Absolutely every single person has their battles. A battle that isn’t talk about as much as it should be is anxiety. Diagnosed or not, many people suffer with various degrees of anxiety disorders and there’s a chance that someone you love could be dealing with one. When you’re in a new relationship and you see something like anxiety rear its ugly head, it can be scary… especially if you’ve never encountered anxiety before. Here’s how to deal.
Don’t handle anything during an attack
If your partner is in the middle of an anxiety attack, this isn’t the time to think about how to work through the issue big picture. You need to focus on the immediate situation. If your partner is seriously having a panic attack, they could feel like they’re having a heart attack and need to go to the hospital. Or, it could be less severe and involve heart palpitations, extreme stress or irrational fears. Listen to your partner and help them through it. They may need medical attention. They made need deep breathing. They made need to be alone. Don’t fight anything and go with what your partner is telling you to do.
Talk to your partner
Once the attack is over, it’s time to talk to your partner. Ask about how they felt during the episode, how frequently this happens to them and if they’ve ever gotten help. If your partner didn’t tell you about their anxiety, try not to think of it as a betrayal. First, some people with more minor anxiety might not realize that how anxious they get isn’t normal. Second, mental health is still a fairly taboo topic. People don’t really discuss their mental issues. So, it’s less about your partner keeping a secret from you and more about them following social norms. Ask about how you can help during a situation like this and suggest they get help for this issue now, when they’re not going through an episode. It’s pretty hard to take care of yourself when you’re in the middle of an anxiety attack. So, all plans for care or figuring out the best way to deal with the issues should be done when anxiety is at a minimum.
Know that you can’t fix anything
I get that you love your partner and you want to make everything better for them, but you really can’t. You can be supportive and helpful, but you can’t make anxiety go away and you can’t make them get help. So, if your partner isn’t taking steps to take care of themselves, don’t feel like it’s your responsibility to make it better. You can’t solve this issue. You can just be a supporter to your partner’s decisions. If you don’t agree with their decisions, your options are to be supportive regardless or to go ahead and find another partner who handles their health in a way that’s more aligned with your perspective.
Good luck dealing with this, my loves. Anxiety can be a rough thing to go through. But, believe me, it can be handled. I’m rooting for you guys.