My Partner Has Anxiety - How Do I Support Him or Her?

March 4th, 2019

Does your partner experience anxiety? Is your social life taking a hit because your partner has too much anxiety to even think about socializing? Do you worry when your partner is on emotional roller coaster? Do you want to be able to know what to do when her or she is having a panic attack?

Partners of people with anxiety often say to me that they feel helpless when their partner struggles. They aren't sure what to do. Sometimes the things they try help and sometimes they don't.

Initially there are lots of feeling of care and concern for the partner but if things don't change over months or years feelings of resentment can crop up. Resentment is a sign that your needs are not getting met. 

There are several different kinds of anxiety such as social anxiety, generalized anxiety disorder, panic attacks, phobias, obsessive compulsive disorder and trauma-induced anxiety. And there are specific techniques that can address different types of anxiety. However, when I ask clients with anxiety what they hope to hear from their partners in times of distress I do often a similar response of "I need to hear 2 things. These are:

(1) I'm here.  And,

(2) I can see you are really struggling."

Expressing these two messages- in whatever words or body language that are genuine to you- can be pivotal in helping a person calm down some instead of escalating into full blown panic attack. These are messages of support ("I'm here, you are not alone") and of validation ("I see you. I get that it's hard. It's real and it's awful.") 

Come in and learn more about anxiety and how to help your partner. One important skill to keep it mind is learning how to look after yourself while you caretake your partner. How do you make sure your needs are met so you aren't becoming resentful. How do you keep the romance alive when it feels like you are just looking after an ill person.

You are doing important work. It's hard to manage it all on your own. I'm happy to help you stay healthy while you create your best relationship.

 

Warmly

 

Natalie

 

 

 

Natalie Hansen
M.A., RCC
Natalie Hansen Counselling
406-555 6th street, New Westminster, V3L 5H1

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