Resources for Spouses of Those with Anxiety Disorders

Hi there! I am new here but probably should have joined much sooner! My husband has GAD, and I guess what I'm wondering is whether there's anything else I can do. I feel I have to be a take-charge, controlling b**** (no offense) to get our two person family to do anything, even the mundane, during these relapses. I hate it, because it's not my personality (I don't like forcing other people do stuff, though I am willing to kick my own rear plenty), and I also am not very good at that role.

Background: About a year into my marriage, my husband had panic symptoms (first time in the three years I had known him, at that point) and was diagnosed with GAD. It's now five years and two specialists later, and here we are still dealing with relapses.

I haven't had luck finding support groups I'd feel comfortable attending, I leave it at my husband's and his specialists' discretion how much to involve me with his treatment plan, and I know not to support his reassurance-seeking behaviors. I also see much generalized advice about how spouses or family members need to remember general self-care, which I already do my best with. There also is a lot of great info about how important it is that the anxiety sufferer gets support. I also recently read the book, Loving Someone with Anxiety, which would have been awesome to have five years ago but now is old news, thanks to experience. I get little support from my family, which isn't especially accepting of his condition (the "man-up" generation...), so I just don't bring it up with them. Friends are sympathetic but don't understand. I've tried going to a mental health professional but had to discontinue due to a move. During that time, though, I felt awkward and dumb--I'm not very good at talking about my life. Writing comes much more naturally.

Thanks in advance for any advice! (And sorry for the long rant!)

2 Replies

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  • You have nothing to be sorry about. Your husband is fortunate to have you be so interested in his well-being. I think by now you probably know all you need to to be supportive. You sound like you do. If you keep on being supportive in the ways you've mentioned, and keep communication open between you and your husband, you and he will be fine.

  • hi, thinking about how to think about anxiety and share it with you in a coherent way lol. it is usually so irrational to fear the fear itself, because it can't harm us! there are some things that might help if you are open to suggestions? there doesn't have to be an external trigger for a 'panic attack' for example. it is also an unfortunate term, as often the individual isn't in a panic about anything in particular at the time! the most frightening aspect are the weird and wonderful things your body seems to do leading up to and throughout these adrenalin rushes, that scare a person half to death! it is a natural response to want to stop the symptoms, to get someone quickly, to behave in this way is to actually escalate the damn thing if you think about it for a moment. it can be a health concern for example, an underlying worry about something. whatever it is GET IT SAID ASAP. lol, that was me shouting it loudly. the worst thing to do ever is to squash things, to avoid things and avoidance is sooooo the enemy to overcoming the dreaded wobbles and getting back some control. just know that however weird and bizarre you feel, it is not harmful in any way! the only damage is to your self esteem and feeling like a bit of a disaster! understand what your body is doing and what it feels like when adrenalin is released, look at it properly and get your head around the real truth that you survive each and every one of them, you are stronger than they are and you can move away from this nuisance/ pain in the neck pattern of life. I am wishing you well, get on top of this and get your life back!!! x

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