Turn on thread page Beta

My boyfriend suffers from anxiety - what should I do to support him? watch

    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Hey, I'm relatively new to this forum and was wondering if anyone could offer any advice about my boyfriend. We've been going out about a year and a half and on the whole, we've been happy - we're a really close couple, so much so we barely interact with other people (which may be hell for some people, but we're both 'loner' types), and generally have a loving and good relationship, but recently my boyfriends been suffering from a bad case of anxiety and it’s put a real strain on our relationship.

    He started off with constant pains around his chest and uncomfortable feeling after eating - something similar to bloating - a few months ago. He went to the doctors and they told him to eat sensibly and get more sleep, which he did, but this didn't help the problem - in fact he got worse. He'd have panic attacks in the night - not being able to breath and feeling as though his heart's about to burst through his chest - as well as not being able to sleep and became constantly irritable and moody, snapping at everything I say. He has a constant pressure in his head, which he says isn't anything like a headache just a pressure and he's constantly worried that he's going to die at any moment from a stroke or something. I'm really worried about him and am getting quite frustrated, which I know is not the best take on the situation, but there's nothing I can do to make him feel better. I sit and talk to him, but he says he doesn't know why he's anxious. His Mum, who's a psychiatric nurse, says he's suffering from free association anxiety or something, which I can't quite remember the meaning for, but basically it's something along the lines of suffering from anxiety without a specific reason. He went to the Doctor's again the other day and this time they're sending him for counselling, which will hopefully help him.

    Anyway, the point of this post was: what can I do to support him? I have no idea what to do when he's feeling this low and horrible. I try to talk him through it, but he just snaps at me, which I can totally understand as I have no idea what he’s feeling like and at times I can be quite blunt, but it’s really beginning to get to me that there’s nothing I can do. I really want to be able to help him like he helped me through my problems, but nothing I do helps. Anyone else here suffer from anxiety and know what I can do to help him? Or offer any advice to him?

    Sorry about the long post – for some reason I’m really nervous about posting this. :confused:
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    I suppose that this is a putting yourself in someone else's shoes situation. Not easy, but you have a great aim and you clearly want to be there for him - which I hope he knows. You say that you can be blunt, perhaps in this situation try not to be so blunt - direct but also compassionate. It is hard to know how he is feeling but maybe the best way to find out and help is to ask -not consistently but make it crystal clear that you are indeed there for him and willing to help in any way you can...
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    Sounds very similar to how I felt when I was about 16; I felt terrible, obsessive; particularly about my health; I had sharp sudden pains in my chest and was very irritable for a while; they were horrible times. Truth is, I grew up; for me I think it was just teenage angst/hormones etc and although I am still a bit obsessive and anxious I've learnt to tame it and enjoy life. What pulled me out of this phase to be honest was going into the 6th form and finding a girlfriend who has now been with me for nearly 2 years; my happiness with her has completely overriden any anxiety I used to have and it is our relationship that often makes me feel better in bad times (although not when the bad times are due to the relationship!). My advice is to just remind him that you are there for him, be affectionate and loving and I think most importantly, listen to him. I'm sure he'll grow out of it.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Well I've never suffered from anxiety myself, and I don't know anyone who does, but I have a thought. Maybe you could go to counselling with him??? :confused: If not, maybe you could talk to his mum about it - she seems knowledgeable enough about the anxiety thing and she knows her son (I hope!). Also make sure you tell him time and time again that you'll always be there for him even though you might not fully understand how he's feeling.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Thanks for your reply.

    He knows he has my full support and that I will do anything I can to help, but that's the most frustrating thing, he says there's nothing I can do - there's not even anything he can do except wait for it to pass.

    The reason I've been blunt recently is because of exams - the stress has really been unbearable and I've had absolutely no patience with anyone, which I know is no excuse, but it's why I've been so insensitive I guess. My exams are over now so hopefully I'll be more understanding and like you said - direct, but compassionate.
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    Try and get him to see the doctor or a counsellor or something and just be understanding, patient and not too pushy. If he doesn't want to talk about it don't force him. If he just wants it left then leave him alone I know you want to help but you need to give him space to sort it.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Go here and read this. It'll help you understand more of what's going on. Offer to attend counselling with him, but don't be surprised if he gets angry and rejects your offer, it's a natural reaction - some people don't react too well to things psychiatric. Good luck.
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    I find that exams can make everyone a little 'off' they are stressful, it just depends on how one copes or deals with certain pressures and strains...
    All the best though =0)
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Juxtapiped)
    Sounds very similar to how I felt when I was about 16; I felt terrible, obsessive; particularly about my health; I had sharp sudden pains in my chest and was very irritable for a while; they were horrible times. Truth is, I grew up; for me I think it was just teenage angst/hormones etc and although I am still a bit obsessive and anxious I've learnt to tame it and enjoy life. What pulled me out of this phase to be honest was going into the 6th form and finding a girlfriend who has now been with me for nearly 2 years; my happiness with her has completely overriden any anxiety I used to have and it is our relationship that often makes me feel better in bad times (although not when the bad times are due to the relationship!). My advice is to just remind him that you are there for him, be affectionate and loving and I think most importantly, listen to him. I'm sure he'll grow out of it.

    I'm sorry to hear you've suffered something similar to my boyfriend - it's really not a nice thing to go through - but I'm glad you've finally found a way of overcoming it. ^_^

    For my boyfriend, I don't think it's a teenage angst/hormone phase - he's twenty in a couple of weeks - but more, in my opinion, because of the whole uncertainty of his future. He doesn't know what he wants to do with his life or where he's going - he's really at a bit of a loss. We’ve just finished college (a second time for my boyfriend) and have a lot of important choice to make about universities and careers. My boyfriend agrees that this may be a certain aspect of his anxiety, but still doesn't really know why he feels this way entirely - he just want it to go away. Hopefully, with lots of love and support, it will soon. Fingers crossed.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by ChocoVet)
    Well I've never suffered from anxiety myself, and I don't know anyone who does, but I have a thought. Maybe you could go to counselling with him??? :confused: If not, maybe you could talk to his mum about it - she seems knowledgeable enough about the anxiety thing and she knows her son (I hope!). Also make sure you tell him time and time again that you'll always be there for him even though you might not fully understand how he's feeling.

    I didn't think about that - maybe I should go with him, or at least offer too. The thing about his Mum is, that she's a really nice person - really lively and upbeat and so friendly - but I can barely think of anything to say to her. I know it's bad - I've been going out with my boyfriend for like a year and a half and I've never had a proper conversation with his Mum - but like I said, it's not that she's a bad person, it's just I'm really socially inept so I'm not so sure about that idea (although it sounds like a good idea)...

    Thanks for the suggestion.
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    !PMA! gogogogo
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by viviki)
    Try and get him to see the doctor or a counsellor or something and just be understanding, patient and not too pushy. If he doesn't want to talk about it don't force him. If he just wants it left then leave him alone I know you want to help but you need to give him space to sort it.
    His Doctor is making arrangments for him to see a counsellor, which will hopefully help. You make a valid point about giving him space - perhaps he does need some, but I'd have to be careful how I went about that as I don't want him thinking I don't care.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by bodhisattva)
    Go here and read this. It'll help you understand more of what's going on. Offer to attend counselling with him, but don't be surprised if he gets angry and rejects your offer, it's a natural reaction - some people don't react too well to things psychiatric. Good luck.
    Thanks for the link - I'll make sure I look through that as it looks really useful and help with my understanding. Thanks.
 
 
 
Turn on thread page Beta
TSR Support Team

We have a brilliant team of more than 60 Support Team members looking after discussions on The Student Room, helping to make it a fun, safe and useful place to hang out.

Updated: July 2, 2005
Poll
Should universities take a stronger line on drugs?

The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

Write a reply...
Reply
Hide
Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.