Helping Your Partner Cope With Anxiety
Living with anxiety can be hard, and it can be difficult to explain to the people in your life. The inescapable worries, racing thoughts, and stress during seemingly simple tasks can be hard for those who love an anxious person to understand. Here are a few tips on how you can be a helpful and supportive partner to those with anxiety:
Address the symptoms
Taking the time to speak to your partner about how anxiety affects their daily lives can be a great place to start the conversation. Perhaps they experience difficulties sleeping, which is a specific issue that you can work on together. By identifying the symptoms of your partner’s anxiety, you can work as a team to refocus or just be there to support them when they need it.
Don’t minimize feelings
Even if your partner’s feelings and reactions make no sense to you, letting them know that their feelings are real and valid shows compassion and can make them feel safe in sharing what is causing their anxiety. It’s important to start with empathy and understanding, and then you can move on to logic once your partner understands that they aren’t being judged or misunderstood.
Help your partner seek treatment — and join them when you can
Sometimes even the most understanding and supportive partner isn’t enough to help a person with their anxiety. It’s never a good idea to push anyone into seeking professional help, but if your partner is open to the idea you can help by researching and providing names and contact information for mental health professionals in your area. Once they are ready, you may want to join them in a session to learn how you can support them further.
Make a life for yourself outside of your partner’s anxiety
It’s always important to look after yourself and maintain your own mental health before worrying about others. Having your own support network, interests, and time apart will ensure that you don’t get burnt out and resentful of your partner.
Remind your partner that the goal is to manage anxiety, not get rid of it
Often people with anxiety disorders will view anxiety as the enemy. It is important to remember that when someone faces potentially harmful or worrying triggers, feelings of anxiety are not only normal but necessary for survival. It’s when these anxious feelings stop them from participating in normal activities, such as driving a car, going to a job interview, or attending social events that it needs to be addressed.
Do you think that you or your partner may suffer from anxiety?
The Therapy Centre has skilled Psychologists, Social Workers and Psychotherapists who effectively treat a variety of issues including anxiety, stress, low mood/depression and fears.
At The Therapy Centre we offer Telehealth services including secure phone sessions and videoconferencing, as well as in-person sessions.
Our offices are located at 2525 Old Bronte Road in Oakville and 849 Upper Wentworth Street in Hamilton-just minutes from the QEW and easily accessible from Peel Region, Halton Region, Halton Hills, Stoney Creek and Niagara Region.