How else can I help my fiance

My fiance suffers from anxiety and I think insecurities/paranoia. He really has no reason to and I understand why he feels the way he does, we talk about it often but I just don't know how to help him apart from reassuring him and letting him talk.

He had a rough upbringing and his family isn't exactly the happy family you would expect, so I understand where it all started from. He has so much going for him, popular, has a great job, senior position and is so well respected at work, but that's where he lets his paranoia or anxiety get the the better of him. He constantly thinks people are talking about him behind his back (at work) he always over analysis things and lately has alot more days where he is just down and moody and its becoming more difficult for him to talk and open up, he seems to think I will think what he is feeling is stupid, when its the opposite. I just don't know what else to do or say.

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  • Ah, that's the worst part about being down, you find it hard to believe others really care and want to help. If he has't already, I suggest encouraging him to see his GP. He may be afraid of being signed off from work/people at work learning of his anxiety (I was! There is such a stigma to anything 'mental' especially in a high pressure job) but even just starting off the process of acknowledging that he wants to not be like this, should help. The GP can then suggest some next steps.

    Keep letting him know you will always be there to reassure him. He's lucky to have you even if right now he is finding it hard to open up.

  • Hi Wanttohelp

    Well I'm certainly no expert, all I can do is relay info that may be useful from my own experience.

    If he's talking and you're listening then that is a very good start. Try and keep that going if you can, though it sounds like it's getting harder to do. It's so easy to bottle everything up and become isolated.

    Have you looked into local NHS services that can help? Here's a good starting place:

    nhs.uk/LiveWell/Mentalhealt...

    Services differ from county to county but there may be a mental health trust that can help. I'm currently under going CBT for my Anxiety through the NHS. However the main criticism of CBT is that it doesn't deal with the past, it just focuses on the present problems which may not be useful if he has had a rough past.

    You mention he's in a senior position. I'm going to (possibly incorrectly so apologies) make the assumption that he may be reasonably well paid as well. If that is the case then there may also be a Private Mental Health Consultant that can help if you don't want to wait for the NHS. Just be sure to check all their credentials first (obvious I know!).

    I know it isn't much but hopefully it's a start.

    He certainly isn't alone.

    Aurora (^-^)

  • Thanks for the advice :-) He has seen his GP and they prescribed him some meds which seemed to have helped him a bit. But to be honest, I really think he needs to speak to a therapist and work through issues from when he was younger that have no doubt been 'skeletons in his closet'

    His GP suggested group therapy and that made him despondent, because he wasn't keen on that. I have offered to go to a therapist with him,he says yes but then that kind of fades as another idea. He just always seems to think people are judging him, or think negative things of him, and when i ask where he has got this from, he says he just senses it or says he can tell by peoples reactions.

    He is 32, and starting to lose his hair (not major, like all men in their 30's, hair starts to go thinner :-) ) But now he has really let that get to him and is so self conscious. He will be fine one day and the next really down, and I find myself feeling guilty about being in a good mood when he feels like that.

  • He suffers from anxiety disorder and mild depression and has done for the last 4 years, so it's not got anything to do with his age, his anxiety has just got worse over the last year, he now barely sleeps and his mind doesn't seem to switch off and most the time he doesn't even know why.

  • You said he's not keen on group therapy. Is that the NHS stress and mood management classes?

    I cant praise this enough. I am a very private person and was so embarrassed i had a 'mental' issue. I did what was called group therapy but its really not. Its a lecture type set up and you can sit at the back, not say a single word and just listen to what the therapist is saying. There can be about 30 in the room, everyone is in the same boat and that in itself is very reassurring. There are people from all walks of life. Some young some older. Men, woman. Professionals, full time mums. Alsorts.

    You are given hand out that you can read through and take home. They ask the group if anyone has anything they want to share/ say but there is never any pushing for involvement.

    In my first class a lady said why she was there and what she experiences, i almost cried. She was explaining my symtoms to a T. This was the first time i'd heard another person talk about panic/ anxiety and to particulally hear her say about feeling like she was going to faint and feeling like in a dreamstate was comforting.

    I hope he does rethink these classes because they really helped me.

  • Hi Karenx, It was through the NHS but I am not sure if it was the particular one you are referring to. I think I just need to understand it better, the main reason I find it difficult to help him the way I would like is because I guess i dont understand and cant comprehend what he is going through. He told me that some days it gets so bad, that when he has a client presentation or meeting he gets so nervous and cant think straight and starts to panic and forgets what he is meant to be doing, when in actual fact he is brilliant at what he does and these people are more friends than clients, and this is only recently. When I ask him why, he just says He doesnt know why. My heart just aches for him because i feel he is trying to make sense of it but cant.

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