Do you keep your anxiety a secret?? - Should I??

Hi all,

I've just realised/been diagnosed with anxiety but have probably been feeling stressed for years without letting it come to a head. I'm therefore really not sure how/if I approach my wife/other people with it. I think I've always been one of the more relaxed and strong people I know (on the surface at any rate) and now it feels like I've been living a lie to myself and to her. I'm really scared of letting her and my child (plus one on the way) down and letting her see the real, scared, worrying, weak me. Have you told people especially your other halves?? If so how has it gone? It not how has it gone?? I know that I should but they're the only important thing in this world to me.


13 Replies

  • Ooops - maybe I should have posted this in questions??

  • What a lovely thing to say about me, thankyou Monkeeey :)

  • I'm not really having a break from here as such, I'm just enjoying checking in and blogging still and at the moment am feeling quite positive :) Thankyou for asking :)

  • I keep everything from my family but am not sure how much longer I can keep it up... :(

  • Hi

    I am married & yes my husband knows , I would find it very difficult to hide it from him if he didn't & also for me it would cause me more anxiety trying

    I no you are the man & you will feel you may have to be this strong male etc but as a women I can say we do pick up on things & for me I would rather have honesty any day

    Also I no if my hubby was suffering with something , I would want to no & be able to try & support him , I would be most upset if I thought he was suffering & he couldn't come to me

    There is only you that knows which you want to do , but I think when two people love each other its about supporting each other as well , through the good & bad times

    I would seriously think about telling her & if you do let us no how it goes




  • Hi Russ,

    I would recommend, telling your wife as a first step. She is your partner and hopefully not a trophy wife, lol, (like mine) haha.

    Seriously, my wife was fine and has been such a help, I may of spoilt her a bit over the years for putting up with me, but we all do that anyway.

    I've found that we have become so much closer, and appreciate each other more. We walk together as I need to exercise most days now, due to related health issues, and its a great time to really talk and have fun, especially the coffee and cake afterwards :-)

    I did find the power balance of the relationship can waver about a bit, but thats a continual thing anyway, isnt it?

    The main reason for letting people know is to be honest with yourself, and that takes a lot of stress off.

    I'm now just honest with everyone if they ask, as I noticed I was holding myself back, by telling stories to hide it all, and that started getting me paranoid about what people were saying about me.

    I like a saying that goes, "Whatever people think of me is none of my business"

    And its not, as the amount of energy we would expend, constantly going over all of this and worrying is just not worth it, it acomplishes nothing, except keeping us ill.

    In business, it is none of their business though, so keep it to family, maybe spread to friends and see what reaction you get, its a good way to find out who is a real friend.

    The thing is we must realise we cannot control other people, we must trust in their judgements as they are free like us. When we let go of this, life does get easier, alot easier. :-)

    You're coming up with exactly the right questions Russ, I recon you will have this anxiety disolving before long.

    Just one exercise you might like to play with,

    I keep checking myself to see if I am rushing throughout the day, and when I am, which is alot of the time. I sigh, I dont judge myself, I gently take a deep breath slow exhalation, SMILE, one as if I'm looking at my first born baby, a real deep loving smile, which is in my eyes, and move forwards just a little slower, actually looking about and just enjoying the day. sounds silly but allows us to actually be more efficient, less stressed and we make friends with our anxiety.

    Try not to make out that our anxiety does not exist too, a common thigng, as this just stokes the fire and makes it stronger, love it, it hates that.



  • This guy is telling the truth!

    I found that telling my partner helped tremendously. There's no secrets, no additional stress - just the love and support I give to her and her to me! It has really help me!


  • Hi Russ,

    I completely understand your concerns about telling your family about your anxiety. I didn't tell anyone for a long time and sought no help... and I have to say that talking to my family and boyfriend and seeking help from a therapist in the last couple of years has been the biggest help and the best thing I could have done. I've made the biggest improvement in the last few months when I joined here - the more we share, the more we understand and care and from the sounds of it I'm sure this would be the case with your family too :)

    It's not admitting any weakness, it's just admitting a part of who you are - I'm sure you're still a relaxed and strong person but you also can let worry take hold and that's nothing to be ashamed of. There may be a stigma around this 'invisible illnesses' in the wider world, but I'm sure your family will rally around you and support you. Maybe try to view it as telling your wife about a problem at work or having a physical pain... would you try to hide these things from her? If you're usually quite open with eachother please don't let it stop here.

    You'll be amazed at how the weight lifts when you're just honest about who you are; even if not everyone understands at least you're being you and the important people in your life WILL care.

    Best of luck :)

    Katy xx

  • Thanks guys. The quality of advice and experience on here is amazing. I sort of told my wife this morning. It has lifted the stress a bit. But although she reassured me its obvious that she doesn't get it. And basically said that I shouldn't let myself get so bad. I'm pretty sure it would force quite a change in our relationship if she realised that I'm not as strong as she thinks. I couldn't bring myself to admit to any of the meds because this would be seen as a step too far I'm sure. It's sad but monkeeey is right there is still a wrong perception of this that even I held until a few weeks ago I'm ashamed to admit. Think I'm going to have a few secrets for a while at least.

  • Just realised there is a messaging facility on here! Just read it, thanks for your help and support. Really struggling to make sense of it all at the minute so any input is really welcome


  • Hi russ, wait until your ready but I think you should tell your wife and she loves you and care about you so I'm sure she would understand and would want to help you deal with your anxiety and all the problems you are facing. I have told my partner that is trying to help me through this hard time but I haven't managed to tell my parents as I'm scared what thyey might think.


  • Hi Russ,

    I would definitely tell the wife! Its supposed to be 'through sickness and health' - and having Depression is an illness. She will be very supportive, and will find out more about it so that she can support you with everything. 70% of people are diagnosed with depression in their lives (many of them with anxiety associated with it) - so if she hasn't had it, she's actually in the minority! I think it would be detrimental to your recovery if you kept it a secret from her.

    Everyone else, its completely up to you if you tell them. If you think it has an impact at work, perhaps you could tell them. But be mindful of whether they need to know. Will they help you in any way? Or will they not be understanding? You must have some friends you can tell. I don't have a partner/children. I told some of my really close friends and my brother. I have only told three people about being prescribed anti-depressants. I hate lying, and that would really make me more anxious.

    I have not told anyone at work, but I temp, so go to different places everyday. I stopped taking medication as I felt I might have to declare it. Being diagnosed is one step, but making decisions such as who to tell and how to go about your life from now is another step forward.

    Good luck with your decision - you sound as though you are going about things the right way.

    Nena x

  • Hi,

    I found out I had anxiety when I was 21, I'm now 26. Initially I only told my parents about it and nobody else. I felt and still feel embarrassed by it all, but over that time I have been sort of forced to tell other people, mainly for times when I felt I had no other option.

    When I have told people it can feel like a load has been lifted, I told a work colleague about my problems last week and was really surprised by her response. She had experience of it herself as a friend suffered from it, she now wants to help my overcome it all.

    I'd choose wisely who you tell, because everyone is different, you'll know among your friends and family who would want to help and support you. But in general telling people will help, I think us anxiety sufferers just sit in silence feeling like crap, well I know I do so tell a few people and see how it goes


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