Anxiety is the most common form of mental illness in the U.S., according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. It affects people of all ages but only about 36 percent of those with anxiety seek and receive treatment.
Anxiety can affect a person’s life in many ways, including having effects on that person’s relationship, either friendships or their dating life.
Some people don’t understand how anxiety works. Plattsburgh State sophomore psychology major Lauren Chin thinks that it’s very important for people to be educated about the mental illness.
“Even though it’s not physical, you can’t see anxiety, it’s there, and it’s real,” Chin said. “A lot of people don’t think that anxiety disorders and mental disorders exist.”
According to the Merriam Webster dictionary, anxiety is apprehensive uneasiness or nervousness. It doesn’t really go away, but getting diagnosed and being treated can help. In some cases, it can even get worse if left untreated.
There are different types of anxiety disorders, but they all involve having the same sort of excess fear that can result in functional and behavioral problems.
“Some people are especially affected by social anxiety, which could influence how someone’s relationships form and develop.” Senior psychology major Lindsey Prutsman said.
If someone in a relationship has anxiety, it can have effects on the relationship. Anxiety in relationships can lead to overthinking, having doubt in the relationship, questioning your partner’s feelings, arguing and putting stress on the relationship.
“A person could overthink a lot of things that their significant other says to them,” Chin said. “If they’re nervous about one thing they said, they’ll think about it over and over again all day, stay up at night and think about it, fixate on it.”
However, having anxiety isn’t something to be ashamed of. Even though there is a possibility of it causing strain on the relationship, there are ways the partner can help.
Prutsman explains that anxiety affects people in different ways, which means the person would require different things from their significant other.
“I would say it’s most important to be empathetic,” Prutsman said. “Understand that their experience with anxiety is unique and individual to them, provide a listening ear, but most importantly not to press people or try to force solutions onto people.”
A simple thing someone’s partner can do is just to be considerate and patient with their significant other. Learning more about the illness can improve communication between the two people in the relationship.
Another thing someone could do is encourage their partner to work with a therapist. Therapy has been proven to help treat some anxiety disorders, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.
“Provide support where you can,” Prutsman said. “Make sure you’re taking care of your own mental health as well.”
Mental health is an important part of everyone’s life and at every stage of life. It’s important to take care of oneself as well as provide support for those who may need it.
”Be patient because you can’t fix it, but you can help and not make it worst,” Chin said. “Get educated and be considerate.”
Email Annika Campbell at firstname.lastname@example.org