How to help your partner if he suffers from anxiety?

If your partner suffers from anxiety, it is important to learn some strategies to be their support in times of crisis. Discover some tips.

Last update: December 15, 2021

If your partner suffers from anxiety, you are probably looking for tools to help her. Unfortunately, this condition can be the starting point of uncomfortable moments for the relationship. And is that, when sustained over time, this disorder causes a “domino” effect that spreads to the rest of the environment.

What can you do? To begin with, it is convenient to determine the level of anxiety and what consequences it is causing in the couple. This in order to specify if professional help is required. Also, there are a few simple but important actions that can make a difference. Discover them!

What is anxiety and how is it expressed?

It is important to understand the complexity, but also the everyday life of anxiety. This condition involves an intricate response at multiple levels of activation (behavioral, physiological, cognitive and affective).

However, this is not reserved for unusual situations, but is a “common currency” that can occur on a day-to-day basis. In particular, it is a state of mind that is triggered by an emotion that is oriented towards the future, focusing on the uncontrollable and unpredictable of the future.

Physiological symptoms

  • Increased heart rate
  • Breathing difficulties or chest pain.
  • Sweating
  • Stomach pain, among others.

Cognitive symptoms

  • Fear of going crazy.
  • Hypervigilance
  • Difficulty concentrating.
  • Distraction.
  • Confusion.

Affective symptoms

  • Nervousness.
  • Fear and restlessness
  • Impatience.

Behavioral symptoms

  • Avoidance of the threatening situation.
  • Flight.
Anxiety is usually caused by a future-oriented emotion. Without intervention, it can become chronic.

Causes of anxiety

When speaking of anxiety as something complex and multifaceted, We cannot ignore that its causes are also diverse. In this sense, when starting your professional approach, it is worth identifying the antecedents or conditions that may have led to anxiety or associated disorders. Some of the most common causes of anxiety are the following:

  • Stressful situations. Leading a lifestyle that is in a hurry, little rest, and unhealthy.
  • Traumatic situations.
  • Psychological vulnerability, which implies not only the perception of the threat, but also that the person does not feel capable of facing it.


Can anxiety affect your relationship?

When the couple suffers from anxiety, it is normal to fear for the stability of the relationship. In a way, it is a mood-changing condition that can contribute to problems. However, it all depends on the level with which it is presented.

Thus, there is a form of anxiety that is classified as “healthy and functional”, since it serves to activate and motorize projects. Meanwhile, if it is exaggerated, it keeps the mind on constant alert and paralyzes it due to the anguish it causes.

In fact, those who suffer from this problem usually present personality characteristics such as perfectionism, demand, rigidity, nervousness, among others. Consequently, not only their romantic relationship is damaged, but also their links with others (study, work, friendships, etc.).



Helpful Tips for Supporting an Anxious Partner

Know how to react to the anxiety attacks of one of the members of the couple it is decisive to avoid problems or situations that affect the bond. In the following space we detail some recommendations.

Listen

Listen and show empathy. Try to accompany by asking how he feels, what you can do to offer help. The essential thing is that you can communicate or maintain the dialogue.

Don’t minimize their worries

In other words, it is convenient to avoid comments such as “There are worse things”, “You shouldn’t worry about that”. These expressions trivialize your discomfort, instead of giving him the space he needs to be able to express himself and ask for help.

Be patient

This can be difficult, especially when anxiety begins to affect your day-to-day life. Despite this, you have to be aware that changes take time. For this reason, you have to respect the times and avoid pressuring.

Avoid triggering comments

Some expressions, apparently harmless, they can be real triggers for anxiety. For example, a simple comment regarding punctuality: “If you don’t go out now, you’re going to be very late for that commitment.”

Participate in treatment

Try to get involved in some way in your partner’s treatment if he or she suffers from anxiety. There are very simple measures, but they can bring a lot of relief. For example, helping with exercises or moments of relaxation during the day.

Another way to collaborate is to try to cut down on smaller tasks those projects or activities that you have together. Thus, they become more manageable and can be “crossed off” from the list, so that there is satisfaction for the accomplishment. In other words, it makes the future less uncertain and the present more organized.

Getting involved in anxiety treatment is a great way to show support for your partner with anxiety.

Avoid overprotecting

Last but not least, keep in mind that being a bra for the anxious partner does not mean that you should treat it as “crystal.” There are decisions that you can make without consulting and, in this way, you can contribute to calm.

However, there are other issues that require a decision as a couple, and avoid them so as not to generate anguish It leads to an “overprotection” that invalidates and undermines self-esteem. You have to know how to choose the times to talk about certain topics, but speak at the end of the day.

Help is shared too

While it is true that there are certain steps you can take to help your partner with anxiety, it is also important that you recognize your limit. There are certain ailments that cannot be resolved “indoors” and that require the accompaniment of a professional.

Otherwise, you run the risk that the person you care for will become ill or develop an anxiety pattern of their own. For this very reason, You have to find your own spaces for self-care.

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