” psychologist Kelsey M. Latimer, Ph.D., CEDS-S, founder of Hello Goodlife said.
Anxiety in a relationship may be a regular thing, but it shouldn’t be tolerated. Instill in your mind that the problem in the relationship is the anxiety and not the person you love. So instead of blaming everything on yourself or your partner, find the cause and face it head-on.…
Anxiety is an aversive inner state that people seek to avoid or escape. In layman’s term, it is being worried or getting concerned, preoccupied, getting tense over a person, situation or something. Humans seek to reduce anxiety through defense mechanisms. This was introduced by Sigmund Freud in his theory of Psychoanalysis explaining that defense mechanisms can be psychologically healthy or maladaptive, but tension reduction is the overall goal in both cases.…
Have you ever heard someone say “I’m a bit OCD” when referring to the cleanliness of their house? Or when they are lining the things on their work desk up in a particular way? Well, chances are they’re actually not. First of all, because Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a disorder which means you can’t be “just a little bit” of it, and secondly because OCD is so much more than this. Chances are if you were experiencing OCD you would certainly know it!
What is OCD?
OCD is an anxiety disorder where a person experiences obsessive, anxious thoughts and compulsions. These thoughts are repetitive and very difficult to get rid of and this leads to the compulsion which is the desire to engage in certain behaviors to address these thoughts. For example, if we’ve left the house in a hurry we may worry that we left the front door unlocked. We might even go back to check it and generally, after this, we feel better. With OCD though someone may have to check the front door 30 times before they go to work just to make sure in their mind that it is truly locked and they might do this every morning. Often people with OCD will develop daily routines like this. Considering how many things the average person can worry about in a day you can see how OCD could really disrupt your life. According to “some people who have had OCD for a long time may stop resisting their compulsive drives because they feel it’s just easier to give in to them.”
If people who are experiencing OCD are unable to carry out these compulsions (or checking behaviors)they can have a horrible feeling that something awful will happen to them or someone they love. They also often experience shame around these checking behaviors and as a result, try to do them secretly which can lead to later diagnosis, isolation and even depression.…
Words matter, especially when it comes to talking to someone with depression and anxiety. If you are a true friend or a member of the family, your words must be as helpful and supportive as they can.
Depression is a difficult condition that will require cooperation and support of family and friends. It is a mental illness that makes it harder for the patient to take action towards the road to getting better. Anxiety is also a mental health issue that is a challenge to handle. This is why it is important for the people around the depressed and anxious person to be careful of what they say. You have to avoid some statements that can worsen the situation. As what Ilene S. Cohen, PhD used to say “it’s hard to be yourself when you’re constantly worried about how other people will perceive what you have to say and do.”
Get over it!
Getting over a physical or mental health disorder is just plain implausible. No one can tell you to get over your heart disease or diabetes, right? This is the same when it comes to depression and anxiety. “The presence of anxiety, of a depressive mood or of a conflict within the mind, does not stamp any individual as having a psychological problem because, as a matter of fact, these qualities are indigenous to the species,” says Charles Goodstein, MD, clinical professor of psychiatry at NYU Medical Center in New York City.
This statement might be the worst you can say to someone with mental health disorders. It wasn’t the choice of the patient to have depression and anxiety in the first place. What you can do instead is to ask “What can I do for you?” and be willing to help.
A lot of people have it worse than you.
People with depression and anxiety probably know this already and feel guilty about it. You don’t need to make them feel worse and caption their nightmare. Understand that every person has different levels of resilience in problems. If the person feels truly down, be explicit in saying that you care for him or her and that there’s nothing to be ashamed of feeling what he or she feels.
You can’t tell a person to stop feeling what and how they feel. It doesn’t work that way, especially when it comes to people with depression and anxiety. While they may be aware of what they must do, most of the time, they can’t really act on it. What can help is providing them a logical reason that can hopefully open their eyes and make things clearer. Suggest means or methods of treatment while providing support and understanding.
This is the statement that the American Psychiatric Association claims to be a derogatory language. This goes along with the words:
APA also believes that it is better to say that “a person has depression” rather than saying “that person is depressed”. The former shows that depression is only an aspect of the person’s life, while the latter seems to describe the person.
Just do something about it!
What makes depression and anxiety more difficult is that the disorders can immobilize a person. The actions of a person with depression and anxiety are usually the result of their uncontrollable feelings. Saying this statement is entirely vague. Instead, you can say, “Let’s talk to somebody who knows what to do if you are clueless on what you can do.” Remember, “it’s OK to make mistakes simply because it is impossible for humans not to make mistakes and experience some regret,” says Suma Chand, MPhil, PhD.
You don’t need medication; you can pull through this.
Only say this if you are a mental health professional. While there are indeed other treatments that work for depression and anxiety, including exercise and psychotherapy, there are cases when medication is necessary and considered “first aid”. Antidepressants can regulate hormonal imbalance that causes depression and anxiety. It will be needed for extreme situations.
Everything will be OK.
Yes, you believe that everything will be okay, but someone with depression and anxiety is vague in that aspect. Help him or her to stay positive and be encouraging by taking action. You can suggest something that you two can do together in order to show support. Simply let your presence be known.…
Let’s start by understanding what Anxiety is, what they symptoms are and what can cause it. Webster’s dictionary defines anxiety as:
- A state of uneasiness and apprehension, as about future uncertainties.
- A state of apprehension, uncertainty, and fear resulting from the anticipation of a realistic or fantasized threatening event or situation, often impairing physical and psychological functioning.
So simply put, it is an emotional state when one feels apprehensive. An example of apprehensive behavior is ‘worry’.…