Boyfriend doesn’t understand anxiety - Anxiety and Depre...

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Boyfriend doesn’t understand anxiety



I know some of you have dealt with this but my boyfriend doesn’t understand my depression and anxiety. He comes from a very dysfunctional home, his mom suffers from anxiety and depression and ocd also and my boyfriend or the family does not take her serious. She has always had panic attacks and they just blow her off. She is taking medication and that’s how they keep we calmed. So for my boyfriend growing up in that environment he thinks is nothing. He thinks I exaggerate and i can be “stronger than that”. He has actually called me weak. We own our home so is not like I can just dump him. I have never experienced anxiety until December of last year and has been hell. My doctor even wrote him a note saying to keep me stress free as much as he can.

Today he was driving, and I’m a responsible driver and throughout my anxiety , roads and highways increased my symptoms. He knows when he drives recklessly I get very anxious and today it caused a panic attack . We had plans and I couldn’t get myself out of the anxiety. He got mad and left without me.

My question is how to help him understand? After the whole ordeal he just said he doesn’t know what to do and he knows he makes things worse when he doesn’t mean to. He is otherwise a good man in many aspects and when we started our relationship I didn’t have this. He says I have changed and I’m not the same person .

Of course we all want to be good and not suffer from anxiety but is not that easy as we know. I would like for him to be more empathetic. And to know I’m not making it up. I feel so alone and broken, I feel as though there are people around me no one is there. I just would like him to understand. How have you helped your partner understand your diagnosis? Thank you

16 Replies

Its hard when they dont understand. From my own experience, it wasnt until I was actually at my lowest that I fully understand how terrible it feels when you are depressed and anxious. I think you need to come and have a serious talk about your future with the boyfriend and ask him to be respecting your condition better otherwise he might lose you. I suggest him spending more time up in this forum to understand better what its like to be depressed how simple kindness can make everyone's day better. I have caused pain to my love one before because I wasnt as understanding as I should have been and I regret it everyday. Best of luck to you and your boyfriend. Stay strong xoxo.


They will not understand,they can only understand if they r in your position.

U cannot do much regards to that.Just focus on your anxiety issue.Only u can help it with ur doc.

Are you in therapy and would your boyfriend go to therapy with you? You could tell him until you’re blue and he still may not believe you. A stranger such as a therapist may be able to tell him what is happening to you is real.

People just don’t get it.

I was an in-patient for 13 days and my husband attended therapy with my psychiatrist, social worker and therapist. It helped but my hubby thinks I can just snap out of it. We all know it doesn’t work that way.

Good luck!!!

Thank you for the advice. I had mentioned to him to go with me to therapy and he said he would.. but as a last resort. Yes I’m seeing a therapist and I’m taking medication but he feels I can get better with that and without him having to come with me to therapy. Unfortunately for him people that go to therapy are also “weak”. He actually said he would not want anyone to know if he goes to therapy with me as it would be “embarrassing “. It really sucks .

But again thank you for the advice

Sorry you are going through this. It honestly sounds like your boyfriend might need some help also, you should try to encourage him to try therapy at least once. If he's unwilling I would maybe find an article that explains the science behind anxiety and depression and ask him to read it. Maybe also find something on how to be a supportive partner to someone who suffers from anxiety and depression so that he knows exactly what is expected of him. A lot of people who are ignorant on the subject will insist that its mind over matter but that simply is not the case and he as your partner should be supportive of you, you deserve that and you should not settle for less.

Thank you so much. I’m definitely going to try it. :)


I've taken my hubby with me to my psychiatrist, he sure gets it now. He grew up with a monster of a dad & has his issues also. Can you have your therapist send you home with any info on our nasty disease, yes it is a disease, let him know that. Who on earth would ever just choose this, no one. I sure wish you peace of mind. I'm here for you! Love & Hugs!!!

Preciouslamb1 in reply to Hidden

Thank you anxiety59! I’m definitely going to ask my therapist to give me something to bring back. And that’s exactly what I tell him “I would

Never choose this for me”, I tell him all the time I don’t wish what I have on nobody! That’s how terrible it is ! Thank you!

Hidden in reply to Preciouslamb1

My pleasure, please try to stand strong for you, I know that can be a challenge yet we must fight the good fight for us. Love & Hugs!!!

Hi Precious Lamb, I just wrote a Reply and it posted before I finished so I'm going to try again as It didn't even check punctuation or anything 💛 I totally relate to the driving thing and to your boyfriend not understanding your anxiety and to be stronger. In fact my mom passed and the only members I have of my immediate family are my brother and my dad and they don't understand at all. I so get it. See I love to drive and see it as s privilege. I love listening to music or comedy etc and just enjoying the scenery. My boyfriend drives similar to your boy freind and when I try to tell hm to slow down or something else he tells me to not tell hm what to do. Then it escalates and we end up going back to the house and ending our plans for the day. It is so cute how U said "we try to be good and not have anxiety ". You know Precious, we are good. My therapist said I am an empath and i am just always sensitive towards others feelings and trying to do good for others and be kind to others. People like you sometimes end up with people who are the opposite and don't have too much capacity for being compassionate. My boyfriend like yours has tried believe me but his understanding of my anxiety only lasts for awhile or until my next issue with anxiety . My therapist said to distance myself more and go to more support groups and not be as available. Usually when I do this he tries to understand more though I haven't found a good meeting for him to go to yet. I'm thinking like a support for families of those with anxiety meeting would be great for him if I can find one. Thank u for sharing it helped me

Thank you for your suggestions , I really Appreciate it ((Hugs))


This is going to sound harsh but if he doesn't understand his own mom's struggles than he'll never understand your own. He's choosing to be ignorant instead of learning about anxiety and depression. It doesn't sound like he wants to do his part to be an understanding boyfriend. My ex never understood my social anxiety so it made it hard when he would make plans and I'd back out. We ended up fighting all the time and it wasn't healthy.

My number One rule is do NOT talk to family and friends about your anxiety... they Don't understand. This will hurt and destroy those relationships. I pretend I'm good, they'll avoid you.

How is that going? Zero judgement, just curious as to how well/long pretending works?

It's a very difficult thing for anyone who doesn't suffer anxiety/depression to understand. My husband constantly struggles with what to say or do because he can't even begin to relate, he happens to be one of the strongest, most self assured, confident people I've ever met. He even sometimes lashes out or reacts out of frustration and I've come to understand that it's not to be mean or hurtful. He just gets so upset that he can't help me or stop the thing that's hurting me and that's all he wants to do is make it stop. Make it go away. Make it better for me, for him, for our children. I get so upset when he acts like I can just turn it off but I'm also so thankful that he doesn't because I wouldn't wish this on anyone. If he's willing you should go talk to someone together, maybe even a couple's group. Hearing another spouse's stuggles/triumphant stories could really help.

Thank you for sharing your experience. We had a good talk about this issue. He finally said that is very frustrating for him not to be able to “fix me”.

He feels that he can’t make it right for me. He asked me to explain to him with words of what he needs to do.

I told him he can’t fix me, but he can be supportive, say encouraging things to me and be patient. He did say he would go with me to therapy and he just want the “old me back”. He has been trying so I have to give him that.

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