Loving a girl with anxiety isn't always easy. But if you are patient and understanding, you can be a wonderful, supportive partner for a person with anxiety. Anxiety disorders are often misunderstood - but they don't have to be. Here are the top 13 ways that you can love your partner who suffers from anxiety.
1. She can FEEL the anxiety
In her chest, her hands, all over. Sometimes, it feels like her body is constricting. It can be really uncomfortable - and scary. She's not being dramatic, the physical pressure is real.
2. She can't make it go away
There really isn't an on or off switch when it comes to anxiety. No matter how much slow breathing or intentional meditation she might do, she can't just will it away. And trust us, she hates it just as much as you do.
3. There is no cure
While proper diet, exercise, medication and stress management can definitely help, there is no official cure for her anxiety. Lifestyle changes can make a difference, but no amount of medication or life choices will cure it forever.
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. Talking about anxiety is scary. If she takes the time to talk to you about it, all you need to do is listen. That alone will prove to her that you care.
5. She doesn't want you to tell her she's "crazy"
People with anxiety are especially perceptive to words like "crazy" or "insane". These words cut deep, and you can never take them back. 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 a release.
7. She has weird triggers, but 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 or obsesses over details you find strange. Let her know that you care by trying to understand what makes her triggers her own, and doing your best to help prevent them.
8. 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, however, 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.
9. 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. Always remember that no matter how silly it might seem to you, the things that she is feeling are 100% real to her. The faster that you can stop judging and start understanding, the better your relationship will be.
10. The simplest things can make the greatest difference
Honestly, you can get extra 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.
11. 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.
12. She would do anything to earn your patience
It may be difficult at times and 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.
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.
At the end of the day, having anxiety can be terrifying. The better you are able to understand what she's going through, and accept her for who she is, the more she will be able to trust and love you.
What tips have made a difference in your life loving someone with anxiety? Let us know, and don't forget to SHARE this article to help the world better understand what it feels like to have anxiety.