"People who struggle with anxiety may show it in different ways," explains Helen Odessky, PsyD, psychologist and author of Stop Anxiety From Stopping You. "Sometimes it is subtle, because the person is embarrassed and may try to hide it." Anxiety can manifest itself in behavior as understated as your partner "asking you to drive, for example, when they have not previously had an issue with it or only going to social events if you will accompany them," says Odessky. My boyfriend, a marathoner, stopped running and started spending more time in the second bedroom of our apartment alone. Sometimes it's more overt then this, of course. But sometimes it isn't.
You can't control another person's anxiety, no matter how bad you want to. But there are ways you can modify your behavior in order to be a good ally. I'm still learning how to be the best partner to my dude, so the following tips from mental health experts are helpful reminders for me, too. If you have significant other, friend, or family member with anxiety, keep scrolling to learn psychologists' tips for what to do (and what not to do) to support them.
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