How To Love Someone Suffering From Anxiety
“Anxiety is love’s greatest killer. It makes others feel as you might when a drowning man holds on to you. You want to save him, but you know he will strangle you with his panic.” ? Anaïs Nin
“Worrying is carrying tomorrow’s load with today’s strength- carrying two days at once. It is moving into tomorrow ahead of time. Worrying doesn’t empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.”? Corrie ten Boom
Anxiety is when stress and the usual anxious feelings, common responses to uncomfortable situations and feelings of under pressure persist even when the stressors have passed.
Anxiety is one of the most common mental health disorders in Australia. Up to 2 million Australians are afflicted by it. Approximately one in five men and one four women suffer from it in this region.
Successful relationships don’t just happen rather specific steps are planned and acted upon for desired results. Relationships and couples with partners suffering from some form of anxiety disorders should reckon with some basic fundamentals: do not spend the bulk of your time being judgemental on yourself or your partner. Make kindness to yourself and your partner the utmost priority.
Someone with anxiety is inclined to assume everyone is going to leave. So much so, sometimes they might be the ones to ruin a relationship. The truth is they battle something they can’t control and there is a sense of insecurity within themselves when it comes to relationships. They know it’s difficult and they don’t want to burden you with their irrational thoughts and worries. So instead, they push you away before you get the chance to leave yourself.
Remember they’re worth fighting for.
It might be hard sometimes. There might be stupid fights of scenarios they’ve created in their own head. But more than anything, they’re worth fighting for. The toughest people usually are. And if you can fight with them through this, it’ll come back to you ten folds.
Sometimes you just have to listen.
They’re going to play out these situations in their mind. They’re going to jump from point A to point B and sometimes you’re not even going to know how they got there. The best thing you can do is let them go off on their tangent. Even if there’s no solution or a fear they worry about in the future, the act of listening will help.
Don’t tell them, ‘you’re overreacting.’
To you, it might seem irrational. But to them whatever they open up to you about, it’s something that actually keeps them up at night. So just take it as best you can.
They probably won’t sleep through the night.
Whether it takes them a while to fall asleep or stay asleep, you’ll be woken up by them at 3 am as they lay there wide awake. Just hold them close and the comfort in your presence might be enough to get them back to sleep.
Remember it’s not that they don’t trust you. They’re scared.
You say it’s an ex and in their mind, they jump to cheating. You say it’s a friend and in their mind, it’s someone trying to break you two up. It’s not you and your relationship that isn’t trusted, it’s every worse case scenario automatically playing out in their head and they hate themselves for it.
Answering texts timely does help more than you know.
You’ve probably noticed they answer embarrassingly fast and they know not everyone is like them but it helps when people understand it. It helps when you say ‘I can’t talk now this is why I’ll text you later.’ Silence kills anyone with anxiety. It creates problems in their mind that aren’t even there. It ends in apologies that aren’t even needed. And it adds a layer of stress to their life they wish they could control.
Don’t be mad if they send a double text.
You might turn your phone on, to four texts. If you can remember it’s not that they’re trying to be annoying. They care. They care too much and they know it makes them look bad.
Accept their apologies even if you don’t understand.
Whether it’s a night out gone wrong, a triple text, saying or doing the wrong thing, they are so observant. They will pick up on the slightest shift in you and before you even realize you might be upset and they will apologize for it.
Compiled by Andrew Okpetu