Anxiety is a serious issue which many people do not understand.
From experience, when you have anxiety you need support from people closest to you more than anything. This topic is really hard for me to talk about as this was a dark time of my life and with the love and support of my family, friends and partner I was able to overcome it.
I wasn’t easy to live with which put a strain on my relationships with the people who were closest to me.
Here are some tips to help when living with someone who has anxiety.
- Recognise the signs – if someone you love has become withdrawn, does not want to do anything or interact with anyone, insomnia, has become easily aggravated or ‘spaced out’ as in not concentrating on anything properly – this could be a sign of anxiety or even depression. For me, I did not want to do anything but I didn’t want my partner to leave me alone either. I became easily aggravated and snappy mostly because I was overthinking every potential situation (mostly in the middle of the night). Try to get them to open up to you and tell you what they are thinking and how they are feeling. Once you recognise the signs, advise them to see a doctor to refer them to councilling and be there for your loved one. Let them know how much you care about them and support them. To you, this is something so little but to your loved one, this will mean everything and make a massive difference to them.
- Be patient with your loved one – there is a chance that your loved one feels absolutely crazy with their thoughts. Whether that is imagining themselves in a dangerous situation, panicking for absolutely no reason, snapping etc. There may be times where you want to snap back at them or even tell them how ridiculous they sound as the things they are thinking are realistically not going to happen but that will only make it worse and make them sink into a deeper downward spiral. Be patient with your loved one, let them have their outburst and then ask them how you can help them or what they would want you to do. Showing them how much you care really does make that difference.
- Councilling is better than antidepressants – when I finally went to the doctors about my anxiety, they prescribed me with anti depressants. I had horrendous side effects including constant nausea and ‘brain zaps’ when trying to sleep. My insomnia was not cured and I still felt anxious. It may work for people which is great – but when I went back (the fourth time) to a different doctor after moving, he suggested councilling which I was sceptical about but decided to be open minded and give it a try.. I had nothing to lose. Councilling really helped me turn my thoughts positive and encouraged me to do things that made me anxious by using special techniques. It is also good to speak to someone who doesn’t know you or anyone around you, they do not judge they just listen.
- Encourage your loved one to exercise – when exercising, the human body releases andorphines which is a happy hormone. Getting into a routine whether it is going to the gym, swimming, running, classes etc gets your loved one out of the house and even possibly socialising. Exercising gives you focus and can even make you feel confident which again can make a person feel so much better about themselves.
These are only a few things but they really made a massive difference for me, I hope this can help others.