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Anxiety and Depression Support
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Spouse who has severe panic attacks

I need help dealing with my spouse of forty years. He has severe anxiety/panic attacks from his time in the military, which has become significantly worse in the last fifteen years. He has loss three jobs in last eighteen months, which has our family on verge of bankruptcy. He refuses to find help until Veterans Administration approves his disability and supplies him with help. Earlier this week, his attack started and he became aggressive, hostile, paranoid, verbally abusive. His behavior and demeanor was so hostile that my two dogs were about to attack him to defend me. During these attacks, his perception of reality is faulty. When others are present during an attack, he tells people horrendous lies to justify his actions, which means I am some horrible person and the cause of all his actions and attacks. People have since said vicious things to me because of his comments. I am tired of being his verbal punching bag and fed up with people believing all the lies he has told them about me. Occasionally, the adult children have been on the receiving end of his antics. Fortunately they lives across the four corners of the United States and Europe. I recently told him to seek medical help or I am gone. I am dealing with severe medical issues from a 2 year detail in Iraq. I struggle to keep going with work, home life, and health. His attacks take what little energy that I have left in me. I need guidance in handling this situation before he does something more stupid than he has all ready done.

5 Replies

He may not get better. He may remain this way for the rest of his life. Is this how you want to spend your life? Don’t feel guilty for feeling you deserve better. You do. This is abuse. The respect, on both sides, is long gone. This is foundational. Without respect, and he has not respected you, how can there be love, or trust?

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Hello, Casm. I am sorry that you are in this situation. You don't deserve to be treated like that. You have a right to a safe place for yourself. My heart and strength go out to you.

You are in an abusive relationship. You exhibit all the symptoms. Your priority is to focus on self care and safety. Your self esteem is shattered. You are experiencing complex PTSD .from abuse.

Can you find a support group for women? Can you talk to your doctor? You can possibly talk to a therapist who specializes in abuse.

Also, you must create boundaries for yourself. I suggest you keep an emergency bag for leaving the house. You don't need to be subjected to that. You may want to look at Domestic Abuse websites. There are Safe houses for women to escape domestic abuse. They can help you with transition and counseling.

In the meantime, practice self care. Meditation, prayer, or Chanting. I saw an interview about Tina Turner and hers use. She is such a beautiful soul. She chanted and found strength to leave.

On my phone I wrote some affirmations on healing from abuse. Please look some up. Having these positive thoughts will empower you.

I am sure you are conflicted whether to stay or go. I suggest that you find a women's group for abuse. You can find support and advice.

I suffer from complex PStd from ongoing abuse. I have a long way to go to heal. I just wanted to reach out to you and offer suggestions that may help. No one should be treated that way. There is no excuse for abuse.

I pray that you find strength and hope. You are of value.

Your friend.

😻Ayla Kat


Does he say these hurtful things when he isn’t in the midst of an attack? Panic attacks cause intense fear and people tend to say and do things they wouldn’t normally do if they weren’t feeling terrified. I am not trying to explain away or defend his behavior. I am only trying to offer a reasonable explanation. That said is he taking any anti anxiety medication? He could benefit from them. They take the edge off the panic attacks.


nope....you don't have to be anybody's verbal punching bag....and his behaviour may escalate to violence....quietly get your ducks in a row...gather all paperwork, passport, deed to home, birth certificate, ins paperwork, bank statements, start keeping a diary of his actions and statements...it goes to character and why you need to leave if you go for a divorce....open your own bank account and start looking for a way out...I'm sorry your going through this...but he does not sound like he is any longer the person you knew....he has been eaten from the inside out with what ever torments him....and you cannot make him happy....only he can do that. See about getting housing...even if it's renting a room till you get on your feet....don't let this go on and on...it only gets worse.

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Has your hub looked into support groups for ex military? Would he consider that Do you think? I have a family member who got into a program caring for horses. I don't know a lot about it but it turned his life around. Try googling horse therapy. As the others have said, you need to be safe. Be ready to leave in an instant.


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