My boyfriend has anxiety and I dont know what to do
My boyfriend of 4 years has had anxiety since I met him however it only got particullarly bad in 2009, we have learnt to cope with it between us and have had our rough patches. However recently he had a cancer scare at 25 years old one GP told him it was a possibility another told him it was a ridiculous diagnoses and that he had a viral infection and consequently his anxiety went off the scales! He spends the majority of his time thinking about how terrifing death is and how he is wasting his life, during these off the rail moments he has had sexual forplay with another woman behind my back.
After finding this out I confronted him and he said he was going to get some help and that he needed a break from our relationship, however I am still expected to act like a girlfriend; going to see him, cuddles, phone calls, valentines etc. but yet he always referes to me as his "best friend". I am still waiting for him to contact a counsellor and really struggling to cope with this situation.
I dont know how best to help him, do i be this odd friend? do I lay down the law and be a normal friend or do I just walk away? Im finding it really difficult to talk to him he gets angry and says im messing with his head and he doesnt get a break
Wow. You've got a lot on your plate! I'm sorry that you both are going through this. Anxiety is a horrible disease that affects not only the sufferer but those who love them as well. In my opinion, and believe me it is only an opinion, you might need to make a decision on what you want to do. Do you want to stay in this relationship? Do you want to go down this road with him? It won't be easy, as my husband will tell you. But, if you do, then I can tell you that good support is absolutely essential (at least for me) to achieving wellness. All of the issues that you are having in your relationship should probably be addressed and discussed, maybe with the help of a therapist. As far as your boyfriend is concerned, he is the one who will have to decide if he wants treatment. You can't force someone to get treatment and denial can be pretty strong in this disorder. I would encourage you to have a talk with him when you are both calm and rational. Ask him if he wants your help. Maybe have him look around this site a little, he may see a lot of himself here. This disease is incredibly frustrating because you know with your logical mind there is nothing wrong, but you just can't let your fears go or convince your body that nothing is wrong. No matter how hard you try, you can't ignore it. Sometimes this frustration comes out as anger towards the ones we love. It doesn't make it right, but there it is. If he does agree to get some help, your first step should be with a psychiatrist after any physical causes for anxiety have been ruled out by a physician. There are some physical illness that present as an anxiety disorder and it is important to have those ruled out first. Then a psychiatrist can evaluate him and propose a plan of treatment. There is no shame in being ill. There is nothing he did to cause this. It just is. And it is extremely treatable. There is no reason to live life in misery unless you choose to. Do let us know how you are doing from time to time. I wish you both peace. Jen
I am sorry that you are dealing with this right now. I commend you on trying to understand your boyfriend's issue with anxiety. In my experience with this, people that are close to someone experiencing this can initially react with a full range of emotions.
When I first had a panic attack years ago, it seemed like it came out of nowhere and things began to spiral out of control for a little while. My wife was scared and confused....it was almost as if I had become a different person overnight.
I guess the first thing I would stress is patience. Even though it was really hard in the beginning my relationship with my wife is actually much stronger than when I first went through this, but it was very hard to see that when we were going through this. Second, do what you are doing; learn about anxiety and panic and support him in confronting it. I know it is hard to do, but I believe once he gets in to see a counselor, he willl see progress. For me, the most important step I took was admitting that I had anxiety and going to get help....which took awhile because I tended to be very stubborn.
There are definitely ups and downs when a relationship is taxed like this in my opinion. But it can actually take it to a deeper level in my opinion....please feel free to ask as many questions as you like.
Only you can decide what to do about helping your 'friend'.He needs to get some professional help ~ Dr/Psych. It's unlikely he will be able to manage it if it becomes acute. If he rejects your offers of help/advice then you can decide if you think he's worth persisting with or not. He's too young to think of death, he'll die like the rest of us, in due course, but not for a very long time I hope. Make your decision as to what to do & you will feel better than dithering. Good Luck
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