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How To Love Someone With Anxiety And Depression

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They Arent Always Present

How to Love Someone with Anxiety

As mentioned in the above point, theyre not always present in a conversation, but its not just conversation that can trigger this reaction. Everyday events can cause everyone to get lost in contemplation at some point or another, but for those with anxiety almost everything can serve as a contemplative trigger. They will recede into the depths of their mind quite regularly and youll likely notice the vacancy on their face. Contrary to what romantic movies suggest, its not always cute to come up and spook them while theyre lost in thought

Gently nudge them back to reality regularly. Remind them where they are, what theyre doing , and to appreciate it. Theyll greatly appreciate you doing so. You can learn more about mindfulness and how it relates to anxiety here.

They Arent Intentionally Ignoring You

Part of managing anxiety is controlling the inner monologue that comes with it. Sometimes this can be a very attention-consuming act. The strangest things can set off obscure thought patterns for those with anxiety. If they suddenly drift out of the conversation, theres a good chance theyre over thinking something thats just been said or theyre trying to calm their thoughts down. Both take immense concentration.

Theyre not ignoring you or not intentionally at least. Theyre just trying not to have a mental breakdown right there in front of you. You dont need to ask are you okay? and you especially dont need to quiz them on what you just said. If its important, try gently bringing it back up when they seem more attentive.

Their mind can be a war zone at times. They will drop out of conversations unexpectedly and they will feel bad for doing so if they realise it. Reassure them that you understand and ensure theyve fully digested any important news you may have discussed, especially if it involves them handling some responsibility

Your Own Mental Health May Need Some Tlc Too

Its okay if spending time together is too much for your depressed or anxious spouse. Whatever you do, dont take it personally. You can find ways to remind someone of your love even if they need to withdraw. You can write a love letter, listing all the wonderful qualities you see in the person. Or describe a favorite memory to remind the person that joyful times are possible, and that youll experience peace and happiness together again.

You can also make a date night with yourself to practice self-care. Its hard worrying about your loved ones psyche all the time. As long as your partner isnt in acute crisis, you can give yourself a night off. The bearskin rug can accommodate one person just as well as two. Its not the door in the movie Titanic. Your partner isnt going to sink into the North Atlantic if you snuggle on the rug alone sometimes. Read a book, go out with friends, do whatever you need to recharge your batteries.

And if nothing else seems to reignite your sparkor allay your spouses symptomsyou can always schedule a date night with an online counselor at Thriveworks.

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How To Help Someone With Anxiety

All of us worry and get scared from time to time. But those with anxiety may feel consumed by fears of things that might seem irrational to others. It can be hard to relate to these concerns, and as a result, many people dont know how to best help someone with anxiety. People are often dismissive of people experiencing anxiety, says Joseph McGuire, Ph.D., a pediatric psychologist with Johns Hopkins Medicine. With other medical illnesses, you may be able to see physical symptoms. But with anxiety, you dont necessarily see what the person is dealing with. So its important to be sensitive to what the person with anxiety is going through, even if it doesnt make sense to you. Its distressing to watch a loved one experience panic attacks and face anxiety every day, but there are things you can do to help. It starts with recognizing the signs of excessive worry and understanding the best ways to support your loved one.

Aim To Encourage Instead Of Giving Advice

Truth Is Im Scared Of Having Someone Love Me I Just

Treatment helps improve depression symptoms for many people, so you might think its best to urge them to see a therapist. But saying things like, You should go to therapy or You need help may only make them feel worse.

Heres the thing about depression: It can make even simple tasks seem insurmountable. A quick internet search might seem easy to you, but someone in a depression fog might feel overwhelmed by just the thought.

Instead, try, Have you thought about talking to someone? If they seem open to the idea, make the process less daunting by offering to help them find a therapist, schedule an appointment, and go with them to their first sessions.

If theyre already in therapy, remember treatment can take time, and not all approaches work for everyone. Its always fine to ask how things are going, but avoid pressuring them to try other approaches.

Pushing lifestyle changes generally doesnt help, either. Avoid saying:

  • You should exercise more.
  • Going outside to get some sun will make you feel better.
  • If you ate healthier foods, your mood would improve.

Sunlight and physical activity can help, but they arent magical cures. Your advice, however well intentioned, can give your partner the impression you really dont get what theyre going through.

Instead, encourage them to do something with you:

  • Im feeling a little restless. Lets go for a walk together.
  • The weather is great today! Why dont we eat lunch outside?

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Don’t Absorb All Their Stressors Or Sacrifice Your Own Support Systems

When you’re showing up every day to be there for your partner, you might find yourself starting to let go of your own social or emotional support systems as a result.

While you absolutely can be there for your partner in a healthy way, if you don’t also tend to your own mental health it could lead to codependent behavior. For example, canceling plans to soothe your partner during a sudden panic attack is one thing. It’s another to forgo your daily workout class because you’re worried your partner might possibly need you after work.

Keeping your personal life balanced with your own sources of support will prevent you from getting overwhelmed by your partner’s stressors. That might mean weekly sessions with a therapist, waking up early to fit in 30-minutes of daily meditation, or seeing your friends every Thursday for book club.

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For people struggling with depression, its important to have compassion and to take action to overcome this state, including seeking professional help. Remember that the negative thoughts you are experiencing are likely being driven by depression, not by a person. Depression can lead to the ultimate negative outcome of death, so please consider calling National Hotline if your significant other is experiencing thoughts of self-harm. SAMHSAs National Helpline is a free, confidential, 24/7, 365-day-a-year treatment referral and information service for individuals and families facing mental and/or substance use disorders.

There are many types of treatment that have proven to be effective for depression, but two are the most effective: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy .

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy . CBT is problem-focused and action-oriented meaning it is used to treat specific problems related to depression and the therapists role is to assist the patients in finding and practicing effective strategies to address the identified goals and decrease symptoms of the disorder and limit adverse outcomes.

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Dos And Donts Of Helping Someone With Anxiety

  • It is challenging to love someone that lives with anxiety
  • Some of the ways that friends/family try to help can make anxiety worse
  • There are many dos and donts for those who have loved ones with anxiety
  • Your support is going to be a big part of their recovery
  • If you personally have never experienced an anxiety disorder, it is helpful to remember that the experience of living with anxiety is typically not what most people imagine

Dating Someone With Anxiety: The Dos And Donts

How to Help Someone With Depression or Anxiety

The heart wants what the heart wants. At times, you cant choose who you fall in love with. And part of being in love means accepting and loving that person in all positive attributes and even their flaws. As much as you want to be loved for who you are, your partner with anxiety would like to feel the same way as well.

Anxiety is like the third person in your relationship. Its lurking around, waiting to attack. Anxiety in your partner can either make or break your relationship. It may put a strain on your relationship, or you can both come out of this stronger than ever.

If youre dating someone struggling with anxiety, depression, panic attacks, or other emotional disturbance, this quick read article can help you know the dos and donts. Educate yourself on how you can relate with your partner and understand that anxiety is real.

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Do: Go To Therapy Yourself

Whether your loved one resists or accepts the idea of therapy, you should also take care of yourself as well and seek counseling. A counselor can help you better understand your partners behavior, how to cope with it and how to support your partner.

At the same time, your counselor can help you understand your feelings and how you can take care of yourself. As much as youre trying to take care of your loved one, prioritize self-care as well.

Work On Your Sex Life

Being in a relationship with someone who has depression can affect your sex life. Both depression and the medications used to treat depression can affect a persons libido and the ability to enjoy sex.

When youre dating someone with depression, you should be prepared to work extra hard on your sex life. There may be instances when you feel frustrated or unloved. If youre dating a man with depression, for example, he may be embarrassed to talk about erectile dysfunction caused by depression medications. Be sensitive and understanding and talk openly about your feelings.

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How To Find The Right Therapist To Work With

Finding the right therapist can be a process of trial and error. If you are ready to work with someone, start by researching different types of therapy so youâll understand how a particular therapist will approach working with you. Then, ask potential candidates about their specialties. You want someone that has experience and expertise in philophobia. Finally, make sure they have the proper licenses for your area.

If you don’t feel comfortable with a particular therapist, try another. It’s a good idea to trust your gut feeling about therapists. Following these tips, you can find someone who can work on your philophobia with you.

They Can Find It Hard To Let It Go

Depression, Anxiety and I â two poems â My Loud Whispers ...

Part of anxiety is the constant over thinking, but to really understand this we need to understand where the over thinking stems from. When anyone is faced with a traumatic incident in their life, which most people with anxiety have had more than their fair share of, the memory can end up stored in part of the limbic system of the brain that the mind uses to determine if we are at risk. You can find out more about that here.

The memory is stored in a completely different manner and region of the brain in comparison to an everyday memory that gets filed away. This causes the brain to react differently to the memory. The brain is actively seeking to make links between the traumatic memory and the present situation its in

When the brain is caught in this cycle, letting go of things can be very difficult. When the brain is trained to remain in this cycle through prolonged anxiety, letting go of pretty much anything can be a tough task. People with anxiety cannot always just let it go, their brain wont let them, so please dont give them a hard time about it.

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Take Our Feelings Seriously

When my anxiety disorder was undiagnosed and untreated, I was having panic attacks that I believed were heart attacks or blot clots. My fiancé drove me to the hospital both times and took it very seriously. It meant a lot that someone believed me that something was wrong, even if it wasnt as life-threatening as we thought. Anxiety can be terribly crippling and it just helps sometimes for someone not to minimize it or brush it off. Erika C.

Learn As Much As You Can About Mental Health

Part of your process of working to help a friend with depression or anxiety should involve a commitment to learning about their struggles. So, if youve never had these types of problems before, read all about them. Don’t just research the symptoms covered above, but also natural remedies for anxiety, common anxiety triggers, medical treatments, therapeutic approaches, and so on.

Once you deepen your understanding in this way, youll be much more likely to know what your loved one needs and to be able to offer it to them.

Learning about mental health can also stop you from making lots of mistaken assumptions that can inadvertently cause harm.

For example, you might just assume that if you see your friend looking happy and vibrant, this means their depression is in the past. However, if youve researched depression, youll know that one good day doesnt indicate a cure, and assuming it does can set the person back.

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Treatment Options For Patients With Anxiety

There are two primary treatments for individuals with anxiety:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy , which involves learning how to lower anxiety and face distressing situations.
  • Medication management with antidepressants, which works well on its own but even better when coupled with CBT.

During therapy, continue to show your support by:

  • Asking your loved one what you can do to help them.
  • Asking if you can attend a therapy session to learn some skills to better support them.
  • Making time for your own life and interests to sustain your energy.
  • Encouraging your loved one to try another therapist if the first one isnt a good fit.

How To Help Your Anxious Partner And Yourself

10 Tips on Dating Someone with Anxiety or Depression: The Anxiety & Depression Vlogs 013

Living with anxiety can be tough your thoughts might race, you might dread tasks others find simple and your worries might feel inescapable. But loving someone with anxiety can be hard too. You might feel powerless to help or overwhelmed by how your partner’s feelings affect your daily life.

If so, you’re not alone: Multiple studies have shown that anxiety disorders may contribute to marital dissatisfaction.

“We often find that our patients’ … partners are somehow intertwined in their anxiety,” says Sandy Capaldi, associate director at the Center for the Treatment and Study of Anxiety at the University of Pennsylvania.

Anxiety is experienced at many different levels and in different forms from moderate to debilitating, from generalized anxiety to phobias and its impacts can vary. But psychiatrists and therapists say there are ways to help your partner navigate challenges while you also take care of yourself.

Start by addressing symptoms.

Because an anxiety disorder can be consuming, it can be best to start by talking with your partner about the ways anxiety affects daily life, like sleeplessness, says Jeffrey Borenstein, president and CEO of the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation in New York. Something as simple as using the word “stress” instead of clinical labels can help too. “Often people may feel a little more comfortable talking about stress as opposed to … anxiety ,” Borenstein says.

Don’t minimize feelings.

Encourage don’t push.

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Loving Someone With Anxiety: 10 Things You Need To Know

Dealing with your own anxiety is already a challenge.

How much more if you love someone who experiences anxiety?

According to Anxiety and Depression Association of America, people who suffer from Generalized Anxiety Disorder have trouble considering themselves in healthy and supportive relationships compared to those who dont have it.

But that doesnt mean its impossible.

You can have a loving and healthy relationship with someone who has anxiety.

Heres how you can love someone with anxiety.

Dont Judge Or Criticize

From the outside, youll be able to see lots of ways in which your loved one could improve their life. However, when theyre depressed or anxious, it can be almost impossible for them to think rationally about these topics. So, whether youre trying to figure out how to help your spouse with depression or how to help your friend with depression, avoid negative judgments and critical comments at all costs.

In particular, you should avoid platitudes masquerading as advice, such as You just need to remember that the glass isnt half empty, its half full!.

Before you say anything, make sure it doesnt accidentally imply that the person is making a choice to be anxious or depressed.

Mental health issues are just like any other, physical health problem they are involuntary. Suggesting otherwise can make your loved one feel guilty, misunderstood or isolated. All of these feelings make depression and anxiety symptoms worse, not better.

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