Anyone living with chronic anxiety knows the pain of it, the misery of feeling trapped within your own life. For anyone who loves someone suffering from anxiety, though, the challenges can be just as real. Because anxiety often accompanies high intelligence, creativity, sensitivity, and empathy, it can be rather easy to fall in love with someone who is chronically anxious.
Here are 15 things to expect when a loved one suffers from chronic anxiety:
1 . Firm boundaries. Often, anxiety only abates when the person gets to spend time alone.
2. Appreciation for the little things. Anxiety makes your loved one notice all of your little quirks, and love you for them.
3. Deep, solid connection. Once in an anxious person’s life, you’re there for good.
4. Planning responsibilities. Anxiety makes planning a nightmare; anything you can do to help will go a long way.
5. Learning to listen. Giving advice doesn’t go very far with an anxious person; they need to vent.
6. Lots of funny ways to treat anxiety. Any alternative treatment is on the table, if it might provide some sort of relief.
7. Giving reassurance. You can’t go overboard with this one — the anxious person needs a steady supply of support.
8. Giving up on reason. Not always — but anxiety doesn’t play by logic’s rules.
9. Deep breathing. Being able to guide your partner in deep breathing exercises works wonders.
10. Honest communication. Your partner will be very sensitive to any sort of mistruth.
11. Strange sleep patterns. Many anxious people also suffer from insomnia.
12. Lots of lists. Preparation helps to ease anxiety; please follow the plans.
13. Providing stability. Having a partner they can trust helps anxious people tremendously.
14. Problems that you can’t solve. Problems of anxiety are highly personal, and must be dealt with personally.
15. Encouraging self-care. Far from laziness or indulgence, encouraging your partner to care for their health is very important.
16. Taking care of yourself, too. Supporting another person can take a toll on you; you need time to yourself, as well.
Your partner’s anxiety may seem too much at times; this is natural. As one part of the complex person that they are, everyone can share equally in the responsibility of keeping each other well. By loving and caring for each other, everyone comes out a better person.
See the article that inspired this one here