How to help your partner with anxiety? How to ease their pain and save your relationship? Have you ever thought how difficult our anxiety could become if not attended on time?
Anxiety or any other mental illness can occur to anyone at any point in life, sometimes there could be deep reasons behind it, like childhood trauma or any prolonged abuse and sometimes there could be no reason at all. But Mental Illness is for real and could turn your world upside down.
In this blog, we will specifically talk about how to help your partner with anxiety and save our relationships from any damage. We can still make a beautiful story if we play our roles with full responsibility.
How to help your partner with anxiety?
I know there are things that are beyond one’s understanding until and unless he/she goes through the same emotional ride, it becomes too difficult for one to relate or empathize with others. But maybe this shall too pass? May the burnout your partner is facing and its effect is all a temporary phase? And just imagine you decide to neglect, ignore, or even part your ways because it is getting overwhelming for you?
What do you do when your left arm hurts you consistently for days and weeks? You consult a doctor, try to recover from the pain, or detach your hand from your body? I know it might sound like me going over the board to put my point here, but my dear friends this is what we all need to do to nurture our relationships, to help our loved ones. Everyone needs emotional help at some point in their life, it’s just they don’t get the right environment and safe space to open up. Can we at least try and create that safe space for our partners or family members to open up?
10 signs your partner needs help with anxiety
Whether you are married to someone with anxiety issues or dating someone, it becomes really difficult to handle things when your partner is too sensitive and emotionally vulnerable. In general language we call it being “too much” but trust me there are signs for you to understand and take needed actions, I repeat timely actions.
Before we head on to how to help your partner with anxiety ways, first let us try to understand the signs and symptoms which can help us to find a coping mechanism for our partner and also for self to not to get irritated or overwhelmed while dealing with the mood shifts of your partner.
|1.Visible Mood Swings|
|4.Loss/Increase in appetite|
|6.Dull and tired|
1.Visible Mood Swings
You stay with her/him and you are a better person their mood swings, we all judge each other a lot, then why do you prefer to stay ignorant when we see something unusual? A frequent mood shift could also be a sign of some underlying tension and stress, speak to your partner.
They get irritated easily, with or without any reason and in turn, you blame them for their irritable behavior and everything. It makes things more complicated; the underlying issue gets buried deep after each argument and what you see in your partner is his/her irritable nature and the problem it causes between you two. Pause and Reflect.
Isolation may not happen immediately but over the period when a person feels anxious and stressed when surrounded by people, or fear of being judged and questioned, they prefer to withdraw and isolate themselves from the external factors. In such a condition, people going through anxiety feel that isolation could help them as no one will question them.
4.Loss/Increase in appetite
A sudden loss or gain in appetite, also known as an eating disorder, is also one of the outcomes of enormous stress and mental distress. You might your partner eating a lot and judge them or pinpoint them to eat less, perhaps they don’t do it consciously.
When you are overloaded with thoughts, mental arguments, and disturbed either you find it hard to fall asleep or you feel sleepy the entire day. You overwork your brain and you get exhausted, just in case you notice any difference in the sleeping pattern of your partner try to understand the reason.
6.Dull and tired
How to help your partner with anxiety who is always dull and tired? A person going through mental stress will try to wear a mask of a happy face but very soon they feel secluded and that dullness becomes quite prominent on their face. They feel tired and avoid being in the center of any conversation, they get worked up very easily.
Social anxiety is the extended version of general anxiety, in social anxiety, a person avoids social gatherings and feels anxious in public events. They might cancel the plan at the last moment or delay in responding to any plans of social gatherings. They somehow feel uncomfortable.
The most common demon of all, whenever things go wrong, whether it is our mistake or not, we go into self-doubt, we punish ourselves with mental arguments, holding grudges, criticizing our decisions and in turn, it increases our anxiety.
How to help your partner with anxiety when they fear the unknown. A person who has anxiety issues can’t help but worries a lot and imagines things that may not even happen. It’s their fear of getting judged, getting labeled, or being questioned that makes them anxious and restless.
The unknown fear, excessive worries, and self-doubt is all the result of overthinking or leads to overthinking, in this oxymoronic situation it becomes worst for the individual to come out of the loop and break it without any supportive help.
7 ways to help your partner with anxiety and save your relationship
I believe that after reading the above-mentioned ten points it becomes quite clear that a person when acts differently might be facing some serious mental health issues which are easily confused with being lazy, ignorant, or laid-back. Sometimes the problem lies deep and reaching to the root cause of the problems needs real observation and not merely finding faults and playing the blame game at the expense of losing the beauty of relationships.
It is very easy to help someone you love, very simple to save them from further mental harm but accepting that your partner might the in some problem and working on that problem is a real challenge, let’s see how many of us are willing to take this challenge for our loved ones.
|1. Don’t Judge|
|2. Make them feel safe|
|3. Listen actively|
|4. Be unbiased|
|5. Be present|
|6. Talk daily|
|7.Seek professional help|
1.) Don’t Judge
If you really want to help your partner and help them overcome their present state, don’t judge what you don’t understand. There is a clear possibility that you find their reasons and logic unreasonable and illogical but for them it is everything. It is hurting them, and you need to be non-judgmental about it.
2.) Make them feel safe
How to help your partner with anxiety? Provide them with a safe space, as a safe environment where they can open up about their feelings and struggles. Make them feel safe and make them feel comforted. It will help them to open up gradually, which will make your work easy, which is to help them.
3.) Listen actively
We don’t listen, we just hear and want to end the conversation, and sometimes we feel bored and strained to the listening to the same damn thing over and over again, isn’t it? But when we do it we miss out on what our partner is trying to say and we never understand the real problem. Eventually, your partner will also lose interest and stop explaining to you their mental state, which will cause more problems.
4.) Be unbiased
It could be you, yes you or even your parents who are causing your partner anxiety issues, but if you are willing to help your partner to come out of this tricky situation that is affecting your relationship then you need to control your urge of giving it back and listen unbiased and with an open mind only to arrive at a solution.
5.) Be present
OK, so you tried being, non-judgmental and unbiased but still, your partner is taking time to open up, it is normal. How to help your partner with anxiety? Be present and be there for them as sometimes, the person finds it difficult and takes time to respond to their changed behavior, questions like why this is happening, what is happening, bothers them a lot, so just be there with them.
6.) Talk daily
No matter how much time your partner wants to gather their thoughts and assemble together, you make sure that you try to strike a conversation daily, little things could do a miracle, and talking daily, helping them daily to own their feelings and then working on it will surely help them in the long run, you have nothing to lose, in a way it will only strengthen your bond if you really want to help your partner to overcome any mental illness.
7.) Seek professional help
This is usually the last resort, but keep in mind that seeking professional help from a counselor, psychotherapist or psychologist is not abnormal, not seeking help and letting any individual stay away from the treatment is. It is very much normal to seek medical help for mental illness, so never hesitate to reach a certified professional when you feel nothing is working and things are getting worse.
Before I stop, I would like to stay that in many cases a person dies right in front of us, they give us signs, they speak in broken words, want us to read between their silence and sentences but we are layered with ego, selfishness, ignorance, and arrogance that we prefer to overlook everything even at the cost of losing that person.
It is the biggest loss for any husband/wife/boyfriend/girlfriend to let their partner sink into that deep alley of darkness from which they might never return. Love can thaw mountains but we humans are programmed in such a way that we lose a little bit of humanity every day and stop being around our people.
How to help your partner with anxiety? Small gestures like buying flowers, taking your partner to their favorite places, making them feel loved can help but we give up too soon, as we lack patience. We do things expecting immediate results and then complain that no matter how much we take efforts things don’t work, trust me no kind gesture goes down in the drain. Things do work but in its own due course, somethings take time to heal and rejuvenate. BE there and keep going.
Love and Light!
About the author
Priyanka Nair is the author of 26 Days 26 Ways for a Happier you and Ardhaviram. An NLP practitioner and Founder of Sanity Daily, helping you prioritize your mental health. Let’s build a happy community.