BY Laura Lovejoy
I hate it when people go on and on about their anxiety issues, it’s as though anxiety and depression have become fashionable but what many people don’t know is that I suffer from really bad anxiety.
Anxiety for me is stressing over situations that haven’t happened or are unlikely to ever happen but they still consume your mind to the point where you genuinely believe that they are going to happen. It’s a sickening feeling when you’re meeting new people or are in a situation that you aren’t comfortable with. It’s not wanting to leave the house. It’s not being able to think straight or having heart palpations so bad they take your breath away. It’s not being able to sleep properly for weeks on end. It’s never being able to switch off.
It’s safe to say that dealing with my anxiety has been tough for my boyfriend, Clint and I can see why. To help others who might be navigating anxiety in a relationship, I have put together a few tips to help.
Patience is everything. In the moment, I might be freak out about a situation. My mind will go from 100 to 10000 (it’s never at 0 to start with) and I will cry or have bad palpitations and I might react in a way that is super unreasonable. In this moment, patience is key. I will quite often find a logical explanation in the end and rather than shouting at me or tell me I am wrong, people need to wait and let me calm down on my own.
Understand anxiety in a wider context. It might not always look how you think it will. When you imagine someone with a mental health problem you imagine them with a drinking problem or rocking away in a corner but it doesn’t always appear as you might think. I will look totally calm on the surface but on the inside, I am drowning. You have to understand that anxiety is not the same thing to everyone and just because someone isn’t silent or can look in the eye, doesn’t mean they aren’t secretly freaking out.
Learn what triggers it. To anyone that has seen The Big Bang Theory, I am Sheldon Cooper. I cannot stand if plans change. I’m not talking we were going out clubbing and now we are going to a house party, I am talking we were leaving at 11:00 am but you didn’t get out of bed so now we aren’t leaving until 12:00 pm. It freaks me out to the point it makes my heart skip a beat. It’s silly, right? But understanding the nuances of it and learning what triggers it can ultimately help in reducing feeling anxious, so basically, just get up at 11:00 am when you said you would.
Talk about it. This doesn’t just apply to the person who is suffering but also to the person who is having to suffer the wrath of someone else’s anxiety. Talking about how you’re feeling and how your partner’s anxiety makes you feel is great. Just watch your words, it’s a touchy subject and you can offend pretty easily.