New here, needing tips as a spouse - Anxiety and Depre...

Anxiety and Depression Support

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New here, needing tips as a spouse



In the past six months or so my husband's anxiety has gotten worse. His Dr. weaned him off Xanax around that time and he now just has Ativan a couple times a day as needed and Buspar in the morning for depression. It's obvious his anxiety is much worse, and it's embarrassing for him. Take today for instance, my daughter and 2 young grandkids came to visit. He got so anxious he had to go shut himself in the bedroom. Now he feels terrible. I am worried he's going to isolate himself more and more.

As a spouse, what are the best things I can do and/or say to help? Sure, I can advocate for him at his Dr. Appointments, and I do, and it helps that I have a degree in Psychology and in Chemical Dependency, but I really a pretty much at a loss when it comes to dealing with this situation. I want to help, not say or do the wrong thing...

Thanks in advance,


7 Replies

If what he was doing before with the xanax worked and things are regressing I would be sure to tell the Dr. This and maybe log the incidents so you don't forget when you go see him.provide him with the info so he can see things were better versus now being off and symptoms are returning or intensifying. Good luck

Hidden in reply to Mena2603

Thanks, his previous Dr retired so he switched to the present one, and her first action was to say 'we need to get you off the Xanax'. I'm not at all saying he should be back on it, but it's been downhill from there, from the outside looking in, I can see that he's getting worse. He and the Dr so far have not 'meshed' so I'm even wondering if he'd be better off finding someone else.

Mena2603 in reply to Hidden

I have personally been there I know your struggle for sure. Like I said document these situations, even if they just tweek something else that provides relief that would be great.


Sorry to hear of yours and husbands struggles,

I spent a short time living with family and I think most of my anxiety was about not doing the right thing by them, or looking weak, or being judged, or letting them down. It’ must be so tricky, knowing how much to get involved, and when to allow someone to feel it’s ok to take time out, if I felt I could do certain things without upsetting people I found I didn’t get as anxious. I just felt pressure around loved ones due to the fears of letting them down in some way. 😞 this is my opinion and how I felt , I appreciate we don’t all experience things the same..I felt really conscious around loved ones as I new they were concerned, seemed to put more pressure on must be so difficult , as they really just want to help I new this. Sometimes just someone to listen was a tremendous thing.

Agree with mena too around checking out recent changes.

Apologies if I’ve been no help.

I do hope things improve soon for you all. X

If you can tell he is all ready doing worse, he needs a med change. Make a doctors appt asap and see if he can get back on the Xanax or try a different pill combo. Until then, try to keep him from isolating himself, but don't force him into any situations that create major anxiety. A little anxiety is okay. Instead of having all 3 of them come in at once, maybe try just the daughter, and then the 2 kids and then if he is feeling up to it all 3.

As far as what you can say to him, ask him what he does to comfort himself besides locking himself away. For example, when my anxiety attacks come on I need someone just to talk to me about whatever until its over.

I hope this situation gets better!

Sometimes it's really hard to find a doctor that's good for you. When I was being evaluated for bipolar, the psychiatrist said that most people with bipolar illness go to about six different doctors before they find one who can really help them. If it's possible, y'all might want to try to find a different doctor for him. Sometimes that's not possible. (When mine retired I pretty much had to just take what I could get.) If that's the case for your husband, the other advice here is very good.

Xanax is so addictive that doctors are afraid of it, but his quality of life is important. The problem comes in when the person needs to keep taking more and more to get the initial relaxation effect. Ativan can work very well at the right dose. Sounds like you need a doctor who's more knowledgeable and creative in treating anxiety. It's important that your husband knows you're in this together until you find a solution that works, too.

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