We all feel nervous or worried at times. This anxiety can be a helpful feeling when it motivates us or warns us of danger. An anxiety disorder, on the other hand, causes unexpected or unhelpful anxiety that seriously impacts our lives, including how we think, feel, and act.
Dating someone with anxiety disorder can be challenging if you are unaware of exactly what it is, so my first suggestion to you is to try an educate yourself about it as best you can. Here are a few other things you can do to help your partner with their struggle:
1. Never belittle their fears and anxieties.
The thing that people need to understand with anxiety is that the smallest thing can set you off. Try your best to understand that maybe for you it's not a big deal, but whatever is worrying them is a big deal to them an undermining that will only cause more anxiety.
2. Understand that they can't just 'snap out of it'.
While self-help can be beneficial, often full and lasting recovery requires the assistance and support of an experienced anxiety disorder coach/counsellor/therapist. So it’s unrealistic to think a person can just snap themselves out of a struggle with anxiety disorder.
3. Reassure them that everything is going to be okay.
Say it 5 times, 10 times, 100 times, but never stop saying it not matter how fed up about it you get. It's so simple and honestly the best thing you can say when someone you care about is battling with anxiety. Realize that it IS helping just what you say 'it's okay'.
4. Try to stay calm.
In a situation that causes a panic or anxiety attack for your partner, do your utmost best to stay calm and calm them down as well. Anxiety disorder is predicated on fear. This fear can be rational or irrational, and this fear elicits a 'stress response', which can take up to 20 minutes to subside.
5.Celebrate the small victories along the way.
Overcoming anxiety disorder takes a lot. On the way to lasting success, there are often a great many little steps and victories. Celebrate them, make a big deal about them. Doing so can be very encouraging to your significant other.
6. Encourage them to get the help they need.
As much as it has gotten better over time, there is still a stigma attached to mental health and getting help for it. Perhaps your encouragement will be all that your partner needs to finally take this big step.