This week on the message boards, one girl wants to know how to deal with her boyfriend’s anxiety. If you’re in a relationship with someone who has anxiety, it’s important to know what you can do for them, even if it’s just to sit there. Let’s see what y’all had to say:
“I’m in college and I am in clubs. I have a job. He has a job. We’re both busy. We haven’t seen each other in two weeks. (He lives 40 minutes from my house) His anxiety has been worse and he has been distant. He told me today ‘My anxiety has been worse tbh and I have been avoiding talking about it with you.’ We’ve been dating since July. He used to talk to me about everything. I know he loves me and cares about me.
Can someone with anxiety or someone who has a partner with anxiety help me? I feel SO lonely and he isn’t talking to me not nearly as much as he used to. I don’t want him to be depressed and overcome with anxiety. I love him so much and it’s sad he doesn’t want to talk to me about it.”
“Not sure if he’s taking medication for it but if I were you, I would just give him space. People with anything can’t be forced to talk, eat, sleep or whatever. Just let him know you are there for him whenever he needs you. That’s what girlfriends are for.”
“I have anxiety and some days (or weeks) are worse than others. He may need to work stuff out or (like you said) he is busy so it would be the stress working on him. He might need some time to cool off and relax. If he doesn’t get any better or even worse then that maybe the time to see if he can use your help. Let him know you are there to support him whenever, but you will also give him space if he needs it. Just ask him to be honest about what he needs.”
As someone with anxiety, it’s super important to me that the people I love don’t try to baby me. When I’m feeling anxious, I don’t need anyone to do anything for me. Anxiety is a difficult illness to explain, especially since everyone experiences it differently. And the way someone experiences anxiety can also change depending on the situation.
Sometimes when I’m feeling anxious, I want to be left alone and don’t want to speak to anyone. Other times, I don’t want to talk to anyone but don’t want to be alone either. When I’m having a panic attack, I can’t really speak, but I just need someone there to tell me to breathe. It honestly depends on the day.
When I’ve been in relationships, discussing my anxiety has always been a bit of an issue. I used to not be very open about it because it wasn’t until recently that I knew I was dealing with anxiety. I couldn’t explain why I didn’t want to be around my boyfriends so we’d end up in a fight. The fact that your boyfriend told you he’s been feeling anxious is actually a good thing, even if he doesn’t want to talk about it.
Some people don’t want to discuss their anxiety, and that’s completely okay. Mental illness is a very personal thing. For me, I just want my partner to tell me that they are there if I need them. That’s it. Theoretically, I already know that, but hearing it out loud really makes a difference. Let your partner know that if they do want to talk to you, you’re there. But if they don’t want to talk about it, that’s fine too. All you can do is be supportive. They will come to you if they need you.
Have you ever dated someone with anxiety? What did you do? Tell us in the comments!
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