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How to Deal With A Lover Who Is Suffering From An Anxiety Disorder

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Anxiety disorders refer to a wide variety of psychiatric disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), panic disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). The signs and symptoms are uncontrollable and so severe that it negatively impacts the person’s life. Unfortunately, it is a very common condition that affects approximately 25 million Americans.

As difficult as it may be for a person diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, how hard do you think it can be to date or live with someone who suffers from anxiety attacks? To be with someone who is constantly depressed, afraid, or panicking?

What you can do is to prepare yourself. You have to understand what the person is going through somehow, to be able to accept the reality of the situation and not fall apart as well.

Here are ten tips that may help you deal when you’re dating someone who has an anxiety disorder:

#1. Prepare to face difficulties

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Photo credit: Basiccure.com

Every relationship go through difficult times, but it can be reassuring to know that somehow, those problems won’t last and it can be resolved eventually. However, in people with anxiety disorders, you’ll have to remember that you may have to help your partner deal with his/her fears and problems constantly and repeatedly. This can take a toll on your relationship; therefore, it’s best to know your limits so you won’t let their anxieties ruin your life too.

#2. What they need is support and not judgement

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You can expect other people to judge your partner, it’s one ugly trait that can be attributed to human nature. But you can’t do that, no…not you. Your partner needs someone to rely on when things get rough. Again, it may be difficult, but you can try to remember the things you love most about that person and why you want to spend your life with him/her.

#3. Know that you will be judged too

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People may judge and question your own sanity as well. Don’t let their words get in to you. You’re going to have to learn to ignore those people.

#4. You either suppress your own anxieties or just let it go

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There might come a time when you’d feel burnt out and extremely stressed, but you just can’t let your partner know because you’re afraid that it would only worsen his/her condition. Although sometimes, when you show your partner your own anxieties, you also expose your vulnerability. This may help your partner realize that he/she is not alone.

#5. Anxiety can be contagious

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Photo credit: anxietyrelief.com

Like misery, anxiety loves company too. Dealing with other people’s stress and problems can be very stressful for you too. Eventually, you may find yourself managing you and your partner’s anxieties. When the time comes, don’t be ashamed of asking for help.

#6. Add some drop of alcohol…what’ll you get?

Man with tattoos

Photo credit: Alexander Trinitatov

Some people with anxiety disorders turn to alcohol and substance abuse. Remember that has never been a solution to any problem but a temporary, useless escape from reality that can only make things worse. Try not to get stuck in this kind of situation. Moderate, occasional drinking is acceptable though.

#7. Find a way to deal with panic attacks

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Photo credit: Inquisitr

Prepare yourself for uncomfortable situations, particularly when your partner experiences a panic attack in a public place. Make sure that you know how to react and respond if he/she starts bawling and cursing loudly without any reason. Love and understanding may help, that way you won’t feel embarrassed and you also won’t feel guilty after (if you were indeed embarrassed).

#8.Patience can help you get by

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Photo credit: Momybaby.net

It takes a lot of hard work to make a relationship last, anxiety disorder or not. Remember that love requires a lot of patience and nurturing…especially if your partner has an anxiety disorder.

#9. Sometimes all you need to do is…nothing.

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Photo credit: YurTopic.com

There may come a time when you can’t do anything for our partner, except to listen. You have to learn to accept that, specially when they just want to be left alone. Just reassure them that you’re always there if they need you, then give them some space.

#10.Remember that it’s not your fault

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Photo credit: Shutterstock

Do not blame yourself for their anxieties. It is a psychological condition and it has nothing to do with you.

H/T: Medscape, APA

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