Any advice for supporting a partner suffering with anxiety?

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    • #17867
      Al Ferguson

      There have been a few dads get in touch asking about how they can best support their partner suffering from anxiety and PND. If anyone has any experience of this, please share.

    • #17873
      Rob James

      The only thing I can say is be supportive no matter how small the situation is causing anxiety. Even if you think it’s ridiculous try and understand it from their point Explain all the positive things about it. This will take their mind away from thinking about all the things that can go wrong in this situation. Some days the same situation may cause a worse/less anxiety attack. I always find that it’s worse when tired so try and get a good nights sleep if you’re doing something the next day you are worrying about.

    • #17989

      Patience…lots of it…it’s not a quick fix or an easy road and can be really trying on both of you.

      You also have to be prepared to just listen and hear them. They’re not necessarily looking for someone to provide a solution, but just someone that they can talk to and be heard by so they can just relieve some of the pressure and know that they’re not going through this on their own. Once they’ve done that, then you can start looking at how you can take each issue in turn and see what can be done to address any of them.

      Sometimes you could find that it’s a traumatic event from their past that has been re-triggered by a present event, sometimes there might just be no reason for it.

      Depression and anxiety I don’t think ever truly go away, you just learn and try to help your partner learn how to cope with the darker days and always try to aim for less of them – whether this is with the help of medication, therapy, combination or whatever works for the person or for both of you in some cases.

      Finally, and possibly most importantly…don’t forget yourself. You are only going to be able to help your partner if you look after yourself as well. It can be very hard not to fall into depression yourself. And just remember, you might also need to talk to someone too, don’t leave it until it’s too late.

    • #18029
      James Child

      Patience is the key. Things won’t be the same as they once might have been between you but you need to support and help them rather than resent them for it. But equally don’t stand by and become a punch bag too; if they are treating you bad, anxiety is a reason why but not an excuse for it.

      It’s a fine line between letting the odd thing slide and being taken advantage of, so be careful and make sure you have a support network to fall back on as well.

    • #18061
      Simon Tiplady

      Theres some good tips from Samaritans about listening.

      1. Show you care
      2. Have patience
      3. Use open questions
      4. Say it back
      5. Have courage

    • #18205

      I found it really helpful learning all her triggers and how she handles them. Now I’m able to see the signs of a panic attack before she has one and can pull her out of the situation. I also learned about breathing/coping methods so I could teach her and remind her when she’s panicking what to do.

    • #18244
      Dan Allison

      Patience, understanding and not take things to heart.

      I found it so hard when my wife had post natal depression. I couldn’t understand what was going on. Why she was being so unreasonable. It hasn’t gone away and my eldest is 7 now.

      I still don’t fully understand it, and don’t think I ever will.

      But I can read it better. Know when to comment and when to stay quiet.

      Support wise. Just need to be there. Try and pick up the slack when she is low. If wants to sleep I take the girls out.

      Frustrating and horrible thing to live with.

    • #20646

      The first thing you could do is just be there, give a hug let them know everything is going to be ok. My wife had a tough time and went into her own little bubble most of the time . I found that just being there, talking , listening and giving her a cuddle was what she wanted. When she started talking to me I realized that it’s not about relating and all that, she just wanted me to listen and show her that it was going to be ok and we can get through this.

      At times I even used to just randomly play “eye spy” just help take her mind out of the dark place she was in . %90 of the time that worked .

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