How to Take Care of Yourself When Your Partner Has an Anxiety Disorder

– Posted in: Caregivers

All couples have their share of challenges. 

But when one half of a couple has an Anxiety Disorder, partners face a whole new set of challenges. And the issues associated with Anxiety Disorders may exacerbate many of the normal issues that couples face.

One partner may not know how to help his or her significant other and becomes frustrated, angry, resentful or feel guilty, sad or hopeless about the situation. Over time, this will severely hamper your ability to care for your partner with a Anxiety Disorder.

It is important that you understand that you need to take care of yourself. Immersing yourself in your partner’s Anxiety Disorder can be debilitating, and you are not being selfish to want to have a break.

How can an Anxiety Disorder affect a couple’s relationship?

An Anxiety Disorder can take a major toll on a couple. A study done by the Anxiety Disorders Association America in 2004 reveals in great detail how a couple’s relationship is affected. Although it only studied people with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), it likely holds true for people with other Anxiety Disorders. 

The study found that a couple’s relationship suffered the most compared to other personal relationships, such as friends and family. People with GAD were twice as likely to have at least one relationship problem, and three times more likely to avoid being intimate with their partner. In addition, 75 percent said that they felt their disorder impaired their ability to perform normal activities with their partner, such as going out and social activities.

How can you help yourself if your partner has an Anxiety Disorder?

Living with an Anxiety Disorder is associated with a great deal of personal distress. But it can be equally hard for a partner. The reality of living with a partner with an anxiety disorder is not how most people imagined their lives would turn out.

It is extremely important — and not selfish — for the partners of individuals with an Anxiety Disorder to take care of themselves as well as for their partner. Here are some tips to help you cope:

  • Don’t give up your own life and interests. Engaging in outside interests and hobbies can provide a much-needed break from the stress of your daily life. You will be more energized, happier, healthier and better prepared to face challenges. It is important to take this time for yourself and not become completely consumed with your partner’s disorder.
  • Have your own social life. Whether it’s going out to eat with a friend, singing in the church choir, or going to club meetings, it is essential that you get out and away from your partner from time to time.
  • Keep active and exercise. Regular exercise can help you feel more positive, and gives you energy and stamina. It will help you get out of the house and get your mind off your stressful situation. 
  • Eat healthy. Having a balanced diet will not only help the way you feel, but will help the way you think.
  • Maintain a support system. Having friends and family to confide in and count on — as well as assist you emotionally, financially and in other ways when your partner cannot — is vital for an individual whose partner has an Anxiety Disorder. You can feel isolated and overwhelmed by problems sometimes, and having someone to talk to helps greatly. There are support groups for caregivers in many communities.
  • Relax. Take the time to relax just for yourself. You may have a favorite activity such as reading, gardening or listening to music. Or you may just enjoy sitting and enjoying the scent of a candle. The important thing is that you regularly take time for yourself.
  • Express yourself. Our creativity often goes unnoticed, even by ourselves, much less given a regular outlet. Find a way to express your emotions and needs on a regular basis, such as journaling, blogging, painting, writing or some other method.
  • Set boundaries. Decide where your limits lie and inform your partner of those. These might be emotional, financial, physical, etc. For example, if your partner is not working and is not doing anything to try to become well such as seeking treatment, you may need to have a serious discussion about your expectations and how to move forward to improve the situation. Couples therapy can often help with this.
  • Seek out professional help for yourself if necessary. The recovery process can be stressful for partners of people with Anxiety Disorders. Your well-being is just as important as your partner’s. If you need someone to talk to, or you think you may be suffering from symptoms of anxiety or depression yourself, you should talk to your doctor or consider visiting a mental health care professional yourself.

What do you think?

If you are the partner of someone with Anxiety Disorder, you know how hard it can be sometimes. You should not feel guilty or selfish for regularly taking the time and energy to take care of yourself!

  • Are you the partner of someone with Anxiety Disorder or another mental disorder?
  • What have you learned about taking care of yourself?
  • Have you experienced emotions such as frustration, guilt or anger? How have you overcome them?

What can you do now?

Your comments are always welcome, and are important to this blog’s community! Leave a comment now.

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Related Posts:

Resources used in this post:
Anxiety Disorders Association of America. (2004). New Survey Reveals How Generalized Anxiety Disorder Interferes with Ability to Maintain “Healthy” Relationships. Retrieved April 29, 2005 from Anxiety Disorders Association of America Web site:

Anxiety Disorders Association of America. (2008). When Your Partner Has an Anxiety Disorder. Retrieved July 16, 2008 from Anxiety Disorders Association of America Web site:

Framingham, Jane. (2007, October 23). 10 Tips to Help Yourself. Retrieved June 27, 2008 from Psych Central Web site:

Further reading: 

Strength for Caring  

Well Spouse Association   
©2008 Anxiety, Panic & Health. All rights reserved.

388 comments… add one
Zoe July 16, 2013, 6:22 am

I have been married for 35 years to a man with anxiety disorder. He does not believe he has an anxiety disorder but it is there. Yesterday I stepped away to the neighbors as I am taking care of their cat. I spent some time with the cat, after 20 minutes he came looking for me saying he was concerned I was not where he expected me to be and figured I had gone to the neighbors but was worried I had broken my leg and needed help.
At the beginning of June we had out of town visitors for approximately 3 weeks (3 different groups of friends and family). By the end he went into a tailspin of accusations about how I loved these people but obviously not him and he was just the ‘handyman’. Once again I talked him down from his precarious perch but I so weary of the game. He is a good man and we often have fun and loving times together. Our biggest problem is his irrational jealousy of me having friendships with friends and family. It seems the only way I can do that is on my own and this saddens me because I find so much joy in my friendships and would like to include him. It seems ok for a while then the smallest thing will cause him to withdraw, become sullen and spiteful. Obviously I have managed but I think it will help to have a venue like this to express some of the hurt and frustration the disorders causes us both.

Chrissy July 22, 2013, 5:05 pm

hi – i guess i’m looking for some reassurance and would be grateful for any advice! I’m 23 and broke up with my ex a year ago who I was with for 18 months. He never tried to get help but said he thinks he has some sort of anxiety disorder. He was an extremely loving partner, we had a very loving/close relationship and i connected with him like noone else i’ve ever met. But from the start i had some doubts.

He’d spend all his free time playing video games with his housemates (approx 35-45 hours a week) and rarely left his house to go anywhere unless it was to see me. He’d always miss lectures. He’d never gone to the drs in his life about anything as he found the thought uncomfortable. He was very attractive & very likeable when around people but often was a hermit that stayed in his room for long periods of time. He’d never had a job despite not having much money and always had excuses for things. He came from a broken home (horrid mother, didn’t know his dad, no other family). He had bad insominia. He’d occasionally have suicidal thoughts & there was a general saddness about him despite his kind, loving nature. The anxiety and sadness and his lifestyle hurt me because i hated seeing him live like that. I worried about him ALL the time and just wanted to do all i could to support him, understand and make him happy. I just wanted a normal relationship where we could go on holiday together and go out togeher with my friends instead of just always being in our little bubble as his company made me more happy than anything i’d experienced. When he did go out with my friends/ on cool days out it was great, he enjoyed it but he’d only ever want to if i asked.

Anyway the doubts about his lifestyle never left so, even though we were still in the honeymoon period, i abruptly broke it off just before graduating from uni. He begged me back and was extremly hurt i’d never given him a chance to change or properly voiced how i’d felt. I felt it was too late to give him another chance because of the timing as we were moving back to our home cities after uni so it would be long distance. It’s been a year and sadly i’m not over him, i miss him dearly every day and feel annoyed at myself for never giving him the chance to try and improve anything. Last week he let me know, in a nice way, that he thinks he’s managed to get over me and started dating another girl recently. I’m not over him and haven’t seen anyone else since. I guess i’m looking for reassurance that he probably wouldn’t have changed? I just feel so angry at myself for not giving someone i love a chance, for not accepting them for who they were despite his anxiety issues, thinking i’ll never bond with someone in such a special way again and i know he truly loved me and wanted to spend the rest of his life wtih me. A year is a long time not to be moving on from someone and it doesn’t feel like it’s improving! Would appreciated any advice i guess :)

Be August 23, 2016, 11:43 pm

You did the right thing. Sometimes it takes a big life change, like your partner breaking up with you, for some to want to really change.
From my experience, I don’t think he would have changed if you’d stayed with him and he still may not have. There will be others you connect with and who are willing to work on themselves rather than put their head in the sand like he did.

Gemma August 16, 2013, 8:14 pm

My ex partner has anxiety blames me for giving him it he dropped me then said he would give it another go but when he stayed at my house he said his anxiety comes and he gets muscle spasms but when he’s not near me he doesn’t get it. I know the last time when we split up I said fateful things to him I didn’t mean none of it I was angry now I blame myself cause he blames me on it all we aren’t together an he’s the love of my life seems I’ve messed it up

Elly September 10, 2013, 3:24 am

I don’t think you should blame yourself at all. We all say things we don’t mean when we’re angry and upset. It’s possible he just attaches memories to locations and finds it hard to be somewhere where it wasn’t a good place for either of you. My partner has anxiety so I can relate, but I really don’t think he should be blaming you FOR the anxiety. It’s so much more than that and I feel like perhaps he’s just using that as a mask for the real issues.

John May 11, 2016, 2:26 pm

sorry this is an old post, but it’s possible that Elly has the anxiety and it was rubbing off on her boyfriend and he couldn’t take it anymore. My wife has a serious anxiety issue, and our dog had really bad anxiety from it.. which ultimately led to her (the dog) death from related issues.

Aelissa Rodriquez October 7, 2013, 12:23 am

Thank you. I needed new ways to deal with my boyfriends anxiety and your website really provided me with good information. I’m going to remain standing by his side and have faith in God because i know there will be brighter days. Once again id like to say thank you.

Aelissa Rodriquez October 7, 2013, 12:23 am

Thank you. I needed new ways to deal with my boyfriends anxiety and your website really provided me with good information. I’m going to remain standing by his side and have faith in God because i know there will be brighter days. Once again id like to say thank you.

June November 15, 2014, 10:39 pm

This website is a good start for me. My husband and I are in couples counseling now after years of resentment and anger have built up. He was just diagnosed from our counselor with social anxiety disorder. It has really been distructive in our marriage. I too play a role because I have been enabling him and not taking care of my own needs. We have a long road ahead… Not sure if I have the patience after years of resentment have built, but I’m hoping he gets the help he needs now.

jen November 16, 2014, 12:47 am

June, Thanks for your honesty. My husband suffers from anxiety and depression. Regarding the resentment in your relationship, I have two words for you: Terry Real. He’s a brilliant, expert couples counselor and expert on male depression and anxiety. Our therapists (individual and couples) are both trained in his technique and we just met Terry Real at a couples experimental workshop recently. He’s a miracle worker. After my personal therapist met my husband for the first time, she said “I have so much more sympathy for you. I couldn’t do it…” I know that was unprofessional but that’s how bad it is. He’s gotten miles and miles better since we starting reading Terry Real’s books and following his techniques. If you cannot go to one of his workshops try to see a specialist in your area and pick up a couple of his books. I wish you all the best.

June November 17, 2014, 9:38 pm

Thanks Jen, I’m going to look him up right now! I need all the help I can get too. Nice to know others have similar issues. I’ll let you know how it turns out

Trish Collins May 14, 2015, 1:57 pm

I have always tried to take time for myself. This is getting increasingly difficult, since my husband’s anxiety seems to center around me building a life without him. Now he wants to know were I am every second and wants to come with me everywhere. He wants me to constantly reassure him that I love him, but the clingier he gets, the less I feel it. I just got my son through MDD and acute anxiety, i don’t have the energy for this.

L May 19, 2015, 9:44 am

Trish, I am right where you are. It has been 12 years here of dealing with my husband’s health anxiety. our sex life is gone, I have NO desire.I have so much anger and resentment. He doesn’t get sex so feels more anxiety, he gets clingier and all I feel like doings one days is running away. I also have a son with OCD, and it is all I can do to take care of him and his mental health. My patience for the husband’s issues is GONE. He won’t see it, though.

shaun July 6, 2015, 10:46 pm

Hi my name is shaun. I need some help girl friend has panic disorder. We recently had an emotional outbreak. I always your eyes are more beautiful than all the stars in the galaxy, and coments like this to here. Today she found a old post to one of my ex gielfriends that had this on a picture witch I posted. She asked mebif she wasbthe one I saidbthis to and I said yes not remembering I used to say it to someone else. I understand why she is upset but don’t know what to do to fix it. I love her with all my heart and will always stand by her side and support her but I don’t know how I can if she dosnt trust in me. She told me she needs time to think. This has left me in a position wherr I feel like my whole world is falling apart around me. And I am lost. This is me tring to figure something out that I can and will do to prove my love and devotion to her. Any sugestions?

Mike July 12, 2015, 10:30 am

I have been with my girlfriend who has an anxiety disorder for 3 years now. I lover her and I genuinely want to be there to support her, I have tried as hard as I can to always be there when she needs me; sometimes stay up for hours in the night just trying to help her relax and fall asleep.
I do believe that she is amazing, because despite her disorder she actively is trying to get better and she doesn’t want to push all of her anxiety on me, even though she does have her hurtful outbursts at times.
The problem is that I can feel myself starting to feel resentment because it is getting to the point where I don’t feel as though I can depend on her. I don’t feel like I can depend on her to comfort me if I may be in need or even depend on her to do me a small favor for me while I’m at work because the stress of it is to much for her. It’s hard for me to still be there for her unconditionally while I don’t feel as though she is capable of being there for me. Please don’t hesitate to let me know if I am being selfish or if anyone has ideas of how I can talk to her about this. My worry is that my resentment will eventually keep growing and my love for her will fade so I would be grateful for any advice.

Beate July 20, 2015, 6:45 am

Mike, I have a partner who is suffering with panic attacks, and we’ve been together 3 years now. I understand what you’re going through, I have the same thoghts about him being unable to support me when I need it, he is the one who always needs support. I have my own problems with insomnia and I manage my problems by myself, and I feel his problems drag me down and make my problems worse. I am afraid I ‘n no strong enoght to be for him all the tme. There are also some other issues, like his teenage daughter from his previous marriage, who he is not capable to control, as he has problems with himself..
We think about buying a house together but I am afraid everything falls on me, his disease, his daughter, econony issues.. You are not being selfish, not everybody are strong eniught to deal with their parntnes disease.

I think the most important thing we can de is to encourage them to get treatment, both farmacological and in form of therapy.

Christina July 20, 2015, 2:41 am

I’m so glad I stumbled across this website! Knowing that other people are going through similar situations…I’m so glad I’m not alone!

My fiancé deals with anxiety, OCD, and depression. We’ve been together for over five years (with many ups and downs) and we got engaged this past year. I’m at a point where I don’t know what to do and have been reconsidering getting married. I find myself constantly apologizing for “rushing” him, cleaning cluttered rooms where he has “hoarder style” piles of things everywhere, and for accidentally interrupting him during his rituals…all of which result in longer rituals, counting, etc. He started to try taking medication this past year but is not consistent with taking it, doesn’t keep open communication with doctors, and generally hasn’t been committed to any kind of treatment/management. I’ve even tried helping him eat healthier and attempted joint exercise programs to, perhaps, better equip his body to handle/deal with stress, but I end up feeling like his “mother”, he becomes even more dependent, and all of it becomes “my effort”. I know this is his journey, and he has to decide that he wants to do something about his anxiety and OCD. I just don’t know that I can patiently wait while he decides to make this a priority. He is miserable and has said on several occasions, “I hate having to count…I hate feeling like this.” However, it doesn’t change the behaviors.

We have had discussions about this and he ends up getting very upset and defensive. When I think of the stressful demands of things in our future…buying a house, having and raising a family…I’m not positive that I can count on support from him, and I honestly feel like those situations will find him in a worse place because of the stresses that can occur. I have finally admitted to myself that I am resentful and it was that eureka moment that led me to look for confirmation that I wasn’t just being a selfish person. I’m not sure what the future holds but I know it can’t continue as it is. I apologize for the long story, but I feel that venting actually helped a little. Thank you for your article! Positive thoughts and support go out to everyone going through similar situations!

August July 25, 2015, 9:35 am

I feel the exact same way Christina. I’ve been with my fiance’ for 2 1/2 years and I resent that he didn’t disclose his anxiety to me. We set a date for next year, but often times I feel like giving up. I feel selfish in my thoughts, while other times I want to keep fighting and helping. All the while I’m feeling drained from sleepless nights of concern, while he’s in the house pacing and dealing with the threat someone is in the house to get him. I’ve been reading countless of articles and information on anxiety just so I can better understand and help the both of us deal.

This article and the comments brought more tears to my eyes, because it’s was encouraging to know that I’m not alone. So many suffer in silence, both the one dealing with anxiety and the spouse or significant other.

Sadly, after all my readings, I get the impression there isn’t a cure. You either take medication or find ways to cope and talk yourself through it, with the help of your supporters. :(

Katherine July 25, 2015, 2:30 pm

This website helped me a lot during the hardest parts of my husband’s anxiety, though this is the first time I’ve written – probably because I have something positive to say! It had been a very difficult 12 years of mood swings (I felt like I couldn’t say or do anything right, though it never ever did have to do with me), suicide fears, panic attacks, etc, but with medication combined with as needed counseling and group meetings, he is doing so much better. Not cured, of course, but not hating himself all the time. So I just wanted to share that it is worth it to keep helping and supporting, because they need it and deserve it.

Shaun July 25, 2015, 4:27 pm

Hi its shaun I posted on july 6.
Just looking for alittle support maybe some.opinions on how to work threw the hard times. Ok so here goes.
My rommate who is male can calm my girlfriend down when she is anxious. Its hard for me as I would like to be the one to be able to do it.
They spend more time together than me and her do and my thoughts wander sometimes. They go into his room and talk and when they come out she’s better but it makes me wonder I know that its nothing more than support but its the feelings I have. Just tring to sort threw them. Last night my roomate had his kids over we had a slumber party in the livimg room. I had to sleep on the couch as there was not enough room for everybody on the air matresses. So it was my girl him and his kids and her friend on the airmatresses and me alone on the couch. Witch kinda sucks. It buggs me cause he sleeps next to her when it should be me who is beside her. At about 4 am she got up and crawled into our bed in the room. I got up after she was sleeping in the room and went and laid on the floor in the room just incase she woke up so she knew.someone was there with her. I woke up this morni g and she was in his room with him talking again. My mind wandered again. Any sugestions or comment were br greatly apreciated so I can work through this as I love her with all my heart and soul.just need a little help to grt threw these feeling.
I know there’s nothing going on but my brain is playing wiyh my heart. Thank you for any support.

Anne July 25, 2015, 5:41 pm

Please don’t start a marriage with these feelings. Anxiety is
A long haul. Your fiancé was not up front with you
He sounds very entrenched in his disease. It does not get better
As the one suffering or the one suffering from watching
The anxiety riddled loved one try to deal. Just don’t go there
It is a hard and unhappy life. Especially when ustart a family because all
Those happy moments become difficult and encumbered with
The anxiety instead if the joy. Just please don’t marry someone
Knowing they suffer from anxiety and depression. It
Is sad and does sound selfish but protect yourself.
Good luck to you both.

Mike July 26, 2015, 9:33 pm

Yeah, it sucks to feel like your partner can’t support you in need. I don’t really need much emotional support but the very few times that I did and I reached for her she wasn’t there to help me. I think that she thought that I was just doing it for attention because she told me that I was being whinny which really frustrated me because of all the times I have comforted her over absolutely nothing. But I did talk to her about it later and it made me feel better.

Moving is hard. We have moved twice, the first time she was great and help out a lot but the second time I felt like I did the majority of not all the work.
However, what helps me the most is reminding myself that sometimes she just can’t handle things but there are still many strengths that she does have that I can depend on her for. I know for a fact that she loves me and when she is not panicking she is always greatful for me being by herside. It helps me ALOT to talk to her afterwards about things that she did that bothered me but ALWAYS bringing it up in a nonjudgmental, non-angry, and non-defensive way. It always surprises me how understanding she is when a issue is brought up in the right circumstances and right way and how willing she is to at least try to change what she is doing. Maybe if you try doing these things it could help a little

Although, the teenager adds an entirely new element. I agree the best thing we can to is encourage and I’m doing my best without losing my patience. We have also gone to a counselor together a few times and it helps unbelievably! It may be something you guys could do, especially with the kid.

You Can Do It! July 26, 2015, 9:53 pm

Anne- I do see where you are coming from but I don’t think that anxiety should hold you back from being with someone who you love.

Everybody!- I have had many extreamly happy moment with my girlfriend and I know that there are many more to come. There are times that it sucks and where I have to pick her up and sacrifice things that I may not have to in a relationship without anxiety, which is why I need to vent sometimes, but her anxiety has also gotten us interested in new things and are always looking for things together to benefit her and also make me feel relaxed too, like going to cute tea shops, yoga classes, meditation classes, or couples messages. we even are planning to go to Thialand and to see the temples out there!

I strongly believe that if there is a will there is a way, I know that she will never be cured of her anxiety but I do believe that she will be able to get better in different ways as long she has a will to do it. She will always have her downs but she has already has been doing much better just by making small changes in her life. I hope that this will help encourage you guys to keep chugging along and enjoy the good times with your loved one. Only looking at the negatives will bring both of you down

Huang July 29, 2015, 7:43 pm

My husband has very serious anxiety. I don’t know how to deal with this anymore. I’m living in the condition that worry about if he feels happy or not everyday. Because he might come home with anger and talk to me in a very annoyed attitude. And he forgets things easily. He asks me the same things again and again and says he can’t remember. If I don’t wanna response to him he will get very mad and yell at me. The reason why I don’t want to response him is I know that we will have a big fight again. I really don’t know what to do. I really feel so depressed.
He always says I don’t have sympathy for his anxiety. But he never know that it is also very stressful to live with someone who has serious anxiety.
I was very happy and optimistic. But now I cry a lot. I really feel so alone. I don’t know who I can talk to. My husband never understands that I also feel depressed just like how he feels when he is having the bout.
(Sorry for my bad English. I’m not a English speaker.)

no good July 30, 2015, 1:14 am

I’m not a specialist or anything but that doesn’t sound like a healthy relationship. I would get out of there if I were you, it sounds like it could be borderline abusive and it will get worse if you stay. It’s not ever right to take all of his anger out on you and blame you for it, no matter how bad his anxiety is. Do you have friends, family or a counselor to talk to? You should at least get some type of support system

Huang July 30, 2015, 6:01 pm

Thank you for your reply. I don’t want my family or friends to worry about me. I also don’t think they can really understand what I’m going through that’s why I came here to see if there is anyone who also has similar situation like I do.
I didn’t know anything about anxiety until I met my husband. I want to know what kind of anxiety he is having.
He complains things almost everyday. He can’t sleep well everyday. Feeling tired everyday. Can’t remember things well that effect his work much. Easily to get angry if he is having the bout. BUT none of his friends notices this because he is very nice to friends.(like a pushover)
The thing I feel curious is how can a person who has anxiety only get mad at his wife while always being nice to his friends? What kind of anxiety is this?
I want to leave but I still care about him and I do have sympathy for him. I want to find a way to reduce the conflict. If I still can’t make things better then I will leave because he seems really can’t believe or care I’m suffering too.

NH August 5, 2015, 6:09 pm

Can I ask a question?
Living with a partner with anxiety…………..someone who wants me home at a certain time each day or he gets angry ththat i’I’m ‘late’…………..who doesn’t want me visiting my relatives (on my school holidays from work) daily even though it’s my time to spend how I wish surely? as he is at work and I am home alone………..who says I don’t understand his anxiety…………..I feel I need to set some boundaries so I can feel like me again, do some of the things I enjoyed before him, do things i want without letting him feel I don’t care about him/have abandoned …………..what boundaries have people found helped to set with their partners with anxiety? Any books to recommend?

JT August 5, 2015, 6:44 pm

I haven’t posted here for years but I thought I’d give an update to my current situation as it might help some of the more recent posters. My husband suffers from pretty bad anxiety and depression and probably some PTSD related to being raised by at least one (possibly two) depressed parents (untreated) that had borderline personality disorder. We’ve been together for 8 years and married for 5. Things “hit the fan” so to speak about 4 years ago after our first child was born. I commented on this forum a lot back then. Since then, we’ve been through about 3 couple’s therapists, have attended exactly two very expensive couples’ seminars, he’s had 3 or 4 individual therapists and is on his 2nd psychiatrist. One would think that after ALL of this, we would have given up. But I saw small improvements with each change – even with each session. We now how the perfect match – a couple’s therapist who treats my husband’s past trauma and “treats” our marriage alongside that therapy. He’s a trauma specialist. We have a psychiatrist who’s very attentive to his medicinal doses and makes tweaks when needed. We are incredibly happy and very stable. We are buying a new house and planning a second child.

He was NOT an easy case to treat but the last thing I wanted for our child was a broken family so I put everything I had into it. The last straw was when his previous therapist encouraged him to leave his family, quit his job and move to Ecuador to “follow his bliss” or some such nonsense. That’s when I got involved and essentially fired her (or I convinced my husband to switch to someone else which was no easy task… he trusted her but when I pointed out that she was not really licensed and had gone to an unaccredited school, he was convinced. Beware of quacks!) She was the last “bad” piece of the puzzle.

My husband is the kindest, sweetest, talented most brilliant person you’ll ever meet. He’s a catch. The catch was, unfortunately, he suffered from some mental illness. I do not agree with people who say “run as fast as you can…” from your spouse or fiance. These people suffer just like someone with Diabetes or Lupus. It just manifests itself in ways that are hard to separate from the person you love.

The thing that I’d say is most important is that YOU have to become an expert – as much as you can. I read books on depression, anxiety, BPD. I wasn’t trying to treat my husband but understand him so that I could respond better when his illness affected his behavior. Actually, I’d say that was the 2nd most important thing. The MOST important thing is to get the right treatment and medication. Find an accredited therapist, interview several until you find someone who feels like a good fit. Switch if you need to. Go to someone who won’t just treat your partner alone but will treat you as a couple while dealing with the illness. Part of our problem was that the therapists tried to treat him as an individual only, encouraging him to make decisions that were bad for the family thus pushing him deeper into depression (god, I wish I could sue her!). Or you get into to couple’s therapy and they don’t know the first thing about treating someone with depression and anxiety. Your partner MUST be willing to get treatment however, including medication. With the right treatment, therapy and support, I believe anyone can survive this.

Huang August 5, 2015, 7:02 pm

Thank you for sharing your experience. My husband is trying to see a psychiatrist soon. Your post reminded me of that.(We haven’t really made an appointment yet.) I asked my husband to read my post here. He can understand how I’m suffering now. We are trying to improve his anxiety and health. He is taking meditation classes and thinking about trying marijuana to calm him down too. Hope things will get better. Don’t let his anxiety to effect you is very important. This is one thing I really need to learn.

SB August 15, 2016, 9:53 pm

That is great news,, my problem is my wife of 35 years has developed a racing mind(OCD) and its all about her nothing else, its is so bad she can no live in today, she is in the psych hospital right now and i talked to her today on the phone and she is much worse today but she has went all day feeling like she is going to die but will not talk to anyone, this has been her problem all our marriage, she will not do anything to try to help her problem, I’m about done, I think I have lost my wife, after 35 years, I have no other ideas, I don’t know what to do….

Nikol August 11, 2015, 3:28 pm

hi there,i am glad i found this opportunity to share my problem with you guys and i feel glad that i am not alone in this..Me and my boyfriend are together 3 years now and from the first day i knew that it wouldnt be easy.He is 37 years old and i am 35.He had a rough childhood due to the fact that his both parents died when he was 9 and 11 years old from cancer.He was raised by his aunt and her family and had a kind of normal childhood.The problem is that as a child he never discussed with a therapist because they thought that he was ok but his emotional pain and loss grew inside him..He went at the age of 25 to a therapist(he had anxiety,depression,panick attack) and had been taking medication ever since.Recently he decided to stop medication and i was fully supportive on his decision..Two months after the cut the big problems started..We live in Greece and as you know the economical situation is pretty difficult for all of us.He doesnt work now and he had to face some economical issues but not in a serious level.I tried to be supportive and discuss with him about everything to calm him down.Its useless..He cant sleep and eat and is always negative.Though i have my own problem of unemployment i am generally more open and optimistic as person and his attitude is just killing me…We have talked so much but i dont know what to do to make him smile..I know that in this period all the negative points off his life are triggered but i love him so much and i dont know what to do to help him..he recently started taking medication again and i believe that this just will cover up his problems and not solve them permanently.We rarely go out because his is never in a good mood,he is a always lost in his thoughts and when we meet with friends he always talks about problems.. i feel so angry and frustrated that we fight every day..He said that he loves me very much and he is feeling guilty that he makes me feel that way.I dont want to leave him but i have to find a way to be patient and deal with his anxiety…I really feel lost and alone..

Jan August 26, 2015, 6:55 am

My husband has suffered with mild anxiety over the years but has always managed to cope with it. 7 years ago he became self employed, unfortunately the business never really got off the ground, he had a good two years but then the work just stopped coming in, he then lost his Dad, which was made even more traumatic by my husband desperately trying to revive him but he had had a massive heart attack and even the paramedics said they would not have been able to save him. He had always suffered from mild claustrophobia too, he would not travel in lifts or visit very enclosed spaces etc, but this did not represent a problem in general. But over the months after his Dad died his behaviour changed and the symptoms of both the anxiety and claustrophobia got worse. My husband has always driven long distances in his work and shortly after his dad died he became very anxious about travelling to places he didn’t know, he worried he would get lost and would not be able to find his way home. He became almost obsessive about me travelling to London daily in my job, worrying that something bad was going to happen. I tried to reassure him that nothing bad would happen but he just got worse. Due to him not working finances became strained, relatives chipped in with money for food etc while i covered the bills, kids costs etc. At this point he was still telling me that he would get an employed job to support our family. He did get a job but within 2 months of being there he went on sick leave with anxiety after having a panic attack whilst driving. He went to the doctor who referred him for CBT counselling. They focused on his claustrophobia and said that the anxiety he was experiencing was making that condition worse. He gave up the counselling after about 6 sessions as he said he wasn’t learning anything he didn’t already know. He was eventually sacked after being off work for 4 months. This was two years ago and since then he has not worked. I feel very resentful of him because he won’t talk about how he feels he just keeps saying he feels ok and then cuts me off. I do not understand if he is ok why won’t he get a job. I have told him that it is no longer for financial reasons that I want him to get a job but for his own wellbeing. I suggested that maybe he does some voluntary work to start with he just keeps saying i’ll look into it but doesn’t. If he worked 2 hours a week i wouldn’t care at least he was doing something and getting out of the house. I feel resentful but sad for him at the same time. I’m trying to remain positive for our children but it is hard, I find myself doing more things on my own than with him as he is not up to it. We have been married for 21 years and I did not think at my age life would be like this. I find myself making future plans without him. I still love him but i’m not sure how much longer I can live with this. I keep telling myself that he must feel terrible and that he did not want his life to turn out like this either but he doesn’t seem to want to help himself.

Terri August 31, 2015, 8:42 pm

HELP!!! I started dating someone with severe anxiety and depression. He has been battling this for a decade. He told me he was on kolonopin for anxiety but it wasn’t a big deal. I wasn’t familiar with the medication. We were so into each other. He really wanted to try to make this work. I could feel it. But I started noticing patterns. We would make plans to hangout and he would often cancel early the days we were suppose to. He would say he had a list of chores he had to get to and was tired from work. He said lets just hangout out another day and we would. I tried to be understanding but it was hurtful since he kept doing it. We hung out for about 4 weeks. I fell for this man so quickly and so fast. He was such a sweet person and we had a strong connection. He recently sent me a text saying it wasn’t fair to be dating me because he is dealing with this and he can’t give me the attention I deserve. I’m devastated. I want to talk to him but he asked for space and told me he wasn’t doing well and maybe he could talk to me later when he is better. He said that I was a wonderful person and that this sucks. He said his therapist thought this was the best thing. I know it has only been a short time but I care about him so much. I sent him a beautiful card in the mail saying I hope you feel better soon. I wish he would trust me so that I can understand and be there for him. He deserves to be happy! What should I do? Can anyone dealing with this give me some advice. Should I wait to hear from him? Should I reach out to him? Or should I just move on. My heart is aching. :(

Chance September 1, 2015, 1:41 am

Hello all!! I’ve been reading through many of your posts and have noticed that there isn’t much feedback. I am not a professional but I can say there is hope! For both of you to live happy lives!

I really recommend that you all post your stories on or at least read through other people’s posts. It is an amazing board where people really try to help you and there are even some therapists and doctors that post their knowledge to try. Oh and it’s free! Just a bunch of people dealing with the same kind of situation and trying to support each other through.

I know you guys are probably saying “my significant other doesn’t have depression, just anxiety” but Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is in fact a form of depression. I thought the same way about my partner until I started reading up and found this site, I realized that I had a TON in common with what they had to say. I actually bought the book ‘Depression Fallout’ by Anne Sheffield and it helped me understand and sympathize with my partner more when she was having her lows or panic attacks which DRASTICALLY helped our relationship on both ends.

Just want to say that you guys are all very strong for sticking with your partners, it is an extremely admirable thing to be able to do and not everyone is able or willing. I know how it is to feel like their illness is taking away your happiness and self esteem and yet you know that it isn’t their fault and you still love them and want to help them. I can say that my partner and I are very happy now because I know what to do and how to handle her. Hope this information helps!

Chance September 1, 2015, 1:45 am

Also! Try reading through this and see if you relate

H May 18, 2016, 1:20 am

Hi everyone,

I realize no one has commented in a while, but I thought I would share a little insight from the other side of the relationship. That is to say, I see some comments about understanding Anxiety and how frustrating it can be on the partner. From experience, I can already say this is true. As the one who deals with Anxiety, low self-esteem, and I’m sure some depression as well, I can say I definitely make my soon-to-be-husband’s life a living hell on more than one occasion. The thing is, I’m not making his life harder because I WANT to. I’m sure this is the same for most people as well.

In most cases, when I’m pulling away, or going through a bout of depression (which probably stems from ASAD), or freaking out and telling him that I don’t belong with him, it’s deep down because I’m feeling that he deserves more than to be stuck with someone with my problems. It’s a beast to deal with, and I understand that too. But he tries his hardest to understand what’s happening with me, he doesn’t lash out in anger when I say (most likely) hurtful things, because he knows when I’m in spazz-mode I’m like a different person, and what intentions I do have are not malicious. At least not towards him, but myself is not so guaranteed safety. I’m willing to bet that a ton of people with these kinds of disorders are the same way. They don’t mean to be hurtful to anyone, they’re frustrated either because they don’t feel understood and thereby unloved, or they’re frustrated with themselves and those kinds of explosions can be the worst. One of the hardest things to remember is when you meltdown on yourself, it’s not just you that gets splattered in the aftermath.

I wanted to find an article to help my boyfriend, because he’s so sweet and loving, and he wants nothing more than to help me and make my problems go away–for my sake. But I don’t want him becoming fed up when he can’t protect me from myself. I just thought I’d through my experience into the pile, I hope it’s helpful in some way.

And P.S. yes, I am trying to get better. That’s why I’m on this website. :)

Tiif June 23, 2016, 9:54 pm

Hi I’m 24 years old I have been married 6 years and my husband has very bad anxiety he blames me for it and he doesn’t work becaue of it .. It gets scary because he tells me he can’t breathe and that he feels like hitting someone . He doesn’t like going out anymore and is always on the internet trying to find ways to get rid of it he does see a Counseler and has seen lots of doctors it’s so hard for me because I have an 8 year old and a 4 month baby I also have a full time job working from home as a reservations rep it’s just been so hard I don’t know what to do anymore he started having anxiety about a year ago and it just recently got worse I know he wants to get better and he is a good guy but he gets frustrated and says things to me like it’s my fault he’s the way he is I can’t tell him anything like regarding our bills or anything he doesn’t like because he will start saying his hands are getting sweaty and it’s hard for him to breath and that I mess it up all the time it scares me because he always tells me he wants to hit something . I don’t have family out here I feel very alone I want to leave but I also feel bad for him . What should I do no one understands me I talked to his mom and told her and she thinks I don’t want him to work and I want him to stay home taking care of the baby so she doesn’t understand she says I’m not woman enough to make him work . Thank you for reading I hope I can find the strength to get trough this

Sigmund July 26, 2016, 8:26 pm

Dear Tiiff,
your story made me cry because I feel I am in the same situation as you are. My husband suffers from extreme generalized anxiety, plus he has a very stressing demanding job and a lot pf conflicts with his family. We dated three years together and for that time I had enough and moved to london to study, needless to say he followed me and begged me to marry him. So we did. When I came back to argentina, I never knew how bad the situation was, i mean, it was complicated before, but now his situation was far more acute given the external problems he was facing. For one year and a half, I witnessed how my husband went on a downward spiral of anger, hate and depression. Not to say that the minute we got married he left the medication and his therapy. I thought, ok, maybe he is happy and doesnt need them anyomre. WRONG GUESS,. He would say the meanest things to me, and even though I knew they were not true, it is still hurtful. Basically i was the only good thing going on his life but he blamed me for making his anxiety worse. if something bad happened to him he would leash out his frustration on me. My parents bought me a great apartment and that only made thing worse. I started my own art gallery which is going great and I am constantly complimented on how smart and well read I am, or how beautiful, or what a special person. I am. yet, he finds ways to belittle me. On the other hand, when I have a problem, he is great an supportive. At one point I just couldn’t take it anymore and moved out, just to get some peace. And I was great, I have a very rich life, lots of friends and social life and a job I absolutely love. But then the bomb came. He said i was better off without him and we should get a divorce. I know he acts out of resentment but still… this rollercoaster of pulling and pushing you away is wearing me out. I just don’t get how can someone can manage to make life so miserable without any apparent cause. And of course, I can never count on him. never. Only to pay the bills. Every social event is like going to nuremberg. And he cuold be a great guy, he is smart, handsome, funny, charming, wealthy, you name it. But instead he prefers to act like a total looser, as if there was a joy in being someone that no understands. So there it is, one day he loves me, the next he ignores me, the next he treats me badly, and the following he does not love me anymore. what a catch uh? i have read about anxiety and it kind of the dynamics the have due to their low self esteem. Sometimes he says to me i am going to leave him, that i deserve better, etc. So here it os, this is my story with someone with anxiety and i would not recommend anyone to go into something like this because it breaks you up, and believe, I am tough.

Nikki September 10, 2016, 1:03 pm

Thank you for this article. As a wife of an anxiety ridden husband it is very hard to live a normal life. My husband has been ill for quite some time. It has been hard to discern which part was illness and which part is stress induced. His anxiety has run rampant for the 32 years we have known each other. Other factors include untreated sleep apnea, past illnesses over the last four years, and now his complete loss of energy and being in bed a lot of the time. He is anxious about med side effects, anxious about herbal remedy side effects. This is very tough to deal with. His constant listing of ills. He cannot be fitted for a cpap due to claustrophobia. My 31st anniversary is coming up. I guess I will take myself out for dinner. I want to celebrate 32 years of staying strong despite this situation.

kim October 20, 2016, 3:03 am

I am a person suffering from anxiety and I realize how absolutely terrible it can be for my husband. I hate that I cannot work because it is debilitating for me. We struggle financially and have fights because of it. No doubt it is hard to be with someone who has anxiety but I am unbelievabley grateful to my husband for being so understanding and I really wish that I did not have this so I could help. Anyone who is with someone who has anxiety deserves the very best treatment because the ups and downs are endless. The hard times get better and worse. Medication helps a lot but not enough for me to be able to work. I love him not just for his ability to handle my situation but accepting that its there and still loving me for who I am and me loving who he is as a person.

S November 7, 2016, 2:02 am

my husband of one year is very sweet and loving but he has terrible anxiety and depression, I’m a new graduate student and we are living in a one room student housing and I was in the program for one month before he joined me and was getting all A’s in my courses and enjoying it but since he has joined me it has become impossible to study in the same room with him and I’m now getting D grades.He hates everything about our surroundings and our new town and no matter what I try or how I try to to fix it he finds something negative. Also he cant make any decisions on his own even simple ones such as if he should put the leftover salad in the fridge or not or what container he should put it in has to be a twenty minute discussion, or today for instance he decided that the radio noise in the laundry room of our building was bothering him so that he spent the entire day complaining about it and asking me if he should ask the manager about it about 20 or 30 times and finally composed a long detailed e-mail to the manager about it which he wanted me to read and proofread throughout the day. I’m trying to be patient and loving because I really do, but its really really driving me nuts, and I don’t know how much longer I can stand it, also I don’t seem to be able to do anything to help although I’ve tried everything I can think of.

Lind January 24, 2017, 9:15 pm

I hear you and find myself in the same boat!

Lind January 24, 2017, 9:26 pm

I hear you and find myself in the same boat! All you have described is the way this dreadful illness robs a beautiful person of life and love. Keep on loving them and don’t forget what a they suffer and who they really are in their heart. I am grateful for every chance to make his life better. God give me strength to understand and be patient. Blessings to all of you as you suffer with the one you love.

Holly Hagan March 9, 2017, 6:05 am

if you have any issue in your relationship. contact dr.mac@yahoo. com his help is absolutely wonderful!

kelly March 14, 2017, 10:44 pm

WOW.. So happy I found this site.. All sounds so familiar.. Being forgetful, repetitions, asks the same things over and over, gets angry then nice, often in a rush to do everything and worries about everything! Always nice to other people but can be nasty to me. He refuses any kind of counseling. The Dr did prescribe low dose meds but he refuses to take it.. It’s very frustrating. He did try for a month and at that time life and marriage were easier I thought. More conversations, no arguments, very pleasant to be around, just felt ‘normal’ and he would laugh more!! After 20 years of marriage I’m thinking about divorce. I don’t want too BUT this is tough especially when the meds help so much. He doesn’t care and is not ‘here’ emotionally and I’m exhausted of living like this.

Shannon May 13, 2017, 2:01 pm

Hi Kelly,

I totally understand where you are at…I am also there. The meds do help from the outside perspective. My husband thinks they make him angry and does not seem to see the contingency between his quitting smoking and feelings of anger. I think he just wants to be “normal”. I try to have empathy and let him know that the anxiety is not his fault…what is frustrating is, if there is something he can do (whether it be counselling, medications, meditation…etc…) why wouldn’t he do take steps to improve his situation??? it’s frustrating…

bietthu3tang March 23, 2017, 2:46 am

Anyway, we need two people to trust and love each other to be happy

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HUANG April 12, 2017, 11:12 am

Hi, everyone. I came here again to share my experience. My first post was made in July 2015. I had been very stressed out of my husband’s anxiety util I read the book “The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying” and started to do meditation two month ago. Ever since then, I found that I can deal with my husband’s anxiety much more better. I can feel calm and not be affected when I hear my husband complains about the job, life..etc, which I couldn’t tolerate before. And I found WHEN I AM CALM I CAN HELP HIM MORE. We still have arguments but just some small arguments not big fights as before. I hope my experience can help you. Try meditation! If you can’t help him/her get rid of his/her anxiety, you should at least get rid of yours.

Amy Hamilton April 20, 2017, 1:38 pm

Hi there,
Its wonderful to hear from other people in the same situation. I’m a very active and outgoing person the complete opposite to my SO who has very bad GAD. I didnt understand for such a longtime why he couldn’t do a lot of the things I wanted him too. Because i’m a fixer and overly positive and happy I just kept smiling day in day out, every time he freaked out… about moving house.. his health.. going anywhere.. money… socializing, literary every detail of every day. The problem was it wasn’t healthy, all i was doing was bottling up the anger, my usual understanding nature turned to resentment. Every time I needed help he let me down,
and after months of hand holding for him, it seemed he couldnt see the damage it was doing to me (his anxiety was often expressed though anger/stress). I understand the whole, its a disease, I try to look at it objectively, but the longer it goes the harder it gets. The thing is he is showing improvements, he has just gone to get help, took two-3 years, but we got there. He now gets on planes (couldnt before) he gets in lifts (the amount of damn stairs before) he is looking for new jobs and going to interviews. But I’m still not sure I can do it anymore. My friends and family have seen the effort and energy I have put into this and they know that I’m a big softie. I find it hard to let go when I feel like someone needs help. But now I feel like his carer not his GF. I can’t get rid of all the anger and resentment and the feeling that he wont be there for me when I need him. What if we have children? I’m going to have to do it on my own? He might get better for a while, but does it ever stop? Has anyone ever felt this way and come back? I spent the last two/three years helping him, but im in the middle of a masters and I work full time and volunteer in a mental health support center. No matter how much I love him, I feel anger when doing what I’m doing needs support he cant give, but for him going to the shop is one of the most stressful things a person could think of.
I’m not sure where i was going with this. I suppose the question is how can a partnership really prosper when the other half cant give the support needed, emotional or psychical, no matter how much they want to.

Shannon May 13, 2017, 12:59 pm

Holy…This has been an eye opener for me and so thankful to have found this site…Thank you to all who have posted. It is rare to find a site that speaks to those affected by a loved one’s anxiety.

My husband and I have been together for about 13 years. In the beginning, it was fantastic. We moved in together fairly quickly and I realized very soon after that he had some anxiety challenges and as we talked about it and I experienced some pretty nasty behaviour, I realized just how his anxiety was not just a small challenge. He had and still does accuse me of horrendous things. I am told that I am angry all the time and that I am the reason he is not happy. At this point, I am pretty quiet, which he equates to me giving him the silent treatment. The flip side, if I say anything to him, about anything, I am accused of having a harsh tone or that I mean something else. If I do not answer a text right away, he accuses me of ignoring him, or playing a game to purposely make him angry.

I found myself with a calculator this morning going through our finances and thinking about how to split assets. I am so tired of this and really don’t know what else to do. I work in the human services field and have tried to support him. He was on medication and I have suspected for some time that he had not been taking it..,who am I kidding, I knew he had not been taking them. He got home from work on Thursday slurring his words, seemingly hyper and I asked him if he was still taking them. He crossed his arms across his chest and told me “no, they make me feel angry”. I am feeling tremendously helpless at this point.

Watson Deanna July 31, 2017, 3:30 am

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Zoe Kazan August 17, 2017, 6:45 pm

My husband and i had a mid life crisis. We have been separated for 2 years. He filed for divorce in March 2016. I recently learned he has a mistress, he left home and it has been so terrible because i could not endure the heart break, then i came across Dr Mack on the internet about his good work and how he has brought unity among couples who had relationship issues. i decided to contact Dr Mack through his Email:dr_mack@yahoo. com and luckily he was able to bring my Ex-Husband back, Dr Mack is real and genuine and he has the powerful to restore relationship.

Susan August 28, 2017, 3:04 pm

No, I am not married to my anxiety person. I am her mother. She is now 40 years old, the mother of 3 sons. I, unfortunately live next door to her. Long story on how that happened …divorce situation..the kids really had no home. They were being evicted again. It just happened. I wanted to be able to keep an eye on the kids. IN the meantime, she has gotten much worse in terms of letting me out of her site. I can’t go out in the car, out with friends, etc without her calling me or texting me 100 times to tell me how much I am making her life miserable. She

Sam May 28, 2018, 5:07 am

I have a partner of 24 years a long time for a gay couple his anxiety has gotten worse I blame myself a lot as I was a active alcohoholic for our first years but been sober for 9 years attend AA and picked my life up working as a funeral director active in my Catholic Church doing normal things. It look him 14 years to get back to work but always tired and saying daft things like it’s ok for the royals they don’t have to go through this or my managers do as they please etc we haven’t been away on holiday together for years he will book a holiday and as it draws closer I see the signs and at the last minute he won’t go so all money yet again is lost and I get upset wanting us to be on holiday togeather I have on gone on my own but not the same but he keeps doing it I have been battling cancer now for 2 years but still work and face it with positive thoughts but this has added to the situation he worries and thinks I am dying although it is only stage 1 but he won’t come to appointments with me or believe what my consultants tell me won’t go to Alon just shuts himself away if I arrange a day out we meet when he is ready and the day is almost done before it’ starts he won’t understand why I don’t worry about my illness little does he know and I have tried taking about it to be told it’s all about me and how I don’t understand how he feels I love him so much so cannot walk away but scared he may have a break down or worse he will not seek help at all thinking it a waste of time what can I do

jane June 1, 2018, 5:34 pm

My comments are about the opening article for this blog titled “How to take care of yourself when your partner has an anxiety disorder.”

One of the points in the opening article is that the anxiety sufferer has to want to change and make an effort for themselves by seeking help from a doctor and psychiatrist. This is facing the problem and admitting something is wrong for starters. In my situation, it’s my brother who’s wife obviously suffers from some major anxiety disorder that has increased over time to become intolerable for family and friends.

The odd thing is that my brother (her husband) refuses to address this serious and growing problem with anyone in the family, and it appears, least of all his wife who needs his help. If you make a remark disagreeing with the weird paranoid remark made by the sister-in-law you get verbally attacked by my brother; he is extremely defensive.

At one point, on a phone call with my brother, I was told he would sever all ties with me if I didn’t “like” his wife. Which was weird because the comment I made wasn’t about liking her or not, I had just asked if he could ask her to stop adding comments in the background while we talked.

It was very distracting because we were involved in a very stressful phone call about our dad being in ICU. (By the way she always seems to be right there when he is on the phone, adding a running background dialog which is irritating.)

My first impulse was to say OK, hang up on me, then I’d be done with them, but I love my brother and his wife, so I apologized and we went on like nothing had happened and pretended like his wife was not adding unimportant and usually negative running commentary.

Recently, their grown son has reached out to me that he can’t even talk to his mom on the phone anymore because she is so racked with anxiety and transfers her fears onto everyday things like his kids (her grandchildren) riding a bike (might get hit by a car someday!) or playing in a field (might get bit by a flea and die!) Seriously, he can’t take it anymore. What to do?

This ongoing problem has been ignored and enabled by my brother and his immediate family for so long I have no idea even if confronted with the reality of her illness, that my sister-in-law would just go on the defensive and think it was our problem that we didn’t see things in a fearful way like she does.

Frustation June 3, 2018, 2:57 am

Hello out there. I am posting to see if I can get help. My wife of 17 years who I love deeply and share our three wonderful daughters with has been diagnosed with anxiety issues. She won’t really talk to me about. In the last 4years she has become so unpredictable. Neither the kids or I know what person is going to get out of the bed each day or come home from work. She talks down to us in so many ways. She tells me that other people think I talk bad to her. She tells me that I don’t love her and finds things to start a fight over. I have had her get mad and not speak to me for 2 weeks because I didn’t put drink dispenser away in the middle of mowing a 3 acre yard and building an outdoor building. She accuses me and the kids of lying to her all the time. She accused me of lYong to her just the other night because I changed the ring tone on my phone alarm to match the ring tone of my phone calls. The phone rand and she heard it and I thought it was the alarm not the phone. I missed a business call at 8am and she said I lie to her because I didn’t change my phone ringtone. She became so mad that she left that night and returned home the next day at 6pm. When she got home all she did was sleep. She has frequent episodes of anger outburst like this. She had one.tonight because a visiting child opened a new box of pop tarts when there was an opened box already. She immediately accused our oldest 14 yr old daughter of doing this. She will go on these episodes and talk to everybody she can to convince them I am so cruel to her. She has even tried to turn my family against me. She has become an evil person when she is having these episodes. I don’t want to divorce her. I want to help her. If I try to talk to her about her sickness she becomes enraged and begins to accuse me of calling her crazy. She has caused our 11 yr old to turn against her and not want to be around her. The 11yr old has even come out of her room in the middle of the night to cry and beg her to stop yelling at me. I love my wife but I won’t let my kids grow up in an enviroment that cause stress to them. I am a strong Christian and I don’t believe in divorce but my kids mean the world to me. My 4 yr old ask me daddy why is momma so mean. She even went to school and told her teacher. They just dismissed it as a 4 yr old being a 4 yr old. I to talk to her physcian but that would open up a whole can of worms if she ever found out because I know she is not being honest with them about her symptons. Does she remember what she did or how she acted? Is that something that she does not have any recollection of? What can I do?

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