We have all been there: the anxious, worried feeling before a big change occurs or you have to speak in front of a large group of people. This is a natural reaction to stressful situations, and can often help an individual to prepare for a difficult situation. However, many people feel this kind of anxiety, fear and worry without a reasonable cause. If you have noticed these feelings have started to impact your partner’s life on a regular basis , then it may be indicative of an anxiety disorder.

Anxiety is not a single condition, but rather an umbrella term that is used for a group of related conditions; such as acute stress disorders, phobias, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and panic disorders. Anxiety is a psychological and physiological state and affects the emotions and behaviours of an individual; it can create feelings of fear, worry, concern and uneasiness. When this anxiety becomes so excessive that it affects your mood, relationships, behaviour and responsibilities, it may be considered a disorder.

Generalised anxiety disorder (GAD) is characterised by excessive, exaggerated anxiety and worry about everyday life events with no obvious reasons for this concern. People exhibiting symptoms of GAD tend to expect the worst; they have difficulty suppressing their worry about concerns such as their health, finances, family, relationships, work, and schooling. Often the fear and worry experienced is unrealistic or out of proportion to the situation. These negative feelings tend to take over the person’s life to the point that they feel the need to avoid certain situations.

It is difficult to watch somebody that you know and love to suffer with these difficulties on their own. It not only affects their life, but the lives of those around them. You may have tried to support them, talk to them about their difficulties or push them to try to do things even though they feel anxious about it – but often these methods will not work on their own. They may need professional help from a practitioner who has specialised training in breaking down the underlying concerns and reducing the symptoms.

Additionally, the emotional strain that occurs from watching a partner suffering with these concerns can be immense. The impact of this may be starting to impair your own functioning and your ability to support them. It may be beneficial for you to seek your own help or seek support as a couple in order to improve your relationship during this difficult period.

Our psychologists can provide specialised assistance through:

  • Relaxation training
  • Educating you on the symptoms of anxiety and the evidence-based strategies for managing it
  • Providing you with information on the best ways to support a partner who has anxiety symptoms
  • Providing an emotional support for you to release any concerns or negative thoughts
  • Help you to find an appropriate way to discuss the disorder with your partner and encourage them to accept help