Explaining Anxiety: How to Talk to Your Partner


Talking to your partner about anxiety can be a cause of anxiety in itself. This in-depth article is based on both personal experience and extensive research. It serves as a guide for those who are concerned about their anxiety disorder negatively affecting their relationship. The article explores why it is so important to talk about, how to explain your symptoms, and what to do moving forward. It is written in a friendly, yet professional style and includes useful example statements on how to talk to your partner about anxiety. (You may visit some specialty clinics in Dubai to get some medical advice.)

Explaining Anxiety: How to Talk to Your Partner

Broaching the subject of anxiety with your partner can make you feel anxious. Whether you suffer from GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder), panic attacks, PTSD, or a specific phobia; explaining your symptoms to someone who has never experienced them before can be extremely difficult. Add in a nagging voice in the background that recipe for a full-blown disaster.

This article will explore why it's important to rip the stitches and talk to your partner about your anxiety. Then explain some helpful tips on how exactly to go about it. Especially in a new relationship, the idea of talking about your anxiety with your partner comes like as much fun as what you're going through. Clamming up is not an option and there are plenty of reasons why.

Anxiety does not define who you are, but it's likely to be a significant part of the way you live your life, depending on the severity of your symptoms. Not sharing your experience of anxiety with your partner will, in the long run, make you feel disconnected from each other. Sort of like the elephant in the room. Not only that but internalizing your anxiety (as you probably know) can make it feel ten times worse. You're anxious and you're also trying to hide it. Bad combination. Last but not least, if you do not talk to your partner about your anxiety there is no way for you to ask for help. And no way for you to tell them what doesn't help.

So how do you get started?

Use Specific Examples

Many people who have never experienced anxiety symptoms before tend to equate them with worrying about a big exam coming up or maybe having a few too many espressos. Simply telling your partner that you suffer from an anxiety disorder is not going to cut the mustard. Everyone's anxiety is different. So the more specific you are, the more likely your partner will be able to recognize what's going on when you experience a flare-up. If you have particular triggers, try "When I... I feel like..." statements. For example:

"When I am about to check my emails, I feel like I can't breathe".

"When we are on a crowded train platform, I feel like I am swimming underwater".

"When I forget to do something, I feel like my heart is beating out of my chest."

You can also use metaphors or experiences that you think your partner will relate to. For example:

"You know that time when you tried to quit smoking and you said you felt like you had bugs crawling all over your skin? Well, sometimes I feel like that for no reason at all."

It Doesn't Always Make Sense

One of the most common issues that crop up when you try to talk to your partner about anxiety is that they will try to understand it in rational terms. Even if you do have specific situations that make your anxiety flare-up, sometimes it can just come out of nowhere. Sometimes you can recognize what's going on and are able to use tools to help yourself. Other times you just have to ride it out. Explain to your partner that your anxiety is a physical problem (yes, your brain is the art of your body!) It is not something that you can necessarily control. You might not even understand it very well yourself sometimes. Ask them to be patient with you during these moments.

What Helps and What Doesn't

Your partner is going to want to do something to help you when you are suffering from anxiety. It's just that they probably have no idea of what that entails. Explain to them the things that help you in an anxiety attack- writing, deep breathing exercises, cognitive distractions- anything that works. Sometimes the best thing your partner can do is to gently remind you to utilize these tools. Maybe you could distract yourself by taking a walk together. Maybe they could help you by putting on some music, making a cuppa and running a bath. Maybe you just need someone to listen to you to ramble on! Explain clearly and specifically the help you need and remember to ask for it when you need it!

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