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Topic: Helping somone close to you with anxiety

5 posts, 0 answered
  1. Aidan33
    Aidan33 avatar
    1 posts
    24 June 2020
    Hi everybody,
    I'm looking for help in a supporting role, my girlfriend has anxiety and depression really bad and I feel like I don't know how I can help. If some of you would be able to share or give advice to me about how people helped/helping you, that would be amazing.

    Thanks
  2. leesy_lou
    Mentor
    • Masters of Psychology student on placement
    leesy_lou avatar
    60 posts
    24 June 2020 in reply to Aidan33

    Hi Aidan,

    Sounds like your heart is in the right place purely by the fact that you are reaching out to gain some advice on how to best support your girlfriend. This in itself is amazing and to me shows that you are doing the all the "right" things to help already.

    Supporting a loved one with a mental illness is really challenging, it hard to see the people we love struggling and with it brings a mix of emotions,,, sadness, anger, frustration, hopelessness. I wondering what it has been like for you?

    Im thinking we could offer up some advice on how to "support a loved one with a mental illness" but I'm also thinking that your lives, your relationship and your girlfriends anxiety and depression and unique and not all approaches too this situation will help. I also assuming that there are a range of ways you are already supporting her, or things you have tried? Maybe it would be more helpful if you could share what has or hasent work in the past?

    Looking forward to hearing back from you soon

    Always here x

    1 person found this helpful
  3. Gambit87
    Gambit87 avatar
    519 posts
    24 June 2020 in reply to Aidan33

    Hi Aidan33,

    Welcome to the forums and thank you for reaching out!

    I know exactly what you're going through - I'm going through the same thing with my partner (who goes through the same thing with me!)

    Its challenging - you feel like you're on the sidelines, watching your partner in pain and you cant do much about it.

    IMO - All you can do is let your girlfriend know that she is not alone. Encourage her to talk - As hard as it is at first, talking about our problems really helps. - Listen to what she has to say, but don't try to fix it. Encourage her (if she hasn't already) to seek help - there is no shame in getting help.

    Encourage her to get out and about, even if its just around the block or to the coffee shop. Encourage her to do small tasks or dabble in her interests? If she tells you that she didnt do something something like 'thats ok, theres always tomorrow'.

    you or your girlfriend are not alone.

  4. Mumofnah
    Mumofnah avatar
    20 posts
    24 June 2020 in reply to Aidan33

    Hi Aidan33,

    I am going through what your girlfriend is going though at the moment but I have Anxiety, panic attacks and mild depression. when I’m having a panic attack or my anxiety is through the roof i find all I really want is for my husband to reassure me that I’m ok and it will pass. Sometimes if I start feeling a attack coming on I will cuddle up to him and it helps calm me.

    I have also found this forum sooo helpful to know I’m not the only one and also mindfulness apps (Smiling mind is a fantastic app) maybe see if she would be keen to give it a go it takes a while to get the hang of it, so I’m told. I’m still learning how to get in the zone of mindfulness but not giving up. But I still find I get a lot of calm from it.

    when I started the last flare up 3 months ago, from things going on in my life, at first all I got from my husband was “are you ok, are you ok, what can I do” it just seemed to make it worse and as the one actually experiencing all of these horrible feelings and strange sensations through out my body. I think all I wanted was the Reassurance. Now I get that from him and it helps me calm down.

    im not saying it is what your girlfriend needs but it might be worth giving the things I suggested a go.

    If have not already done so definitely as Gambit87 suggested get her to seek help though her GP.

    All the best of luck😊

  5. shad0wings
    blueVoices member
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    shad0wings avatar
    46 posts
    24 June 2020 in reply to Aidan33
    Hey Aidan33!

    You sound like an amazing person and such a supporting partner, that's such a beautiful thing to see.

    Personally when I have bouts of anxiety I really like being held by my partner, just like one huge prolonged hug, he doesn't even have to say anything sometimes, just that physical contact makes me feel safe, warm and loved, which tends to calm me down heaps.

    When I have worse attacks it usually requires my partner to be a bit more vocal in telling me that I'm okay, I'm safe and thinks like that. I also like to hug teddies (but that might just be a me thing).

    Also communication is really important. When she is feeling better ask her what she would like from you when she's having bad bouts of depression and/or anxiety, so when it does come, it'll be easier.

    Also please look after yourself as well, I don't know what it's like looking from your side but that's what i try and tell my boyfriend too.

    Sending hugs to the both of you!

    - tay

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