If your anxious spouse is suffering from anxiety disorder, sometimes your partner doesn’t even realize that they’re projecting the effects of their illness. The things that your partner is says and does usually hinges from their anxiety. What they say and do may confuse and frustrate you, but if you know how to help it will make this battle quite a bit easier.
When someone has anxiety they have thousands of thoughts spinning through their head all at one time. There are so many thoughts and worries that most of the time they don’t even know what’s actually causing the anxiety in the first place. You need to listen to them. Whether you’re irritated or don’t understand, you need to listen. This will let your spouse know that you relly do care about what they’re dealing with and it will also help you to try and understand what’s going through their mind. As well, it will show your spouse that you’re willing to understand.
Most of the time your partner doesn’t understand why they’re having panic attacks. Because of this, it may be quite difficult for them to be able to explain to you why they’re feeling a particular way or why the anxiety attack is on them. If your spouse is going to therapy, offer to go with them. By listening to your spouse and the responding therapist, you can gain much better insight on the how and why of their anxiety. Try to be open minded because sometimes you, the partner, are the cause o a few triggers. Neither one of you may know this, which is why it’s always a good idea to gain the knowledge of anxiety as a whole as well as digging deep and trying to understand your spouse.
There are ways that you can help your partner with their anxiety. Whether you help them remember to take their medicine, help them through an anxiety attack with breathing exercises, or giving them a hand with a weird new technique they researched online, your help means that you care and tells them that you’re willing to be there for them as much as you can. This is very important because, sadly, most people never even seek treatment for their anxiety issues even though anxiety is very treatable. You can show your spouse that they do not have to fight the battle of anxiety alone.
There are many times when you’re not going to fully understand how an anxiety attack can be triggered by something very tiny and trivial. The biggest thing that you need to remember is to never trivialize what they’re feeling or why they were triggered. Whatever it is may look exaggerated, but don’t trivialize it. That’s not to say that you should allow your spouse to give in to their fears, but don’t simply dismiss them.
You should be sensitive to your spouse’s triggers. If you know that something might upset them, warn them about it ahead of time. Try to keep them from being unnecessarily stressed. This doesn’t mean that you have to walk on eggshells, but you need to have a care about the things that are considered triggers. There is also a fine line between babying your spouse and being sensitive. It may help, if you visit, the therapist, to know where to draw those lines. The balance can be tricky, but if you can manage it, it can be very helpful for you both.
In the end, all that yo can do is be there for them and ask how you can help. In relationships, you have couples that send “good morning” texts and do small special little things that let each other know that you care. For your spouse with anxiety, it’s even more important for them to be reassured. It lets them know that they’re special and that you still love them just as much now as you did before. Small things like reassurance will truly help your spouse and their anxiety. It lets them know that you’re there for them no matter what.