Also known as social phobia, social anxiety disorder is a mental health condition which affects…
How to Help When Your Partner Has An Anxiety Disorder
Promising to hang in there for better and for worse is an important vow because for every couple there will be easy times and tough times; that is simply the world we live in. When one partner in the relationship is living with anxiety issues, it can be tough on both people as well as the relationship itself.
Learning how to respond appropriately to anxiety-driven demands as well as how to maintain appropriate self-care are two keys to making it through what can feel like tough times.
When anxiety occurs frequently, intensely and disrupts everyday life, it is something more than the normal level of anxiety everyone experiences. Having a partner with over anxiety can quickly become draining for the other person if they lack the understanding and skills for supporting their loved one in a healthy way.
A recent article on this issue outlined several steps for managing a relationship where anxiety is present.
The obvious first step is to become educated about anxiety disorders. Even if your partner has not been formally diagnosed, learning about anxiety issues will deepen your understanding of how your partner feels and what he/she is experiencing. Empathy is vital to all relationships.
Understanding the partner’s anxiety is not equal to allowing those anxieties to rule the relationship, however. The article does a good job in helping non-anxious partners see how setting boundaries and protecting time for self-care is just as important gaining understanding.
Instead of allowing fears to heap all the responsibility upon a single partner, gently requiring responsibility on both sides is encouraged. Taking time to go for walks, sit in the hot tub or practice yoga together can lower tension while building love equity.
Anxiety is treatable, but even if the partner refuses treatment, there are lots of ways the non-affected partner can keep the relationship bond intact and growing.