Helping a Spouse Who Suffers from Anxiety
Jun 05, 2019
Anxiety symptoms can be overwhelming for those who suffer from it. It can be complicated for many to understand it too, especially if you are from the outside looking in. Being able to explain those anxious emotions accurately is a challenge on its own, making it even harder for those who don't suffer from it to understand.
When a spouse suffers from anxiety it can put a distinct strain on the relationship and cause unwanted tension or frustration from both parties.
Here are some methods on how a spouse or loved one can help those dealing with anxiety:
Be honest, yet kind.
It is important to let them know how their anxiety affects you (and the family) so they can have an understanding of it from a different perspective. However, you have to try to explain these things in a kind way. Paying attention to your tone is vital. Discussing these things in a way that seems angry, "naggy", or condescending can make them feel guilty about their anxiety. Somebody who suffers from anxiety may already be dealing with guilt (a common side effect of anxiety) and can steer them away from feeling free to discuss their feelings.
Try to learn more.
Anxiety alone is a complicated subject and can affect the person suffering in a variety of ways. Anxiety can also be different every time that person experiences it. Learning more about their specific anxiety such as triggers, the physical complications, their emotions, their opinions and more can give you an insight you might need to better help them. What is crucial about this though is that it shows them that you have a genuine interest to know more. Furthering your knowledge about their anxiety can show them that they can feel comfortable talking to you and give them the opportunity to open up to you. If they feel comfortable with it, go to them with their doctor appointments or therapy sessions. Let them discuss these things openly but pay attention to what they and the healthcare professional are discussing.
It is crucial to encourage them and cheer them on when they need it. They might not express it, but showing them your excitement when they overcome an obstacle or open up about their anxiety can be meaningful. They might need encouragement to get professional help if they need it (and keep getting it). Battling anxiety alone is one of the most demanding challenges someone may go through, encouraging them and showing them your appreciation or excitement can be what makes it easier for them. Simply being there and being present can be all they need at times.
When helping a spouse through any issues it is important to remember that relationships require both parties to work towards the relationship. When thinking about fighting the anxieties, think about you both fighting it together, hand in hand. Don't fight it separately because it can be both of you and their opponent. We encourage you to contact us for more information on counseling services for you and your family.