1. She can FEEL the anxiety
In her chest, her hands, all over. Sometimes, it feels like her body is constricting and it can be really uncomfortable.
2. She can't make it go away
There really isn't an on or off switch when it comes to her anxiety. She hates it just as much as you might.
3. There is no cure
While proper diet, exercise, some medication and stress management can definitely help, there is no official cure for her anxiety.
4. If she's open about it with you, she trusts you
Opening up about something that makes her vulnerable is a really big deal. If she takes time to talk to you about it, listen to her and let her know you care.
5. She doesn't want you to tell her she's "crazy"
The very last thing she needs is for you to judge her. Even if you're frustrated, make sure that you're choosing your words wisely.
6. Sometimes, she really needs to cry
If she is crying for what you think is no reason at all, let her cry. Never tell her she shouldn't be crying or judge her for doing so. Sometimes she just needs to release.
7. She has weird triggers, so does everyone else
Sure, she may have some triggers that you don't understand. She probably worries about things that you think are menial, obsesses over details you find strange. Let her know that you care by trying to understand what makes her triggers her own.
8. If you undermine her feelings, it will hurt her
Telling her to stop being dramatic, acting like you're annoyed by her emotions or ignoring her feelings altogether are just a few ways that you can really damage your relationship with her. Even if you don't understand why she is upset, try to talk it out with her.
9. The simplest things can make the greatest difference
Sometimes you can get extra brownie points by simply showing that you care. Remembering details she talked about before, avoiding common triggers and working together to create a healthy lifestyle for the two of you are all things that can help the process immensely.
10. It's really not about you
No matter how many times you think you are the reason she is upset, it's important to remember that it's not about you. Her anxiety has so many roots from so many places and you thinking it's all about you will only frustrate the both of you.
11. She would do anything to earn your patience
It may be difficult at times, you may not understand why she feels the way she does. What's important is to always be patient. Always take the time to sit with her. Try to figure her out. Learn from her and see what you can do to help the situation so that both of you can feel better.
12. Sometimes she is tired for what seems like no reason
Anxiety can be incredibly exhausting. A panic attack can drain the energy from her in minutes. If she is tired, instead of asking why or judging her for feeling lethargic, encourage her to take a nap and then plan something active for later in the day. One thing that is important with this point is to make sure that she isn't sleeping TOO much. A nap after a hard day is one thing, not getting out of bed until 2pm every day is entirely different.
13. She forgives, but it is hard for her to forget
Just when you think everything's going great, she may remember something that once made her sad and have a hard time getting rid of that emotion. Rather than getting mad at her for not being able to let it go, ask if she wants to talk about it or if she just wants a few minutes by herself. Let her feel these emotions, and then remind her of the amazing reasons you are both happy today.