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Topic: Supporting a loved one/partner/friend with anxiety

3 posts, 0 answered
  1. B -127
    B -127  avatar
    1 posts
    15 February 2019
    Hi all, just a new face here
    Personally, I am not experiencing anxiety or depression myself but it is the reason I am here.

    My girlfriend of nearly 2 years recently made the decision to end our relationship. During our time together she has experienced episodes of anxiety that have caused some negative impact for us. To elaborate, She describes feeling overwhelmed and emotionally drained during these periods and this can cause her to lash out, personally attack or put down the people around her. I was on the receiving end of this several times that caused a few hurtful arguments. E.g She would call at 4am to angrily criticise me about a relationship issue that was raised earlier. This pattern could occur for days, typically I tried to calm her down but would angrily start ignoring her calls/msgs or argue back when I could no longer endure the constant put-downs.

    We tried learning from these and working on ourselves such as having her visit a professional counselor who could provide better emotional advice than I could. I myself tried to work on my anger and not lose my temper when on the receiving end of her anxiety triggered behaviors.

    In recent weeks , she told me, due to stress from life,work and uni, She feels her anxiety is at its worst point but that she wants to work on herself and get it under control. However she decided to break up as she feels unable to devote her energy to our romantic relationship ( which is long distance during uni semesters) at the same time and does not wish to put me through the stress of both supporting and worrying about her. She would rather we stay friends while she tries finding a stage where her anxiety is under control.

    Whilst it hurts a lot and I’m trying to distract myself.
    I’m mainly here to ask for some advice and tips of how I could help her through that journey or pass on to her?

    1. What are some recommended resources ,strategies or services that she could try out?
    2. What advice can you give partners or friends of those experiencing anxiety on healthy ways to support?
    3. Any advice from those who have been in similar situations?

    I love this girl very much and miss her, but currently I just want to help her feel that she can overcome her demons and feel happy again.

  2. Sophie_M
    Sophie_M avatar
    3667 posts
    15 February 2019 in reply to B -127
    Hi B-127, welcome to the forums.  While you're waiting on replies to your thread, here are a couple of links to other parts of the Beyond Blue website and threads on this forum that may provide answers to your questions:

    Supporting someone with a mental health condition

    Treatments for anxiety

    The rhythm of healthy relationships

    Also have a look through the Supporting family and friends section of the forums to find stories from other members in similar situations.  You can use the search bar to find older threads as well, this is an issue that gets discussed fairly often on the forums.
    1 person found this helpful
  3. Doolhof
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
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    Doolhof avatar
    8099 posts
    16 February 2019 in reply to B -127

    Hi B-127,

    Thanks for sharing your story here. I suffer more from depression and stress and a little anxiety. It can be hard when a person is suffering to realise just how much they are inflicting unintentional pain and anguish on loved ones.

    The Beyond Blue web site has information on anxiety, the library will have books you could borrow as well and the internet may offer up ideas on how to help and support people suffering from this condition.

    I find, the more I read and explore a condition the more I understand it.

    While trying to help her, you may also need to look after yourself, like you mentioned it is tough when you are at the receiving end, so setting boundaries is beneficial.

    Know your limits, do what you can to be helpful and supportive and realise you can only do so much.

    Hopefully you will both learn and grow through this experience.

    Please know you are welcome to share your experiences and thoughts here.

    Cheers from Dools

    1 person found this helpful

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