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Anxiety/Depression and impacts to people around you
I'm in my 2nd year battle with anxiety and depression. Of late I can see this is affecting my partner a lot.
I'm struggling through my own battles with the physical symptoms. I feel like s*** and I have withdrawn from a lot of things and I can't commit as I'm worried if I don't hold up. My latest battle is with panic attacks. Clearly i'm not sexually active, I'm less thoughtful and more self-centred and a lot less intimate because of my condition.
I'm not sure what my partner is upset about but its clear that it is.
Does anyone have any suggestions? I'm trying to juggle between myself and the people around me - especially my immediate family. I hear that it can be hard of them too so trying not to blame them for not understanding but I'm now worried my partner will change for the worse, whether to deal with expectations or whether my condition takes them into their own spiral of anxiety/depression. I don't want to lose myself and i dont want to those dearest to me either.
I've read some of your other posts and can see the tough time you are having, The physical reactions are very intrusive and long-lasting. Trying to pin each down and keep looking for effective treatments are all factors that turn you life upside down.
No, somebody that as not gone though what you have will not have a good idea of what is inside your head -or how your body feels. This is unknown -and very frightening territory. The person they knew, could have a normal every-day life with, from going to the mall with the kids to being inmate and reassuring is no longer there. For them too it seems open-ended.
My wife first thought it was her fault. I was not normally an angry person, that if I was now consistently irate and unreasonable she might have contributed to it. If I was a loving person who shared intimacy and that stopped perhaps it was her. It was frightening and alien, the partner she relied upon was no longer there discussing matters - the next big bill, taking a child to school - or anything. If you had chores - done the washing maybe or cooked or mowed. That no longer happened.
So your partner has at least two sorts of greif, first the frightening change in her partner and the relationship they no longer have, and secondly practical things, great responsibility, with more of the burden of everyday household matters
My wife looked after me, the offspring, worked and dealt with the household, all with a person who did not seem to love, avoided everyone, maybe perhaps not being around in the future
You can't blame them not understanding,If they have talks with your doctor or read some of The Facts at the top of this page that may give them an idea.
You do say 'those dearest to you' A lovely phrase that shows you recognize you still love and care. The thing I found was that apart from task by my doctor and psych to ensure that my wife understood it was not her -and also what to expect - that small acts could have a big meaning.
Even, when still down and in your case physical pain, making a cuppa can reassure and show the lovable person underneath is still there.
Small things like that might represent a big effort for you at the moment, and under ordinary circumstances would mean little, however in these situations they can take on reassuring significance.
My wife had her mum to support her both emotionally and also to give a physical hand, does your partner have anyone like that? It made a very big difference.
I hope I can say that you may have summed up what she might be thinking quite well ...the person she loved, relied on etc is not here right now and I'm working so hard to try and get back on track but unfortunately all of this is going to take time ... time that I don't feel I have.
I want her to understand but at the same time, i don't. I never thought of mental health as anything but stupid talk but now that I'm going through it, I completely understand. If it took me to get issues for me to understand, I sure as hell hope she doesn't have to do the same. However she can seem pretty understanding so my guess is that there is something else that is related to my condition that is stressing her out. If I saw my wife in a world of pain, I'd be upset too.
You ask if there is anyone able to support her like you wife's mum. Unfortunately I'm having difficulties talking to her - she isn't responding in an open manner but I may need to give her some space as well and maybe she might come around. Some times she is really open and we have a good chat but the past 2 days really seems to have taken a toll on her.
I seriously doubt my wife ever got to knew waht it was like for me, she could see the effects and learned by trial and error waht to do, waht helped, what did not.
This was further complicated for her in that I was not consistent, one day responding to enquirers, then next time shying away.
All I can suggest is you try to show kindness and consideration as best you can. If she will talk fine, but no talk may simply mean she feels lost and needs those acts from you.
Hi Croix, completely agree. We had an arguement last night. Can't say it was my finest moment, and that the moment is anything that is going to help me overcome anxiety/depression but she did say that some times I make her feel close and some times she doesn't know me. I think things like this is hurting her because she doesn't know what to expect. I feel like I'm sort of bipolar. How do you find the strength to be consistent? Mornings/during the day I wake up and I feel like crap - how do you find the strength to push past the blah, feel like crap feelings where you just want to crawl up into a ball, and do things that bring the meaning of marriage back while fighting your own demons of things like, is this going to make me feel worse?
She mentioned that I'm the best father she can ask for her daughter - no questions asked but as a husband, completely failure. I do a lot of things for the family but the one thing I am struggling with is to show her the love, compassion, kindness that she is after - the old me. It's sort of like social anxiety that I've developed - my best friend called and I just didn't feel like picking up the phone. In fact I didn't ...
OK, as you can see from the above I get it, and no, trying to give love back can be very very hard. There are two bright spots, the first is that a little love or kindness or consideration can go a long way if the the person receiving realizes what it cost in terms of effort.
The second is at a better time during the day make something and store it up, give it the next morning when you are feeling as down as you can get. At it's simplest get a bit of paper and make a card that says you love her or am grateful for her love, you understand her loneliness or worries or effort ... you get the idea. It does not have to be professional, or artistic, or neatly folded or anything. If it was me I'd try to draw a picture (which would be good for a laugh if nothing else).
I did this with my wife and drew the (fat) dog, not recognizable, just a few cartoon-like lines - but something.