Understanding Anxiety and What It Is Doing to Your Partner
Learning some basic facts about anxiety will help you better understand and support your partner. Psychologist Dave Carbonell, Ph.D. and therapist Dr. Helen Odessky, among other mental health professionals, recommended you keep these ones in mind:
- Anxiety is a real problem, not something made up. It is a mental health issue.
- Anxiety is normal. Everyone has it. It only becomes an issue or disorder if it is severe.
- Anxiety can be a debilitating illness that prevents people from functioning and living a normal life.
- Anxiety makes people experience fight-or-flight reactions and stress to issues that are not life-threatening, including worrying about whether a partner will cheat or leave.
- You cannot “fix” or “cure” anxiety.
- Most people who have anxiety wish they didn’t have it. They worry about their anxiety being a burden to others.
- There are millions of people who, despite dealing with anxiety, have great relationships and are happy.
- Symptoms of anxiety can occur in waves, consistently or both. People with anxiety disorders or issues can have periods of time when they don’t experience symptoms.
- Anxiety is not logical or rational. It causes people to worry about something despite there being no evidence to suggest it is worth worrying about. It also causes them to sometimes act irrationally. Your partner most likely knows this.
- Anxiety is not a weakness.
- Anxiety is treatable. Psychotherapy can relieve symptoms and teach people how to better cope with it.
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