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How To Help My Girlfriend With Anxiety

Doubting Your Partners Feelings For You

How I Help My Girlfriend With Her Anxiety

Youve exchanged I love yous . They always seem happy to see you and make kind gestures, like bringing you lunch or walking out of their way to see you home.

But you still cant shake the nagging doubt: They dont really love me.

Maybe theyre slow to respond to physical affection. Or they dont reply to texts for several hours even a day. When they suddenly seem a little distant, you wonder if their feelings have changed.

Everyone feels this way from time to time, but these worries can become a fixation if you have relationship anxiety.

Wondering If You Matter To Your Partner

The most common expression of relationship anxiety relates to underlying questions of Do I matter? or Are you there for me?’ Robertson explains. This speaks to a fundamental need to connect, belong, and feel secure in a partnership.

For example, you might worry that:

  • your partner wouldnt miss you much if you werent around
  • they might not offer help or support if anything serious came up
  • they just want to be with you because of what you can do for them

Put An End To Enabling

You may not be aware of them, but enabling behaviors are common in relationships where a partner has anxiety, panic disorder, or another mental health condition. If your partner has anxiety, you may feel like you are being helpful if you are working to prevent them from from feeling any distress.

However, when you enable your partner, it prevents them from learning how to better manage their symptoms. It is your partner’s responsibility to work through that process and come to terms with their condition.

To stop enabling your partner, communicate with them about your needs and expectations.

If your partner refuses to seek or accept help, it’s important that you address these concerns with them. Keep in mind that you are really helping your partner when you support them in facing reality and encouraging them to learn how to cope with panic disorder.

Also Check: How To Conquer Social Anxiety

Managing Anxiety Takes Time And Practice Patience Is Greatly Appreciated

While I cannot speak for everyone, I regularly attend therapy where I talk about my most recent anxious moments and learn about cognitive behavioral therapy, a set of techniques used to manage negative thought processes, the very foundation of anxiety itself. Therapy is difficult and challenging, because you have to repeatedly wrestle with your anxiety to learn how to win. We get a lot of homework from our counselors as well. It is hard to cope with failure because perfectionism is in our blood. Be supportive of your partner both when they progress and regress. All battles are easier when you can face them with a partner.

Signs Of A Spouse With Anxiety

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Before you approach them, you need to look for the signs. Again, it can be tough to spot them at first because youve probably thought of them as natural parts of your spouses personality. But once you take a closer look, you may find that they are indicative of a serious problem. Symptoms of high-functioning anxiety include:

  • Persistent feelings of worry

Also Check: Does Ritalin Help With Anxiety

Seek Mental Health Support

If youre confused about this illness and want to understand your partner more, the best step at this point is to consult with a mental health professional. Let Kentucky Counseling Center help you. After talking to a therapist at KCC, maybe Individual Therapy or Couples Therapy, you can come out of this stronger and happier.

Get help if youre still feeling down or depressed after a couple of weeks.

Treatments for depression include psychological therapies and antidepressants.

You can refer yourself for psychological therapies like cognitive behavioural therapy or counselling on the NHS. You dont need a referral from your GP.

You can talk it through with your GP first if you prefer. Your GP can also tell you about antidepressants.

If you start to feel that your life isnt worth living or about harming yourself, get help straight away.

You can:

  • contact Samaritans on 116 123 for 24-hour confidential, non-judgemental emotional support

Checking Your Partners Texts

People with relationship anxiety often are not able to fully trust their partners, often due to past relationship trauma. The irony is that looking through your partners texts behind their back actually makes you untrustworthy! Instead of invading your partners privacy, you should try to open up a dialogue about trust and honesty so that you are both on the same page.

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How To Deal With Relationship Anxiety

Critical Inner Voice, Fear of Intimacy, Relationship Advice, Relationship Problems, RelationshipsPsychAlive

Relationships can be one of the most pleasurable things on the planet but they can also be a breeding ground for anxious thoughts and feelings. Relationship anxiety can arise at pretty much any stage of courtship. For many single people, just the thought of being in a relationship can stir up stress. If and when people do start dating, the early stages can present them with endless worries: Does he/she really like me? Will this work out? How serious is this? Unfortunately, these worries dont tend to subside in the later stages of a romantic union. In fact, as things get closer between a couple, anxiety can get even more intense. Thoughts come flooding in like: Can this last? Do I really like him/her? Should we slow down? Am I really ready for this kind of commitment? Is he/she losing interest?

All this worrying about our relationships can make us feel pretty alone. It can lead us to create distance between ourselves and our partner. At its worst, our anxiety can even push us to give up on love altogether. Learning more about the causes and effects of relationship anxiety can help us to identify the negative thinking and actions that can sabotage our love lives. How can we keep our anxiety in check and allow ourselves to be vulnerable to someone we love?

What To Do After You Have A Panic Attack

When Your Girlfriend Has Depression, Anxiety, Bipolar

What you can do after you have a panic attack is:

Taking your time to wrap your head around it and to calm yourself down.

Try drinking some tea or something warm to relax.

Eat something.

If necessary and you feel comfortable, try getting comfort from someone you trust.

Assess the situation and change the perspective.

Try not to blame yourself or feel guilty about what happened.

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What Causes Relationship Anxiety

Put simply, falling in love challenges us in numerous ways we dont expect. The more we value someone else, the more we stand to lose. On many levels, both conscious and unconscious, we become scared of being hurt. To a certain degree, we all possess a fear of intimacy. Ironically, this fear often arises when we are getting exactly what we want, when were experiencing love as we never have or being treated in ways that are unfamiliar.

As we get into a relationship, it isnt just the things that go on between us and our partner that make us anxious. its the things we tell ourselves about whats going on. The critical inner voice is a term used to describe the mean coach we all have in our heads that criticizes us, feeds us bad advice and fuels our fear of intimacy. Its the one that tells us:

Youre too ugly/fat/boring to keep his/her interest.

Youll never meet anyone, so why even try?

You cant trust him. Hes looking for someone better.

She doesnt really love you. Get out before you get hurt.

This critical inner voice makes us turn against ourselves and the people close to us. It can promote hostile, paranoid and suspicious thinking that lowers our self-esteem and drives unhealthy levels of distrust, defensiveness, jealousy and anxiety. Basically, it feeds us a consistent stream of thoughts that undermine our happiness and make us worry about our relationship, rather than just enjoying it.

Do: Learn Better Communication

If youre in a relationship with someone who has anxiety, you should learn the proper way of communication. Every word that comes out of your mouth, or a word that you chose not to speak, and every action that you do can affect your partner.

Learn how to communicate better if youre dating someone anxious all the time. As part of your partners anxiety treatment, accept their illness. Talk honestly and openly about what theyre going through.

It would be helpful to encourage your partner to open up about what theyre going through. How they feel, what theyre thinking at the moment, and listen openly without judgment. If youre mad, take control of yourself and do not shout.

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Dont Say: I Know What You Mean I Had A Panic Attack When I Saw Seattle Rent Prices

Panicking about the absurd cost of that tiny studio apartment makes sense because you need a roof over your head and cant magically increase your salary. Panicking about taking a bus because youre afraid of having a panic attack on said bus doesnt.

Theres a difference between the uncomfortable but rational anxiety we all get in stressful situations and the sometimes debilitating but illogical anxiety super anxious people like me get in situations that arent actually stressful or threatening.

People with anxiety disorders experience anxiety over things others wouldnt and with such intensity that it interferes with our ability to function and do things we enjoy. So unless you have a diagnosable anxiety disorder, comparing your anxiety to someone elses isnt helpful, and it can make us feel like youre minimizing our experiences.

Dont: Act Like You Know Everything

10 Tips for When Your Spouse Has an Anxiety Disorder

Its good that you did your research about anxiety to understand better what your partner is going through. But dont act like you know everything about anxiety and everything your partner is feeling.

No one understands better the anxiety of your partner but themselves. You have to respect that, and you have to be there to listen, not to judge. Respect your partner on how they deal with their emotions, offer your support, dont enforce what you believe you know.

Also, remember not to take everything personally. If your partner is not in a mood to talk, dont think its your fault. Dont add fuel to the fire and react anxiously or angrily because this isnt healthy for relationships. Give your partner some space and wait for things to calm down before talking.

People with anxiety do not like change, so do not force your partner to change. In any case, that change is needed it must be done slowly and with support. Take little steps and always seek the help of mental health professionals.

Recommended Reading: Does Alcohol Make Anxiety Worse

Just Make Sure She Knows Youre There Because You Want To Be

I was in her shoes for quite a while. Depression takes its ups and downs, but it always helped when my S.O. would be there with me, and for me, without prompt or pressure to do anything. For months, I didnt want to leave the house, but he would make sure that I was comfortable and that I knew he loved me. Sometimes it was even hard to show affection toward him.

Acknowledge her problems and empathize with her.

Depression is like a constant battle in your headalways telling you that you arent good enough. I know that being the S.O. in this situation is hard and discouraging at times. I found a job that I enjoyed and that really helped me begin to see the light, although it was about two years before I could say I wasnt depressed. It took a ton of love and support from my S.O. as well as help from a doctor. Just make sure she knows youre there because YOU want to be. Little things that show that you care are helpful tooflowers, fave food, a movie night in, breakfast in bed, or even to just hold her hand.blahblah1327

Missing Out On The Good Times

Still not sure if youre dealing with relationship anxiety?

Take a step back and ask yourself: Am I spending more time worrying about this relationship than enjoying it?

During rough patches, this might be the case. But if you feel this way more often than not, youre probably dealing with some relationship anxiety.

Also Check: Can Stress And Anxiety Cause Seizures

Do: Manage Your Reactions To The Anxiety Or A Panic Attack

When youre dating someone with anxiety, during their breaking point, you may think that its a personal attack on you or its an act of rejection or selfishness towards you. But its not. Its not an attempt to create a distance to break your relationship.

Make sure youre aware of how to manage your reactions in front of your partner. It will be helpful to avoid shouting and avoid what triggers your partners anxious state. It helps if you could sit down and talk about supporting them the next time they get panic attacks. You need to be on the same page to make this relationship work.

Recognize Depression Isnt Everything

What It’s Really Like Dating Someone With Anxiety And Depression

When youre dating someone with depression, remember the illness doesnt define them. Your partner will have many feelings and thoughts that are unrelated to their depression. As a result, they may feel discontented with the relationship. Dont attribute everything they say to their depression. For example, if your partner says theyre feeling ignored, dont immediately jump to the conclusion its just the depression talking.

The thing about depression and relationships is youll have to learn to separate mood changes related to depression from legitimate grievances. The best way to do this is to have frank, honest conversations with your partner and forge an emotional connection with them.

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The Worst Thing You Can Do Is Shame Us About Our Anxiety

There isnt a more horrible feeling in the world than someone telling us to just get over it or to just relax. These statements show a blatant misunderstanding of the nature of anxiety. Believe me, if it was that simple, we would have done it already. We know our anxiety makes everyone around us feel upset or frustrated about it, but if we could help it, we would. Would you tell a depressed person to just stop being sad?

I’m Scared Or Afraid Of A Relationship

Some relationship anxiety has little to do with the partner and more to do with the fear of being in a relationship in the first place. Known as a “fear of commitment,” it is very common for those that:

  • Have never been in a relationship.
  • Have been in bad relationships.
  • Have concerns that if they commit they may miss out on something else.

Some people have a fear of being in a relationship that cannot be easily explained. This type of anxiety is a challenge not only because of the anxiety itself but also because of the way it may harm potentially good relationships.

Recommended Reading: Is There A Cure For Generalized Anxiety Disorder

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