Falling in love is a beautiful moment. It feels like all the stars and planets have suddenly aligned. Everything is brighter and being with your loved one feels like having the whole world in your arms. But when you’re dating someone who’s struggling with anxiety, you may feel like your world’s axis is at risk of tilting dangerously to the side.
Anxiety is indeed a pain in the (fill in the blanks!). According to a study made by Anxiety and Depression Association of America, anxiety is the most common mental disorder in the country. When you suffer from anxiety, you’re always in a constant state of fear and worry, which can take a toll on both your physical and mental health. Not only does it affect the person who’s suffering from it, but it also adds a deadweight to relationships with family, friends, and most especially, significant others. “Anxiety can cause strain on a relationship, and often will if it is not treated properly,” Alana Barlia, LMHC, a psychotherapist who specializes in mood disorders.
Loving someone with an anxiety disorder can be frustrating. Sometimes you’ll feel confused, or you’ll wonder if you should stay, but sticking together can mean the most to your partner. Continuous support from a significant other can calm an anxious mind and can genuinely help much more than a trip to the therapist or take medication.
Making The Battle Easier
“People who struggle with anxiety may show it in different ways,” says Helen Odessky, PsyD. So when you offer support to the one you love, it can set off a lot of weight on their shoulders. Dealing with anxiety is never easy, so you and your partner should always be ready for a life of roller coaster rides. Here are some tips and ways for you to help your loved one deal with anxiety.
Learning the symptoms, causes, effects, or anything about anxiety can help you way more than you think. Hugs and kisses aren’t always going to cut it. You need to have an idea of what your partner is going through to be able to adjust and assist him or her in coping.
Offer a listening ear as it can work wonders. Asking about how your partner feels or what’s going on in his head can make him feel better. Knowing that someone is willing to understand him can lift a heavy burden. You don’t need to write a list of ways to treat anxiety. Embrace your loved one with open arms and allow him to breathe his or her worries between the both of you.
Don’t Play The Therapist.
“Partners of loved ones with anxiety may find themselves angry, frustrated, sad, or disappointed that their dreams for what the relationship was going to be have been limited by anxiety.” That is according to says Kate Thieda, MS, LPCA, NCC. You’re their lover. Being with you shouldn’t feel like a trip to the clinic or hospital. Don’t assume that you know what your partner needs. Ask him how you can help and always listen carefully to his response. You can also encourage your partner to see a professional for treatment.
Recognize instances as to when you should be patient or when to challenge your loved one. Make your partner feel safe, but also remind your loved one that to progress, he needs to put in the effort. You and your partner are both in this together.
Never criticize your loved one for showing fear and worry. When you give a positive response, even at a trying time, he or she may want to be better and try to control the symptoms from escalating. Reassure your loved one that you’re in this together.Stay positive.