Coming to terms with living with anxiety can be tough. It can also be tough for your partner.
As difficult as it is or even was to try to understand your own anxiety, just imagine how hard it is for you partner to support you through it and try to understand it too.
If you suffer from anxiety, you may relate to the fact that when you are having an anxious time or feeling particularly low, it is often your partner that bears the brunt of it.
Helping them understand will be beneficial to them and also you as it can aid in their understanding of what you need from them in those difficult times.
Here are some things your partner could do in order to understand your anxiety.
• Learn about anxiety so when you are speaking to them about it they will understand what you mean.
• Encourage you to seek treatment.
• Model positive behaviour.
• Help you to set goals that are realistic and can be approached one step at a time.
• They shouldn't presume to know what is best for you. They should ask you how they can help.
• They should acknowledge that they don’t understand the experience of a panic attack or other forms of irrational anxiety.
• Understand that knowing when to be patient and when to push is a lot of trial and error. Their role is not to ‘fix’ you but to support you and encourage you to get the help you need from a professional.
• Remember to look after themselves too in the midst of it. They may very well need to talk to a therapist about how they are handling it all. There is no shame in that.
• Don’t stop doing things they love. If they have a hobby or go for drinks once a month with their colleagues shouldn't stop doing it. They need an outlet too.