Living with an Anxious Partner


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Anxiety is fast becoming a key cause of reduced functioning affecting work, personal and social life. Various studies have noted that anxiety is the most commonly prevalent syndrome worldwide. However, collated statistics are not available to understand its enormity.

There are various types of anxiety disorders such as general anxiety disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder and specific phobias forming an umbrella of anxiety disorder.

The symptoms of a person suffering from anxiety include feelings of panic, fear, discomfort, issues with sleeping, cold or sweaty hands or feet, shortness of breath, palpitation in the heart, intense restlessness, dry mouth, numbness or tingling hands or feet, muscle tension, nausea and dizziness. A highly anxious person might experience any of these symptoms at different points of time.

Not only does anxiety affect the functioning of the affected person physically, cognitively and emotionally, but also the environment and the family members, friends and colleagues.

When going through these symptoms, the person’s functioning is affected creating a need for other members to take up those responsibilities and also support him or her through the moments. The support of the partner becomes crucial here. Here are 5 tips how to support your partner in dealing with anxiety and also equip yourself to manage yourself in difficult times through your marriage.

Be informed on anxiety: Read up on anxiety from credible sources online (American Psychological Association, World Health Organisation) or consult a psychologist to have an authentic understanding of anxiety.

Be with your partner: When your partner experiences the symptoms, tell them you are with them and be there when they go through it. Do not try to distract, engage in conversation, or tell them to suppress it. Your silent presence will give them the strength they need to go through time.

It is okay to be anxious: Tell them it is fine to feel anxious and you accept and love them in this state of mind. It is okay for you that they are anxious.

Set boundaries: While it is important to be with your partner, at the same time identify how much you are willing to support. Do not let your partner’s anxiety affect your life (work, social) hugely. Make a time table for your schedule and inform your partner the same.

Self-care: Take time out for yourself and inform your partner about the importance of it and your schedule. Create a routine schedule, seek support from friends and extended family members to gain strength. Attend social events, go out on a trip alone or with your friends to rejuvenate.

Seek out for professional help to live a more fulfilling life with an anxious partner.