Supporting Someone with Anxiety

Having a partner who struggles with anxiety is manageable, and can still be a happy union. We all have our struggles, and anxiety is no different than any other life challenge. There are ways to help minimize the impact on your partner and relationship. The time to prepare is before anxiety is in control. Talk with your partner about possible triggers and what their anxious mind tells them. The human brain is a remarkable thing, and it likes sameness. If a person has anxiety, during the anxious episode the brain will do its best to uphold and sustain the anxiety. As someone who is outside of the episode, you can be a valuable asset by reminding your partner of objective truths. By knowing the types of lies their anxious mind tells them, you can present objective truths to help de-escalate. If they feel worthless, you can give examples of their worth. If they feel like a failure, you can give examples of their successes. If they feel unsafe, you can give an example of how they are safe.

In addition to combatting what their anxious mind is telling them, you can remind them to use their tools. For example, if they have specific tools for de-escalation, you can help them use those tools. You can also help them identify triggers and implement the necessary failsafes to stave off anxious episodes. It helps to have a routine of discussing positivity. That might be used at night or first thing in the morning. Picking a time of day in which you have a talk about the positive things in your life and what is going well is good for the relationship and helps prevent anxious moments. The main thing is to prepare at a time when your partner is not feeling anxiety. It is helpful to keep in mind that during anxious moments, your partner may not know what is causing the anxiety; instead of focusing on what is causing it, focus on de-escalation. You can do this by focusing on combating the lies that anxiety is telling with the good in your life. If you've prepared together, you can remind your partner to use their de-escalation techniques and be calm and neutral. Anxiety is temporary and it will pass.

Posted on 03 Apr 2023 07:03

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