What To Think About When You Are Dating Someone With Anxiety

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Anxiety affects about 16% of the population at anytime, and Generalised Anxiety Disorder affects 2-5% but accounts for 30% of the mental health problems in people seen by GPs (Mental Health). I’m going to base this article on Generalised Anxiety Disorder because that’s what I personally have experience with. Of course, we all have different triggers but these are some general pointers if you’re dating someone with anxiety.

  • Communicate. This may seem obvious but you’d be surprised! Ask your partner what triggers their anxiety. Often it comes from nowhere, but most of us have certain things that make it worse. Communicate some things and also ask what to do in a situation where your partner becomes very anxious or if a panic attack is on its way.
  • Research. Your partner isn’t responsible for educating you on everything. Take some time to look up common symptoms and how people can be affected by anxiety, to better understand your partner.
  • Text back. Don’t wait hours before answering a text unless your partner knows to expect it. You may think that it’s normal for everyone to be annoyed if someone isn’t replying, but for someone with anxiety, it’s a bit more extreme. We’ll think that you either hate us because we said something wrong, that you finally got sick of us being needy or that you’ve died. I’m serious! If you’re having a busy day, send a message to let us know.
  • Back-up plans. These are SO important! If you go to a restaurant and maybe it’s fully booked or whatever, there is a big chance the anxiety goes through the roof. If you ask me to make the decision about where to go instead, you might as well take me home… I won’t be able to make any decision when my anxiety starts spinning. Instead, I’ll be stuck in a loop of thoughts of how annoying you must think I am, what a burden I am etc. A back-up plan will make a world of difference.
  • Sometimes, you’re the cause. Realise that sometimes you’re the cause for the anxiety. That is normal and it is okay. You don’t have to deal with abusiveness in the relationship, but if you know how to deal with your partner’s anxiety and you can talk it through, it will help a lot. Again, anxiety is no excuse for abusive behaviour, just be prepared to have to put some extra reassurance into the relationship when you're with someone who has anxiety. 

 

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Source: http://www.mentalhealthy.co.uk/anxiety/anxiety/anxiety-facts-and-statistics.html)