If you have a loved one in your life who is struggling with anxiety, here are 7 ways to support your anxious partner.
It isn’t easy living with anxiety. Even if it’s not you, seeing your partner suffer from anxiety can be difficult. You can feel the burden experienced by your loved ones during the onset of their condition. Consequently, it might also take a toll on your mental health and well-being. But, anxiety shouldn’t break your relationship or prevent you from making the most out of it.
By understanding anxiety in general, you can connect better with your partner and help them recover.
No worries – I’m here to help.
Plus I founded a groundbreaking video course called The Anxiety Cure.
I love sharing insights and strategies to help people to be happier and calmer – especially during challenging times.
So I put together this article with a range of ideas to help you learn how to support your anxious partner – so you can keep your relationship strong.
Being with an anxious partner can be challenging. However, as ridiculous as it may sound on your part, relying on each other through relationship dependency might do the trick in saving your relationship. Despite the number of codependency myths that surround it, you and your partner can benefit from relationship dependency in many ways.
For starters, anxiety is a mental disorder that involves excessive amounts of fear, restlessness, worry, dread, and doubt. People suffering from anxiety often have difficulty performing daily activities due to intrusive thoughts.
It’d be better to know the anxiety symptoms so you can help your partner recover from them. Listed below are some of its most common signs:
One of the most common symptoms of anxiety is apathy. It refers to a lack of motivation to do anything or a refusal to get things done. Stress can also make a person feel like a hollow shell, demotivated, and emotionally detached from other people. Lastly, anxious people usually find the activities they loved before bleak and uninteresting.
Wanting to keep to oneself occasionally is common. However, getting highly distressed in the company of others may indicate several mental conditions, like anxiety. Notably, an anxious person may frequently exhibit social withdrawal or detachment from other people, even their families, and partners.
Another common sign of anxiety is agoraphobia. It’s characterized by the incapacitating fear experienced by anxious people that prevents them from leaving their comfort zones. Stress and other stressful events can also trigger the brain to produce excessive amounts of norepinephrine – also known as the ‘fight or flight’ hormone.
Anxious people often have a hard time managing their emotions. Specifically, they’re more prone to feel disproportionate anger, resentment, and loathing toward other people and themselves. It’s also difficult for them to control their temper, and they may explode in anger when triggered.
If you’re going out with an anxious person, know that they have a tendency to make more mistakes during your relationship. Chances are, worried people might mishandle the relationship or make rash decisions due to intrusive thoughts and anxiety. It’d be better to help them seek professional treatment and undergo recovery processes if that happens.
While being with an anxious partner can be an emotional rollercoaster ride, leaving them might not solve anything. Instead, it may only make them feel depressed and lonely, further worsening their situation. If you’re determined to help them get through it, there are plenty of alternatives and options you can consider.
Listed below are some simple yet efficient ways you can help support an anxious partner.
Some of the most important things you can do to help a loved one get through anxiety include identifying the problem and addressing it. First, it’s crucial to monitor their behavior once you notice red flags in their actions and decisions.
After that, you can tell them about it and ask what the problem is. However, note that they may not immediately accept what you’re saying. Not because they’re in denial, but most people struggling with psychological conditions often have no idea of what they’re experiencing.
They might even consider those unusual behaviors as natural responses to stressful events. When that happens, it’d be better to encourage them to visit a psychologist or a psychiatrist to get checked and avoid self-diagnosis.
Ignoring the signs of anxiety won’t do any good to your loved one. Instead, it’s best to approach them and talk about it as early as possible to prevent any worse-case scenarios.
After getting checked by a professional, you can discuss the essential things needed for your partner’s recovery with the psychologist. It can include creating a comprehensive recovery scheme consisting of long-term and short-term plans, lists of action courses, and other rehabilitation alternatives.
Besides that, you can also talk to your partner about establishing boundaries and expectations to keep them guided throughout the recovery process. Doing this can also help you identify the risk factors that would trigger their condition and avoid them.
When helping your anxious partner, it’s always best to be honest with them and give unbiased opinions regarding their recovery. It’d do no good to shower them with sugarcoated words. Instead, they might appreciate it more if you tell them what you think is wrong about their actions. Since they may not notice it immediately, it’ll be your responsibility to keep their behavior in check and make your partner aware of it.
Plus, maintaining honesty can develop their trust in you and strengthen your relationship. Your partner will also be more open to you if they see that you accept them regardless of the problem.
Not all people have a high tolerance for stressful events and distressing experiences. People also use different coping mechanisms, making it harder to know when they can recover from a specific psychological condition. In such aspects, it’d be better to give your partner time to heal at their own pace and not pressure them too much.
It’s normal to feel impatient and pressed about their recovery, but pressuring your partner to recuperate immediately can affect their rehabilitation. Nagging can add to your partner’s stress, so it’s wise to avoid doing it.
Instead, you can help them process their emotions and accept their fears. It’d also help to make small efforts and use kind words whenever they feel down. By doing this, you can effectively help your partner get through anxiety.
Aside from allowing them to heal naturally, assuring your anxious partner that everything will turn out fine may also do the trick in improving their disposition. Rather than focusing on the ‘you can do just fine’ mindset, it’d help to approach things from an ‘I’m here with you’ attitude.
Since people struggling with anxiety are more vulnerable to emotional distress and other psychological disturbances, it’s best to bolster their motivation and morale. You can do that by building trust with each other, encouraging them to establish stronger relationships with other people, appreciating their efforts, and showing kind gestures.
You can also consider doing the following with them:
Through these, you can effectively boost your partner’s morale and keep them motivated to pursue recovery.
Your partner’s fears may seem ungrounded and baseless to you, but they’re essential to them. While you may occasionally find it hard to understand what’s happening inside your partner’s head, it’s important to constantly validate their feelings and distress. Invalidating their emotions is a big no-no in this stage.
Telling them harsh comments or ignoring their worries can leave them frustrated and ashamed of their emotions. Instead, you can say that their feelings are authentic and valid and should be dealt with head-on rather than repressing them. It’d also be better to acknowledge their distress without reinforcing irrational thoughts to speed up their recovery.
Anxiety can have a negative impact not just on your partner but also on your relationship. It can result in countless disagreements and rifts between you and your partner without proper care and attention. It might also become the center of your relationship and even dictate its success. It’d be better to know practical alternatives to help them recover from it in such aspects.
Psychological therapy and sessions could greatly benefit your partner and are among the most beneficial options. Seeking help from registered psychologists, psychiatrists, and counselors may also help cure them.
Psychotherapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), and counseling sessions can also help manage their symptoms. Additionally, you can consider attending relationship counseling to strengthen your relationship and learn how you can better connect with them during the recovery process.
Your partner may also ask for a recommendation to take medications to manage their anxiety. Some medications, like antidepressants, bupropion, benzodiazepines, beta-blockers, and buspirone (BuSpar), are the most common treatments for anxiety.
Anxiety significantly impacts one’s thoughts, emotions, behavior, and normal functioning. It can hinder them from living a meaningful and free life. Not just that, but it can also affect your relationship with an anxious partner if not addressed immediately. In such aspects, it’d be better to know how you can support your partner during such times.
Consulting a counselor or psychologist can help the two of you. Therapy, counseling sessions, and medications could help manage its symptoms and prevent worse-case scenarios.
You can also consider the above mentioned considerations and tips when helping your partner recuperate from it. Although it can be scary at first, encouraging your partner to seek professional help could help them heal faster.
Explore my research based video course: The Anxiety Cure.