My partner has anxiety disorder

Hi everyone,

I've just joined you today through search of help.Thank you for reading my post.

My Partner has been living with anxiety since over 10 years. When I first lived with him 2 years ago, and after a big fight which left me stun, in pain and understanding nothing, he confessed his problem with anxiety disorder. I felt so sorry for him and all I wanted was to help him cure. Believing that the love we had for each other would be strong enough to fight the world.

It's been 2 years now that we continue living Together with countless fights which ended by me giving in. Most of our fights was about his cat, his smoking, and his unhealthy and abnormal eating habit, his unusual sleeping time that HE WANTED me to help to change for a better health. But when I innitiate an action about it he got angry and yelled right to my face. Today we ended up with our living scene narrowed to very simple patterns: him sleeping till midday or event till 2pm, and go to bed sometimes from 2 to 5am, and he naps every now and then around late afternoon and evenings. And around 10pm he would lovingly put me to bed side by side with his cat. I would get up at 7am to start my day....

I realised now that, after 2 years of trying to be there and help, not only he is not getting better but me too start feeling isolated.

My question here is that have I given the help in the right way? Or is there a better way to help him? Sometimes I feel so exhausted and scared of what I might become now which makes me wanted to leave him. But knowing how we still love each other and how much it would affect his anxiety I just can't

If you are living in the same situation or having a better understanding about his action, or any idea about what I can do, please share with me, I would appreciate very much.

Thank you.

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13 Replies

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  • Am going to frank and you're not going to like it. Run. NOW. Just because you love someone, doesn't mean its healthly, and love does not conquer all things....in your case, it appears your partner is just conquering you and your life.

    Find another person, even with anxiety, to get to know and love. But someone who doesn't control you and demand that you adjust to his every whim. Your partner may have anxiety, but he appears to have many other issues too.

    Your partner may need professional help, but nothing you have mentioned seems to have a direct connection with anxiety.

    This relationship isn't going to get any better, and you indicate you are the one who is changing, but not for the better.

    You are not this man's savior. From what you have written, you can't honestly believe you can "heal" him.

    Wish the best for you in making a decision that will save your life. It will take courage to leave, but you need to take care of yourself.

  • Hello PTSDforyears,

    Thank you so much for your time and advise.

    You are right about my partner have many other issues too: his limited ability to share and communicate which drove me crazy guessing and putting myself in try- erreurs actions. I know, Its so silly of me taking the role of a professional work.

    You are also so right about me not going to like your advise very much at the moment. Maybe I'm still "blind by love" or just wanting it to be handled in my cultural way. But I will read your message many times again just to help myself to "wake up" if I can.

    Thank you again for your opinion, and for your continuous help in this forum.

  • Not sure it is true anxiety or something else. Sounds a bit off to me. He needs to be the one willing to get help. You can run circles around trying to be on his revolving schedule but you are not helping him nor helping yourself. Giving in to his demands isn't love, it's control. Cut the rope before he pulls you down with him.

  • Thanks ppip,

    I'm opened up by your opinion: "giving in to his demands isn't love, it's control"

    Why do I think I'm strong enough to help !

  • It isn't your job to repair what's broken in him. You cannot make another person into your project and then expect to control whether or not it brings you down. I say this from my experience in bad relationships. I feel for you.

  • Thanks violetgenie,

    I do consider giving up, just making sure that I have done everything I could. So I don't feel guilty or shame with myself in the future. Thanks for sharing

  • That makes sense and you are obviously a very generous, loyal and kind hearted person. We are here to support you 😊

  • Hi. I really feel for you, it must be a very unsettling, painful way to live. I can understand that you have feelings for your partner, and that two years of your life has been invested in the relationship, with you believing you can help him. But You must be aware and recognise that no one can 'be' helped unless 'they want to be', and this only happens if they take their own steps to help themselves!!

    When your time together is mostly negative,this is not helping anyone, and the relationship becomes toxic. This will affect your health both physically and mentally, and as you have described, the situation is not healthy for you and is having a bad affect..

    When we have feelings for someone as you do,and we are living unhappily with that person in our life, we can believe the feelings we have are how we feel in the present, but they are really feelings for how it once was, or how we hope it could be. If you look at the actual present time situation for what it really is, for the circumstances you are dealing with now, and if you are honest you will see the truth - for how can it be feelings of romantic love when treat so badly and feeling such anguish-..In this situation we should only operate, and make a decision based on the here and now, not the past or the future.

    If your partner is suffering from anxiety he should be actively seeking help to get better. This will mean getting help and support from other sources, such as online/ face to face groups/ contacts, councillors, and his Doctor -as he may require medication- and help to control any anger issues.. anxietyuk.org.uk mind.org.uk

    Anxiety and depression can mean the person lacks motivation, but for his sake as well as yours, I think there should be no delay in moving things forward. It will not be easy, but it is time to now 'tell him' what 'he needs' to do..and that he has to 'help himself'.. Your role now in 'helping him' is to 'tell him', 'he should' go to see his Doctor about his anxiety,and get support and help because if he doesn't do that, he will not get better and nothing will change, things will only get worse and you are 'not prepared to live like this anymore'!..

    If he refuses to do anything to help himself, then you must be strong and help yourself, before the situation ultimately destroys you both...If he does start to make the effort to change, you should only support him with words of encouragement, but do not allow him to disrespect or control you with anger or negative comments.

    You should seek support for yourself, by seeing your doctor if you are feeling down or depressed. Also contact a woman's charity -I dont know where you're based- but there's womensaid.org.uk

    Good luck and best wishes x

  • Hello Tilyray,

    Thank you so much for all that you have written for me. It's such a gift knowing that out there, there are people like you and other members here still care about what I'm going through and even can offer such thorough thoughts on how to handle it.

    Thank you for opening my "sight" about the perspective of feelings. I do realise now that I'm accepting all the pain and shame (with myself for what I have become for him) was for the beauty of old days feelings, and for the hope that it might get back to us once he is cured.... I kept telling myself that he got angry because he don't know how to feel/answer or react to new things/ questions/ situations. Well, that's what I did learn from some reading about anxiety. He also has absolutely non inspiration or excitement with whatever he is doing. It's all just because it has to be done, or "just work" or "its just a TV" (yes, that's what he said when I saw a new TV installed in bedroom when I got back from a trip:-)). But it seem he finds the Adrenalin he loves when got angry and yelling at me.

    Im afraid he already did all the methods you mentioned before because after our first fight, he did mentioned seeing doctors in the past. But I will try my best to make him talk about it again. It's not so easy because it might lead to another fight, he seem to not like bringing it up.

    Thank you for showing me where to turn to when I need to help myself. I clicked on the link you gave and "yes"!

    And can't thank you enough for your kindness and all the good things that I'm enjoying from reading your words.

    Wishing you health and happiness always

    Cheers

  • Ok, while I kind of agree with other replies, I still think there is some hope. If you truly love this man and have already thought about the fact that you don't want to leave him, then I say trust your instincts. I don't think it is right for anyone else to tell someone to leave their significant other because often times we don't know the entire story. You have only told us about the bad, but there has to be a good, otherwise you wouldn't love him so much. The only exception to this, I feel, is if he were physically or mentally abusing you. To me, reading this post, it doesn't seem that way.

    While he may have panic disorder, what you described seems a lot more like depression symptoms. Had he ever seen a doctor for these symptoms? Is he on any medications for depression or anxiety? Has he ever seen a therapist? If any of these questions are no, I would start there. While I am really big on not immediately turning to medication, I really feel like it can be a useful tool to help get someone back on their feet. I suffer from high levels of anxiety and minor depression. I am currently taking an anti-depressant, been that way for about 7 years now. And while I want to get off eventually, I know that there are other aspects of my life that I need to work on before I attempt to do so. But everyone responds differently to medications and everyone has their own unique experience with depression and anxiety, it just takes time for things to get better. Time and the right moves.

    But listen, as I said before, I'm not going to sit here and tell you to leave this man, only you can decide that, unless of course he is part of the exception that I described above. Then I would say get the hell outta there. But the point I'm trying to make is, there are so many resources and so much that can be done to help your significant other cope with these symptoms, and from your description, it does not seem like you guys have tried any of that. I would start with the things that I have listed above. Talking to a therapist can make a HUGE difference. And seeing a doctor to rule out any other issues is important.

    I hope this helps and I hope that you guys find peace! Keep in mind, learning techniques for coping with anxiety and depression takes time.

  • Hello tr19

    Im in tears right now. Yes, we had shared so many positive and beautiful things in the past. We both had to "pay heavy prices" with life to be able to make the "living together" happened. He used to be "my cypress" for me to lean on when dealing with lifetime disasters during 2 years before we live together... not this angry sleeping man who allows himself to yell at me only because I'm next to him.

    I have never seen him taking medication for anxiety, well not from what I can see. But he often take painkillers for headaches. I also know that he hidden smoking herbs and surely consume it without me knowing.

    I don't know nothing about herbs, so not sure if it's a normal thing or it's alarming thing???

    OMG, im scared now. How can I check on this?

    I will try to find out about what treatment he used to have in the past. Hopefully there still something to be done for him.

    Thank you so much tr19, your time and your experience and your words are so much appreciated.

  • You're welcome! Im glad there was a time of peace at one point between you two. Honestly, I know you said you tried to talk to him about things in the past, but keeping an open communications relationship is very important for maintaining it. It's might be difficult, but I also suggest telling him how it is affecting you. This could go a long way in making him realize that his actions are negatively having an effect on you.

    As I mentioned in my previous post, seeking therapy is so so so helpful. You could help him find one, and you can also find one for yourself if need be. Or you could even find a couples therapist and you can both go in at the same time. There are options out there.

    Regarding the herbs, I know that a lot of people use them recreationally all the time, but when it comes down to it, it's a drug. And the very core meaning of a drug is that it alters the state of one body chemical or another to trigger an effect. Each person can have their own unique experience to a drug and keeping that in mind is important. Just because some people can use herbs all the time and not feel any negative effect from them doesn't mean that everyone will respond that way. Personally, I used herbs for awhile and I can without a doubt say that it fed into my depression and anxiety. Now that I don't use them, been about 4 or so years now, my mind feels clearer, I feel smarter, and more energetic. But that is my personal experience. So in short, yes, the herbs could be having a negative effect on your significant other. But please, do not be scared!!! You have nothing to worry about. The best thing you can do is to have him see a doctor, to rule out any phyiscal conditions, and then see a therapist. I'm telling you this will work wonders :)

    Just relax and remember, this takes time. There is, unfortunately, no magic switch to change things like this. Keep in mind all the things I said in both posts as well as everyone else's responses. Just hang in there and I'm always here to listen.

  • Hello tr19

    Thanks again, it's so kind of you to share in details about herbs and its effects. I feels better now. And understand better about his angers too.

    I have told him many times about how I felt about his actions and angers. I'm ashamed to tell you that sometimes, out of anger he said he "don't give a sh!t" (I hope my family would never guess about me living in such uncultured environment). We broke up for few days until he told me about how it affected him (sick, fever, vomit, doctors... ect) then here I'm back again, feeling maybe I should be more understanding and supportive.

    Anyway, I have chosen to come back, so I should give it a last try. I like the idea of having us both consulted with a couple therapists. But before that I have to be able to bring him to a doctor.

    Thanks again for your kind attention to my story, your help is very much appreciated.

    I will keep you updated.

    Cheers

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